Promoting Your PT Clinic
Physical Therapy is the future of healthcare
Physical therapy is a rapidly growing field, with the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics projecting an 18% increase in employment of physical therapists between 2019-2029. In addition, Statista projects a 27% career growth rate for physical therapy assistants in the same period.
The growing demand for physical therapy services is due to multiple factors. A growing population is seeking healthcare alternatives to traditional medicine for musculoskeletal pain, improved posture, enhanced performance and healthier lifestyles.
According to boneandjointburden.org, various musculoskeletal issues affect one out of two people aged 18 years and older, and three out of four people aged 65 plus. According to infoplease.com, there are currently over 200 million people in the US over the age of 18, constituting 74.3% of the total population.
Considering those statistics, the demand for physical therapy services is higher than ever, and will continue to grow over the coming decade. To meet the demand, more PT clinics will emerge in the near future, and competition will escalate. To hold onto your market share of patients, you will need an aggressive digital marketing campaign.
These marketing tips can help you optimize your prospects in the 2020s and beyond.
- Back up your practice with a business plan
An article by Noah Parsons introduces extensive research about the effectiveness of a business plan. Multiple studies suggest that planning is vital in the preparation stage of the marketing funnel, prior to opening your business. Extensive groundwork is necessary to define where you currently stand, and where you want to go in the future. Moreover, a well-thought-out business plan is a must for getting financial assistance from the bank.
Your PT business plan should outline the organizational aspects of your clinic, types of services you will provide, and estimates of the sources and amounts of future revenues. As your clinic grows over time, your plan should be updated periodically to reflect your current status.
Today digital services provide unique and customized solutions for promoting your practice. Marketing tools include patient demographics and statistics that use chargers and graphs to create a profile of your target audience. This information will help you direct your marketing efforts more effectively, to reach your most likely patient population based on type of service, geographic range, service price, and the number of patients who need your help. Equipped with this data, you can predict your future revenues and projected rate of growth.
- Focus on your consumer
Physical therapy is about helping people, and it may be difficult to associate your healthcare practice with marketing and profits. But a physical therapy practice is still a business, and you cannot help patients if your business is losing money. An effective approach for growing your patient traffic is to create buyer personas that portray the characteristics of typical patients in terms of demographics, income, behavior, needs, and assessment criteria. To create accurate personas, ask your patients what they expect from their treatment, and why they chose you as a caregiver.
Numerous healthcare entities throughout the US are working towards a patient-centered medical home care model that enables patients to meet their healthcare needs at their convenience. Many physical therapy clinics are now providing TeleHealth services, online consultations, and even home visits.
- Harness the power of digital marketing
In the past decades, an online presence has become integral to every business. Physical therapy clinics need professionally designed websites to establish a favorable online presence that attracts patients and builds trust. Digital marketing leverages Internet advertising to showcase your brand to millions of people around the world, and especially local customers. The United States is a world leader in digital advertising, with a bright future for online marketing.
Today more people than ever are switching from desktop to mobile, with mobile revenues expected to grow from 52.4% in 2019, to 62.4% in 2024. Digital marketing penetrates every corner of the online universe, and your practice needs an expert marketing team to help you promote your business online.
Digital marketing entails:
- Effective content writing
- Impressive imagery
- Educational videos
- Multiple channels and devices
- Brand promotion
- Social networking
- SEO and PPC
- Public Relations
- Reputation management
- Lead-to-customer conversions
- Rise to the top with stellar SEO
Marketing for physical therapy requires a targeted SEO campaign to make your practice appear on the first page of search results. In fact, 30% of global traffic comes from a search engine when a user enters specific keywords to find desired services. Your PT practice should strive to appear at the top of rankings and remain there for life. A customized SEO campaign helps you to optimize the structure and content of your website, making it visible both locally and globally.
- Boost conversions with PPC
PPC (Pay-per-Click) is a favorite physical therapy marketing tactic for increasing visibility, placing impressions in the most advantageous spots, and steering traffic to your website. Every time a potential customer clicks on your ad in social media, online platforms or search results, you pay an agreed-upon PPC fee. You can also outbid your competitors or reduce your price per click with effective bidding strategies. A smart PPC campaign helps you target your audience at exactly the right place and time. While PPC is profitable, it still takes a back seat to a well-crafted SEO campaign. Prior to launching a PPC campaign, focus on SEO. Without SEO, PPC will not be as effective, and you could be wasting your time and money. At the end of the day, only 0.5% of all online traffic comes from paid advertising.
