Five Marketing Strategies for Success
When teaching practice owners what the most effective marketing strategies are for their practice, it’s important to first recognize two things: where the bulk of their new patients are coming from and the location of the practice. As with any marketing strategy, understanding your public, their pains, and how they find you is imperative to developing how and who you market your practice to. Regarding location, practices in urban practices require a different emphasis on marketing to the local public, whereas suburban and rural practices will place a greater emphasis on generating reliable referral sources
Any great physical therapy practice knows that it is important to start with logistics and standard operating procedures before you start any marketing activities. The two most important tools that are must-have’s for any practice prior to building out a marketing strategy are:
The Marketing Tracking Sheet
The marketing tracking sheet is a must-have. This should be implemented at the front desk and role-play training can be used so staff is fully trained on how to accurately fill it out. The marketing tracking sheet is essential to record the results of your marketing efforts statistically for future programming. Without the tracking sheet, you are not accurately planning out your marketing efforts based on what you know to be truly effective.
The Annual Marketing Program
Having a fully written annual marketing program based on the annual business strategy plan is a must-have. You then break it down into two-month intervals as their marketing campaigns. Marketing campaigns are critical for consistency in your marketing efforts. This consistency is vital for obtaining and measuring long-term results.
Five Successful Marketing Strategies
Assuming a suburban practice has the steps and tools above in place, the most effective marketing strategies are going to be centered around the patient care experience. These will involve the entire staff as often as possible. A more urban practice may focus more on their social media and digital marketing strategy. Either way here are five marketing strategies (internal and external strategies) that have been proven statistically successful in practices that are urban, suburban, and rural and are the basis for successful marketing:
- Patient Care Advocate Training at the Front Desk: A professionally trained front desk coordinator can be the most influential position in a Physical Therapy practice. The first impression a patient gets always comes from the first contact with the practice. Whether this is over the phone or when they arrive for their first appointment. Again, with role-play training of multiple types of patient interactions, your staff member can ensure your patients have a positive first experience. As your patients feel apart of the practice, they’ll value their time and experience with your practice even more. These positive experiences can be created with patient and staff games, as well as holiday events that include everyone.
- An Effective and Measurable Patient Referral Program: For most high-quality practices, the majority of their new patients are actually what we consider to be return business. By definition, return business is when the patient themselves return or refer a friend or family member to go in for therapy. Utilizing the BetterPT app and BetterPT website is one way to achieve patient referrals and return business.
- Creating an introductory, informational video for the homepage of your website: 86% of patients will conduct a health-related search before they book any sort of medical appointment. This means that ensuring your website makes a solid first impression when potential patients find you is imperative. Having an introductory and informational video of your practice, your mission, and your staff on your homepage personalizes their experience before they even walk in your door or pick up the phone to make that initial appointment.
- Having a Patient Care Representative: The patient care representative (PCR) is responsible for gathering success stories, patient surveys, and providing the “Welcome to the Practice” folder during a patient’s initial evaluation. The success stories and surveys are imperative to build relationships with medical doctors who refer patients, to share on social media (encourage these patients to also leave a review on Google or Yelp), and the surveys tell the story of the practice of a whole. It sounds pretty great when you can say 95% of patients say they would return for treatment or refer a friend/family member right? That’s the trust building that you build with your public and why success stories and surveys are imperative to all marketing efforts.
- Regular social media posting per the marketing campaign calendar: The PCR is also often for the social media management of the practice, which in our digital age is just as important – especially in urban practices that market to the general public. I highly recommend that your Patient Care Rep read the book Freakishly Effective Social Media Marketing for Network Marketers by Ray and Jessica Higdon. This book will teach whoever your PCR and/or Social Media Coordinator the different types of social media posts, how to construct them, and how to utilize them across various social media platforms.
If you want to learn more about these and other marketing strategies, feel free to contact us or subscribe to our podcast “Secrets of the Top 10%.” If you want to learn more about BetterPT and other ways it can increase your marketing success contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Brian Gallagher is the founder and CEO of MEG Business Management, LLC. He has over 23 years of experience and has been in private practice for more than 17 years. He won the “BEST PRACTICE OF THE YEAR IN 2011 FROM THE ADVANCE MAGAZINE”.