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Do you happen to be a physical therapist assistant searching for ways to help your PT and grow your clinic? If so, then taking the time to learn how to market physical therapy clinics can really help to grow the business and save your boss a lot of time. After all, physical therapists have their hands full with programming their patient’s therapy plans, working with insurance providers, and keeping their clinic’s lights on – so they would love you forever if you saved them from having to add more to their plates.
There are several different components needed in order to market a physical therapy clinic successfully. A majority of them are found online since modern marketing these days mostly consists of internet marketing tactics. In this article I will be sharing 2 basic yet essential marketing ideas that can be used to promote physical therapy clinics. These strategies alone can help you grow your clinic, but ideally you will start with these 2 strategies and over time add additional marketing strategies to see continued growth in your clinic.
First of all, let’s define clearly some of the various marketing channels that are available as well as the 2 specific ones I am going to be focusing on.
The following are some of the main “old school” marketing channels:
- Door to door – sending someone around neighborhoods to get the word out, usually with some sort of promotional offer to local residents.
- Call campaigns – having someone call past or current clients typically with a promotional offer
- Phone books – paid advertising for ad space in your local phone book
- Newspaper ads – paid ad space in your local newspaper
- Television – a paid TV ad through one of your local news stations
- Direct mail – this typically involves a promotional campaign that is marketed by sending mail to past and current clients
If you are relying on these old methods to market your physical therapy clinic in 2015, then you may want to evaluate some modern marketing channels that have evolved and become more efficient than these older methods.
A new marketing medium is offered by the internet that can be used to market a physical therapy clinic to both existing and potential clients.
The following are some of the major modern internet marketing channels:
- Email Marketing – compiling your past and current client’s email addresses into segmented email lists and sending appropriate content to market your business to these folks
- Your Blog/Website – leveraging your website as a platform to market various messages and promote offers
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO- search engines such as Google) – gaining visibility in search engines for targeted keyword searches that your customer market is searching. (think of a search term like: “your city + physical therapist” = for a PT in Austin, TX this would look like “austin physical therapist”
- Social Media – Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram.. the list goes on and although you may not personally be a fan of social media, chances are your customers are. In fact, in 2015 Instagram reached over 300 million users, and Facebook and YouTube were already receiving over 11 billion monthly video views in 2014. So, you definitely want to be active through these channels to get some exposure to these large audiences.
I touch in more detail on each of these marketing channels in this post: Simple Physical Therapy Marketing Ideas
Today I am going to break down 2 of these essential marketing channels and discuss some of the proven marketing strategies that can be used to promote physical therapy. The truth is that all 4 of the above channels are essential. However, for this article I want to focus on the two areas that most business owners struggle with the most. These two marketing channels also happen to drive more website traffic than any other marketing channels. So, focusing on these two just makes sense, it will improve your website and your email marketing efforts too.
So, what are the 2 essential modern marketing channels that I see most physical therapists, and small business owners, struggle with?
Social Media and SEO are the channels I am referring too. These channels are not only extremely valuable due to the opportunity that exists on them, but they are also difficult for most business owners to understand and manage.
The reason for this is two fold. First of all, most business owners are of an older generation that didn’t grow up with social media and probably hasn’t adopted social media into their lifestyle. Second, they don’t have the time, interest, or expertise to consistently engage on social media and effectively market their business.
1. Physical Therapy Social Media Marketing
One highly effective modern marketing strategy that can be used for promoting physical therapist marketing campaigns is to leverage social media. It is a vital component that should be included as part of your overall marketing strategy, since such large audiences are offered by social media websites that you can market to. When social media websites like Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook are properly utilized, you will be able to drive traffic that is highly targeted to your business storefront or website in order to gain new customers. According to Shareaholic, Social Media is now the #1 source of website referral traffic and is responsible for 31% of all referral traffic to websites.
When social media is used to promote physical therapy clinics, there are a few important things that you should keep in mind. The following are a few important tips about using social media marketing to promote physical therapy:
Use Social Media to Stay Top of Mind – Don’t “Sell” Through Social
When it comes to social media, the main objective is to stay in the minds of your existing clients, this is known as staying “top of mind”. That way you’re a natural reference whenever an opportunity arises for them to refer somebody to a physical therapist. It really is that simple. You are NOT trying to sell to people directly through social media.
You will be headed down a completely wrong path if you attempt to use social media to sell. Remember, you are just trying to engage and stay relevant with your market, you are not asking them for business with your social posts. You just want to get your name in front of them in a way that makes you useful. Offer them a helpful post, not a sales promotion.
An example of “selling” through social that I see most often is when a Real Estate agent posts listings over and over again on social media. Chances are, their followers are going to get tired of seeing these listings because they aren’t constantly in the market to buy a new home. So, followers stop following these agents so that they won’t see their posts of listings. This gets the real estate agent the opposite of what they want. The same goes for a PT, don’t post promotional offers, post useful information and people will want to follow you and share your content widening your audience.
