Today, you’ll be exposed to up to 10,000 brands1, each trying to be distinct. Each vying for your attention. And, each adding a layer of noise into your already complex world.
It’s tiring to think about it. It’s also a problem for each one of those thousands of brands trying to compete for a sliver of your mindshare.
As rehab therapists marketing our messages to an audience that perhaps largely misunderstands our value, our work is even harder. That is, unless we use a strategy we’re already quite good at: getting personal.
As a physical, occupational or speech therapist, odds are you like people, you understand them, and you’re pretty good at relating to them. You intuitively know the difference between relating to an elderly client, a soccer dad, and a 5-year-old.
You must adapt your message to make a connection, and this comes naturally to you. So, let’s use this to grow your rehab therapy clinic, as well.
Below, I’ve shared five ways you as a rehab therapist can get personal with your marketing message, putting your strengths to work for you as well as your bottom line.
To get personal with your rehab therapy marketing message, you need to adapt it to your audience, and basic demographic information is a natural place to start.
Does your practice offer a women’s health program? Segment your email marketing list by gender, and make sure only women receive your women’s health promotion. (A sure-fire way to get unsubscribes is to send off confusing words like vulvodynia to your male population.)
Do your services cater to the elderly? Appeal to their specific needs by calling out programs and services which preserve and optimize function in the aging adult, keeping this separate from messages which reach other segments of your rehab therapy business, such as your populations of kids and their parents.
A back is not a neck, and a leg is not an arm. Your patients understand and appreciate that you likely treat all of the above, but that’s not the point while spreading your message about rehab therapy.
Remember, you’re trying to stand out against thousands of other brands competing for your mindshare!
If you have enough patients who suffer from throwing injuries, you need to develop programs and messaging specifically related to the throwing athlete. If preventing falls is your thing – or an opportunity in your market – then your fall-prevention program is an important feature to bolt onto your practice … and your marketing message.
Appealing to the specific diagnostic needs of your patient population can effectively cut through the noise created by unrelated services featured by your competitors for consumer mindshare.
Imagine for a moment a parent who feels their child is struggling with speech development. They’re scrolling through Facebook and they see an ad for Amazon’s Deals of the Day, and right next to it is your ad which simply states, “Could speech therapy benefit your child? We can help.” You’ll get the eyeballs.
Think of a “marketing channel” as the vehicle that carries your marketing message. If you call local referral sources to promote your services, then phone is the channel. If you send messaging through MailChimp, the channel is email. And so on.
Channels are great ways to personalize your physical therapy marketing message for two reasons.
The first is they help you segment the market. Users of Instagram have some common qualities you can use as compared with readers of, say, your local newspaper. If you’re looking for younger, more socially engaged clientele (youth populations, digitally savvy), the choice is obvious.
The second is you can easily personalize your message to users of the channel. To engage Facebook users in your area, run a promotional campaign or contest which is available only on that specific channel in order to stand out.
The least expensive customer is the one who’s already bought from you. Marketing to existing customers based on previous purchases is an effective means of tailoring your message, as well.
Marketing an after-care program to existing rehab therapy patients creates a natural extension of a relationship you already have with an existing client base. Attendees of your shoulder workshop may also be interested in attending your upcoming class on caregiving for a loved one.
All information you possess about those to whom you are sharing your message, including their past purchase behavior, can be effective in reaching through with a personalized approach. But, don’t just look at the clients who are no longer in an active care plan.
Multichannel patient engagement marketing efforts should continue in a personalized way throughout a patient’s plan of care. Appointment reminders, relevant emails featuring exercises, tips and motivational messages, direct messaging, and patient surveys which promote positive online reviews … it all ties together to help build patient trust and buy-in, helping ensure more patients complete their plans of care.
All this can lead to fewer no-shows, cancellations and drop-offs while ensuring more positive patient outcomes.
5. Life Events
Who doesn’t like a pat on the back on their birthday? Nobody, that’s who.
Life events present great opportunities to reach through the noise and grab your prospects’ attention as you’re attaching to something that holds meaning to them. Birthday messages and anniversaries may work for patients within your email marketing database, but don’t forget about others in your market, as well.
Ever share a kudos to the business owner on your block who just opened? How about reaching out to the newest appointee to your city council?
Or, what about reaching out to past patients to celebrate POC completion and to check on long-term success, health and functionality? You can’t get much more personal than this and, with an investment in the right technologies, so many of these types of messages can be automated these days.
Such automation can certainly make it much easier for rehab therapists to capitalize on these patient engagement opportunities.
To wrap, getting your message heard isn’t always easy. You’re up against a lot of competition. The key to beating your competition is to blast through the noise, and the personalization of your marketing message is how you get there.
eBook: 4 Pro Tips to Master Online Reviews in Healthcare
1 Forbes, “Finding Brand Success in the Digital World,” Aug. 25, 2017