Ever feel like you’re constantly fighting to keep your head above all the marketing mumbo-jumbo?
“Do X and you’ll attract a small country-worth of chiropractic patients through your practice doors.”
“No, do Y instead. It’s the fastest way to put patients on your adjustment tables and greenbacks in your pocket.”
“Email is dead. Facebook ads are dead. ALL THE THINGS are dead, dead, dead.”
“What you really need is lots of funnels!”
Well, today we’re dispatching a boat and throwing out a life preserver in the form of our ultimate chiropractic marketing guide. Besides cutting through the confusion and helping you navigate the most powerful marketing tactics and strategies for chiropractic businesses, we’ll explain the secret sauce that makes every great marketing strategy work.
When executed successfully, just a handful of these top chiropractic marketing ideas can help consistently and predictably generate a steady flow of new patients every month.
Let’s get started!
Before we reveal our top picks, it’s crucial to note that we’ve divided our selection into online, offline, and hybrid models of marketing that every chiropractor should consider for branding and promoting their business in their local community. While many chiropractic marketing campaigns have traditionally involved offline promotion, the invention and evolution of the internet has not only created a gold mine of additional opportunity, but it has also allowed some typically offline tactics to claim space in the digital arena.
With that said, let’s explore these three key groups and the opportunities within them.
Did you know 97% of search engine users search online to find local businesses and services or that Forrester predicts mobile devices will influence more than $1.4 trillion in local sales by 2021?
Yet, research by Clutch.co reveals only 64% of small businesses have a website.
With a website being your digital storefront and high visibility being so crucial to success, it seems crazy that so many local businesses don’t have a solid online presence.
Even the most tech-challenged entrepreneurs who go weak at the knees and sweat profusely at the thought of web development can set up a bare-bones website in about 30 minutes or less. With so many blogs and YouTube tutorials, domain and hosting services, pre-made templates, themes, website builders, and other tools available today, creating and launching a decent site has never been so easy. And even if you can’t be bothered to figure it out, a simple Google search will dig up millions of web design experts who can’t wait to sink their teeth into your chiropractic website project.
Now whether you have a website yet or not, it’s critical to consider optimization. It’s no use having a site if no one can find it, no one can use it, and no one converts.
For that reason, a three-pronged approach to optimization is necessary for success.
Here are just a few tips to increase conversions:
Ultimately, a website often creates the very first impression for potential patients searching for local chiropractors like you. As a result, user experience, site performance, and overall design should be top of mind when it comes to building and preparing your site for search and conversions.
(Source: Physio Logic)
Online, content reigns king.
And there’s no better way to feed the search engine beast while attracting new patients than with fresh, relevant, unique, engaging, and SEO-optimized blog posts.
In fact, HubSpot research reveals that those who prioritize blogging efforts are likely to see 13x more positive ROI while Demand Metric says that businesses with a blog produce 67% more leads per month than those without one. With stats like those, it’s clear blogging is a boon for business.
The real question is: how do you ensure you’re leveraging content the right way?
In our post on tips for small business blogging that ranks well, woos readers, and generates leads, we provide a path to success in five easy-to-follow steps.
Here’s a quick overview:
Step 1: Define the audience segment you’re writing for and where they are on the buying journey.
Step 2: Choose high-value topics through keyword, competitor, and market research.
Step 3: Write your content.
Step 4: Optimize your blog post.
Step 5: Publish and promote like your business depends on it.
And just in case you’re wondering…
Yes, we do get into the nitty-gritty of things like page titles, permalinks, sub-heads, anchor text, images, meta descriptions, and more.
Oh, you didn’t know about those things?
Not to worry. Before your head explodes, you’ll also find plenty of tips and template resources.
The blog post is not only everything you need to improve search results, build authority as a chiropractor in your local area, and drive loads of traffic, but it also serves as a formula for turning traffic into prospects and prospects into paying patients.
But here’s the thing: content marketing demands quality and consistency to work.
Have you ever visited a blog only to discover the last time anyone touched it was several months or years ago?
That says a lot about a practice—and it’s not saying anything good.
So while we wholeheartedly advocate that one of the best ways to generate buzz for your business is to answer questions in blog posts that consumers are already searching for online, we also encourage you to set up a blogging schedule to ensure you’re leveraging this chiropractic marketing tactic like a pro.
