Physical therapy is a crucial aspect of healthcare, helping people recover from injuries, surgeries, and other health conditions.
While many physical therapy centers have been relying on traditional marketing methods, the world is increasingly going digital.
A solid digital marketing strategy is what you need to attract new patients, increase bookings, and grow your practice.
Before we dive into the 5 physical therapy digital marketing ideas that can help physical therapy centers attract patients online, let’s define what you came here for.
What is Physical Therapy Digital Marketing?
Physical therapy digital marketing is the use of digital channels and tools to promote physical therapy services to potential patients, increase awareness, and grow revenue.
This includes using digital platforms such as search engines, social media, email, and websites to reach patients and build relationships with them.
Through these channels, physical therapists can connect with a broader audience, build a strong online presence, generate leads, and convert those leads into patients.
Top Physical Therapy Marketing Ideas For 2024
For most of our clients in the physical therapy field, here are the 5 most-effective ways we drive leads and new patients to their centers:
1. Optimize Your Physical Therapy Website to Increase Bookings
Your website is the digital representation of your physical therapy center. It’s your first impression to potential patients.
For example, when you first land on the Tyler Physical Therapy website, you feel ‘welcome’ because of how modern, bold, and memorable the design is.
It’s essential to make sure your website is user-friendly, easy to navigate, and provides valuable information to potential patients.
Here are some tips to optimize your website to increase bookings:
i). Optimize your website for search engines: Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing your website to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs).
To optimize your website, you need to target the right keywords and create high-quality content that provides value to potential patients.
For example, Spear Physical Therapy, a physical therapy center based in New York, optimized its website for the keyword “physical therapy NYC”.
The center now ranks at the top of the SERPs, resulting in increased website traffic and bookings.
ii). Make it easy to book appointments: Make sure your website has a prominent “Book Now” button that’s easy to find.
You can also integrate an online booking system to make it even easier for patients to book appointments.
For example, Integrated Physical Therapy, a physical therapy center in New York, uses an online booking system that allows patients to schedule appointments directly from the website.
iii). Provide valuable information: Your website should provide valuable information to potential patients, such as the services you offer, your team’s expertise, and your approach to patient care.
For example, Capitol Physical Therapy, a physical therapy center in Maryland, has an “About” page on its website that explains its patient-centric approach to physical therapy.
2. Reach New Patients with Google Ads
Google Ads is an effective way to reach new patients and increase website traffic.
Google Ads allows you to target specific keywords and demographics to reach your ideal audience while they’re searching Google for the best physical therapists in their area.
The screenshot below shows examples of Google ads listing for the keyword “physical therapy Maryland.”
Here are some tips for using Google Ads:
i). Target geo-specific keywords: Research specific keywords related to physical therapy to target potential patients in your area or locality.
Instead of bidding to target “best physical therapists,” for example, target a location-based keyword such as “best physical therapy center TX.”
If you specialize in sports physical therapy, you can target keywords like “sports physical therapy near me” or “physical therapy for athletes in TX.”
ii). Create compelling ad copy: Your ad copy should be compelling and clearly communicate the benefits of your physical therapy center.
For example, “Get back to doing what you love with our sports physical therapy services.” Or “Recover fast!”
ii). Use location targeting: If you have a physical therapy center in a specific location, you can use location targeting to reach potential patients in that area.
For example, if your physical therapy center is in San Francisco, you can target people in San Francisco who are searching for physical therapy services.
Sol Physical Center, a physical therapy center in Arizona used Google Ads to target specific keywords related to physical therapy.
The center saw a 300% increase in website traffic and a 150% increase in bookings through its website.
Ready to launch your first Google ad campaign today? At Omnicore, a digital marketing team specializes in physical therapy marketing. Speak with a marketing specialist for free to discuss your marketing needs today.
3. Leverage Facebook & Instagram Lead Ads to Reach New Patients
Facebook and Instagram are two of the most popular social media platforms, with 3.8 billion+ users combined.
These platforms are owned by the same parent company – Meta.
So you can set up your ad inside the Facebook Ad Manager by selecting your campaign, and have them shown to both Facebook and Instagram users.
By leveraging Facebook and Instagram lead ads, physical therapy centers can reach new patients and generate leads.
The beauty of ‘Lead ads” is that you can capture potential patients’ data within Facebook or Instagram. They don’t have to visit an external website or landing page.
Let’s briefly discuss some of the best tips for using Facebook and Instagram lead ads:
i). Create a compelling offer: Offer something of value to potential patients, such as a free consultation or a discount on their first appointment.
