Everyone makes mistakes, but when it comes to your marketing budget it can mean you are wasting money on marketing techniques that will never result in a substantial increase in new patients for your physiotherapy practice. With that in mind, let's take a look at the 10 most common ways PT practice owners waste money on marketing and think about some better value alternatives.
One of he biggest wastes of money that physical therapy practice owners indulge in is using newspaper and magazine advertising. In order for print ads to be effective, they must be big enough to catch readers' attention. Since print ads are sold by space, the larger your advert, the ore expensive it is going to be. Even then, only a small percentage of readers actually bother looking at the advertising. In order to have any chance of being worthwhile, you must choose local publications so that the readership is based within your community. As a lower cost alternative, rather than buying advertising, you might want to offer a local magazine a reader discount in exchange for a small feature, or send a press release about a new service to your local newspaper.
Advertising on the radio can be expensive and you are unlikely to see any substantial return on that investment. You need an audience that is not only local, but who will be interested in your services. Instead of buying a radio advert and spending money on producing your advert why not see if a local radio station has a health or sports talk program that you could appear on to host a Q and A session? All this costs is your time and you could reach some potential new patients.
Like radio advertising, television adverts can be expensive. There are very few local television stations and those that do exist have a limited audience. In addition to this, with the growing popularity of TIVO and streaming/ on demand television services the number of people who actually watch commercials is dwindling! Even those people who are watching live TV are likely to use commercial breaks to go to the bathroom or grab a glass of water from the kitchen. Without an audience, television ads are a waste of money. It is far more cost effective to use video marketing via YouTube and other social media channels instead!
The majority of physical therapy clinics do most of their advertising online and with good reason - . However, one form of online advertising which might be a waste of money is banner advertising. Banner blindness is a very real issue, in fact, statistic show that the average person is more likely to survive a plane crash than they are to click a banner ad!
It is a lot of fun designing items like keychains, mouse pads and stress balls with your PT practice's branding on it, but it is also a sure fire way to lose money! Don't get us wrong, promotional items have their place, but it is important not to go overboard. If you are going to buy promotional items choose something relevant that will actually help and be selective about who you pass them out to. Water bottles are a good choice for a physical therapist since patients can take them to the gym with them and others might notice it and remember your clinic when they need a physiotherapist.
Don't get us wrong - PPC campaigns can work, but only if you know what you are doing. One of the biggest wastes of money for Physiotherapists and other small businesses is jumping into PPV advertising without the required knowledge to make it effective.
Email marketing is an excellent way to reach patients and potential patients, but it does require an email list! However, one sure fire way to waste money is to buy an email list. There is a strong possibility that you will not be getting what you pay for and an email list that does not include your true audience is worthless. It is far better to make the effort to build your own email list.
Marketing is not something that can be rushed. Many PT clinic owners waste money by flitting from one marketing technique to another without really giving any of them a chance to get results. Marketing takes time and effort. It is important to come up with a plan and stick with it for at least 3 to 6 months. If you give up too soon then you are just throwing your marketing budget away.
One of the worst ways to waste your marketing budget is to not follow up on leads! If you are getting patient enquiries as a result of your marketing campaign then it is working, which is great, but if you are not following up on those leads then what was the point. It is important to develop a process that you and your staff can follow every single time. If someone signs up to your mailing list then be sure to get in touch with them and try and get them to book an appointment.
Many clinic owners make the mistake of viewing industry events and luncheons as a great way to get more patients. However, you must keep in mind that since these are industry events, everyone there is in the same business. You are all looking for patients! These events can be great for networking as you may meet doctors and other professionals who can offer you referrals, but you will not meet patients directly at these events. Keep the number of events like this that you attend to a minimum.
It is worth noting, that just because these techniques are considered poor value for money it does not necessarily mean that you should stop using them completely. If you have seen a decent return on your investment using one of these methods then keep at it! The key to successful advertising is choosing the right place to advertise and having the right message – this differs from one practice to the next so it is important to find out what works best for you.
If you need assistance in finding the right place to advertise your physical therapy clinic then contact PatientSites.com today.
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