(Shameless plug: If you need help with your content creation and inbound marketing efforts, hit us up for help by booking a free consult.)
We’ve touched on search optimization as a factor when it comes to building an optimized chiropractic website, but local SEO dives deeper. In addition to ranking for terms like ‘chiropractor,’ it involves ranking for terms like ‘Atlanta chiropractor’ and ‘chiropractor near me.’ Again, we highly recommend that you work your way through our guide to gain a comprehensive understanding of this marketing tactic and get the step-by-step instructions on how to execute a successful local SEO campaign.
What you should know is that a typical search engine optimization strategy is divided into two categories: on-site SEO and off-site SEO.
On-site SEO is when search engines assess your site or page’s subject matter. This includes technical factors such as:
Off-site SEO evaluates external factors that indicate your site’s authoritativeness and popularity. These factors include:
Search algorithms then use this data to determine what your site ranks for, as well as where it ranks in search results.
What about factors that specifically impact local search?
In addition to the list above, your position in both Google’s Local Pack and localized organic rankings are affected by Google My Business signals, local NAP citations, reviews, and certain behavioral signals such as check-ins. We’ll cover some of these later because they hold up on their own as chiropractic marketing must-dos, but the key thing to understand is the importance of geo-targeting your SEO efforts to the city, region, suburb, and radius within which your prospective patients are based. Developing a sound local SEO strategy will put your practice in good stead for ranking well when someone conducts a location-specific search query.
Some marketers will tell you this tactic is too difficult or a waste of time, but the reality is that guest blogging is great for creating author boxes, contextual backlinks, and generating exposure for your practice. When you’re guest posting to an authoritative site, the results are even better.
During your search for guest blogging opportunities, it’s crucial to note that specificity is key. While there’s no problem in guest blogging on a broader basis, you do want to target more local resources to ensure you’re reaching your local audience.
Using search terms like “location” + “write for us,” “location” + “guest post,” “location” + “guest blogger”, or “location” + “contributor guidelines” will usually uncover websites needing the kind of content you can craft.
Here’s an example of a guest blogging opportunity ranked fourth on page #1 for the search query “Omaha” + “contributor guidelines”:
Upon further inspection, their beliefs align with seeking out alternative health options including chiropractic, making this an ideal site to create some location-specific backlink gold (if you practice in Omaha, of course). When you’re searching for your own location-specific guest blogging opportunities, be sure to read any writing and submission guidelines before getting to work on your guest posts.
As a top ranking tool for appearing in both organic search results and Google Local Pack, a Google My Business Listing (GMB) is probably one of the most effective weapons you can add to your marketing arsenal. The good news is that it’s free and stupidly easy to use for creating an online presence across all of Google and establishing local awareness for your brand. You simply have to claim and optimize yours.
Again, our local SEO post provides a full tutorial, but here’s a quick breakdown you can use as a checklist for optimization:
Here’s an excellent example of an optimized GMB listing for one of our chiropractic clients who ranks in Local Pack and #1 in organic results:
When claiming and optimizing your own listing, focus on: 1) relevance (the accuracy and completeness of your profile), 2) distance (the closeness of your practice to the searcher), and 3) prominence (your images, citations, links, and reviews). Optimize your GMB listing properly and you’ll be set to have this effective tactic take your business to the top in almost no time at all.
There’s a reason social networking has become an essential skill every business owner needs. Without it, you’re basically unknown and irrelevant.
Although it’s true we’re not all socially adept, the reality is there has been a fundamental shift in how consumers discover new businesses and communicate with business owners. People are far less receptive to one-way communication methods that leave them with no way to respond. They want to interact, build real connections, share their opinions, and be heard.
What about the benefits for business owners?
According to Vendasta research released in 2017, 90% of marketers say their social marketing efforts increased exposure while 75% say it increased traffic. Those two factors alone are a pretty good reason to incorporate social media into your chiropractic marketing strategy.
How do you do that?
Start by working your way through our definitive guide to social media marketing for businesses and our post on creating a local business social media marketing strategy. You’ll discover the practical and finer details of setting your social media goals, defining your audience, mapping your goals to the consumer lifecycle, figuring out which platforms you want to leverage, determining the types of content you want to create, and more.
