Don’t let patients slip through your marketing cracks and get lost without your digital marketing manager focusing on these key outlets
The world of marketing is constantly changing. When I first started out, “marketing” meant that we had an ad running in the giant yellow phone books that got delivered to people’s houses. Having a black-and-white image in there was extra fancy and special at that time, but now digital marketing managers have much more on their plates.
In today’s chiropractic environment there are way more possibilities. There are so many outlets out there now that it can be overwhelming, and the content you put out there is most important. The same message doesn’t always work across the board for every outlet.
A key clarifying point is that “marketing” does not just mean you are trying to attract new patients. This also means that your digital marketing manager is staying in contact with your existing practice members.
Education and retention
Frequent contact and education are also forms of marketing. We know that frequently connecting with and educating your existing patients leads to higher retention and is also a great way to reach inactive patients while generating more referrals and just staying top-of-mind with your patients.
From here on out, when I talk marketing, I do not mean just for new patients. Retention is key to a successful practice, and marketing to your existing clients will help that.
So, you and your digital marketing manager are ready to take on the world of digital marketing. The first thing you need to do is make sure you are clear on your message. What is it you are offering? I don’t mean any sort of promo or deal, but is your message about overall health and wellness? Getting people out of pain? Posture? What is it you are selling? I like to refer to this as being clear on what your product is.
Once you are clear on the message you want to get across, here are a few content tips:
- Deliver something of value. This can be health tips or stretches or a quick explanation of how the nervous system works. Delivering content that people can learn from not only gives you credibility, but keeps your audience engaged.
- Be consistent with social media. Post frequently.
- Always have a call-to-action.
- Don’t be afraid to stand out. We are advertised to nonstop from the moment we wake up until the moment we go to bed. Having something catchy (with the ability to make people stop scrolling on their phones) will help set you apart from the rest.
- Don’t be afraid to brag about your successes. Tell the stories of wins people have had in your office. Chances are that if the person seeing this marketing material wouldn’t benefit from the results you achieve, they know someone who will.
- Focus on what’s in it for the person, not you.
Let’s discuss some marketing outlets you can use:
Your email list is a very powerful tool. Even though our inboxes are way too clogged, it’s still one of the most powerful resources you can use for marketing. You don’t have an email list? Well, you better start building one.
Frequent contact is crucial to the success of your existing practice members staying under care. I use email campaigns to consistently and automatically educate them over time. I even assign them a birthday campaign so that every year they automatically hear from me on their birthday. That way, any who may have fallen through the cracks will hear from me.
We also send them newsletters from time to time just so should they be ready to come back to us one day, we are the first office they think of.
For prospective clients, email is a great tool to use to continue communication and education. If we’re at a screening event and they don’t sign up for a new patient appointment, we add them to a specific group and continue to invite them into the office. They will also start receiving the newsletter emails for when they are ready.
If you host educational events or webinars, your email list is absolutely one of your top ways to promote it to both existing patients and prospective patients. Think of them as “warm leads” to your event. They already showed interest, so they are more likely to attend and better yet, bring friends. This brings us to our next topic…
Online events (webinars)
You may think this is something just for software companies to host — but it most definitely is not. Especially with COVID shutting down a lot of in-person events in the past year, webinars are a great, low-overhead way to reach and educate your community.
The best part of webinars is that people who may have been skeptical and hesitant to go in person to an event are more comfortable with the low-stress environment of watching it from the comfort of their own home. It also allows more flexibility in scheduling. Educate on your topic (again, be clear on the messaging) and have an easy and valuable call-to- action delivered with hope to the prospective clients.
Be sure to encourage your current list of people to share the event with their friends and family. Post and promote this on your social media.
Love it or hate it, social media is the way of the world now and is a great way to reach an audience you may not have met before. There are countless ways for your digital marketing manager to use this and I am self-admittedly not a social media expert. But that’s what makes these tips easy for anyone to implement.
In my office we would run wellness scores on patients that produce letter grades. At re-exam time, we re-run them and give feedback on the progress they’re making. I would not only post a HIPAA-compliant version of these comparison reports showing the progress someone has made, but I would also tell a story about that person.
Example: “This is a 35-year-old who came in with complaints of XYZ.” This makes it so others who may be experiencing the same thing can see the results we get in our office. It also keeps existing patients motivated to see that others have done it; they can too.
You can do the same thing also using before-and-after X-rays, posture pictures or any other tool that visually demonstrates an improvement in the patient. I’m also a fan of doing quick videos with tips and announcements. It just keeps people engaged. Today, pages that do this successfully have followers in the tens of thousands. This establishes them as someone that is credible and will definitely keep their offices busy.
Prospective patients get a taste of the environment in your office and can see more personality behind just a name.
They get to see the community you have built and the results you get. For your existing patients, it helps that top-of- mind awareness and also builds a sense of community.
Digital media in the office
When your patients are in the office, you have a golden opportunity to use digital messages to educate and market. And the cost to do this is crazy-affordable compared to years ago.
When I first went into practice in 1994 there was a company selling digital marketing with TVs for over $24,000. Now there are companies providing similar services for small monthly costs. All you have to do is just buy the TVs and network them all to the service. Simple and low-cost.
We’ve had TVs all over the office playing educational content. We even had one in the restroom. I’m pretty sure it got read the most as it was routine for patients to ask about what they learned on the TV when returning from the restroom.
This only scratches the surface regarding the number of things you can do when it comes to marketing. Get your digital marketing manager and all of your team members involved. We all possess different skills, talents and perspectives, so if you have a team member who is full of personality and loves the camera, then make the best use of their talents. If you have someone who would rather contribute content and ideas behind the scenes, that’s wonderful too.
Promoting the practice, educating your community, and marketing your brand is a team effort that needs to be executed in a thoughtful and strategic way. Sit down, make a plan and do it with joy.
MILES BODZIN, DC, is the founder and CEO of Cash Practice Systems, “Chiropractic’s #1 Technology Platform for Creating Loyal Patients.” He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 877-343-8950 x200.