The word of digital marketing is exploding for small businesses and why not? Given the spread of content marketing and the push for businesses to take control of their own search engine presence versus competitors, it's no surprise that many physical therapy practices and like-minded companies are putting a bulk of their resources into the digital sphere.
However, does that mean that your practice should avoid traditional marketing altogether?
While many companies are indeed expanding up their digital spending, bear in mind that traditional advertising still matters. The importance of trade shows, public events and face-to-face PR, for starters, are the bread and butter of many brick and mortar businesses. In the case of physical therapists, traditional advertising is a must, considering the following:
- You represent a staple in your local community: since PT practices service local clients, you're expected to have a face-to-face presence and build real-life relationships with your customer base
- Not all of your customers are online: for example, if you're operating within the niche if pediatric physical therapy or caring for the elderly, there's a good chance that your target customers aren't always on the web
- Traditional advertising, when done correctly, just plain works: furthermore, the more eyes your business gets in front of, the more likely you are to ensure that your brand makes a positive impression on potential business
So, what are you to do in regard to your physical therapy marketing in terms of digital versus traditional advertising?
Rather than go purely digital or solely rely on traditional marketing, consider instead how you can combine the two. Such a strategy represents the best of both worlds, making your business more visible whilst simultaneously building leads for your physical therapy site.
The question remains: what sort of advertising meshes with your online efforts and where do you start?
Despite many marketers resistance to cold-calling, such advertising can be incredibly effective given the correct approach. That being said, today's incredibly busy users are hesitant when it comes to responding to businesses they've never interacted with before. The solution, therefore, is to make your cold calls count by personalizing them and ensuring they're as to-the-point as possible.
Rather than deliver an incredibly long sales pitch, you can use cold calls as an opportunity to funnel phone traffic to your website. Likewise, you can couple or your cold calls with a follow-up email if you have access to such a list to warm your leads prior to contacting them. Sending emails to your list is a great way to increase engagement and break the ice for cold leads.
Direct mail marketing is alive and well, despite popular belief. Bear in mind that the principles of direct mail marketing such as urgency and scarcity have translated to the digital era through email marketing, which helps modern businesses keep in touch with customers.
Considering that it can indeed be difficult to get into our customers' inboxes via email, however, flashy direct mail fliers are still a great way to grab the attention of potential leads. The goal of your fliers should be to ensure that recipients contact you: make the process easier by urging them to visit your website or contact you by email.
If your website is designed to generate leads, you can use similar principles on your direct mail fliers. Again, the more eyes you get in front of, the more likely you are to create customers.
Signage and Business Cards
Physical signage, either in the form of business cards or local billboards, is a surefire way to make sure that your practice doesn't go unseen. That being said, you need to ensure that your billboards or business cards adhere to the following rules:
- Include a link to your website: considering that your traffic won't have much time to linger, you need to ensure that they have a quick and easy way to find you again
- Make sure that your tag-line or slogan contains seven words or less: anything more will only serve as a distraction
- In the case of billboards, appropriate imagery is crucial to marketing your PT clinic: don't try to “shock” your traffic, but rather strive to build trust
As noted earlier, meeting face-to-face with potential customers is a surefire way to seal the deal. Be prepared to regularly participate in local networking events or other opportunities to get yourself noticed within the community (such as fundraisers, charity events and so on). While at such events, hand out freebies with your website's name clearly visible: from pens to Frisbees and beyond, a simple freebie can go a long way.
Customer Relationship Management
Whether selling a product or service online or offline, keeping track of your customers isn't a matter of “if” but rather how. While businesses should strive to engage with their customers at every turn, you also need to ensure that you keep in touch with anyone and everyone that has questions or concerns about your services. Likewise, you should keep track of previous customers who you can reach out to later.
Integrating customer relationship management into your business can help save you time andenergy, effectively putting one of the most important aspects of your business on autopilot. How so?
- Creating a customer database allows you to have all of your customer data in one place versus constantly having to scramble to find crucial information in physical spreadsheets or files
- You can sort your potential and existing customers into groups: from previous customers to warm and hot leads alike, segmenting your base helps you avoid a one-size-fits-all approach to marketing
- You hold yourself accountable for your marketing, which shouldn't be a guessing game: always rely on data versus your gut
There's no question that digital marketing is an absolute must for today's businesses, especially for PT clinics. That being said, traditional advertising is still incredibly viable when coupled with your marketing efforts online. If you're struggling with finding a balance between your online marketing strategy and face-to-face advertising, feel free to reach out to PatientSites to see how we can help.