12 Versatile Marketing Approaches To Consider When You Need To Do Something Different

The world has changed over the last several months, and businesses of all kinds are trying to figure out marketing strategies that will work going forward.

There are lots of options and while we will outline several below, there are some that are higher priorities than others. To find out what’s best for you, we recommend you…

click here to schedule some time with us.

Read on to learn about 12 versatile marketing approaches and which of them will work best for your practice.

#1 Cause Marketing

Cause Marketing

What values or beliefs are the heart behind your business? When you know what your business cares most about, you can use cause marketing to get your patients to kill two birds with one stone by purchasing your treatment or service. For example, for every new patient, your business will plant a tree. Not an environmentalist? That’s okay. For every new patient that comes in, donate to a local shelter or soup kitchen. No matter what cause you choose to support, this type of marketing goes far beyond brand awareness and reveals the heart of who you are as a practice.

#2 Close Range Marketing (CRM)

Close Range Marketing (CRM)

CRM allows you to send messages about your treatments or services to patients who are within close range to your business. When they’re passing by, why not take advantage of this quick and easy method to get them in the door?

#3 Relationship Marketing

Relationship Marketing

Want to ditch all the cheesy sales tactics? Your patients base will likely thank you for it. Instead, opt for relationship marketing. Simply focus your attention on making connections with your patients — whether that’s through face-to-face relationship-building, through social media, or through email. Instead of focusing on how to get the sale, focus on the person behind it. You’ll be surprised how easily this method translates into patients’ loyalty (and even more sales) down the road.

#4 Transactional Marketing

Transactional Marketing

On the other hand, maybe you’re finding that relationship marketing just isn’t enough cutting it. Transactional marketing could be the better option, as it focuses on maximizing individual sales transactions through coupons, discounts, and sales.

#5 Word-Of-Mouth Marketing

Word-of-mouth Marketing

Everyone knows that word of mouth is a powerful marketing tool. But how can you maximize it for the benefit of your practice? Put simply, when you wow your patients at every turn, you won’t have to ask them to share your practice with their friends and families. This means curating a stellar patient’s experience from start to finish. When you’ve got that down, word-of-mouth marketing is a natural result.

#6 Call to Action (CTA) Marketing

Call to Action Marketing

With so much dependence on technology these days, you can’t afford to neglect the web when it comes to your marketing strategy. CTA marketing is a method of getting your online visitors to engage with your brand through your ad or landing page design. Whether it’s to “click here for more information” or to “submit an email address in order to access a promo code,” your CTAs lead your web traffic to where you want them to go.

#7 Email Marketing

Email Marketing

Speaking of technology, email marketing is a quick, easy, and inexpensive way to reach many patients with just a few keystrokes. Through this avenue, you can offer discounts, convey new treatment or service info, announce upcoming events or treatment launches, or solicit sales.

#8 Event Marketing

Event Marketing

Join or create your own event in order to create some buzz and invite potential patients to engage with your brand. Invite other businesses that complement what you’re trying to achieve, set out brochures and business cards, engage your patients face-to-face, and hype it up on social media. This is a trustworthy method to increase brand awareness and turn on-the-fencers into patients

#9 Inbound Marketing

Inbound Marketing

If your business takes incoming calls for any reason, use this opportunity to sell your treatments or services. Of course, you’ll need to have a plan for meeting your patients’ needs so that you’re not trying to sell to the wrong audience. However, a little bit of script planning for diverse target audiences can make your inbound call marketing successful.

#10 Freebie Marketing

Freebie Marketing

Everyone loves FREE. With freebie marketing, you simply promote free treatment or service giveaways to create a buzz around your business. Once your patients have experienced your treatment or service and come back for more, you can then sell additional treatments or services to meet their needs and boost your own sales.

#11 Content Marketing

Content Marketing

Over the past couple of years, content marketing has become somewhat of a must-have for those wishing to boost online brand awareness. This method involved writing and publishing content (such as podcast articles, blog articles, expert interviews, or how-to exercises) to educate potential patients about your services. Of course, they don’t lead directly to a sale in most cases, but they do meet a real need for your audience.

#12 Social Media Marketing

Social Media Marketing

People want to be social on social media. And it says a lot about your business and how much you care for your patients when you reply to your followers’ comments, concerns, or questions. Create that online relationship to boost patients’ loyalty.

And That’s Not All…

Of course, there are countless methods for marketing your business, and as technology changes, we can expect even more. However, the right combination of the methods covered above can take your marketing strategy to the next level. It may be time to shake things up and try something new!

6 Reasons To Include Physical Therapy Content Marketing In Your Strategy

You’ve heard it before: “Content is king.” And while other new marketing techniques may have your attention, content marketing is still a big player when it comes to bringing in patients and establishing credibility in your industry. Below, we’re going to talk about 6 reasons to include content marketing in your strategy. Let’s get straight to it.

#1 Build Trust and Credibility

Building Trust

Content such as how-to blog articles, podcasts, case studies, or interviews allows you to show off your expertise in your niche and help your potential patients at the same time. Content marketing will not only build your credibility as an expert, but it will also help you build trust with your audience which is essential for brand loyalty.

Make a list of the problems or pain points that your target audience experiences and develop content that helps them find solutions. And don’t use your content to sell, sell, sell. The purpose of content marketing is to help patients and establish your brand, which will lead to organic sales eventually anyway.

#2 Build Practice Awareness

Building Practice Awareness

Do people know about your products or services? Do you have a reputation in your niche? If not, content marketing can help you change that. When people land on your website to get answers or find solutions, you increase brand awareness organically. Use your content to showcase your expertise, as we said above, and to increase traffic to your website. It’s a win-win.

#3 Get More Leads, Keep More Patients

Lead Generation

It’s all about generating leads, right? And content marketing allows you to reach a pool of patients who might have otherwise not engaged with your brand. When you provide relevant, timely, and helpful content, you draw in new leads. Plain and simple.

Content also keeps patients coming back for more. People are more likely to return to a resource that has helped them in the past. Once they begin to depend on you to provide relevant content as an expert in your field, your patients will think of you when they have a need related to your niche.

#4 Rank Higher in Searches

Rank Higher with the Search Engines

Your content affords you the opportunity to weave in keywords that will help you rank higher in Google search. The more you post relevant content, the higher your authority, and that means more traffic to your website. We all know that no one (well, almost no one) ventures past the first page of search results, so the higher and longer you rank, the better!

Also, if you post quality content, other businesses will want to link to your website, which further expands your audience. Plus, these “backlinks” are great for your site’s SEO. Want to rank higher? Backlinks are a significant part of getting you there.

#5 Attract Your Target Patients

Attract Your Target Audience

Yes, the purpose of content marketing is to attract leads, but you don’t want unqualified leads that will never result in a sale. Instead, you want to attract your target patients, your ideal buyer, so that you don’t waste time with the uninterested. So, how does content marketing bring in ideal patients? Put simply, only those who are interested in your industry will search out your content. And only those who search out your content will click your CTAs and end up perusing your landing page and viewing your products or services. This means that quality leads will be considering purchasing from you.

