Clinicians don’t just want patients to like them on social media, they need them to. In less than 30 seconds, potential patients can find a dozen physical therapy business blogs and with a quick search they can locate multiple practices that provide the same services. That places potential patients firmly in control and provides motivation for clinicians to produce informative and entertaining content.
Even if the practice and clinic are well-liked, practitioners should always seek ways to have blog visitors like them even more. The absolute worst situation for a physical therapy marketing practice is indifference to the content provided. It means they won’t automatically think of the clinician or practice when they need physical therapy.
Individuals who like the content they read are more likely to come back to the practice’s website, social media pages, and the clinic when they need treatment. Clinicians can’t please everyone all the time, but there are ways that they can make their content more appealing, relevant and likeable, factors that will generate more traffic, subscribers and return patients.
Share Your Opinions
Most marketers are emphatic about steering clear of any topic or statement that might be controversial to avoid losing readers. Controversial opinions can be shared, but it must be done responsibly. Don’t emulate shock jock Howard Stern. Hongikiat recommends playing Devil’s advocate, avoiding hurtful topics, and leaving an option for apologizing if needed.
Readers who agree with the opinions posted in blogs and on social media will obviously like the clinician more since their views are similar. Those with an opposing opinion will often feel compelled to respond to statements that are made simply so they can register their point of view.
A little disagreement and debate are healthy responses when marketing a physical therapy practice, providing practitioners and readers with increased opportunities to interact. Posing questions invites readers to engage.
Share an opinion and hold firm. Anyone who maintains a blog or posts on social media runs the risk of encountering differing opinions or even an Internet troll, but interactions won’t be dull. A little controversy is a useful technique for having posts retweeted and links shared.
Value vs. Conversion
A common mistake made by practitioners is trying to create conversions via their content when the focus should be on the likeability value. Friendly content shows that the practitioner cares more about his/her audience than adding patients to the roster, a factor that automatically elevates the reader’s perception of the clinic and the therapist.
Content should add value to the reader’s life in some way. That can take the form of information about a common complaint, a clinician’s view on current events, or even just providing them with a smile for the day. Don’t underestimate the power of “feel good” content.
Sometimes it’s simply the approach that the clinician takes in their physical therapy marketing process that contributes to a negative opinion. Newsletters, email communications, blog posts and social media content that present a blatant appeal for appointments, no matter how thinly veiled, will be deleted without being read or the individual with eventually unsubscribe.
A mistake that many physical therapy professionals make in their content marketing strategy is assuming that every communication must be related in some way to physical therapy. Topics in some of the most highly viewed blogs have absolutely nothing to do with the business’s services or products.
One way to make readers happy and encourage engagement is to ensure they arrive at the exact page where the new narrative is located with no searching required. Content should be easy to understand and presented in a conversational voice.
For the clinician, that means keeping medical terms and jargon to a minimum. Peep Laja, conversion expert and founder of Conversion XL noted that blogs should be easy to read and understand. It’s not a lecturing platform. Don’t be afraid to use “I,” “we,” “you” and “yours.” Practitioners are writing a blog, not a technical treatise or journalistic article.
On line media has changed dramatically over the past decade. At one time, content hungry people would eagerly devour an entire page of nothing but text. That’s not true today. Physical therapy marketing must encompass value, entertainment and presentation in a single package.
Readers want to be engaged and feel that the content is speaking directly to them. Share personal experiences and thoughts on operating a physical therapy practice. A story that the reader can relate to in a personal way makes the clinic and practitioner more likable. Don’t forget to entertain with images, cartoons, videos and silent video clips.
To engage readers and capture email addresses for leads, opt-in boxes and pop-ups are necessary, but they should be placed judiciously. Ideally, they should be located on a sidebar rather than in the middle of a page. Pop ups can be difficult to close, particularly for those accessing a page with a smartphone.
Content upgrades are an effective conversion tactic. They’re content specific lead magnets, but if used incorrectly or indiscriminately, they leave the reader feeling unsatisfied and even cheated. Typically, special content will be offered when the reader opts in for a content upgrade, but clinicians better ensure the extra material provided truly is special or adds worth.
Many bloggers ask readers to opt in and then provide content that should have simply been included in the blog. The solution is to ensure that the bonus material really is a bonus. Readers can tell when they’ve been duped and word will quickly be circulated through their social media contacts.
Accentuate the Positive
People don’t like bad news. Focusing on negative aspects depresses readers and leaves them with a why bother attitude that’s not conducive to taking positive actions. Clinicians control the narrative in their blogs and posts, allowing them to lead readers to the conclusions at which they want them to arrive. Scandals, criticism and problems won’t earn readers, but it will chase them away.
A better strategy in physical therapy marketing is to focus on positive aspects, whether it’s the benefits of therapeutic massage or a local athlete who is achieving great things. There are times when a negative can be addressed, but to be effective it should be presented with a positive outcome and discussing “bad” topics should be kept to a minimum.
An example of this would be newspapers that feature a pet of the week. The readership already knows that the animals are in dire need. The publication briefly mentions the individual problems of the animal before listing positive and endearing attributes.
Businesses that participate in the community, sponsor events, and contribute to causes generate enormous good will. Those efforts can be highlighted in blogs and social media posts in ways that aren’t forms of self-aggrandizement, but as inspiring announcements to generate support for the event or cause. Social media blogging expert, Jeff Bullas, noted that blogging is an excellent means of becoming more visible and establishing credibility within communities.
Everyone wants to be liked and providing positive content is one physical therapy marketing technique that can pay huge dividends. Providing content is much easier when clinicians have the tools to produce it easily such as those available in the In Touch EMR™. Pre-written, customizable newsletters and automatic email notifications allow practitioners to quickly get their content distributed with minimal effort.
For more information about In Touch EMR™ or to schedule a free demo, call (800)-421-8442.