Once you have your strategy in place, follow our step-by-step guide on how to rock your local inbound marketing strategy with social media. In this post, we explain exactly how to claim your profiles and then optimize for local search, lead generation, and engagement. We even provide a free downloadable social media calendar to make content creation and publishing easy to track.
Finally, put your creative juices to work with our social media marketing ideas for chiropractors. With the concepts and strategies shared in this post, you’ll be able to crush your goals in just 10 minutes a day.
Keep in mind that social media is about providing value and being helpful even when you’re promoting. It’s about focusing on your audience’s needs and desires, being engaging, and nurturing relationships.
Boosting visibility, creating brand awareness, establishing trust, building authority and influence, and cultivating a local community of fans are just some of the awesome perks that come along with it.
Integrating email marketing into your chiropractic marketing strategy is one of the smartest things you can do as a business owner. This incredibly powerful tactic is not only cost-effective, but it also has the potential to produce a crazy-high return on investment.
Email has an estimated ROI of 4400% and generates around $44 for every $1 spent.
That’s not all. Email marketing helps you identify better-quality patient leads, shortens the sales cycle, boosts conversion rates, and reduces marketing costs.
In our comprehensive guide to chiropractic email marketing, we not only lay out a strong case for using email in your practice, but we also explain how to create an email marketing strategy, identify the best types of content for email, provide top copywriting tips and formulas, and recommend the best email marketing tools on the market today.
But the real magic?
That happens when you understand how to map out and craft optimized email sequences designed to convert leads into bona fide paying patients.
Our post on closing local business leads into paying customers covers the entire process step by step. It also delves into how you can use Customer Relationship Management software (CRMs) to set up workflows and automate the whole shebang.
However, none of this can happen without first creating:
While lead magnets include downloadable guides, discounts, vouchers, and freebies like health screenings, consultations, adjustments, massages, and other treatments, the actual funnels include landing pages, forms, and call-to-action copy and buttons. Having these assets in place is a crucial part of email marketing, so make sure you set them up correctly and focus on building a solid list as you’re developing email campaigns.
As a final note, verify that your email list is HIPAA-compliant. Besides privacy concerns, email marketing laws are becoming stricter, forcing business owners to reassess their approach. Take the time to ensure you’re not breaking any rules as the consequences can be costly.
Hands down, paid search and social media ads can turbocharge your efforts and generate returns faster than any organic method. Whether it’s paid search that satisfies a potential customer’s needs by serving up relevant results or the power of hyper-targeting on platforms like Facebook, paid ads attract traffic and they attract the right traffic.
Unfortunately, many small business owners tend to shy away from online ad investment because they believe it’s too pricey, they don’t understand how ad platforms work, and they fear the unpredictability of results. Yet, some of the most successful businesses incorporate paid ads into their marketing strategy because they work so well.
Prior to online ads becoming an option, there was a considerable “hit and miss” aspect to advertising.
Sure, you could place a print ad in a newspaper or magazine with a targeted readership, but you couldn’t guarantee everyone reading your ad belonged to your target audience. That’s still true of almost every form of offline advertising today.
Offline targeting simply isn’t as specific as online ads allow. In addition, it’s also more difficult to measure an accurate ROI for offline ads unless you’re using some type of coupon code that links a purchase to a specific promotion. Thankfully, the digital age has changed all that by making it increasingly easy to track the success of online marketing campaigns.
But fast results and easy performance tracking aren’t the only reasons you should integrate paid ads into your chiropractic marketing strategy. Here are a few others:
As you can see, a paid online campaign offers advantages some more traditional methods simply can’t.
So, where should you be buying online ad space?
The most common ads you’re likely to see are Google Ads in search results.
Although Google Ads can be slightly intimidating when you first begin to use the service, they’re a force to be reckoned with when it comes to online advertising. The use of highly targeted keywords makes this platform a good choice for general practice marketing and certain promotions.
However, the ad platform we highly recommend is Facebook.
Without a doubt, Facebook Ads are just as powerful as Google Ads. Besides offering many different forms of advertising that combine both text and display elements, you have the ability to select ad formats based on your campaign objectives. Facebooks also provides multiple ad placement and targeting options.
Whether you want to run general promotions, retargeting campaigns, or ads that contribute to other goals such as list building, Facebook’s ad platform makes the perfect choice.