#6 Get People Marketing FOR You

Get People to Market for You

When your content is valuable, relevant, and solves a problem, you can expect people to want to share it to benefit others in their social circles. And when that happens, there’s almost no limit to how many people can stumble upon your content in their feeds. Just make sure that, when you create content, you do so with purpose. People won’t share content that didn’t help them in any way.

Time to Create More Content

There’s no time like the present to start creating and posting quality content as a part of your marketing strategy. Add content marketing to your strategy, and welcome those organic leads!

 

For more information about content marketing and how we can help, simply schedule an appointment with us by clicking here.

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8 Free Physical Therapy Marketing Strategies That You May Have Overlooked

Trying to put together a solid marketing strategy with a low budget? Sounds too good to be true, I know, but it’s possible with some consistency and creativity. Below, I’ll go over 8 free marketing strategies that you may have overlooked, but that — when implemented correctly — can help you expand your reach.

#1 Market in a Local Social Forum

It’s free to share ideas, right? That’s why, whether your marketing budget is limited or not, it’s a great idea to find a local forum where you can share your knowledge and expertise. As an expert in your field, you can answer questions, which is a win-win because you’re helping others in the group and boosting brand awareness and credibility for your physical therapy practice.

Caution: this isn’t the place to throw out a sales pitch. That’s a sure-fire way to turn forum readers off. Instead, include your name and a link to your website in your profile signature. That way, if anyone wants to learn more about you, they can do so without feeling pressured.

#2 Ask for Backlinks

If you want to rank high in a Google search, you’re going to have to have solid backlinks to your website. It doesn’t cost a thing to email your service providers and ask them if they’d be willing to link to your website. You can even offer to do the same for them. You can also do a quick search of your brand or company name and see if you are being mentioned anywhere on the web. If you find that other websites have mentioned your PT practice, email their editor and ask them to add a link. Remember, the more backlinks you have, the higher you’re likely to rank on a Google search, so ask and gather as many as you can!

#3 Host a Webinar

Brainstorm diagnostic conditions that will interest a local audience and put together an intriguing webinar that not only informs but makes your audience aware of your company and your specialty. Then, invite as many people as possible to join. Send out, messages, emails and text and post to your social media accounts. Call others in the community and invite them to join as well. Not only will you expand your audience with a webinar, but you also remind people that you are an expert (a generous one, too!) in your healthcare niche.

#4 Cross-Promote With Other Businesses

Ever heard the saying, “You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours”? Well, that’s the essence of cross-promotion. Think about your go-to doctors. Is there a surgeon who you think trumps all the rest? Or a doctor that has done an incredible job of referring for you in the past? In exchange for their referral to you, refer to them whenever possible. You’re rewarding stellar service, and so are they, and the customer gets to benefit from the best-of-the-best as well.

#5 Do Interviews

One of the easiest ways to get in touch with someone new is to ask them if you can interview them for your podcast, YouTube channel, or blog. It’s more exposure for them, and it’s an easy foot-in-the-door to new relationships for you!

#6 Set Up a Patient Referral Program

With a solid referral program, you get to let your customers do the heavy lifting. Incentivize them to pass on your information to others who would benefit from your physical therapy services, and watch as your patient base grows.

#7 Socialize on Social

Find local experts, follow them on social media, and communicate with them daily. Get your name out there and build practice awareness by becoming a consistent voice in your community. Do the same with your customers and prospects. Reply to their comments, retweet their ideas, and answer their questions. Show yourself to be the expert you are, and socialize instead of trying to push your marketing agenda. People will notice your confidence and lend you even more credibility.

#8 Get More Emails

Email marketing is free and effective. That’s why it’s important to try to garner as many email addresses as possible. Trade solid blog content, valuable diagnostic or treatment info, or a free consultation for email addresses, and then group emails into the demographics you’re trying to reach. Avoid sending out mass emails that don’t address a particular group’s needs or concerns. This will surely cause your potential patients to unsubscribe or scroll on past your messages.

Sometimes Hustle > Budget!

As you can see, it IS possible to market your practice without spending money. Of course, there are tons of marketing tools out there that will cost money and give you great ROI, but you can also get pretty far with the intentional and consistent free marketing tools that we talked about today. Give them a try today!

9.5 Marketing Tips You can Implement Right Now During The COVID Crisis

Tip 1: Update Your Website

  • Work on your message – is your home page optimized to convert viewers to patients? Are there calls to action?
  • Add a payment button – it’s an easy way to for patients to pay their statement online.
  • Add digital intake forms – these days, it’s much more convenient and saves time if you allow patients to fill out their forms on your website.
  • Add a store – this is a nice way to generate a little bit of revenue to cover some smaller expenses.
  • Update staff CVs – make sure that you have updated photos and biographies.
  • Feature areas of expertise, advanced degrees, board certifications, and specialized certifications.

Tip 2: Update Your Brand Materials

  • Refresh your logo – If you want to reopen with a more professional brand look, updating your logo is one way to do it.
  • There are a number of companies like 99 designs, Fiverr, or Logo My Way that offer various logo design packages.
  • Update your brochure – have you reviewed your brochures or rack cards recently? Consider refreshing them and clearly stating benefits and make sure you have a good call to action.
  • Take inventory of your referral pads
  • Create a digital business card – make it easier for people to connect with you. switchitapp.com/ is a unique service that provides digital business cards.

Tip 3: Use Social Media to Engage with Your Community Online

  • Create a series of posts to engage your community.
  • Boost posts to both your fans and the area 5-10 miles around your practice.
  • Post videos about home exercise types, home office setup, nonpharmacological pain relief.
  • Build your following with inspirational messages and a request to like your page.
  • Update your social media cover photos. Canva.com or snappa.com are good resources for this.

Tip 4: Create educational videos with your smartphone

  • What better time to shoot a video than now. Your practice is likely to be quiet so it’s a great time to shoot some videos. Here are some topics:
  • If you’re open, take some time to share how you’re keeping patients and your staff clean.
  • Create an expert interview video that differentiates you from the competition.
  • Discuss various conditions & demonstrate how you treat them.
  • Make a series of stretches and boost them out to your community – 1 per day for a month.
  • Contrast your service to other more aggressive treatments.
  • Here are a couple sample videos on the home pages of these websites:
    GMSPT.com | Procarept.net | Ptcare.net

Tip 5: Review the patient value journey.

This an often overlooked and a great exercise to map out all of the places/things that a patient might see as they move from awareness to patient ambassador.
Break down each touch point and examine where you might be able to improve the processes and provide a higher level of service.

