Building a digital marketing campaign may sound like a daunting task. It takes time, money, and a top-notch strategy—but ultimately, it will provide value for your clinic. In addition to familiarizing your local market with your clinic’s name, advertising on platforms like Google and Facebook will ultimately help bring new patients through your doors. With that, let’s walk through some important steps to creating a good ad plan—no matter which platform you’re using.
Define your ad campaign strategy and goals.
Prior to creating a campaign (i.e., launching a new advertising effort), you should have a goal in mind. This will help you build a more purposeful campaign. Try to come up with—and clearly define—one singular goal for each campaign. This will help keep you organized and on track.
As a physical therapist, one of your major overarching goals should be bringing in new patients. But, you can get more specific by focusing on a particular service you offer. This will make your advertising campaign more effective, because you’ll be able to target a more granular audience—whether that’s sports therapy patients or post-surgery rehab patients.
Fine-tune your audience.
Event though digital marketing can help you reach a large, broad audience, it’s typically more productive and cost-efficient to hone in on a target audience. This better enables you to keep your budget under control. Plus, you’ll be able to specialize your messaging. When crafting your ad message:
- Make sure your target audience (i.e., the patients you’re trying to reach) can relate to it, and
- Use one clear message with one clear call to action.
The smaller your audience, the more specific—and thus, effective—your message can be.
For example, whereas a more broad message might be something like, “Get back to living a pain-free life,” something more targeted might look like, “Get back in the game with sports-specific injury rehab.”
Research your competition.
Check to see if the physical therapy clinics in your area are running any sort of digital campaigns. They may be offering specials for certain services or patients—which you may be able to beat. Use a search engine to look up physical therapists in your local area, or go directly to their websites or social media pages if you already have some local competitors in mind.
Keep in mind that—when searching for “ad-spiration”—you don’t have to limit yourself to local physical therapy clinics. Research large and/or successful clinics nationwide to see what type of marketing campaigns or promotions they are running.
Find the right promotion.
Your next step is to figure out what you would like to promote—and how you want to promote it. You can choose to use an authentic, heartfelt message to draw people to your clinic—but let’s be honest: people are more drawn in by a stand-out call to action. For instance, you could offer a free consultation for new patients or a discount on a specific service. Another solid promotion is a “coffee on us” deal—where first-time patients get a small Starbucks gift card. (Just be sure to cross your legal t’s before offering these promotions.) And don’t forget about the research you conducted on your competition. Use those insights to your advantage.
Set your budget.
In the past, I have spoken extensively about setting a budget for rehab therapy campaigns. I want to stress, once again, that your budget should be whatever you feel comfortable spending. My general recommendation is to start with a smaller budget and closely watch the campaign’s performance. If it performs well, you can always funnel more money toward it.
Another way to set a budget you’re comfortable with is to look back at your previous marketing campaigns to suss out a spending baseline. Did those previous campaigns perform well? If so, look at what you spent and start there.
Align your visuals and your message.
Picking your imagery and ad content is the fun part. Whatever service you choose to promote—and whoever you select as an audience—let that drive and inform the more creative parts of the ad. This will help you stay consistent throughout the campaign. For example, if you decide that the focus of your campaign will be sports injury rehab, make sure your ad image includes an athlete. All too often, I see local companies using a logo for an ad image. That shows a lack of focus, and it does not communicate a clear message.
Track your campaign performance.
No matter which platform you use for your campaign—Google, Facebook, or something else—it’s usually fairly easy to track performance. Simply put a marketing pixel on your website (which the platform provides), and it will track clicks, impressions, conversions, and other critical metrics. These built-in analytics will help you assess the effectiveness of your campaigns.
I’d recommend using the available tracking options to measure the number of people who clicked on your ads versus those who actually contacted you to schedule an appointment. Then, to determine whether your campaign had an overall positive return on investment (ROI), compare the dollar amount you spent on it to the dollar value of the new patients it generated. This will require you to know the average lifetime value (LTV) of a patient in your clinic. As we explain here, “To calculate your LTV, take your average revenue per visit and multiply it by the average number of visits patients complete in a care episode and the average number of lifetime care episodes per patient.”
If the total LTV of patients gained through the campaign is greater than the cost of running the campaign, then congratulations! Your ads just paid for themselves—and then some. If, on the other hand, you experienced a negative ROI, go back to the drawing board and see if there’s something you can adjust to make your ads more successful in the future. Don’t be discouraged; this is a learning process, and sometimes you’ll go through several rounds of testing before you find your sweet spot. But once you do, it’s totally worth it!
These days, it can be difficult for a business to survive without some sort of marketing strategy—but there’s no singular formula that works for all companies. Each industry is different, and campaign performance can change based on the audience you target and the message you use.
Have you already tried your hand at digital advertising? Which types of campaigns were effective for your clinic? Share your ideas in the comment section below!