If you want to truly amplify your efforts and ensure you’re not running random campaigns, we suggest that you read our Facebook Ad series based on Mad Men co-producer Josh Weltman’s book, Seducing Strangers (How to Get People to Buy What You’re Selling):
When your business needs a boost fast, very few tactics can rival a sweet Groupon Deal to drive foot traffic through your practice doors. You might be reluctant because of the monetary hit you’ll take with such a deeply discounted offer, but it’s important to keep the lifetime value of your customers in mind. If just a fraction of those sales turn into repeat patients who enroll into care programs you offer, you’ll be able to make up for it in the long run.
Just take a look at this Groupon offer where a practice in Horner Park, Chicago, has sold more than 2,000 chiropractic and massage packages.
That’s a ton of exposure to potentially new patients in the local area—something they might not have achieved otherwise.
If you want to get started with your own Groupon Deal, simply sign up as a GrouponMerchant.
Before you do, though, figure out what you want to offer and do the math so that you know what the potential costs are if your offer maxes out. Also, make sure you go into it with the view if starting a relationship with consumers rather than making a simple sale.
There has never been a better time to start using video for marketing purposes than right now. Besides the fact that studies show video is the second most lucrative form of content, nearly 50% of Internet users search for video related to a product or service before visiting a local business.
And believe it or not, the benefits of video marketing for a chiropractic office are vast. Here’s just a short list:
Not bad, right?
If you’re ready to take advantage of the current marketing landscape by engaging in video content marketing, follow the instructions in our tutorial on how to get more customers for your local business using video. We not only explain the importance of incorporating video into your marketing strategy, but we also provide a step-by-step guide from video ideation to production. To make planning easy, you’ll find a video creation worksheet you can download for free.
For optimal results, we highly encourage you to record Facebook Live videos, as well. Our definitive guide to creating Facebook Lives videos that grow your authority covers everything you need to know. And when you’re short on ideas, simply download our guide on 30 Days of Fun Facebook Live Ideas for Chiropractors.
See, you’re all set to conquer video!
As you know, first impressions mean everything. However, second impressions can be just as impactful. Don’t rely on your website alone to do the heavy lifting when a cool virtual office tour can be just as effective at establishing the kind of chiropractor you are and the kind of practice you run.
Besides putting prospective patients at ease, sharing the setup of your practice and office space can help viewers get a feel for the comfortable yet professional environment you’ve created for patients. In addition, it creates familiarity and enhances the consumer experience.
Here’s a great example of a virtual office tour from Kalkstein Chiropractic in Baltimore:
Before you pick up your phone or camera to film, decide which patient areas you want to show prospects and then ensure they’re appropriately organized and clean. Some general areas might include your reception, treatment rooms, and any other amenities within your office that are available to patients. You might also consider showing off the front of your building and parking lot so that anyone who doesn’t know where your practice is situated can get their bearings with respect to where they’re going and what the exterior of the building looks like.
One last tip: walk slowly through each space while explaining to viewers what it’s used for and what they can expect to find there. Be sure to include any additional relevant details that might be helpful or interesting.
For small businesses like chiropractic, podcasting is often ignored for a variety of reasons. Often it’s due to a narrow consumer base, the amount of effort required, and time constraints.
But here’s why you shouldn’t write off podcasts as a potential chiropractic marketing tactic for your business just yet:
Although a podcast isn’t going to generate a massive number of new patients, it does contribute to your expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness—which are all reputation factors that Google’s algorithm takes into account when determining where to rank you. In addition, a podcast creates brand awareness and can help you connect with your audience.
Perhaps best of all, you can save time and money by cleverly repurposing the audio content into a variety of other formats like blog posts, social media updates, quote images, and more. With free transcription tools like Otter.ai, you don’t even have to transcribe the audio manually.
To start your own podcast, you’ll need a good hosting provider like Libsyn or SoundCloud, a good microphone, headphones, recording and editing software, an intro, an outro, your podcast’s artwork, your topic, and you. Podcasting king, Pat Flynn, offers a detailed tutorial you can follow to launch the right way and put yourself on the path to success.
Okay, now let’s take a look at some traditional chiropractic marketing routes that are still as highly effective as they were a couple of decades ago.
(Source: Creative Template)
Every chiropractic reception room should have a brochure rack that rocks.