Here’s a blog post where I discuss the patient journey in more detail:
https://www.e-rehab.com/2020/01/26/physical-therapy-marketing-strategy-part-3/

Tip 6: Review & Update Your Google My Business Listing

  • Review your process to capture Google ratings and reviews…one of the best ways to differentiate yourself. If you aren’t getting 5-10/mo (obviously this depends on patient volume), you are missing a big opportunity.
  • Review how it works – I did a blog post about Google My Business – click here to review it.
  • Add pictures – this is a great way to show others some of the unique features of your practice. Create a regular schedule to add photos and delegate it to someone in your office.
  • Update your listing – if things have changed in your office, update your listing. For example, update your business description and add in keywords. Add any additional business categories as well.
  • Respond to reviews – responding to reviews is a great way to show people that are considering your practice that you care. Even a thoughtful response to a negative review can generate more business. I did a blog post on this this with some additional advice. https://www.e-rehab.com/2019/05/24/physical-therapy-ratings-and-reviews/

Tip 7: Send Out Email Messages to Your Past List

  • Introduce the idea of telehealth and offer a free telehealth session.  Limit the time of the session to maintain your value.
  • Keeping in touch with past patients is a great way to generate more new business. Past patients are more likely to consume your content too.
  • Give them a combination of good will information…wellness information as well as educational information about the conditions you specialize in treating.
  • On occasion, you should make offers to your past patients. The combination of email and direct mail can be more effective.

Tip 8: Educate Referring Physicians with Research

  • If you get referrals from physicians, then take the time to collaborate with your referring doctors. Don’t be what I call a “physical pharmacist” and wait for the referral. Physical therapy is the best first choice for some many neuromusculoskeletal conditions. Make a point of reaching out to your referring physicians and send them a copy of a research paper. Put a post-it note on it saying something like – I thought you might be interested in this and sign your name on it.
  • To find these studies, do a Google search for a reference, add in the words PDF and often you will find that the document is public. Make sure you follow the necessary copyright laws.
  • Shortcut: the New England Journal of Medicine published an article with this conclusion: Patients with osteoarthritis of the knee who underwent physical therapy had less pain and functional disability at 1 year than patients who received an intraarticular glucocorticoid injection.
  • Here’s a link to the article: https://www.nejm.org/do/10.1056/NEJMdo005728/full/
  • Look up additional authors like Julie Fritz, John Childs, or Gail Deyle to name a few.

Tip 9: Kill your Google Ads if They Aren’t Performing

  • I’ve run Google Ads for PT private practices since 2007.
  • One thing I can tell you, in my experience, most physical therapy practices are wasting their money on Google Ads because they aren’t managing them properly.
  • Don’t be afraid to either invest in having someone do them right or cut this cost and put the money elsewhere.
  • It’s highly likely that you’ll never notice you turned the ads off.

Tip 9.5: Look at your budget, ROI, and Opportunity Costs

  • In all of the years I’ve been marketing for PT private practices, I’ve notices that large percentage of practice owners don’t have a strategy.
    They pick a tactic and spend some money on it…often not even knowing if they are getting anything out of it.
  • This is a good time to take inventory of what you are spending your money on and making sure you are getting value from it.
  • Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater but make sure you have some key performance indicators that suggest you are getting a good return.
  • If not, consider spending that money elsewhere.

If you need help with your physical therapy marketing, we have a variety of packages that will fit the budget of any practice.  Click here for our package information.

Give us a call at (760) 585-9097 or Schedule a Time on David Straight’s Calendar by Clicking Here

7 Steps to Creating a Solid Referral Marketing System

Most physical therapists today would like an endless stream of direct access patients.  While this is a nice idea, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to increase your number of new patients if you are not developing physician referrals.

If you’re ready to expand your patient base, then it’s time to create a solid referral marketing system. But before you can get started, you’ve got to make sure that the patient experience and your clinical expertise are worthy of referrals. Once you’ve refined those areas of your practice, you can feel confident about asking physicians to refer their patients to you.

Ready to get started?

Let’s cover how to create a referral marketing system that works best for your practice.

#1 Set Goals

The first step to creating a solid referral marketing system is deciding what your practice goals are. Here are some questions you need to answer:

Are you a new startup trying to create an initial patient base or have you been in the game for a few years and want to try to generate a few additional referrals?

If you’ve been in business for several years and currently have physicians that refer to you, this is a great opportunity. Your goal is to get doctors that send 2-3 new patients per month to send just 1-2 more.

Do orthopedists refer out or do they own their physical therapists?

Physician-owned physical therapy services, or POPTS, is the business arrangement whereby the orthopedist(s) have their own physical therapy inhouse. It’s not easy to get them to refer out because they will lose the revenue they generate from treating their own patients. (This is a huge ethical issue more on that here. If they own their services, they refer more (reference). Doctors are a powerful group with big money, a strong lobby, and a public perception of doing what’s best for patients…not always the case).

  • Are their GP, internal medicine, sports med, and/or physiatrists in private practice?
  • You need to know if they can refer out or if they are required to refer to their employer (i.e. a hospital that owns them).
  • How many new patients or additional new patients can you see (i.e. what’s your capacity)?

Knowing this along with your cancellation rate gives you an idea of your maximum capacity and helps establish the number of new patients you need to reach those goals.

If you don’t have referring physicians, then you’ll need to obtain a list of referring physicians from an online database service.  Here’s a good resource for that https://leads-app.infousa.com/Physicians/Selections

#2 Analyze Your Referral Data

Once you define your goals, you’ll need to determine how your referral strategy can and will help you reach your goals. Download a list of all of your referring physicians over that last year.

Look at the data. What does it tell you about your target doctors and patients? What kinds of patients come from these doctors and how often?

Answering these questions will help you determine what your ideal patients and referring physicians look like. This is the first step toward drawing up a strategy for referrals.

Next, identify the number of patients each doctor refers to. Who refers the most? How many do they refer per week/month? These are the ones who know the most about your practice, who send patients to you most often, and who believe in your services.

Finally, sort your list and determine who are the top referral sources. These are the referring physicians you never want to lose. They may keep your practice in business. Always assume your competition is whispering in their ear trying to take referrals away from your practice. You should spend the most time on this group.

Next look at the next group of doctors. Maybe they send 1 or 2 per month consistently.  This group is aware of you but doesn’t send many. Your goal is to try to get them to send 1-3 more each month.

Finally, you have a group that sends one or two patients over the course of the year. This group is the last segment you spend time on. The patient may have been the one that chose your practice.  In other words, the doctor may have not referred to you. Therefore, you don’t spend a lot of time with this group…initially.

#3 Equip Your Referrers

In Step 2, you determined which of your current referring physicians would be ripe for providing additional referrals. Now, you just need to give them the tools to be successful. A big part of equipping them to do the job right is to educate them about the value of a. referring to physical therapy and b. why they should refer to you.

One easy way to accomplish this is to visit their office and provide educational research about the value of referring to a physical therapist in the first place. The recent article published in NEJM is something you could easily print out, add a post-it note to it, that says “I thought you might be interested in this,” and hand it directly to the doctor. I also suggest you highlight key parts of the abstract so he/she can scan it.

If you cannot, put it in an envelope and write something on the outside of it like, “Dr. Smith, I thought you might be interested in this new research…”

Second, repeatedly showing up in their office, providing materials with your logo on them and your name, are good reminders that you are there for them.

