Performance Health wants your clinic to thrive! Supplying your practice with quality products is our bread and butter, but we want to help you behind the scenes as well. To start helping you build a solid foundation for your practice, we have compiled a crash course of marketing tools to build your business. Continue reading for ideas on creating a marketing strategy, easy marketing implementations, SEO marketing information, and advertising ideas for your clinic.
Marketing is all about building mutually beneficial relationships with your clients. As clinicians, you offer valuable services to your patients. It is important to communicate your value so that you create awareness, drive interest, and prompt action to schedule an appointment. As your patients interact with your marketing channels, patients will continue to return, and benefit your business. When you keep up your relationships with your patients, they will be more likely to keep coming back.
Let’s get into the strategy and tactics behind building relationships through marketing.
Creating a Marketing Strategy
- – Identify a value proposition
- List the aspects of your practice that set you apart from the others. These differentiators become your unique value proposition to your patients. It tells them why they should come to your clinic over the next one. Once you can articulate these values, you will be able to use them in your marketing efforts for driving awareness, booking appointments, and combating your competition.
- – Identify your purpose and vision
- Passion runs deep in clinicians - it is what fuels your business. That passion bleeds into your purpose and vision for your practice, setting the stage for what patients will ‘buy into” when they receive care from you. Patients want to go to clinics where they feel seen and heard, while achieving their primary goal of recovery. When marketing to prospective patients, you want to communicate your purpose so patients can align their goals with your vision for their care.
- – Conduct a SWOT analysis
- SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Know what you do well and do not be afraid to share what those are in your marketing. Figure out what your weaknesses are that limit your goals – create a plan to address and improve on shortcomings. Define your opportunities that you can use to your advantage – brainstorm strategic ways of getting your patients involved with that growth. Don’t forget about your external threats that pose challenges to your business. Your goal is to parallel your clinic’s strengths with the opportunities around you, all while overcoming weaknesses and limiting threats.
- – Know your target audience
- Sit down and think about your clientele and the motivations that may cause them to book an appointment. Demographics like age, life stage, and gender will help you frame marketing communications to specific audiences. For example, are most of your appointments made by middle-aged women scheduling for their family members? If so, you have a segment of marketing efforts that focuses on this group. Additionally, keep track of trends associated with your patients’ habits. These trends could be your specialty treatments, most frequently asked service patients inquire about, or the most common reason people come to you because of the area your clinic is in. Identifying why your target patient is choosing your practice over another is valuable to your business. You can use this information to your advantage when marketing your services.
Easy Marketing Implementation
- – Being on social media
- Social media is a free marketing tool! Pick one or two platforms you and your team can feasibly manage, then try to keep it fun while staying in line with your brand: who you are and what you do. Post about things happening in the clinic, spotlight your clinicians, share patient testimonials, and bring awareness to events you are hosting or are a part of. Social media is meant to highlight your business, so show it off!
- – Having a website
- All businesses should have a website, your clinic is no exception. Make one yourself using a website creation platform like wordpress.org or hire someone to design it for you. If you already have one, be sure to include your contact information, location details, and an easy way to schedule appointments. Providing a list of services, reviews, and staff biographies are also great additions to websites.
- – Email Marketing
- Define a strategy for managing your email contact list. New contacts should be getting appointment reminders, while also receiving any news, resources, or articles you would like to share via email. When reaching prospective or new patients, the quantity of emails may start off a bit heavier than when you reach out to existing patients, which may only need exciting or important updates. Finally, it is important to develop a strategy to re-engage customers who are not opening emails by providing an incentive to visit your practice.
Further Marketing Strategies
- – Content Marketing and Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Content marketing is often referred to as blogging or thought leadership. This strategy is a way you can share information and expertise you have with potential patients. Posting this content on your website can also help with search engine optimization (SEO). SEO is focused on ensuring your website shows up for keywords prospective patients are searching for. Providing valuable content to your audience also helps your website rank higher in organic search results.
- As a clinician, you know what aches, pains, and injuries your patients are experiencing. Sharing information on the common ailments you treat and how physical therapy can help people experiencing those ailments can help your practice’s website show up when people are searching online.
- Sharing beginner level information on techniques, modalities, and applications you use can help educate current and potential patients, as well as drive traffic to your website from people searching the web.
- – Advertising
- Marketers will often say, “you need to spend money to make money.” However, you may not see an immediate return on your investment. Sometimes advertising is just meant to provide visibility to your practice, letting people know you exist so you’re easier to find when they need you. This will be in the form of external marketing like signs, posters, mailers, sponsorships, or radio ads. Whereas internal marketing efforts like incentives and giveaways can help in the short term to boost new patient intakes. Digital advertising on the web and social media is great because it can help with long term and short-term efforts. It is important to have a mix of both, but to also make it worth your investment. Be strategic with your money and do what makes sense for your clinic within your community while keeping your target audience in mind.
- Here are some advertising ideas to get you started:
- Make flyers about your common treatments, injury prevention, or other services you provide.
- Make a monthly newsletter for your new and old patients.
- Send emails with articles on key thought leaders or educate your patients on preventative care and treatments.
- Post about the things your clinicians are doing that are active, healthy, or help your community. Show people there is more to your clinic than just your physical space.
- Sponsor an event, like a 5k, and provide injury treatment for the runners.
- Host a free event like yoga in the park.
- Set up a booth at a community event and provide free screenings.
- Create a referral program with an incentive for your current patients.
- Engage with people, network, and spread the word about your clinic – this will spur the most successful type of marketing, word-of-mouth.
To conclude, developing a marketing strategy is a great way to bring visibility to your practice. Being clear on what your clinic does differently, who you specifically serve and highlighting those aspects in your marketing will help you stand out. The work you do in creating a marketing strategy will help you in all your marketing channels including social media, your website, email marketing, advertising, and content. Remember, marketing is all about creating mutually beneficial relationships. Build a clear message to your patients, strategically connect with them with your marketing channels, and you will see the benefits come your way.
Stay tuned for our next article in the Building Your Business series about social media with specific ideas on how to build up your social platforms.