Whether you’ve been in the physical therapy industry for years or are just opening your private practice, using effective marketing strategies is essential to stay competitive with other therapists in your area. However, knowing the right techniques to use to receive the best return can be tricky.
Physical therapy marketing is different from marketing for traditional small businesses. Only a specialized selection of people actually need physical therapy services, and tapping into this market can be challenging. You also need to keep HIPAA and other medical practice codes in mind through all of your marketing materials.
To help you shape your marketing plan, our team at Weave has created a list of eleven physical therapy marketing ideas that you can implement to promote your practice. Read on to learn more about these tried-and-true strategies and how they can benefit your physical therapy practice.
Personal connection goes a long way in marketing. If you’re like most people, you’re much more likely to take a recommendation from a family member or friend than you are from a company itself. Encouraging your patients to recommend your physical therapy practice through word of mouth can act as an effective marketing strategy to bring in new patients.
However, many patients will not rave about your practice without some sort of incentive. That’s where a patient referral program comes in.
Through a patient referral program, you can provide a coupon or special offer to your patients that they can share with their friends and family members. Once a new patient takes advantage of this offer, you can reward the referral source who recommended them by giving them an incentive as well.
Referral programs are beneficial for several reasons:
- They capitalize on personal connections.
- They do not take much effort on your part.
- They can expand your patient base.
- They can potentially create a continual chain of referrals.
To make referral programs as effective and successful as possible, you should be sure to use incentives that your patients actually want. Discounts and free services tend to be effective referral program incentives.
2. Social Media
Social media provides a free, relevant outlet to promote your physical therapy practice. As of 2021, around 75% of people in the United States have at least one social media profile. Additionally, most social media users view their feeds at least a few times a week.
Your physical therapy practice can capitalize on this widespread social media usage to advertise your services, bring in new patients, improve patient loyalty, and boost direct communication. Here are a few tips for using social media to your fullest marketing advantage:
- Post professional, informative content
- Respond to your followers’ interactions with your posts
- Tailor your content to the demographics that use each platform
- Pay attention to current social media trends
- Track your performance with social media analytics
- Use a combination of text, image, and video formats
- Create several posts at a time and spread them out over a few days
- Share giveaways that encourage your followers to engage with your business
Each of these ideas is completely free to implement on social media. However, if you’d like to step up your social media game further, you can also purchase paid Facebook ads (PPC) that promote your physical therapy practice. These ads will appear on other users’ social media feeds whether they follow your practice or not, expanding your practice’s reach.
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3. Email Newsletter
Email is another effective outlet to connect with former, existing, and potential patients on a more personal level. Many people are more likely to read their emails than they are to engage with an ad that they see on Google or Facebook. Additionally, sending an email newsletter each month is an easy, effective way to stay in touch with your entire patient base.
You can include various types of information in email newsletters. However, if you are using newsletters as a promotional tool, be sure to shape all of your content back toward the goal of marketing your practice.
Here are a few ideas for what to include in newsletters:
- Information about new staff members
- Details about changes to your practices
- Highlights about your “employee of the month”
- Success stories from past patients
- Global news items that relate to physical therapy
Using a tool like Weave can make it simple and easy to send emails to every patient in your database. Weave is an automation platform that helps you organize your patient information and send mass messages to anyone who meets your specific criteria.
Weave also features email marketing templates and stock images that you can use to craft professional, high-quality email newsletters. You can even choose from pre-written messages about popular topics, like COVID-19.
Sending a monthly email newsletter won’t take much time, but it can significantly impact your practice’s continual success.
A HubSpot study found that almost three-fourths of consumers in the U.S. prefer videos to text marketing material. If your physical therapy practice is not currently using video marketing to your advantage, you are missing out on a significant opportunity to engage with consumers.
You don’t have to be a professional videographer or actor to create engaging video marketing material. Even posting a casual video of your office building or patient exam room can spark your viewers’ interests and encourage them to act.
To create the biggest reach, we recommend including videos on your website and creating video advertisements. Your website videos can feature informative content to help viewers learn about your services and predict their experiences at your practice. Meanwhile, your video advertising can take a more promotional tone.
Videos present the perfect opportunity to engage your audience, personalize your practice, and encourage viewers to act.
5. Local TV and Radio Ads
Your advertising strategy probably centers on people in your practice’s general area. Most likely, patients will not want to travel more than an hour to your physical therapy office. Instead, they will look for a practice closer to their location.
Creating local TV and radio ads is an effective, affordable way to engage your local audience. These local advertisements can provide several benefits for your marketing strategy:
- Broad reach: Local TV channels and radio stations can reach thousands of audience members each day.
- Intrusiveness: TV and radio advertisements are more “in your face” than social media ads, increasing their potential for engagement.
- Local targeting: Creating ads through your local stations and channels can ensure that your promotional material reaches people in your geographical area.
- Visual and auditory stimulation: TV and radio ads are often more engaging and stimulating than text posts.
- Authority: Some audience members may be more likely to trust your physical therapy practice if you advertise on their favorite radio station or TV channel.
We recommend contacting several of your local TV channels and radio stations to receive estimates for their advertising costs. Even using just one of these platforms can expand your practice’s reach and bring in a few more patients.
6. Host a Free Injury Clinic
Sometimes, the best way to promote your practice is to offer your services for free. Many physical therapists have begun hosting free injury clinics for their town’s student athletes. These clinics take place on the same day every week and allow athletes to receive free exams and x-rays for injuries they experienced during the previous week.