#4 Next You Need to Differentiate Your Practice from the Competition

Once you remind them of the research that supports referring their patients to physical therapy, then you need to make sure they know what makes you different from the competition — in many cases, they’ll know this just by interacting with your you and the experiences patients have an report back to them.

Some ways to differentiate your practice are:

  1. Your expertise – board certifications & specialties
  2. Your location
  3. Your reputation
  4. Your clinical outcomes
  5. Hours of operation
  6. Communication
  7. Customer service
  8. Your fees
  9. Types of insurance you take
  10. How quick you can get a patient into your office

Don’t forget to tell your referrers what types of patients you are best at treating (also from Step

Last, make it easy for your referrers to send their patients to you.  Referral pads, business cards, rack cards, and brochures can help. A QR code that patients can scan and those patients to your website is helpful too.

#5 Take Action & Ask

It’s time to put your plan into action. Grab that list of ideal referrers and reach out. Remember: your physicians may be motivated in different ways, so if you see that part of your strategy is falling short, don’t hesitate to change it!

If you are talking with a front office person or any other support personnel, then you need to ask lots of questions.  As the saying goes, you have one moth and two ears, use them proportionally.

One way to pique the interest of the receptionist is to tell them that you are an expert at treating the spine or extremities.  Follow this up with a complex question, one that requires the receptionist to ask someone in the back office to get an answer. You might say, “My board certification was in the treatment of spondylopathy. Who does Doctor Smith refer to when patients have spondylopathies?”

Here’s another tip that’s equally important. Include the idea that you provide a “new treatment” to add curiosity.  Medical staff are interested in providing referrals to clinicians that provide new treatment options (high-intensity laser comes to mind).

Other questions you want to find the answer to are:

  • Who does Dr. Smith refer to?
  • Who decides where the patients go? If the answer is that the doctor or referring staff member picks from a list, then you simply ask, “How do I get on that list?”

I’ve observed a number of physical therapists and salespeople (commonly and errantly called marketing people) have a nice conversation with a doctor but fail to ask for referrals. This is very important to do.  When the time is right and you’ve established that you can provide value, simply say, “I’d like to see more of your X patients. Can you send me a few more so I can?”

#6 Recognize Your Referrers

People loved to be recognized for good deeds, and referring to your practice should count as one of them. When you thank and recognize your referrers, you further solidify your relationship with them. You can send a simple card for every patient that is referred, a gift of nominal value to avoid breaking legal anti-kickback regulations, and make sure that you provide timely, short and scannable progress and discharge reports..

#7 Track Your Progress

Once you’ve got a few weeks under your belt, it’s time to analyze the results and adjust accordingly. Take a look at the numbers: how many referrals have come in? What process worked best? In what ways can you make changes to your strategy to realize more ROI?

The Bottom Line

Patients coming to your clinic via direct access is a good thing; but, remember: adding more new evaluations to your schedule allows you to provide not only patients but doctors conservative, natural treatment options.

As you implement your referral marketing strategy, you might have to make several changes before you nail down a plan that really works. Be open to that, and remember to keep not only the patients’ experience but also your referring physicians’ experiences at the forefront of your efforts.

Need More Training?

E-rehab.com offers a program call More MD Referrals – Physician Sales & Marketing Training. If you have questions about this or any of our other services. Don’t hesitate to contact us at 760-585-9097 or email David Straight, DPT at dave@e-rehab.com.

10 Ways to Promote Your Small Physical Therapy Practice on a Budget

Whether you’re just starting your PT private practice or you’ve been running your clinic for a few years, during these times you have to be efficient with spending money on physical therapy marketing. For the savvy PTPP director who wants to save some money, here are some tips for marketing on a budget.

#1 Find Some Local Online Facebook Groups

You may be open and still treating patients, or you may be just doing telehealth; either way, you can leverage your community to market your business. Get your name out there by sponsoring local Facebook groups where moms gather, sports teams gather (e.g. a running club), or your neighbors gather. Get creative about offering value.  How can you help members of the group? Offer to speak on a Zoom webinar where share your expertise. This will boost awareness about your practice help you make one-on-one connections.

#2 Be Ready with a One-Liner, Talking Logo, or Elevator Pitch

If someone asks you what you do, does your answer put them asleep, confuse them, or arouse curiosity?  

A good one-liner as Donald Miller states, is one sentence that can grow your business (more here).

Another way to describe your business to another is with what John Jantsch calls, a talking logo.   John describes a talking logo as follows: “a tool that allows you to communicate verbally the single greatest benefit of doing business with your firm. A talking logo is a short statement that quickly communicates your firm’s position and ideally forces the listener to want to know more.” (more here

Yet another way to think about it is by simply following this formula: “I help x get y using z.”  An example might be: “I treat people in pain naturally recover with nothing more than my hands and mouth.”  If you were speaking with someone the first time, can you see how this type of answer invites additional questions? Fast, concise, and arousing curiosity are the keys to developing a good one-liner or talking. 

#3 Network with Other Local Businesses

Find other businesses that you believe in and make connections with them. Offer them your willingness to promote them if they’ll do the same for you. You could even come together for a community event and refer potential customers to each other.

Massage therapists, yoga instructors, personal trainers, acupuncturists, running, swimming, and sports equipment stores and of course medical doctors are some examples of companies you can cross-promote.  Make a list and start reaching out.

No matter how it looks, it’s a win for you and a win for the other businesses in your community.

#4 Take Advantage of Free Social Media

We all know that there are countless social media platforms out there, and it can seem a little overwhelming. But the good news is that it is either free or very inexpensive to market your business through this medium. 

If you are looking to treat middle-aged and senior patients then Facebook is the platform you should use.  If you are looking for the younger 20-35 y.o. crowd, then Instagram is a good place to start.

But here’s a quick tip: your goal is to nurture relationships by showing interest in them, providing good content and by asking others how you can help them.  One surefire way to kill your reputation is to look self-serving.  Following someone else on IG hoping to get a follow back won’t likely foster your relationships. Social media is meant for socializing.  Imagine if you were at a party and you approached a group of others, you would disrupt the gathering of people by trying to get everyone to focus their attention on you right away.

#5 Create and Publish Great Content

Sharing helpful content is important.  As the saying goes, content is king.  Not only does it establish you as an authority and increases practice awareness, but it also helps people. Of course, you don’t have to spend any money to create great content (if you someone at your practice is willing to do create the content on their own). If you’ve got older content, an easy way to get the message is out is by simply refreshing that old content. Add some graphics, update the content, add a new take on an age-old issue… whatever the case may be, don’t reinvent the wheel if you don’t have to.

#6 Call Up Your Referring Physicians

Believe it or not, many physicians are in the same boat as you are during this COVID crisis. Give your referring physicians a call. Ask them questions about how they are doing, their staff, their family. See how many patients they are seeing now. Offer to help them out. Ask how telehealth is working for them. Offer to help them promote their practice or find a collaborative opportunity. Offer to do a video conference call, record it and share it to your email list or Facebook fans.