Flyers, pamphlets, and brochures are the foundation for patient education, helping you teach people about the conditions you treat and the services you offer.
In fact, they’re not just a key piece of your internal practice marketing strategy, but they’re also perfect for external use. Besides putting them in your waiting room and new patient packages, they’re great for mailers, tradeshows, screenings at health fairs, and other out-of-office events.
Whether you’re choosing a template or creating these marketing materials from scratch, it’s important to ensure the final design features strong graphics and concise copy. You’ll find there are thousands of freelance designers online who are ready to help. You can also purchase pre-made brochure packages or use free template sites. If you’re a DIYer, Canva is a nifty design tool for non-designers that allows you to create beautiful marketing materials with ease.
With today’s technology-obsessed society, many marketers would have you believe that print advertising is stone cold dead. Six feet under.
If that’s true, then why do the stats say otherwise?
MarketingProfs reports that 92% of 18-23 year olds find it easier to read print over digital content and that the response rate for direct mailers is 37% higher than email. In addition, consumers trust print ads 34% more than search engine ads when making a purchasing decision.
Further studies show that 56% of direct mail is read by recipients, 50% of millennials pay attention to print ads, and 40% of consumers have made a purchase in the last three months as a result of a direct mail piece.
Whether you choose to publish a print ad in your local newspaper, use free standing inserts, or post solo direct mailers to your local audience, the bottom line is that they still work.
Here’s a fantastic example of a print ad Carlson Chiropractic Center published in the Joplin Globe Body and Mind and the J Mag:
(Source: Carlson Chiropractic)
The formula for success is to ensure you have a captivating headline, persuasive copy, an eye-catching image, a call-to-action, and your contact information. If you want to truly skyrocket response rates, include a discount coupon, free massage, or an equally enticing offer that’s redeemable when presenting the ad.
While it might not be every chiropractor’s idea of a fun day, health or spinal screenings are perfect for not only reaching out to new people. They’re also a great teaching tool for educating your local community on what chiropractic really is and how it can help improve health and everyday life.
Many people believe they know what chiropractic is, but the reality is that it’s one of the most diverse professions in the world with more than 150 different techniques. A screening lets you quickly show somebody what’s going on in their particular case (making it personal to them) while taking a few minutes to explain what exactly it is that you do to help correct potential problems. More often than not, this interaction will net you their contact information if not a booked appointment.
Screenings can be held almost anywhere from shopping malls, gyms, and local sports events to trade shows, community get-togethers, and school events. It’s often simply a matter of securing booth space. It might take a few tries to figure out the right setup that works for you, but this tactic can be well worth the effort.
A dynamic duo, massage therapy naturally complements chiropractic care, so it makes sense to either hire or partner with a qualified massage therapist to offer a more comprehensive care program to patients. You can then market message therapy services as a separate division of your practice, as well as integrate massage promotions into your chiropractic marketing like AT Chiropractic Inc. did in the following example:
(Source: AT Chiropractic Inc.)
The secret to success here is to find a massage therapist willing to hone their skills based on the modalities you practice. One of the biggest reasons chiropractors shy away from this effective marketing tactic is because they work with someone who undermines their treatment plans. It’s crucial to view this as a mutually-beneficial relationship and work together to build the practice.
People lead super busy lives, so why not reach them where they’re at while making valuable connections with other local business owners?
A good business massage program allows you to do exactly that.
Essentially, you set up some time with local businesses and then send a massage therapist to conduct 10-15 minute chair massages for employees. During the massage, the therapist will talk to the individual about potential problems they might have and give them an opportunity to come into your chiropractic office for further evaluation. Besides driving warm traffic through your doors, an upside to this tactic is that you’re creating a presence in your local community without needing to be there.
It’s important that your massage therapist is bubbly, personable, and can correctly explain what chiropractic is and how it can help with the person’s specific symptoms and the root cause. Spend some time training the therapist so that you feel comfortable sending the person to represent you and your brand.
Another effective outreach strategy is to host ‘Lunch & Learn’ events at local businesses. A relevant and interesting presentation combined with delicious free food is always a major hit.
These sessions usually last around 30-45 minutes, which gives you ample time to educate employees on a pertinent topic that relates to their health and well-being, as well as spend some time answering questions and networking.