Stay consistent with your activity and messaging
It is good to just have a presence on social medial. However, you won’t appear to be in business, if you are not active there. Try posting updates once per week at least. Consistency is key when it comes to social media marketing. This is true with your activity but also with your branding and messaging. So, in addition to posting consistently, make sure you are have a consistent brand presence and message across each of the major Social Networks.
Create accounts at all of the main social media sites instead of using just one. Set up a Google Plus Business Page, Company LinkedIn Page, a Twitter Account and a Facebook Business Page. It will definitely be worth it. Trust me on that. They all have their own advantages on their own, but when combined will help to connect new patients with your clinic, drive traffic over to your site and build brand awareness. At the end of the day, your customers have their own individual preferences when it comes to social media. So, you must cater to all of them by being active on more than just one social media site.
Taking the time to get social media marketing set up and implemented for your physical therapy clinic can help you start to receive an increase amount of referral business coming from your existing clients or customers. Remember, in 2015 social media became the #1 source of referral traffic to websites. If you aren’t on social media, then you are missing out on referrals.
2. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) For Physical Therapy
The Search Engines are another big source of traffic. Search engine optimization, or SEO for short, involves optimizing your site along with your presence on the web to increase visibility for your website within the search engine search results. When SEO is successfully implemented for a physical therapy clinic, it means that your clinic will be found when consumers are searching for a local physical therapy clinic in your area.
Note: SEO techniques can also be used to reach national and international audiences, but this won’t apply to most PT clinic owners so I won’t address these SEO tactics, rather I will focus on local SEO strategies.
The following are a couple of the main local SEO techniques you should always keep in mind and use.
Claim your Google Plus Business Page
Go ahead and get your Google Plus Business Page set up. Also make sure that all of your business information is accurate and complete, specifically the name of your business, phone number and address. Ask your clients to leave reviews of your business on your Google+ Page. The number of reviews your clinic receives not only increases your website’s ranking in search results, it will also increase the number of prospects who choose to call you for the first time. Nowadays consumers rely on online reviews when making decisions on service providers.
On-page SEO: Optimize your website content to include your address & main keywords
On your website, add some content about your facilities and the various kinds of therapy that you offer. What is it about your clinic that makes it so special and unique?
You will need to create page titles for the content pages that you publish on your website. In the titles, be sure to incorporate the keywords that the clients you are targeting would search for.
For example, a physical therapist based in Dallas: “sports therapy in Dallas.” The PT in Dallas would create a page on his website entitled “Best Sports Therapy in Dallas” and write content about the sports therapy program provided at his clinic.
Every page on your site should have your physical address on it. One good place to include it is in the footer, this way it will show up on every page.
Be sure to link to your website from all of your social media profiles. The more links that point to your website, the more popular and trustworthy your site looks in the eyes of search engines and thus the higher your webpages will rank in search results.
Ask your customers for reviews
Get a Yelp page set up and ask your clients to write reviews about your practice on Yelp. Reviews can be very effective since they help to build authority and trust with the search engines, which will increase your search engine visibility. Google Plus and Yelp reviews are the two most important review websites for SEO and these should be your main focus.
Have your employees make it a habit to ask customers for online reviews. Include links on your website and social media profiles to your Yelp and Google Plus reviews as well. You can even send out mailings or emails that include a short message encouraging readers to leave you a review online. If you really want to get more reviews, then offer your customers an incentive for leaving you a review such as a small discount off of their service or perhaps some sort of added service on their next visit if they leave a review.
Chances are you have happy customers out their, they may just need a little direction and sometimes encouragement to not be shy and leave a positive review about you and your clinic.
Taking the time to get the above physical therapy SEO strategies implemented will help you get more traffic and clients from Google as well as the other search engines.
Tying it all together
As you can see, social media marketing and SEO for physical therapists can be very effective ways to market your clinic. However, they will take time and consistent efforts. So, they are a great area for PTAs to step up and help their PTs out.
Social Media Takeaways
- Set up social media profiles on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, & Google +
- Consistently post to these channels, at least once per week
- Do not post sales promotions or offers, try to provide useful content that will be relevant and engaging to your clients such as tips and advice
- Include pages on your website that target your main keywords such as “your city + physical therapist”
- Link to your website from your social media profiles
- Include your address in the footer of your website
- Claim your Google + and Yelp profiles and encourage your customers to leave you reviews
Simple enough, right? Now get out there and market your physical therapy clinic online using these simple and effective marketing strategies!
Are you a physical therapist or a physical therapists assistant using some of these modern marketing strategies to grow your clinic? Tell us about your experience in the comments below 🙂
PS – As you grow, you will need to hire more PTs and PTAs. Use our PT Jobs database to post your next available PT Job Position.