#7 Email an Offer to Your List. You Could Offer a Free Telehealth Session

Many are just now experiencing how health care is delivered via remote video conferencing with systems like doxy, Zoom, Vsee, BetterPT, etc. When it comes to a hands-on provider like a physical therapist, the notion of communicating online assessments and treatment seems like a contradiction (when coming from a PT). 

One way to start the conversation and to get people to consider your physical therapy services is to email them an offer. Here’s how you can do this: 

  1. Get a list of first names and email addresses. Go to your EMR system and download a list of email addresses and names. I am assuming that you have permission to email your patients.
  2. Send out an email blast.  You want to put together a personalized message, first name only, and use a subject line like this:

    Remember, the goal of the subject line is to get them to open the email message.

  3. Get them to “click” to the next step. In the body of the message, you need to make a compelling offer.  Let your past patients know how you’re STILL able to serve them during this crisis – but it’s in a slightly different way.  Remember, the goal of the email message, in most cases, is to get them to click on a link to do something next.
  4. Give them something of value. Offer a free 15-minute “virtual” mini-evaluation to get them on the phone to see where they need the most help and let them know about your virtual services, or if you’re still open, to see if they are good candidate to come in for some therapy.

For some, this might be the solution they are looking for. If it is a valuable, compelling offer, your past patients will take you up on it.  If not, think of another offer. Most marketing campaigns fail on the first try; so, don’t be afraid to try again.

#8 Ask Your Patients for Referrals

Whether it be during a video conference or in person, ask your patients for referrals. This is how you can accomplish this.

  1. First find out if your patient is willing. Take their “temperature” by finding out how satisfied they are with your services. If you get a lot of positive feedback and you sense they are very pleased, then you can move to the next step.
  2. Ask an open-ended question. Don’t make the mistake of asking, “Do you know someone else I can help?” That’s a closed-ended question that will result in a yes or no.
  3. Take it slower with multiple, open-ended questions like:
    • “Who do you know that has a problem like you?”
    • “What have they done to deal with their pain?”
    • “What are you thoughts about how they might respond to this kind of treatment?”
    • “How could I work with you to see if they might benefit from what I’m doing with you?”

Knowing when and how to ask your patients for referrals will increase the likelihood of success. Give it a try and understand you’ll either get a No (in which case you’ll improve your ability to ask for a referral from your next patient), or you will get a Yes and you might be able to help them.

NOTE: if you do get a name from your patient, make sure you complete the process by having your patient make a warm introduction. Be willing to do a simple conference call with the patient and their family member or friend to take it to the next step.

#9 Increase the Value of Your Business Card and Add a QR Code

Business cards are cheap these days. Take a look at yours. Does it need a redesign?  Can you add services on the back?  How about a QR code that when scanned take the viewer to a video about you on YouTube or a web page where they can learn more about what you do, or perhaps to a page where you make them an offer? 

QR codes were popular back in the 2008-2012 timeframe; but, the need for users to install a QR reader app on their phone made them a challenge to use.  Back in September, 2017 when Apple released iOS 11, iPhone cameras became readers. Simply point the camera app at a QR code and it reads it.

Get creative with QR codes. Head over to QRstuff.com and create your own.

#10 Seek Out Recognition for Your Great Work

Believe it or not, it costs nothing to apply for business awards for your niche. If you are selected, you can tout that award on your website or on your front desk. This is a nice way to add credibility to your physical therapy services and it gives you another thing to write about in your social media posts.

#10.5 Bonus Tip

As of the date of this post, I’ve been in the PT private practice marketing space for almost 20 years. If there’s one thing I can share with you that is going to dramatically increase your odds of success it’s these 3 things: One, take action. Most just read about marketing and never take any action. Two, make sure you invest in your marketing. Marketing pays dividends and gives you returns. Sometimes your investments result in a loss but then you learn. Sometimes they provide you with a good profit. This leads me to my third point, persistence. Marketing is an ongoing process over time. It never stops. The more you do it, the more you learn and improve that process.

Working within Your Budget

You might think it is difficult to market your practice on a small budget. There is some truth to this. After all, you might be up against large hospitals, corporate big-box clinic chains, and POPTS clinics. The resistance is proportional to the reward though. If you want to generate patients that might net you up to $1000 when you complete a plan of care with them, it’s going to take some work.

Looking for the Best Online Marketing Services on a Budget?

E-rehab.com provides different packages of marketing services, training and tools to help you generate more new, repeat, and word-of-mouth business.

For more information about how we can help, click here to schedule some on my calendar and we can discuss your needs.

Google My Business Updates & Your Practice Listing

If you’ve closed your practice because of the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be thinking about marking your Google My Business listing to closed.

We don’t recommend you do this at this time.  This video will give you more details

Transcription of the video

Hi, this is David with the E-rehab.  I hope you are well in this time of crisis. I wanted to do a quick video about Google My Business listings because we’re going to get questions about this and we’ve already had a few.

You’ll see here an example of Coast Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine and Chico. You can see it on a phone here and you can also see it on desktop as well. You’ll notice the COVID-19 alert, which is necessary, but I’m not a fan of it being associated with your business listing. There isn’t much we can do there to change it.

What we have noticed though is if you go into your Google my business account, there is a link at the top. I’ll learn more with limited Google my business functionality due to the coronavirus and COVID-19. Click here for details.

There are three things we’ve noticed and then one big one that we’re getting questions about.

  1. The first is you cannot get new reviews.
  2. The second thing is you cannot respond to reviews.
  3. The third thing is, is that they have removed questions and answers in your Google My Business account.

The Most Important Question – Do I Mark My Business Closed?

The big one though is when people ask us if they should Mark their clinics closed because they have closed their practice in response to the crisis. Our answer is no.

Google reinforces this. If you click on this, learn more here. You can get to this page and you notice that they want you to do business edits. It’s gonna take them some time to verify new listings and they have removed the Q and A; but if you click here on this link, it goes to more specifics. What do you do if you have changed your hours?

They want you to update your hours. They want you to add in to your information under the info tab, that you have changes in your hours and they’re saying to create a post and then if you’re temporarily closed. They’re saying that they get information from elsewhere.

Basically they don’t have functionality yet that says they are temporarily closed in your Google my business listing. So that leads me to the next point – your INFO link in your GMB account.

If you wanted to click on that and you could go down here and you could change your information right here, but they also talked about creating a post.

So here’s what posts look like and what you do is you click add an update. And if I do that, I have that, uh, here. You would drag an image in there and then write your post where you could say that your, you things have been modified or you’re closed or when we get through this that, you would post that you’re open again and then you just simply click publish there.

In Summary

The question being, should I mark my business closed in Google my business? Do NOT do that. If you do, it could impact your search listings.

So, modify the information as stated above in the Info section of your GMB listing and/or create a post and put it up there under your Google my business account.

I hope this helps. If you have questions, let us know.

Images for You to Use on Your Google My Business Posts

Here are three images you can use to upload to your Google My Business account depending upon the status of your clinic.  Simply right-click on the given image and save it to your computer.  You can then upload it to your Google My Business post.