Here’s a good Facebook ad example from Share & Care Clinic.
ii). Use targeting options: Facebook and Instagram allow you to target specific demographics, interests, and behaviors to reach your ideal audience.
For example, if you specialize in pediatric physical therapy, you can target parents with children of a certain age range who live in your area.
iii). Use eye-catching visuals: Use eye-catching visuals, such as high-quality images or videos, to grab potential patients’ attention.
The Relationship School uses catchy visuals in its Facebook ads.
4. Launch a Patient Referral Program to Promote Your Physical Therapy
Patient referrals are an effective way to promote your physical therapy center. 92% of people trust referrals from people they know, according to Glofox.
When patients have a positive experience with your center, they are more likely to refer their friends and family.
More importantly, it’s important to have a solid referral management system in place.
To launch a successful patient referral program, keep these best practices in mind:
i). Offer incentives: Offer incentives to patients who refer new patients, such as a discount on their next appointment or a gift card.
The American Recovery and Investment Act of 2009 placed into legislation the requirement for hospitals and physicians to adopt electronic health records (EHR). The move towards EHR was inevitable.
EHR allows accurate, legible, and complete documentation of medical records, 2) facilitates permanent electronic storage of medical records, and 3) provides access, portability, and exchange of complete medical records amongst healthcare providers, patients, and their families.
ii). Make it easy to refer: Make it easy for patients to refer their friends and family, such as by providing referral cards or a referral link on your website.
Or simply set up and manage your referrals using the HealthViewX Patient Referral Management software.
iii). Thank your patients: Show your appreciation to patients who refer new patients by thanking them personally or offering a small gift.
Recovery Physical Therapy, a physical therapy center in New York, launched a patient referral program that offers a $25 Amazon gift card to patients who refer new patients.
The center saw a 20% increase in bookings within the first few months of launching the program.
5. Collaborate with Instagram Influencers to Attract New Patients
Instagram influencers have a large following and can help promote your physical therapy center to their audience.
By collaborating with influencers, you can reach new patients who may not have heard of your center otherwise.
To collaborate effectively with Instagram influencers, follow these proven ideas:
i). Choose the right influencers: Find and reach out to micro-influencers who have 10k to 100k followers in your target demographic, and who align with your physical therapy center’s values.
These influencers would most likely be in the Fitness, Beauty, and Lifestyle niches.
ii). Offer something of value: Offer something of value to the influencer, such as a free session or a discount on your therapy services, or even money.
These days, it’s common to find influencers wearing a branded T-shirt to promote a brand or cause.
iii). Track your results: Track your results to see if the collaboration is driving new patient bookings.
Balance Physical Therapy, a physical therapy center in California, collaborated with an Instagram influencer who specializes in fitness and health.
The influencer posted about the center’s services and offered a discount code to her followers. The center saw a 15% increase in bookings within the first month of the collaboration.
Physical Therapy Advertising Guidelines to Keep in Mind
The guidelines and policies for physical therapy advertising and marketing online vary depending on the country and region.
In the United States, the following are some of the key guidelines and policies to keep in mind:
- Advertisements must be truthful and not misleading. Claims must be supported by scientific evidence.
- Advertisements cannot make false or deceptive claims about the qualifications, training, or experience of physical therapists or other healthcare professionals.
- Advertisements cannot guarantee results or make claims about the effectiveness of a therapy -- unless they’re supported by scientific evidence.
- Advertisements must comply with all applicable laws and regulations, including those related to privacy and data protection.
- Advertisements must not use testimonials or endorsements without the written consent of the person providing the testimonial or endorsement.
- Advertisements must clearly disclose any material connections between the advertiser and any endorsers or affiliates.
- Advertisements must not use scare tactics or exploit the fears or vulnerabilities of potential patients.
- Advertisements must not discriminate against any particular group of people based on race, gender, religion, or other protected categories.
Note: Physical therapists should consult with legal professionals to ensure that their online advertising and marketing comply with all applicable laws and regulations.
Getting Leads For Your Physical Therapy Center
Physical therapy centers can attract new patients and grow their businesses by incorporating digital marketing strategies.
By optimizing their website, using Google Ads, leveraging Facebook and Instagram lead ads, launching a patient referral program, and collaborating with Instagram influencers, physical therapy centers can reach new patients and increase bookings.
Don’t forget to track your results and continually refine your strategies to ensure the best possible outcomes.
Photo Credit: Unsplash