Having trouble deciding what type of advertising you want to try in 2020? Print advertising can be difficult to track, and pay-per-click marketing is too expensive. Maybe it’s time to give Facebook advertising a go. As with any software, there’s a small learning curve with Facebook. But, it can be a great way for rehab therapists to attract new patients and stay top of mind with their current clientele. With that in mind, here are some tips for making Facebook advertising work for your local business.

1. Pinpoint a specific objective and strategy for each ad campaign you run.

If you haven’t mapped out your clinic’s business goals yet, start there. (This blog post will help.) Then, develop a specific strategy for Facebook advertising that aligns with those goals. Facebook has some built-in functionality to help guide you, but ultimately, you’ll have to make the decisions. Whether it be driving conversions, website clicks, or video views, having a strategy that aligns with what your overarching business goals will make it easier for you to measure success in the long run.

Keep in mind that by and large, Facebook users are not actively seeking out rehab therapists on Facebook. That’s why it’s so important to have a strategy behind your Facebook advertising. If you’re torn between two strategies, you can always run two campaigns with different objectives at the same time and see which one performs better.

Regardless of which strategy you choose, getting new patients in the door should always be your top priority. So, your Facebook ads should always focus on providing value to potential new patients.

2. Target the right geographical locations.

Most PT clinics are local businesses, which means it’s crucial to target the correct geographic area. Most of us have seen ads for things we’re interested in while we’re scrolling through Facebook or Instagram—whether it’s a restaurant showing off its new happy hour menu or a realtor highlighting a new listing. I know I have. In some cases, though, I’ve clicked on an ad only to find that the restaurant is located in a different state.

Before you set your target area, ask yourself, “How far will people travel to get physical therapy?” If you’re in a remote area with fewer clinics, you may be able to target a larger area compared to clinics in larger cities with many clinics.

3. Target the right audience.

Facebook has more than 1.6 billion daily active users. How do you narrow that down to make sure you’re targeting the right users when you create your ads?

I recommend starting with your current email database. Facebook will match your email list to its account list and show those people your ad. This is a good strategy for re-engagement ads (i.e., ads to get past patients back into your clinic).

Facebook can also use your email list to provide insight into your ideal audience’s age, gender, and interests. You can then use this information to create look-a-like audiences to target potential new patients.

4. Be bold with Facebook ad images.

Facebook’s color scheme is blue and white. If those are also your company’s colors, you may want to break out of your normal branding, because using blue and white in your ad may cause it to blend in with the newsfeed. Take chances with strong colors that stick out when somebody is aimlessly scrolling.

Don’t be afraid to make multiple variations of your ad images. Test different background colors, button colors, and text. When I’m creating a new campaign internally at WebPT, our design team typically creates four or five versions of each ad so we can test which one is most effective at reaching our measurable objectives. Here is an example of a WebPT Reach ad we recently ran.

image laptop on dark orange and orange diagonal backgroundimage laptop on blue and orange diagonal background

5. Give people a reason to click (i.e., provide incentive).

There are very few things in this world that get people more excited than a good deal. Due to regulatory restrictions, rehab therapists often shy away from providing free services. But even if you don’t want to give away PT services, there are other incentives you can offer. Free swag is always an option; you can provide new patients with free t-shirts, mugs, or even water bottles. Using the word “free” in your imagery is sure to get people’s attention and pique their interest. Other ideas include partnering with a neighboring restaurant or store to give away a gift certificate.

6. Post organic content on your Facebook page.

The majority of this article pertains to paid advertising; however, posting organically (i.e., without running an ad) can give your overall Facebook strategy some momentum. Posting on Facebook consistently is the key to retaining and engaging your current followers. You may be wondering how you could ever produce enough content to post daily or even weekly. Here are a few tips:

  • Create a blog and share your posts on Facebook. (Yes, you should have a blog. Here’s how to get started.)
  • Share a weekly exercise tip. This can be filmed on your smartphone.
  • Write short employee spotlights.
  • Shout out local community events or sporting events.

With some practice, dedication, and optimization, you’ll be able to turn your Facebook page into a patient driver that’ll help your rehab therapy clinic thrive in 2020 and beyond! What Facebook advertising strategies have worked for you? Share them in the comment section below.

Josh Golden is WebPT’s Digital Marketing Manager. A proud Rhode Island native and avid New England sports fan—go Celtics!—Josh uses his eight-plus years of online marketing experience to keep WebPT’s digital marketing game in tip-top shape. When he’s not optimizing WebPT’s online presence, Josh spends his free time with his wife, Emily, and their puppy, Eleanor (a.k.a. Ellie). Josh also enjoys playing soccer, hiking, and riding his bike to local breweries.