 

Inbound Vs. Outbound Physical Therapy Marketing Part 4

For the Most Effective Long-Term Strategy, Content Marketing is King

An essential recommendation that we’ve touched on several times throughout this blog series is to develop a better grasp of who is—and who isn’t—actively looking for a physical therapist, and how this should affect your marketing strategy. This is a universal concept that applies to all aspects of marketing your private physical therapy practice, so it’s worthy of a closer look.

To develop a clearer picture of the whole of society and how much the average person is considering the prospect of physical therapy, it helps to get acquainted with the 6-7%, which was created by marketing consultant Chet Holmes in his book, The Ultimate Sales Machine. The pyramid breaks down the consumers in any market into five categories based on their interest levels, and for physical therapy marketers, your audience looks like this:

  • About 3% of people are interested in starting physical therapy and looking to set up their first appointment right now
  • About 6-7% are open to the idea of seeing a physical therapist, but not actively pursuing it or looking into options
  • About 30% are neutral, meaning they probably have not given any thought to undergoing physical therapy, but might be interested in it
  • About 30% are pretty sure that they are good “as is,” and don’t need physical therapy, but they haven’t completely ruled it out
  • About 30% are certain that they don’t want or need physical therapy

It’s a Conceptual Model but Fairly Close to Reality

These statistics may appear to be discouraging, but they should serve as an important reality check. If you buy into this model, it shows that only about 10% of the public is actually receptive to physical therapy as a solution to their pain, and only 3% is at the point where they are actively searching for a therapist or practice to begin treatment with.

The research supports this as well:

  • Only about 7-8% of lower back pain patients see a PT, but the value proposition is clear [1]
  • Clinical guidelines suggest that seeing a PT early on for neck pain is of high value. [2]
  • Yet, referrals to physical therapy are declining according to some research. [3]

Example Patient in Your Community with Low Back Pain

Let’s consider an example. Let’s say that someone in your community has back pain.  Who do they think of as the primary care providers for back pain? Most would say a medical doctor and others a chiropractor.  The evidence supports this.  This is the reality of most communities.  Physical therapy is lost in obscurity.

How does a practice rise out of obscurity and become a treatment option for the average consumer?

Enter Content Marketing – An Affordable Method that Can Pay Off Down the Road

The remaining 90% of the people discussed above, is a portion that needs to be nurtured in the long term. Since these individuals don’t generally care much about physical therapy—or downright don’t want it—you need to work on fostering a relationship that will help them get to know, respect, and eventually trust you. With this approach, when the time comes that they do need a physical therapist, they’ll be far more likely to keep you in mind.

This is why traditional marketing may not be as effective for this population. Instead, you should focus your efforts on content marketing.

Content marketing is defined as follows: Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action. [4]

Online or Offline – Content Marketing Applies to Both

Content marketing can apply to both your online and offline strategies. When devising a content marketing plan, it may help to follow the 80/20 rule:

  • 20% of your content should be clearly self-promotional
  • The other 80% should be useful, interesting, and educational, thereby benefiting anyone that reads it

Educational content that covers a range of topics related to:

  • Obtaining value from healthcare providers,
  • Conservative care options
  • Sports health,
  • Fitness,
  • Exercise, and
  • Nutrition

Many of these topics will be immediately helpful to potential patients/readers and will also stand the test of time. In addition, by showing your audience that you are an authority source that provides reliable answers to some of their most common questions, they’ll keep coming back to you in the future to read more. This will in turn will help build trust and will likely place you in the running if—and when—a time comes that physical therapy might be needed.

We hope this series has shown that there is an abundance of options for both inbound and outbound marketing, and there are plenty of benefits of both approaches. Utilizing some of each and diversifying your tactics will likely yield the greatest return, but what works for your private physical therapy practice will be completely unique to your goals, message, and budget.

If you’d like some assistance in navigating this process, we are happy to help. Contact E-Rehab today to learn more.

Inbound Vs. Outbound Marketing Part 2: Outbound Helps You Cast a Wider Net

In our last blog, we showed you what an inbound marketing campaign can accomplish and walked you through the key steps needed to execute these types of strategies. An inbound approach can work incredibly well once someone finds you on the internet, but as we’ve pointed out, this isn’t always easy or likely. It also takes time, and lots of patience, which some private physical therapy practice owners may not have.

Enter Outbound Marketing.

Also referred to as “traditional marketing” or “push marketing,” outbound is more about casting a wide net with strategies that find your patients, rather than hoping that they somehow find you. It gives you more control over how to establish the first point of contact, and is, therefore, more direct and immediate than most inbound strategies.

Example Patient with Neck Pain

One way to understand the primary benefits of an outbound strategy is to think about the behaviors of an average individual who has neck pain. If this person is like most people with neck pain, he or she is probably not actively looking for a physical therapist, and may not even be aware that the option is available.

An inbound strategy probably won’t work unless they happen to be searching for terms related to neck pain and your area and you have pages that rank for these terms.

An outbound approach, on the other hand, is far more likely to bring your practice front and center through the use of advertising and other broad marketing tactics.

Getting to know the best outbound advertising options

Advertising is the most common and reliable form of outbound marketing, and there are numerous options available today. A selection of some that will be worth your time follows:

  • Paid Banner Advertising: this is essentially any type of advertising that’s used in a search engine; specific search terms are not always necessary, so these ads can pop up regardless of what’s being searched for
  • Social media advertising: these ads are paid for on specific social media sites, and are helpful for increasing awareness of your practice, better understanding your audience, and boosting your reputation; in general, it’s also less expensive than search engine ads
    • Facebook advertising: one of the most popular options; ads are easy to create and can be segmented by interest, age, and other variables
    • Instagram Ads: Instagram includes a number of highly engaged users, making your ads more likely to be seen by a larger number of individuals; these ads are also connected with those on Facebook
    • Twitter Ads: promoted Tweets can use keyword targeting to go after specific individuals, and you only pay when you’ve achieved your marketing objective
    • LinkedIn Ads: this type of advertising isn’t to generate new patients; rather, LinkedIn ads are typically used to attract new professional talent. While they are generally more expensive than on other social media platforms, they may yield better overall results than sites like Indeed.

physical therapy outbound marketing

Pros & Cons of Physical Therapy Outbound Marketing

As you can see, there are pros and cons to both inbound and outbound marketing, and that’s why we believe it’s best to spend time on each and find a balance that works for your practice and your budget.

Outbound marketing is usually far more expensive that inbound and also tends to be short-lived, but if you’re looking for more immediate results and have the funds, it’s certainly an option worth pursuing. In our next blog, we look into the role offline marketing can play in today’s times.

Outbound Marketing – A Great Way to Reach Referring Physicians

In conclusion, outbound marketing has its place. It’s often underutilized by physical therapy private practices and a quick piece of advice – if you still get patients from referring physicians, we definitely recommend you use this marketing strategy to reach them.

We offer a physician newsletter that is ideal and affordable for any practice. Contact us for more information.

