Acquiring new patients is just one aspect of physical therapy marketing, but many clinicians equate marketing with advertising and they’re two very different things. Advertising employs paid ads to get the attention of potential patients.
Marketing physical therapy calls for effective strategies that can be employed, even when resources are in short supply.
Constraints on time, labor and financial resources precludes the ability to launch an array of strategies on multiple fronts. It does provide the impetus to make tough decisions and pinpoint the most effective route for marketing a physical therapy business. The factors that seem to be holding clinicians back can actually work in their favor when acquiring new patients.
One of the first tasks that clinicians need to complete is discovering where time is being wasted within the clinic, the types of activities that require the most time, and how staffing can be adjusted to make better use of resources. In Touch EMR™ offers an integrated system that streamlines every function within a clinic and provides analytics that can be used to track various processes and staff productivity.
Practitioners in today’s healthcare economy are seeing more patients each day than ever before and working longer hours. The situation leaves little time for marketing activities that are essential for acquiring new patients. An office system that encompasses the ability to contact individuals via email, text and voice message is a substantial time saver.
When immediate results are needed, the target market becomes everyone within easy driving distance of the clinic. That includes existing patients who may be encouraged to come in for additional services. When time is at a premium and obtaining new patients quickly is the goal, a generalized message delivered through multiple local channels can obtain needed results.
Clinicians should already have an active opt-in page for newsletter distribution on their website, allowing them to capture email addresses for leads. Print out newsletters for distribution at the clinic and ask local physicians, senior centers, and companies if the publications can be left at their offices. Practitioners can utilize their social media pages to announce special offers.
For practitioners who maintain a blog, point out the benefits of different services offered, provide content that addresses specific problems that can be remedied with physical therapy and institute a referral bonus system. Practitioners may want to consider conducting an open house.
In many clinics, the practitioner is the marketing specialist and comprises the entire marketing “team.” That’s where social media, blogs and email marketing campaigns are especially beneficial for generating publicity. They can provide topics of conversation that are shared with others in an ever-widening circle of interest.
With over 2 million blog posts published each day, Brad Smith, creator of Copy Weekly, advises blog posts that entertain while offering concrete information. It also pays to look at competitors who are doing well and examine the methods that are working for them. Practitioners who are short on time and labor can contract for done-for-you newsletters that eliminate the need for clinicians to write their own copy.
Cross promotions with complementary businesses are extremely beneficial and cost effective when done correctly. One technique for marketing physical therapy is to approach local newspapers about writing a monthly health and wellness column. If local gyms, spas or yoga studios have their own newsletter, ask if they’d be amenable to including a short piece on a particular physical therapy topic.
Approximately 70 percent of all runners and sports enthusiasts will experience an injury during any given year, providing a prime opportunity for physical therapy marketing. Clinicians can support the events or be on hand to pass out fliers or coupons. Sponsorship banners at local schools during sporting events offer a way for practitioners to place their name in front of every individual in attendance.
Clinicians should also consider speaking at local organizations. A particularly effective method for creating publicity for a clinic is through the creation of an award as part of its physical therapy business plan. The award can be given monthly, bi-annually or yearly. There’s every reason to assume the recipient will use his/her bragging rights to post on social media, providing the clinic with valuable PR.
Multiple clinician opportunities are available throughout the local community for physical therapy marketing, but most are overlooked in an age in which marketing agencies promote digital solutions above all others. For practitioners who face time, labor or financial constraints, getting back to basics highlights clinics where the majority of patients originate. EMR software with the proper tools and analytics makes the entire process much easier.
For more information or to schedule a free demonstration of the In Touch EMR™ medical software, call (800)-421-8442.