Marketing Your PT Practice Offline
The days of marketing your PT practice using billboards, newspaper ads, and person-to-person marketing are categorized as dead by many. In today’s digital society, PTs are using the internet for just about all of their marketing needs.
But what if concentrating on digital ads wasn’t the best strategy for your PT practice? What if there were still strongholds of offline marketing that drive patient awareness, engagement, and appointments?
Offline marketing is far from dead. Most successful practice owners would argue it’s essential, at least in some capacity. In this article, we’re going to show you the most relevant ways to market your physical therapy practice offline, so you can blend strategies for better results.
Networking With Professionals
Leveraging relationships with influential local physicians is one of the better ways to market your practice off the grid. Ensure you, as the practice owner, initiate the meeting on their terms. Try to schedule your appointment during business hours to keep it professional and prepare talking points that show your practice’s history and achievements.
You want to show why your practice is better suited to treat patients and leave them with marketing materials to hand out if necessary.
It’s important to remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither are solid referrals. Regularly check-in and nurture your relationships to become the go-to PT practice in the area.
Get Airtime on Local Radio
The radio is an exciting option for PTs, especially in rural areas. Many smaller towns in America aren’t “plugged in” like larger cities and hear most of their news from the T.V. and the radio.
The radio isn’t suitable for every practice, but ask yourself, who is your target audience? Do they listen to the radio? How technology savvy are they? Answering these questions will help narrow your marketing strategy and cut right through to the patients looking for physical therapy.
It’s all about raising awareness; the more familiar patients are with your practice, the more they’ll trust the services you provide.
Support Local Sporting Events
Sponsoring and being active at local sporting events is an incredible way to market outside of the box—especially if your practice specializes in sports rehabilitation. Once again, building brand confidence is key. You’ll also get an opportunity to support the community, show some goodwill, and help athletes mitigate future injuries.
Take Advantage of Your Office Space
It’s safe to say patients in the lobby of your practice are already thinking about physical therapy. However, skipping the chance to educate them on additional benefits or services could be a missed opportunity.
Post signage and charts of niche services you provide and educational material about the benefits of physical therapy. By reinforcing the value of PT, you can keep patients coming in for their current appointments and drive future business.
Use Signage to Your Advantage
Name recognition and service offerings are basic forms of awareness every patient (or soon-to-be patient) should know. Even if it’s right in front of your practice, using signage can put you top of mind for the people passing by. Over time and with repetition, you’ll notice signage turns awareness into conversion. If someone heads to work every day—passing your sign—when they need a knee replacement, they’ll surely remember the PT office they pass on the way to work.
Best practices include keeping the signage low-profile. Advertising your practice too much (or using tactics like inflatable arm people) could interfere with your marketing goals.
Create a Take-home Flyer
Designing flyers and pamphlets that stage your offering is a potent way to market your practice offline. Pamphlets and flyers should serve two primary functions:
- Educating your patients about specific procedures, expectations, and rehabilitation timelines.
- Extending word-of-mouth marketing for events, referrals, and local physicians.
You’ll want to have specialized material as well as generalized practice information. Bring this material to meetings with other physicians, offer it to patients, and put it on display in your practice’s lobby.
Try Direct Mail
Letters can be a personal and powerful way to convey your marketing message. On the one hand, you want to directly offer services. On the other, you want to nurture current patients.
Try using direct mail that offers new or exciting services, especially if it targets a specific demographic. Send handwritten thank you cards to prior patients for goodwill and word-of-mouth. Try to include timely promotions in your message, something actionable, where people feel the need to call or visit your website for more information.
Host a Community Event
Establishing yourself as a leader in the local market demands marketing efforts above and beyond the call of duty. One method, hosting a community event, is an excellent way to bolster your practice’s value proposition to the right people.
First, define who those “right” people are by narrowing down your target audience. Then, plan an event you’d want to attend in their honor. Focus on the desired outcomes, something like raising awareness in the community or getting patients to sign up for a session.
Remember, if you’re planning anything outside of PowerPoint presentations and snacks, seek legal counsel to ensure you’re not liable for any problems that arise.
Good marketing is moving left while others move right. If you’re sending faxes, chances are you’ll stand out against PTs using other methods. As long as you have an established business relationship, there’s no problem sending a fax to a potential referral. Best practices include starting a relationship before the fax and providing details about your practice.
Advertise in the Local Paper
A recent study by Fluent and the Newspaper Association of America (NAA) shows—in the case of retail—that print ads have a broad reach with consumers. In fact, here are the percentages of customer penetration using different advertising mediums:
- Print ads – 39%
- Mobile Notifications – 31%
- Email Newsletters – 31%
- Mobile Shopping Apps – 30%
And while this pertains to retail, ads show up in the same place inside of a newspaper. PTs who are in rural markets might even see better numbers. The point is, print advertising isn’t dead, and if you’re marketing your physical therapy practice to a target audience—you’re bound to see results.
The Bottom Line
The digital age is taking over many advertising channels, but as more practices move their marketing efforts online, there’s low-hanging fruit to find in the traditional offline channels. The biggest takeaway is understanding your patient’s wants and needs and tailoring your offline marketing strategy in that direction.
Let’s face it; marketing takes a whole lot of time and effort. As a busy practice owner, you don’t always have that luxury of time. If you’re looking for solutions to streamline your in-house processes such as billing, practice management, communication, and just about everything else—check out a FREE demo of MWTherapy’s all-in-one PT software.