Not sure how to do marketing for physical therapy practices? Check out these physical therapy marketing ideas that will grow your clinic’s patient base.
Patients want to feel better fast. They hope for instant results, but physical therapy requires time and effort. Unfortunately, there’s a misconception that PT takes too much work for too little reward. How can you convince people to try physical therapy if they don’t even believe it’ll work? With the right physical therapy marketing, you can change their minds — and get them into your clinic.
The most successful marketing strategies for physical therapy combine in-person and digital marketing. Your marketing should target both prospective patients and healthcare providers for maximum impact.
Post educational videos on Instagram or YouTube
According to Sprout Social, half of social media users “prefer video over other types of content.” Videos are also highly effective at humanizing a business, which can help potential patients feel more comfortable trusting your clinic. Free educational video content gives you the chance to show that your clinic is committed to your patients’ recovery.
Posting videos on popular platforms like Instagram or YouTube isn’t just great for attracting new patients. Educational videos can provide additional support for your patients as they perform their home exercise protocols (HEPs). You can demonstrate how to correctly perform exercises, so people don’t injure themselves at home. Other ideas for videos include:
- Mobility exercises for athletes
- Explanations of common musculoskeletal disorders
- How to prevent injuries while exercising
- Normal vs. abnormal pain in physical therapy
Consider sharing video content about the culture at your clinic, like what people can expect when they visit and how your staff provides a great patient experience. Make an effort to highlight the people that make your clinic shine: your PTs, PTAs, OTs, technicians, and other support staff. With their permission, you could also share videos of patient testimonials and success stories.
Distribute resources directly to physicians and other providers
Less than 10% of physicians routinely refer patients to providers they don’t know. Building lasting relationships within your local healthcare community will guarantee a steady flow of patients to your PT clinic. To cultivate these relationships, you need to prove that patients will benefit from physical therapy.
Visit local doctor’s offices in person and get to know the receptionists, nurses, and other staff whenever possible. Leave or mail flyers, business cards, and educational materials about the benefits of physical therapy. Don’t forget about businesses like chiropractic offices, gyms, massage parlors, and assisted living facilities.
Physical therapy marketing materials are more than just free resources for doctors to give to their patients. For example, you could make a brochure about how PT is an alternative to pain medication and describe the services you offer to treat pain. Even if their doctor doesn’t refer them to physical therapy right away, a patient will see your clinic’s name on the brochure, and they might reach out in the future.
Host free workshops
Whether they’re in person or online, workshops are yet another opportunity to demonstrate the value of physical therapy to potential patients. Although workshops require some extra preparation, you can repeat workshops often to reach new potential patients each time. Once you’ve done a workshop once, you don’t need to plan it again. Past participants can also promote your workshops by word of mouth, so consider hosting your most popular workshops every month to get even more attendees.
Topic ideas for physical therapy workshops include:
- Neck and shoulder pain
- Low back pain and sciatica
- Staying active after 65
- Fall prevention
Consider partnering with local businesses to get to know their clientele. For example, active people are at a higher risk for injury, so work with a local gym to host an injury prevention workshop. Gym visitors who are interested in preventing injuries might already need PT treatment.
You can also host online workshops to reach patients at home. Try live streaming to answer common questions about physical therapy or explain how to create an ergonomic workspace at home. Live online workshops are a cost-effective alternative that still allow for real-time engagement with your audience. Your viewers can ask questions and give feedback right away to create a more personalized experience.
When promoting your workshops, a simple ask can go a long way. Start by asking your current patients if they know anyone who could benefit from going to physical therapy. Don’t forget to email your former patients, who might need more PT for a new or recurring issue. Then connect with local businesses like fitness stores, shoe stores, yoga studios, and gyms about posting flyers to market your workshops.
Promote your use of innovative products and services
People trust digital health technology: 68% of survey respondents want to use technology to share real-time medical information with their healthcare providers. Many patients want technology to be part of their healthcare experience, so they will look for PT clinics that try to modernize and stay relevant.
Incorporating new technology into your practice can make physical therapy more convenient and accessible to patients. Many PT clinics have discovered the value of virtual reality (VR) for treatment. VR creates a highly engaging environment where patients can perform their PT exercises. A virtual footpath with a finish line at the end is a lot more motivational than the clinic floor. The gaming aspects can also challenge patients to improve their balance, coordination, and mobility.
Mobile apps like Exer Health make it easy for patients to contact their PT or refer to their treatment plan, leading to improved patient adherence. Thanks to its AI-powered platform, Exer Health can monitor your patients for you while they perform their HEPs. The software accurately records patient performance data, like range of motion and number of reps. The app will even recommend in-exercise form adjustments to help patients improve.
Here are some ways you can market this technology to potential patients:
- Offer a free demo to new patients
- Post information about the benefits of using new technology in PT on social media
- Send an email newsletter to existing patients about how technology will supplement their treatment
- Share patient testimonials about how the technology improved their experience
- Create a landing page on your website with an overview of how the technology works and its benefits for PT patients
Give special offers to new patients
A survey found that 80% of consumers feel encouraged to make a first-time purchase with a new brand if they have a special offer or discount. Offering a risk-free way to try out your PT services can help drive new patients to your practice.
Short but effective services — like a gait analysis or fall risk assessment — are a great way to introduce physical therapy to new patients. Other ideas for special offers include:
- Balance screenings
- Neck/shoulder massages
- Area-specific mobility assessments
To promote these special offers, mention a new patient discount in all of your marketing materials. You should also email existing patients so they can share a new-patient special offer with their friends and family who could use physical therapy. You can reach more prospective patients in your community by publishing an ad in a regional magazine or leaving discount cards at a local gym.
Optimize your Google presence
Over 60% of people searching for a healthcare provider use Google to locate a provider “near me,” so you need to make sure that your physical therapy clinic shows up on their radar. Making your PT clinic more discoverable online means people can find you more easily, rather than waiting for referrals from their physicians. If prospective patients can’t find enough information about your services, they will simply move on to one of your competitors.
If you don’t already, make sure you have a complete Google Business Profile. Include your phone number, address, website, and social media channels so prospective patients can easily reach you. Add information that shows what makes your practice unique, like specializing in specific conditions, working with certain types of patients, or offering telehealth options. Combined with location-based keywords, these details will make it easier for your ideal patients to find your business.
Reviews are another area to focus on. Google collects “rich snippets” from your business’s reviews to display on the search results page for relevant searches, like “physical therapy [my city].” A business with better reviews is also more likely to show up in search results. Plus, 77% of consumers report regularly reading reviews when searching for local businesses.
If you want to get your website to rank higher in search results on Google, consider physical therapy marketing ideas for search engine optimization (SEO). Blogging is a great way to share valuable content and boost your Google rank. Publish short blogs about a variety of topics, like the different conditions that PT can treat, so you can appear in as many searches as possible.
Invest in physical therapy marketing strategies that drive more patients to your clinic
Marketing for physical therapy practices can be challenging. Though it seems like there’s competition on every block, marketing your PT clinic will set you apart from other practices. Whether you accept more insurance providers or use innovative technology like Exer Health, highlight what makes your clinic unique in your marketing.
By experimenting with these physical therapy marketing ideas, you can discover for yourself which methods work best. When testing out new marketing strategies for physical therapy, ask new patients how they found your business and track their responses. That way, you can find out which marketing techniques are the most effective at increasing patient visits to your clinic. From there, focus on the strategies that deliver the best results so you can get the most out of your marketing budget.
Main photo by Merakist