There are marketing options for practices on a small digital marketing budget
Tami Howard, DC, and marketing expert Michael Sharma discuss how to market a chiropractic practice on a limited budget, sharing insider tricks and advice on optimizing Google Maps listings, paid advertising and tracking return on investment with websites.
Tami: Give us a quick Marketing 101 — what are the options for small-business owners to dive into marketing with a small digital marketing budget?
Michael: There’s a lot of different options and each option can be either very simple or very complex. So this is sort of ranging the gamut. I want to start with maybe Google My Business. Google My Business is a tool that allows you to be visible on basically Google Maps. Google has enhanced their functionality via Google My Business quite a bit. It offers cool functionality like marketing your business, as well as creating posts, review of management — so that’s a very interesting option that I think everyone needs to start off with.
SEO is search engine optimization. Really what it boils down to is that you want a website and you want that website to show up when people are searching for a chiropractic office near them. Email can be a very effective tool to market to your prospects, like trying to get a new client to convert into a regular patient, and your current patients as well.
Tami: Right. With all of these options, I think that sometimes it feels pretty over-whelming for offices to know where to start, especially when it may be a newer office, and they’ve got a small digital marketing budget, and figuring out what the best use of their dollars may be. If somebody’s starting off with basically no budget at all, and they just want to start to get their name out there, what are some of the best online marketing channels that you think, or what the small digital marketing budget options would be?
Michael: I would start with the Google My Business listing. Hopefully, you already have a verified account on there. If not, you would want to verify yourself. That can take a couple of days. And there, you can adjust what your business looks like on the local Google Maps. You want to make sure that all of your information is correct, the services that you provide are on there, your website, if you have one, should be on there, and the operating hours should always be up-to-date.
If you have a little bit of money to spend, I think the next logical step is building your website. Building a website can be very complex and very costly, but it doesn’t have to be. It can also be very simple and very cookie-cutter, for a small amount. There are services that have these templates and all you need to provide is some basic copy. They’re usually about $15, $20, $25 bucks a month or something like that. And they’ll provide you that template and they’ll do all the hosting for you.
Tami: You mentioned that if they had on their website the ability to schedule appointments there, to allow online scheduling, that they’d be able to also trackback the amount of patients that had actually hit that particular website via some type of marketing efforts.
Michael: The main point of paid advertising is to get people to do something. If you’re doing a very basic paid ad, what you would do is you create a certain ad or someone else creates that ad for you, you get people to click on that ad, and then they go to your website. That’s pretty easy to do, but what’s the point? Anyone can get a lot of clicks on your website. That’s not that hard. The hard part is getting the right audience, and to get them to do something, and that doing something should be to schedule an actual booking or a visit because that is of actual value to you.
Tami: Right. Tracking that return on investment, I think that’s obviously an important thing to make sure that you’re putting that money out there with a small digital marketing budget, that you’re getting something back for it so that you can gauge if it is worthwhile to continue doing. That makes a lot of sense.
Michael: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, we could do an entire topic just on digital advertising. This was just the high-level overview of your options. You can do paid advertising through the social platforms as well…so some Facebook Ads and Instagram ads can drive some traffic to your appointments page, which you can either do yourself or get a freelancer to do this for you.
Michael Sharma is the senior marketing manager at ChiroTouch and has 13 years of experience with digital marketing at Illumina, TD Ameritrade and Google. He also consults and freelances for friends’ and family’s small businesses.
Tami Howard, DC, is a ChiroTouch training manager. A graduate of Life University, she and her husband own a chiropractic office in Michigan. She has valuable insights on how ChiroTouch can benefit staff and providers in creating efficiencies and automations that help offices work smarter, not harder. To listen to this full podcast in its entirety, visit the ChiroTouch Resource Center at chirotouch.com/resources.