- Quality content is key to success
Engaging, thought-provoking, well-written, and informative content attracts people to your website and keeps them coming back for more. For physical therapy, articles and blogs that educate your patients about musculoskeletal conditions and treatment help to build trust with future patients and solidify your practice as an authoritative resource.
Your patients will be pleased to learn about the pathophysiology of their health problems, innovative treatment approaches, and new technologies.
Based on research, content marketing tops the list of effective marketing techniques, and 20% of marketers believe quality content to have the greatest impact on profits.
- Integrate attractive design
People gravitate to products with appealing design elements. In fact, research shows 38.5% of respondents consider an outdated design to be their main reason for leaving a website. Your website is your business card online, and a welcoming professional design tells users that you care about your image.
Great design can be simple, easily-optimized, and include informative infographics, images and videos. Use design elements in moderation so your patients can easily navigate your website to find the information they are looking for. Create an attractive and easily-to-navigate web space that reflects your clinic’s values.
- Reach out with Email Marketing
Email marketing remains a leading strategy for generating traffic and leads. It provides a helpful channel for informing your patients about policy changes, operating hours, pricing, location and added services. You can send promotional emails offering discounts or complimentary treatments.
However, if misused, email marketing can be a destructive tool. Seventy-eight percent of consumers unsubscribe from email lists when companies bombard their inboxes with unsolicited materials. In 66% of cases, unsubscribers claim that emails contained nothing that sparked their interest. Use email marketing in moderation, and make sure your emails contain something of value to your patients. A bad email marketing campaign can damage your reputation and drive away patients.
- Steer more traffic from SMM (Social Media Marketing)
People love spending time on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram, and advertising on social platforms can be highly lucrative. Advantages of social media marketing include increased exposure (86%), higher traffic (78%), new followers (60%), increased sales (59%), and more.
Create accounts for your practice on the most popular networks, and share inspiring stories with your audience about your clinic and services. Provide your followers with interesting facts and exciting details, and explain how physical therapy can enhance their quality of life. You will be amazed at the number of loyal leads who begin following you on social media!
- Communicate with your patients via public relations (PR) channels
PR is an effective way to spread the word about your practice and services by communicating with your consumers. PR helps increase your brand awareness and steers more traffic to your website. A thorough PR campaign includes:
- Engaging newsletters, articles, and blogs about your profession
- News and updates
- Guidelines for emergencies
- Imagery, videos, and infographics related to your services and events
- Engaging content
- Emblems, logos, and other visuals depicting your brand
- Psychology-based marketing and communication
- Backlinks to authoritative sites and sources
- Analysis of big data
- Social networking and advertising
- Communication with media and press
- Participation in community events
- Friendliness, creativity, and tech-savviness
According to a recent survey, 65% of PR professionals consider data analysis to be a desirable skill for current and future employers. Other valuable skills include video production (59%), SEO (59%), digital design (54%), and others.
- Protect your reputation with Search engine reputation management (SERM)
Reputation building takes a long time, and it can be completely destroyed by negative reviews or comments. In fact, 30% of entrepreneurs in the US fear the negative consequences of bad reviews. To restore your good reputation, you need to highlight your accomplishments, respond politely to reviews, and emphasize your successful achievements.
- Acquire referrals through digital marketing
Getting referrals from your connections with primary care physicians, hospitals, sports centers and satisfied patients is a great way to increase your patent traffic. Recent research shows that digital marketing is significantly more effective for getting referrals than traditional approaches. Ask your colleagues to include information about your clinic on their websites. Provide backlinks to articles and educational materials of providers you collaborate with. Ask satisfied patients to provide feedback via a survey or testimonial. If your patients are happy with your services, they will recommend you to their friends and family.
- Adhere to Google standards
Compliance with Google YMYL guidelines is essential for all healthcare providers. Expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness are at the core of Google’s criteria for healthcare websites. The information you present on your website should be truthful and up to date. Display your credentials, clinic address and phone numbers, and provide clear directions to your clinic, along with a map. Your educational articles should be well-researched and beneficial to your patients, and be accompanied by imagery, infographics, and videos.
Noncompliance with Google requirements can cause you to lose your position in search engine rankings, pushing you to the bottom of search results. This in turn leads to low traffic and loss of prospective customers. A well-crafted SEO strategy includes all the necessary interventions to make your website compliant with Google standards.
There are numerous marketing strategies that your physical therapy practice can leverage to increase patient traffic and conversions. A professional digital marketing agency can help you choose the best tactics and techniques to optimize your advertising budget and get the most effective results.