References:

https://databox.com/outbound-marketing-tactics

35 Physical Therapy Blog Resources

Publishing content on your physical therapy website may often feel like a daunting task.  Figuring out what to write about, how best to convey your message, and what elements to include in order to rank and attract readers can take some time to navigate.  This tends to ring especially true for newcomers, but even seasoned bloggers and content creators can run into snags of their own.

If you are blogging, over time you may struggle to find ways to keep coming up with fresh ideas for content that will continue to engage readers without growing stale.

Coming Up with Physical Therapy Blogging Ideas Can be the Tough Part

If you handle any of the physical therapy marketing for your private practice with blogs or other content, you’ve probably run into issues like this in the past (or you may be in that position right now, which is what brought you to this page!)

It goes without saying that there’s so simple way to guarantee that you’ll never run out of ideas and always post the most riveting content, but it will be a major benefit to have some trusty resources to consult for topics, guidance, and writing assistance.  Below are 35 essential tips and resources to help you become—or remain—an established physical therapy blogger in the long term:

Blog Topic Ideas

  1. Statistics summary: write a post loaded with important statistics about physical therapy from across the industry, with commentary about how these statistics affect readers
  2. Study summary: find a study that highlights the benefits of physical therapy and do a brief summary of its findings and why they show physical therapy is best
  3. Success story: write about a patient at your practice that experienced a positive outcome after completing treatment; success stories are an incredible way to promote your practice, and you’ll never run out of them so long as you continue to treat patients
  4. How-to guides: teach your readers how to get involved in a new exercise or activity with a step-by-step guide
  5. Injury spotlight: pick a common injury or painful condition and explain why it occurs, what it feels like, and why physical therapy is the best treatment for it
  6. Sport-specific injury guide: select a sport and describe the most common injuries that athletes experience, and how physical therapists can help patients return to activity
  7. Body region injury guide: along the same lines, pick a joint or region (e.g. knee, back, ankle) and provide some details of what injuries occur most frequently, and of course, what physical therapy can do to address it
  8. Services spotlight: promote a unique service you offer that’s not found at most other physical therapy practices, like the Graston technique, aquatic therapy, or dry needling
  9. Seasonal blog: discuss how the current weather relates to exercise habits or common problems and provide tips on how to remain active while avoiding injury
  10. Countdown list: readers love lists, so try creating a blog on “The 5 best stretches for shoulder pain” or “The 8 most common mistakes made when training for a road race”
  11. Physical therapy news: link to an important development in the physical therapy industry and explain how it could affect patients in the future

Resources for physical therapy blogging or health topics to write on

General

  1. Feedly: one of the many websites available for organizing RSS feeds
  2. Healthline
  3. Health Essentials from Cleveland Clinic
  4. WebMD
  5. MedicalNewsToday
  6. MayoClinic
  7. The New York Times: Health
  8. NIH

Physical therapy-specific

  1. APTA: great for industry-related news and developments
  2. ChoosePT: APTA’s consumer-focused website (formerly MoveForwardPT)
  3. PT in Motion: APTA’s monthly magazine for physical therapists
  4. GetPT1st blog: loaded with topics for physical therapists and patients
  5. Evidence in Motion blog: industry-specific blog geared more towards physical therapists
  6. Physiospot
  7. The Physical Therapy Advisor
  8. Athletico Physical Therapy blog

Resources to improve your writing and posting skills

  1. CoSchedule: analyzes your headlines to ensure you’re using your words wisely
  2. SEOPressor: a WordPress plugin that assists with search engine optimization (SEO)
  3. XML-sitemaps: free service that creates a sitemap for your website, which helps search engines better scan each of your pages
  4. Hemingway Editor: a grammar service that helps you improve your writing by avoiding sentence that are too long or wordy
  5. Grammarly: another helpful grammar service to assist your writing
  6. Quick and Dirty Tips: website that provides grammar tips and answers to your questions
  7. Portent’s Content Idea Generator: enter a keyword and get topic ideas at this website
  8. Hubspot: another helpful topic generator if you need to come up with new ideas

 

In our next blog, we discuss why all your content should include a call to action that will keep readers engaged with all your online accounts.

Physical Therapy Marketing Ideas – Positioning Yourself Against Your Competition

One of the most common challenges that private physical therapy practice owners face is something that’s seen across all businesses:

How do you set yourself apart from everyone else? 

Unless your clinic is in an extreme rural part of the country, you probably have to compete with a number of other practices in the area, many of which have claims about why the patient should choose them. Example claims are typically as follows:

  • We’re the best,
  • Best in the city,
  • 1 on 1,
  • Hands-on,
  • Experienced,
  • Top-rated.

So how can you show prospective patients that they’re better offer choosing you than the competition for their care?  It’s all about communicating your message and having a well-designed reputation marketing plan.

Here are 4 big ideas that will elevate your practice above your competitors:

I. Create clear distinction

One of the foundations of your physical therapy marketing strategy should be to determine how you will create distinction between your private physical therapy practice and all the other practices in your region.  Distinction is all about standing out from the crowd and presenting yourself as better than average so that patients will choose you.  Scott McKain, who is a global expert in the art of distinction, breaks this method down into the 4 Cs:

  • Clarity: before you even work on delivering your message, you first need to define who you are as a business, what your practice is all about, and perhaps just as importantly, what your practice is not about; this step is crucial, because it is extremely difficult to differentiate your practice unless you know how you want to represent it.
  • Creativity: research has shown that in the best marketing strategies, this step follows clarity, and not the other way around; some may find this to be counterintuitive, but the truth is that while being creative is absolutely necessary, it needs to be guided by the clear definition of your business.
  • Communicate: using a creative approach, you next need to figure out a way to clearly and effectively communicate the message you’ve landed on to current and prospective patients, and do so on a consistent basis; one way to accomplish this is by providing success stories of patients that have had a positive outcome from treatment.
  • Customer-experience focus: this means planning every business decision around the patient experience, listening to their feedback, and responding in such a way that shows them their interests are your top priority.

II. Write an attractive value proposition

Along with the formula to creating distinction, another essential component how you should position yourself amongst your competitors, should be your value proposition.  Proposing your value means articulating to prospective patients why you can solve their problems more effectively than other practices in the area.  It shows patients what specific benefits they can expect if they see you for treatment and the value of your services that you’re guaranteeing.  When created and delivered properly, this can be the ingredient that will give you a clear competitive advantage over others.

Below are a few key elements of a good physical therapy private practice value proposition and some tips on how you can create one for your practice:

  • It should contain a headline, sub-headline or paragraph, and possibly a few bullet points or a visual element
  • Start by making a list of all benefits your patients will experience, then identify what value your services will bring to them, and finally differentiate and position yourself to make it clear who your target patient is, what you offer them, and how you’re different
  • Your proposition should be easy to understand, clearly communicate the benefits patients will get, and show how you’re better than competitors; it should also take 5 seconds or less to read and understood your value proposition
  • You should also focus on highlighting the countless benefits and advantages of physical therapy over other treatments, showing that it is an effective first-line intervention supported by research for a wide range of conditions with little to no side effects; it is also easily accessible, saves patients money, and will help them avoid additional specialist visits, diagnostic tests, opioids, and unnecessary surgeries

III. Bring what makes your practice unique front and center

This next one is more than just saying your are the best.  It can set you apart when done right, but won’t necessarily result in a long-term competitive advantage (because your competition could replicate it).

