Marketing. It’s the one aspect of chiropractic business ownership that most love to hate.
To make matters worse, there’s tons of bad advice about how to get your name out there. In an effort to keep you from falling victim to these types of suggestions that could actually have the opposite effect, harming your business growth versus helping it, we’ve reached out to a few marketing experts and asked them what types of mistakes chiropractors often make—as well as how to overcome them.
This is what they said:
Deadly sin #1: Using just one marketing avenue
“Having consulted for some local chiropractors, their biggest mistake is thinking that a single marketing avenue is going to be successful,” says David Lowbridge, managing director of TwoFeetMarketing. This is incredibly important, says Lowbridge, as the way in which consumers make purchasing decisions “has changed a lot and in today’s marketing.”
“Eighty percent of purchases are made on the 5th to 12th interaction and only one to two percent on the 1st,” Lowbridge explains. That’s why you want more than one marketing avenue. “The chances of reaching that number of interactions significantly increases if you have numerous marketing platforms,” says Lowbridge, “rather than relying on just one or two.”
Deadly sin #2: Not utilizing local SEO
Steve Pritchard, SEO consultant for giffgaff, advises that not utilizing local SEO is “a fatal marketing mistake, not just for chiropractors, but for businesses in general.” This is primarily due to the fact that “over 95 percent of internet users search for businesses which are local to them, online,” says Pritchard.
To avoid this deadly sin, “Make sure your pages are optimized,” suggests Pritchard. “Create a lot of unique written content that incorporates keywords relevant to your industry. For example, if you are a chiropractor located in Baton Rouge, make sure you include these words in your website’s content so people in your area can find you with ease.” You can also boost your local SEO by adding page titles and descriptions, he adds.
Deadly sin #3: Not being on social media
“The best chiropractors engage with their clients using social media in between visits,” says Amy Biddle, president of Luova Inc. This only makes sense as Statista reports that approximately 78 percent of Americans can be found on at least one form of social media. And don’t let the idea of managing multiple accounts scare you as, “You don’t have to be on all of the social media platforms,” says Biddle, “but you should be on one or two.”
Other social media-related suggestions offered by Biddle include: “Invite your patients to join you on the channels you choose and then have conversations on social media with them. It’s not about answering their specific health questions there (although you can address general questions about health). You can use that public conversation to stay in front of patients and help them remember to do their stretches (and how to do them using video!) and share information you’d share if you could see them more frequently.”
Deadly sin #4: Not marketing regularly
“Chiropractors are great healers, but inconsistent and reluctant marketers,” says Steven V. Dubin, president of PR Works. “As a chiropractor your bigger mission is to help as many people as possible. To do so, potential patients need to know about your service.”
If you’re wondering how to do this, Dubin points to the Chiropractic Society of Rhode Island (CSRI) as an example. With the help of a PR firm, they share health tips, provide seminars, and workshops on various health issues, and better connect with the community “via news releases to targeted press sources, e-newsletters to patients, social media postings to LinkedIn discussion groups, [and] the organization’s Facebook page and Twitter,” says Dubin.
This type of consistent messaging has the benefit of “reminding patients and potential patients that maybe they should book an appointment,” Dubin says, adding that, for CSRI specifically, it has also “positioned them as the go to source for Rhode Island media gatekeepers when they had a question or story about health issues.”
Deadly sin #5: Creating your own marketing materials
“Using Vistaprint and similar services is the hallmark of someone just starting out, an inexperienced practitioner,” warns Marilyn Heywood Paige, vice president of marketing for Fig Advertising. “As a health practitioner, you cannot look like a DIY shop.”
“It doesn’t cost that much to have a brochure or business card professionally designed,” adds Heywood Paige. And because it makes you look more experienced and professional, two qualities often preferred in a healthcare provider, the money you do have to pay for this type of service is money well-spent.
Deadly sin #6: Having a generic and vague, low-quality website
“I see too many chiropractic website that are generic in nature,” says Donna Duncan, SEO/Content Marketing Consultant for B-SeenOnTop. “You could change the business name and logo and it would apply to any practice. Pretty, but undifferentiated.”
To help your chiropractic website stand out, Duncan has three suggestions. “Be unique, be empathetic, [and] hone in on the narrow group of people you can best help.” Additionally, “Your website should be easy to find and navigate,” says Duncan. “It should allow visitors to quickly and easily recognize themselves as someone you can help and why.”
Deadly sin #7: Not adding your personality to your marketing materials
“I think the No. 1 top marketing sin for a chiropractor (or really any MD, nutritionist, etc.) is using stock art on their homepage or refusing to get personal or avoiding personality branding of ANY kind,” says Mahir Abdi, CEO of Virtual Stacks Systems. “People do business with people who they know, like, and trust. This is true of all marketing efforts, but is especially true with service providers who ask us to trust them with our most valuable asset – our health.”
To bypass this sin, Abdi suggests that DCs “take a few high-resolution photos outside or in their office with the window open in the afternoon or morning. Then, film a very short tour of your office,” says Abdi, which is something you can do right from your smartphone. “Introduce the receptionist, assistants, and other staff briefly and in a friendly, inviting way. Put that video on social media and your homepage. Just be yourself and let yourself be seen!”