Free clinics are an excellent way to promote brand awareness. People who may have never heard of your physical therapy practice can attend these clinics and develop loyalty to your physicians. These clinics also show your community that you care about more than profits and strive to give back to the community as much as possible.
Often, patients who come to these clinics will need further care beyond a weekly injury clinic. You can recommend them to a physician or department within your physical therapy practice and turn them into long-term paid patients.
However, even patients who only need a simple x-ray and brace will remember your name in the future when they need more intensive care.
7. Sponsor Local Sports Events
Another way to spread brand awareness within your community is to sponsor local sports teams or events. For example, you can sponsor a local little league team and purchase jerseys for all of the players. In return, you can put your practice’s name on the jerseys, essentially marketing your practice every time the players wear them.
Like hosting free injury clinics, sponsoring local sports events shows that you care about your community. Potential patients may be more likely to choose your practice over another one in the area if they know that you sponsored their daughter’s or nephew’s team.
Additionally, as a local physical therapy practice, sports teams in your city or town probably make up a significant portion of your patient base. Improving brand awareness within this circle can help these potential patients feel more confident coming to your practice.
8. Content Marketing
The written content on your website and social media platforms can also contribute significantly to your marketing strategy. Content marketing is the process of shaping the content your practice posts to promote your brand and services.
We recommend using content marketing on three primary platforms: your blog, your social media posts, and your email messages.
Creating a blog that centers around physical therapy tips and informative content can show readers that your practice has the utmost authority in the physical therapy realm. A blog can also convince readers to seek out your practice for an appointment. For example, you can create a blog post about “5 Signs You May Need a Physical Therapy Exam.”
Additionally, the written content in your blog can contain keywords that improve your search engine optimization (SEO). Using the right balance of primary keywords in your web content can increase your search engine rankings and bring more users to your site.
The content you post to social media platforms also plays a major role in your brand promotion. When users scroll through social media, they often do not want to read lengthy articles and discussions. Posting short and engaging text posts to your social media platforms can spread awareness and authority without boring your followers.
Finally, your practice should also send long-form emails to past, current, and potential patients at least once a month. These emails can include information about new physical therapy techniques, changes to your practice, or physical therapy tips. Sending this content directly to your patients’ emails can make your patients more likely to read them.
9. Text Message Marketing
Did you know your practice can use text messaging to promote your brand? Text message marketing is the practice of engaging patients and advertising your services through text messages. This form of marketing is highly effective in our digital age, in which many people prefer texts to phone calls.
Texting with potential and existing patients can:
- Create a personal connection with patients: Text messages present an easy way to establish direct, personal relationships with your patients. These connections may make potential and existing patients more loyal to your practice and encourage them to choose your practice for their future physical therapy needs.
- Give patients an easy method to ask questions: Many people feel more comfortable communicating over text messages than phone calls. Implementing a text messaging communication method can encourage these patients to reach out to your practice with any questions or concerns, establishing that initial connection.
- Reduce workload for your staff: Text messaging requires less time and effort than calling. Your team can quickly respond to patients’ text messages when they have a spare moment rather than wasting several minutes on a phone call.
With Weave, implementing a text message marketing campaign is easier than ever. Weave allows you to send automated, personalized text messages to every patient in your database. These text messages can read something like,
“Hi, John. Our records show that you have not scheduled a physical therapy check-up in six months. Would you like to schedule an appointment?”
“Hi, John. Just checking in about your recent knee injury. How are you feeling?”
These text messages can go a long way in reminding patients about your services, creating a personal connection with them, and providing an easy way for them to communicate with you.
10. Appointment Reminders
One critical aspect of marketing that many businesses overlook is retention. While bringing in new patients is important, keeping your existing patients is essential to maintaining your practice’s success. However, retention can be challenging in medical practices when the ultimate goal is for patients to no longer need your services.
One easy and effective way to promote patient retention is to send out automatic appointment reminders to ensure that patients do not miss their scheduled appointments. With Weave, you can automatically send text and email reminders to your patients a specified number of days before their appointments.
Weave’s artificial intelligence technology can also interpret your patients’ responses for you. For example, if a patient responds to an appointment reminder with “Yes,” “Sure,” “Sounds good,” or any other affirmative statements, Weave will automatically mark their appointments as “Confirmed.”
Automatic appointment reminders can save your staff the time and hassle of calling every patient individually to remind them about upcoming appointments. However, these reminders can be just as personalized as phone calls to support patient retention.
11. Gather & Promote Reviews
When people search for a new medical practice, they often read several practices’ online reviews to aid their decisions. As such, your practice’s reviews can act as a marketing tool to either promote your business or turn potential patients away. Managing your reviews is essential to creating a positive, professional reputation for potential patients.
Weave makes it easy to monitor your existing reviews and invite patients to write new reviews of your practice. Through Weave, you can receive a notification every time someone leaves a new review of your practice, allowing you to respond accordingly. For example, if someone leaves a negative review, you can reach out to them quickly to rectify the situation.
Weave can also help you collect reviews from patients by sending them automatic reminders after their appointments. Reminding patients to write a review as soon as they leave your practice can make them more likely to review you positively while their experiences are still fresh in their minds.
These tools can help you ensure that your reviews create a positive image of your practice and encourage potential customers to schedule with you.
Contact Us at Weave
Marketing your physical therapy practice well is essential to remaining competitive and continually growing your patient base. With Weave, you can automate several key marketing strategies, allowing you to focus on delivering the best physical therapy experiences for patients.
Request a Weave demo today to see for yourself how Weave can assist your physical therapy marketing ideas.