When thinking about potential topics for your own presentation, make sure there’s a good balance between informative and fun. Instead of generic topics, consider talking about specific issues that most people deal with such as weight loss, injury prevention, or ergonomics. You’ll also want to ensure you take some marketing materials you can leave behind.
And of course, the food you bring needs to be tasty. You’re asking people to give up their lunch hour, so soggy sandwiches aren’t going to cut it.
Following along with the presentation and free food line of thinking, ‘Dinner with the Doc’ events are just as popular as ‘Lunch & Learn.’ The only difference is that these events are generally hosted in the evening at a great local restaurant or at your office.
If you’re sweating bullets at the thought of buying dinner, consider the return on your investment if just a few people or families sign up for your chiropractic services or buy a related product at the end of your talk. Plus, limiting seating for ‘Dinner with the Doc’ events works in your favor by creating scarcity and remaining budget-friendly.
Here’s a high-converting ‘Dinner with the Doc’ offer we ran for one of our own clients:
To host an event like this, you’ll simply need an appropriate venue, a set menu, content for your presentation, and presentation equipment if there will be a demonstration or slide deck. Consider forming a partnership with a restaurant to secure a discounted fee or other perks—small local business owners usually like to help other small local business owners.
Ultimately, there are few better ways to network with local community members and build valuable relationships than face-to-face over a good meal and chat. Be sure to promote the offer via appropriate channels, giving yourself enough time to tally a final headcount and make the necessary arrangements.
It might sound a little old school for some business owners, but joining a local chamber and other local organizations and groups is just as relevant today as it was before the internet was birthed. These entities work hard to protect and promote the interests of trade and commerce in your community, typically advocating for and influencing policy decisions that affect your practice. As a result, being part of your local Chamber of Commerce is a smart way to improve your value, visibility, and credibility.
Besides obvious networking opportunities that can help grow your practice, chambers offer a number of exciting benefits as depicted in the following infographic by Business Student:
(Source: Business Student)
However, it’s crucial to do your due diligence and research different Chambers of Commerce as there are numerous specialty and interest-specific chambers that can help you reach your target audience and develop influential connections. You’ll also want to obtain a membership packet so that you’re fully aware of what you’re committing to and what your membership fee includes. More often than not, there’s a good ROI on membership and you might be able to write the costs off as a business expense.
For a 30-second commercial broadcast by local stations, you can expect to pay between $5 and $34 per 1,000 viewers. Now this might not be a feasible option for a struggling chiropractic office, but it can be a great investment if you have the budget and an awesome ad creative.
Most marketers agree that general chiropractic ads don’t tend to generate the best results, but practices that promote specialty offerings like weight loss, neuropathy, and laser therapy services can do incredibly well.
Take note of how they boost credibility and trust around their offering by incorporating a real patient testimonial to eliminate doubt.
While this ad is pretty straightforward, try to think outside of the box and have fun with different concepts. A great concept and compelling script can do wonders for capturing the attention of your target audience.
On a final note, you should keep in mind that in addition to the ad spot expense there are likely going to be costs involved in the production of your ad. This is not something you’ll want to DIY, so look for an agency that specializes in TV commercials and has a good track record.
If you’re looking for local TV stations in your city, visit StationIndex.com.
On average, Americans spend nearly 300 hours in their cars each year while 71% of people consciously look at billboards when driving. Furthermore, 50% of people admit that they’ve been highly engaged by a billboard they’ve seen in the last month and 56% have mentioned a funny or interesting billboard ad in conversation.
Perhaps the most interesting statistic is that when billboard advertising is paired with SEO, it boosts the ads effectiveness by 40%!
As a chiropractor, you might not have thought about billboards as a potential way to promote your practice, but the reality is that they are highly effective. Besides having a captive audience since they appear in a driver’s line of sight, people are interested in relevant information contained within the ad and they love it with the message is creative or humorous.
The Joint Chiropractic did a great job with their ads, positioning an amusing message on one side of the billboard post and an enticing offer on the other.
(Source: Out of Home Creative)
Although billboard costs vary based on factors such as city, the location of the actual board, and the length of time the ad will be up, a well-placed board in a highly trafficked area could run you just a few hundred bucks for the month. Consider searching for media buyers in your local area who specifically deal with billboard portfolios and figure out whether this tactic would be worth it for your practice. Remember, this is an exercise in broadening awareness and not a silver bullet for driving sales.
