One of the challenges of owning a chiropractic practice is marketing. More specifically, building a dynamic marketing strategy that attracts and maintains a loyal patient base.
The challenge exists for several reasons:
- Industry specific AHPRA and CAA regulations that can seem frustratingly complicated and somewhat restrictive.
- Fast-paced digital landscape that seems to demand your focus across all channels – your website, social media, emails and Google.
- Understanding what areas of marketing will get you the best return for your marketing efforts and convert patient leads into your care.
So what are the best and most effective marketing strategies to attract and retain more of your ideal patients to guarantee a healthy, thriving practice?
Ellie Bakker, Marketing Director and Owner of healthcare marketing agency, Splice Marketing, shares the proven marketing strategies she has seen work for Chiropractors and other Australian health professionals to increase new patient numbers and establish a successful and profitable practice.
Marketing Meets Compliance – AHPRA and CAA Regulations
You know, the ASRF knows, and we at Splice Marketing know that a successful chiropractic practice needs to understand the intricacies of industry regulations in order to build a compliant and dynamic marketing machine.
Chiropractic care can make such a difference to a person’s overall health, but how do you communicate this without being in breach through:
- Advertising “unrealistic expectations”.
- Using “testimonials”.
- Using words such as “safe and effective”.
And how do you ensure your patients who are living proof of the benefits of chiropractic are not putting you at risk by posting a positive statement on social media?
It all comes down to content marketing and what messages to convey. For example, you should educate patients on their condition and treatment options available through your content marketing rather than saying you’re the best and have a cure.
Be the local Chiropractor who shares learnings from ongoing training, the ASRF and CAA, and use that to educate patients so they can make better informed decisions.
You can also learn how each of the social media channels work so that you can have control over what is being posted, and how to mitigate risk either by removing a comment or review or taking reasonable steps to get the testimonial removed.
Reputation and Credibility – It’s All In The Branding
Another key component of a successful Australian chiropractic business involves creating a reputable personal and professional brand both physically and online.
Branding is much more than a company logo. Branding influences patient behaviour, is a representation of who you are and what you stand for and is what sets you apart from competitors.
Branding is what helps your online audiences form a connection and build a level of trust with you, long before they call your practice to book an appointment.
To create a strong brand, understand what you want to be known for, and position yourself as an expert in that area of Chiropractic care.
Build your credibility through value-add content, always giving information but not expecting a transaction in the form of a new booking straight away. The trust is built by understanding your patients, talking to them through your content, creating videos to communicate on a more personal level and developing a strong local presence. The consistent effort of your branding will build your reputation and credibility attracting more patients and contributing to the growth of your practice.
Marketing Strategies For Practice Growth
Marketing should deliver a return in the way of a stronger brand presence, new patients, and an increased number of returning patients.
Many have spent money on a website, tried Google or Facebook advertising, created marketing collateral and visited gyms and other allied health providers. These marketing efforts might have resulted in a few good months of new patient leads but it’s not uncommon for the numbers to plateau.
Achieving a consistent and positive patient flow is the result of adopting marketing strategies proven to work in the healthcare industry. One such strategy is the patient-first marketing methodology – knowing the intricate details about them such as:
- Their pains and frustrations,
- The barriers of engaging your services
- Where they are spending their time online,
- Where they are in your local area and;
- What will be of interest and of value to them
Another step is knowing how to reach your ideal patients at each stage of their decision-making process. Let’s face it, only a small number of Australian’s know when they need to see a Chiropractor, others might think a physio or massage therapist can do the trick and the others, totally unaware that you can help them.
The key is to appeal to all patients at each stage of their decision-making process. It’s about getting into the minds of your patients at each stage of their journey and creating marketing content that positions you as a trusted expert and adds enough value to move them to the next stage of their decision-making journey. By reaching patients at each stage of the funnel, you’re expanding your reach which will pay off once the patient is ready for your service.
Once they are in the door, your marketing needs to shift to retention strategies. Pareto’s principle kicks in here – 80% of your revenue comes from 20% of your customers. Marketing strategies vital at this stage of the patient journey include:
- Email campaigns
- Valuable content
- Customer service
- Community engagement
By focusing on attracting patients, converting them into your care and then nurturing them, you’ve achieved the trifecta of a thriving practice.
Learn The Specific Marketing Strategies For A Thriving Practice – FREE Webinar Series
If you’re wanting further education on marketing strategies in order to grow a thriving practice for the next financial year 2018-19, Ellie has partnered with the Australian Spinal Research Foundation to offer ASRF members access to a three part webinar series Marketing Strategies For Thriving Chiropractic Practice. Topics covered include:
- Building your brand – branding for the practitioner and the practice
- Patient acquisition – reaching patients along their decision making process
- Digital marketing masterclass – where to be, what to do, how to succeed
- Reputation management – effective marketing within industry guidelines
These one-hour webinars are aimed at giving Australian chiropractors the knowledge and skills to overcome key marketing challenges including: industry regulations, digital marketing, and the importance of building a credible brand.
Spots are limited for these webinars, so to secure your place, register your details here.
Guest Editor Ellie Bakker, Marketing Director and Owner of Splice Marketing
Ellie is the Director of Marketing for Splice Marketing – a specialist healthcare marketing agency in Australia.
Ellie is an experienced marketing consultant specialising in healthcare marketing. She has supported medical and healthcare professionals for a number of years and has seen many of the same frustrations healthcare professionals face when it comes to marketing. Luckily, with her blend of strategic, analytical and creative thinking, expertise in marketing and her knowledge of the online patient journey, she has discovered some of the most profitable and successful ways to put healthcare professionals in front of their patients. Ellie is your go to for all your healthcare marketing needs.