As with the other strategies mentioned above, the goal is to show why a patient should choose your practice over your competitors, and one of the most powerful ways to do this is by clearly showing them what makes you unique.

In order to do this, first do a detailed review of all the other private physical therapy practices in your region, taking stock of what services they offer, what advantages they claim to provide, and what some are missing.  From there, take a close look at your own practice and work to identify some of the prime characteristics, qualities, and services that aren’t found elsewhere.  Some examples of services or traits that might set you apart are:

  • Having hours of operation that are more extensive than other practices
  • Accepting more insurance types than other practices
  • Having several locations to better serve patients
  • Providing treatment services that are not typical, such as aquatic therapy, laser therapy, or certain techniques like the McKenzie method, the Active Release technique, myofascial release, or ASTYM
  • Having a policy that ensures physical therapists—rather than aides or assistants—spend a certain amount of time with each patient

An Example of a Private Practice “Positioning” Themself Against Corporate and Hospital PT Care with a Comparison Table

physical therapy positioning

IV. Use the right language…especially on your website

The final step is to make sure that you’re using the clearest and most effective language when creating content.  Without the right language, you could have the right idea of what you want to say, but are not saying it in a way that engages readers and drives them to your clinic.  Consider website visitors as an example. It usually only take about three seconds after landing on your page to decide if they want to continue looking or not, so you definitely want to make a positive first impression (a good image will do that for you) that keeps them there.  Next, they will start reading, so you need to use the right language.

One method to determine if you’re using the right language is to think about the following three questions that visitors are asking when visiting your website:

  • 1) What do you offer?
  • 2) How will it help me recover?
  • 3) How do access your services?

If the answers to all three questions are clearly visible on your website above the fold (the bottom of their computer or phone screen), you’ll be increasing your chances of getting that visitor to read on and hopefully turning them into a new patient.  So it’s best to consider them when creating any type of content for your practice.

A Quick Glance at this Website and You Can See that They are Physical Therapists, Have 3 Clinic Locations, and They Help their viewers “…Get Back In The Game”

 

Additional reading: If you want to get clear on your message, one good reference is Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen.

StoryBrand’s tagline makes it very clear how they help business owners to brand and position themselves:

Their tagline is: If you confuse you’ll lose. Noise is the enemy and creating a clear message is the best way to grow your business.

Click here to get the book.

In our next blog, we’ll offer some tips and resources to assist your writing process and ensure that you always have an engaging topic to discuss.

Physical Therapy Marketing Strategy Part 3: Look to the marketing hourglass and patient journey for opportunities

When it comes to laying out an effective physical therapy marketing strategy, it helps to have a conceptual structure to serve as the backbone for decision making. Figuring out how to formulate this structure can be challenging, but one smart guiding principle is to follow the shape of an hourglass to understand various thoughts patients go through when choosing a PT private practice.

For a long while, business owners and marketers were told to focus on the idea of the marketing funnel. To make matters more confusing, enterprise companies, marketing experts, and gurus have come up with different types of funnels.  Generally, a funnel is a concept that you conceptually describes the large target group of people that might be interested in your services (the top or largest end of the funnel), and then describes the thoughts, steps, or processes prospective patients go through…with people walking in the door, and doing business with you, being down toward the bottom of the funnel (the small end) where they become customers, clients, or patients. Many funnels include retention, repeat business, and referrals also down at the small end of the funnel.  The problem with this concept is that this concept doesn’t do enough to emphasize the importance of great customer service and the future ramifications as a result of delivering great care.  As John says,

“Of course, the funnel concept won’t ever go away, but about ten years ago I defined what I think is still a much better approach – I call it the Marketing HourglassIt borrows from the funnel shape but turns it on its head after the purchase to help intentionally account for the idea of creating a remarkable customer experience.”

The marketing funnel would usually consist of about three steps on the front end of the process—such as awareness, consideration, and purchase—but did not account for what happens to the patient after their initial evaluation at your clinic. On account of its symmetric shape, the marketing hourglass approach gives equal attention to both building trust on the front end and ensure an optimal patient experience from the moment they walk through your doors and all that follows.

The 7 steps of the hourglass to shape your physical therapy marketing ideas around

Before constructing your marketing hourglass, you need to take stock of how your physical therapy practice comes into contact with prospective patients through various touchpoints, and then try to map the journey that would lead them to call your clinic for their first visit. Once you have a good idea of these points, you can begin crafting your marketing plan by following these 7 steps of the marketing hourglass approach:

  • 1. Know: try to understand how most of your prospective patients will first hear about your practice, whether that be through an online ad, referral, or something else.
  • 2. Like: if someone learns of your practice they often will want to know more about you before they call to schedule or request an appointment online. This is where a great website with authoritative and up-to-date content comes in.
  • 3. Trust: before a patient chooses your practice, they will also want to see that they can trust you; the best way to do this is with reviews, success stories, and testimonials. Video is something that most practices are still NOT leveraging to build trust.  It’s something to consider.
  • 4. Try: we define trying physical therapy as the communication during appointment setup and the initial evaluation.  There are a number of opportunities to optimize these experiences. From answering the phone, what you say, being on time, evaluating the patient and communicating properly.  This step is where you sell the patient on your plan of care.
  • 5. Buy: the first step on the opposite side of the hourglass, this is the actual treatment phase of a patient’s experience; work to ensure a positive patient experience that exceeds their expectations; from proper goal setting, reinforcing progress, a good home-exercise program, and regularly checking in with the patient to make sure the plan of care is progressing as expected…these are all areas you can work on at this stage.
  • 6. Repeat: after ensuring that the patient had a positive first experience at your practice, shift the focus to follow up. After they have completed their plan of care, how are they doing on their own. Follow-up letters, phone calls, and regular offers to come back can help here.
  • 7. Refer: you know who your patient ambassadors are… you know, the ones that love you, the ones that you made a significant change in their life.   When these patient views your practice in this positive light, you want to make it as easy as possible for them to refer you to others by creating tools they can access through your website or elsewhere.

Another Way to Look at Your Physical Therapy Marketing – The Patient Journey

The marketing hourglass is a great way to visualize the process that patients go through.  Another way to visually describe this is the patient journey.  While there are dozens of touch points, one way to look at it is by asking yourself, “What online marketing technologies can I use to connect with prospects and patients through the journey.”  This graphic we created might help you visualize some of the opportunities.  We tied it into the marketing hourglass as well.

What are you doing to optimize your marketing?

Take a look at the above and see if you have any real blind spots.  What can 2-3 things can you affordably and effectively do to get people into the hourglass and optimize their experience as they go through it.

If you’re looking for additional assistance or other physical therapy marketing ideas, we can help. Give us a call to find out what we can do for your private physical therapy practice.

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