In your efforts to boost practice growth, it can be easy to lose sight of smaller things that matter, such as the appearance of your practice. And believe it or not, it matters more than you think.
Earlier, we touched on how your website and a virtual office tour can help people form opinions of you and your business. Now imagine those people stepping through your practice doors only to discover you haven’t dusted in two months, the windows haven’t been washed in two years, the front desk looks cluttered, the furniture is poorly positioned, and the indoor plants are dead. No reasonable person would blame them if they decided to hightail it out of there.
While this might not initially seem like a marketing tactic, your office’s appearance is all about creating a culture and environment where patients feel comfortable and safe having their healthcare needs met. Make sure you create a cleaning schedule and pay attention to the finer details so that a poor showing doesn’t negatively reflect on your brand and reputation.
Think snail mail has gone the same way as milk bottles on doorsteps?
According to MarketingProfs, an International Communications Research survey revealed that 73% of consumers prefer snail mail over other forms of advertising. In addition, 40% of consumers try new businesses after receiving direct mail.
Postcards advertising an introductory offer, such as a free consultation or adjustment, are a great way to entice prospective patients into your practice. Check out this example of a chiropractic postcard that includes everything from a captivating headline and social proof to a compelling offer and call-to-action:
Besides a generic offer, you can craft copy to target specific buyer segments, conditions, and everything in between. You can also get creative and send postcards for special occasions like birthdays or practice events. This next example combines the effectiveness of postcard marketing with the power of referral marketing:
Pretty slick, right?
If you choose to implement your own postcard campaign, be sure to search for quality mailing list vendors that allow you to target in-depth demographics, personal interests, lifestyles, and even buying habits. Postcards are relatively inexpensive, but you can improve your response rate with targeted mailing lists.
A radio ad spot might not be as effective at driving immediate results as some of the other marketing tactics mentioned in this guide, but it can certainly broaden awareness of your practice by reaching captive commuters stuck in their cars.
Making radio work for you requires a smart strategy, an engaging creative, and skilled media buying.
What does that mean?
Besides identifying a message that’s going to resonate with your target audience, you need to tap into their listening habits to figure out which local stations they listen to and when they typically listen.
For example, a stay-at-home mom or dad will usually tune in during school runs while a business executive will listen during the morning and late afternoon commute. Then there are those who turn the radio on during sports days on Saturdays or listen to gospel music and religious shows on Sundays.
The script itself must draw and hold attention within the first few seconds. You have a limited amount of time to deliver your message, so it must be short, punchy, and cover key elements such as the offer and call-to-action while stimulating and exciting the audio senses to stir the imagination. Keep in mind that you don’t have beautiful graphics to rely on—just words and music to stir emotions.
Here’s a fun example of a 60-second radio spot by El Paso Doctors of Chiropractic:
Consider hiring a professional voiceover artist and someone who specializes in radio commercial services to help you create a polished production. You’ll find there are hundreds of freelancers who can create quality ads at a fraction of the cost on Fiverr.
Whether online or offline, directory listings can help keep the phone ringing and your appointment book happy. However, the benefits are vastly different between digital and physical versions.
These listings help create NAP citations, which Google’s algorithm evaluates as part of its ranking signals. Besides giving you a boost in SEO juice for better placement in search results, online directory listings increase exposure, drive referral traffic to your site, and give your business legitimacy. You can find more information on NAP citations in our local SEO guide.
For online citation opportunities, check out the following resources:
Not many people pick up a physical phone book anymore, but that doesn’t mean you don’t want to capture the die-hards who just haven’t embraced the digital age. Depending on your location and the population you serve, consider purchasing a listing in the Yellow Pages or in other local business directories.
Either way, directories can put you on the map when consumers are specifically searching for chiropractors in your area.
How do you introduce your chiropractic services to a new audience while generating goodwill within your local community?
Local sponsorships like this one by The Joint in Raleigh:
Potentially one of the most overlooked marketing tactics, sponsorships are ripe with opportunity.
Besides helping you build real local connections, they grow awareness for your brand and establish credibility within your community.
