At some point in their physical therapy marketing endeavors, every clinician wonders if their content is reaching the desired audience in the way they want. It’s easy to create content that informs and even entertains, but a physical therapy business plan demands content that encourages readers to take action.
One of the problems clinicians face is a failure to empathize with their audience. What may seem perfectly obvious to the practitioner may make no sense to the audience. Readers don’t have the same knowledge or experience in the field and clinicians must put themselves in the shoes of their audience.
If the clinic’s audience can’t understand what they’re reading or discern how the information can be applied to themselves, they’re going to lose interest. The only action they will be taking is a move to a competitor’s website. Only use technical terms when absolutely necessary and write in an easy to understand style without talking down to readers.
Clinicians must learn to give readers what they want and what they need to take action, but content has to be relatable. The Blog Maven, Jeni Elliott, cites an example of a brilliant linguist that couldn’t connect with students – they had no context for the content he provided. It wasn’t until he asked what students were struggling with, and found out, that his style changed and he was able to put himself in the shoes of students.
Producing actionable content isn’t as difficult as most clinicians think. There are multiple show-and-tell methods that can be implemented to obtain an audience’s attention and persuade them to take the action the clinician desires.
Some topics that practitioners address in their content may require an explanation for readers to fully understand. After presenting the desired information, the simple phrase “for example” provides readers with an example with which they can identify. It’s a powerful tactic, as it provides an explanation while allowing the reader to visualize in their mind.
For example, content about the benefits of therapeutic massage for patients that have developed scar tissue provides valuable information, but the audience will want to know what they can expect. An example or case study will inform and illustrate the exact benefits for those who are experiencing difficulties of their own, without the need for a long, involved explanation they may not understand.
Some concepts are difficult to explain in words and a visual aid can provide clarification. Not everyone is able to make connections and create helpful visualizations in their mind from text alone. An image combined with text provides information that readers might otherwise be missing and removes any uncertainty that might exist. An image also makes the content more appealing.
Even with text and images, clinicians will still have fans and followers that have no experience upon which to base an action or may not be sure exactly what to do. For those readers, practitioners will need to explain how a certain physical therapy technique works. Screenshots and drawings are also helpful for providing the necessary information.
Videos and animations offer entertainment value essential for keeping an audience’s attention. Much like the moving pictures on a TV will grab a person’s attention almost against their will, moving pictures within the clinician’s content will have an extra impact in physical therapy marketing.
Lifehack expert, Seth Simonds, noted that one of the best ways to obtain comments and interact with readers is through varying the content by adding videos, drawings or cartoons to make a point. Simply asking for comments is also effective.
Easy on the action
Too much information can be just as detrimental as not providing enough data. When marketing physical therapy, clinicians must use caution and focus on the essential concepts that readers can actually take action on. If an individual doesn’t need a particular piece of information or an expanded explanation before they can take action, practitioners should consider carefully whether the information adds anything to the discussion.
Tell them when
Everyone has done it – bookmark a site intending to go back and view it later, only to get busy and forget about it entirely. Clinicians need to make it clear to the audience that they need to take action right now, while they’re consuming the content. Don’t be afraid to provide a link and tell readers to click on it anywhere within the content.
Another technique for eliciting a response is to place the call to action at the very end of the content, making it the last thing that readers see. The method works especially well for information that should be read completely through for understanding before making a decision. Just don’t ask the audience for too much. Providing an email address is a small effort and one with which readers are more apt to comply.
Rakesh Soni, CEO and co-founder of LoginRadius, advocates for a strong, relevant call to action. Further, keep in mind that people utilizing mobile devices to access content may have difficulty clicking on a button that’s too small.
Create an engaged audience
One of the first truths that physical therapy business owners will learn is that people are lazy. Whether it’s taking action in response to a blog post or following a treatment protocol, people tend to put off anything they don’t feel strongly about. The secret is to get the audience involved in the content.
Writing engaging content can be more difficult than practitioners might think. Studies have shown that the top three problems clinicians encounter is producing engaging content, doing so consistently, and providing variety.
HubSpot product marketing associate, Rachel Sprung, says providing an enjoyable reader experience is critical through readability, responsiveness and personalization. It’s particularly important for clinicians who are marketing to different target markets.
One solution is utilizing interactive content whenever possible to stimulate the reader and encourage them to do something. As readers interact throughout the post, they become used to it and responding to a request for action seems natural. Interactive posts have the added advantage of attracting more readers.
Embedding social media tidbits in content is an easy and effective way to get readers’ attention. Nothing gets a reader’s attention like posing a question and it’s essential for physical therapy marketing for the clinician to answer his/her own question. It ensures every reader knows the answer and can follow the information without problem.
Once readers have opted-in to receive articles, email and newsletters, distributing those publications can seem like an insurmountable feat without automation. In Touch EMR™ is integrated software that provides practitioners with the ability to create, schedule and send content to those who have opted-in to receive it.
Successful physical therapy marketing requires getting patients to read, respond and comment on the content that’s being produced and the only way to accomplish that is by asking. Inviting readers to interact is a time-tested method that works with everything from blogs to popular TV shows in which the audience can vote for their favorites.
Informative and entertaining content, combined with a clear request for action is the quickest way to grow an opt-in list and capture those critical email addresses needed to implement a physical therapy business plan. Give examples, create interactive content and provide the audience with high-quality content to keep readers coming back for more.
For more information about In Touch EMR™ or to schedule a free demo, call (800)-421-8442.