In most cases, your practice’s logo and business information will appear on event sponsorship boards, press releases, signage, print ads, printed publicity materials like programs, tickets, goodie bags, t-shirts and other swag, and newspaper, television, and radio media spots . You might also have an opportunity to speak at the event or set up a booth, tent, or table. If there’s an MC, you’ll likely receive verbal recognition.
However, it’s also important to note that sponsorships can also have a very real online impact. In addition to online ads promoting the event, your sponsorship deal could include a link or logo on a website, a mention in an event email newsletter, guest post opportunities, and social media mentions. This can provide your practice with a nice SEO boost as it creates backlinks.
When looking for sponsorship opportunities, consider local groups, sports teams, schools, health and wellness seminars, expos, fairs, charities, and other events. You might also find there’s an opportunity to sponsor a scholarship. Whatever you do, make certain you select a sponsorship opportunity that fits your brand and puts your name in front of people you can help with your chiropractic services.
Books are a fabulous business tool and marketing vehicle both online and offline.
Besides the fact that a professionally written book improves your visibility, drives awareness for your brand, boosts your credibility, establishes your authority as an expert, provides your target communities with value, and enhances your reputation, a book can generate profits for years. That’s some pretty powerful leverage in the grand scheme of things.
Now before your brain explodes at the prospect of writing and publishing a book, there are some quick and easy hacks you can use to make the process a breeze.
If you’re a chiropractor who is strapped for time or you simply don’t have a writing bone in your body, you can use a service like ours to develop the book’s concept, create an outline, and then produce the content and final materials for publishing. Alternatively, you can record what you want to say, transcribe the audio, and then edit the content into a professional manuscript.
The great thing about publishing books these days is that services like Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing and print-on-demand have completely erased all barriers to entry. With self-publishing, you have the complete freedom and flexibility to bypass the hassle of book agents and publishing houses, instead going straight to distribution.
Remember our chiropractic podcast example earlier? That same chiropractor took this exact route:
In addition, he has written a free guide that has generated hundreds of qualified leads over the last year or so:
While this might be a tactic that takes a little longer to get off the ground, books are low cost, high conversion assets. You can use them as bait for sign ups, loss leaders, revenue-drivers, market research tools, and more. You can even make them interactive. If you’ve never thought about exploiting the power of books and ebooks to build your personal and business brands, now is the time to consider it.
With 82% of consumers reading online reviews for local businesses, people are smarter and more informed about their choices than ever before. The benefit for you as a chiropractor is that positive reviews not only offer powerful social proof, but they also strengthen the perceived value of your services, build credibility and trust, and attract new patients to your practice. Online reviews also boost your search engine rankings.
But it’s not just online reviews you should focus on collecting. Written reviews used in printed marketing collateral and video testimonials playing in your practice or at your events can be just as powerful. Reviews have organically become a vital part of the buying process, which is why developing systems and setting up processes to gather feedback on a regular basis is critical to your success.
Think about it. Would you rather visit a chiropractor with reviews or without them?
Yep, we thought so.
As part of your efforts, make sure you claim and optimize your business profiles on major review sites like Google, Yelp, Foursquare, and Angie’s list. You’ll also want to collect email patient addresses for follow-up and review requests, as well as offer review cards at your front desk.
Keep in mind that the best way to secure a positive review is to provide an optimal patient experience. Therefore, you should make sure your employees are correctly trained in customer care, that it’s super easy to leave a review, and that your business is open to receiving and quickly resolving complaints. Allocate time each week to respond to reviews and thank and reward reviewers.
The reality is that reviews can make or break your bottom line. While many of the marketing tactics in the post are optional, this one is not.
A major part of building relationships with patients and prospects lies in nurturing those connections. A newsletter—whether sent via email or snail mail—offers an ideal opportunity to keep communication channels open. In addition, strategically placed calls to action placed online and on print materials can help you rapidly build your email list.
However, newsletters should primarily focus on providing value and not just sales promotions. Although you can claim some space to spread the word about your latest special, you’ll want to make sure you’re creating interesting content that makes people want to read what you have to say. This content can include healthcare advice, tips, practice updates, new additions to your offerings, staff bios, upcoming event details, and more.
Whether newsletters fit into your chiropractic marketing strategy and they’re a tactic you can maintain over the long term is something you’ll need to decide for yourself. But you’ll be happy to know that many email marketing service providers now offer beautiful newsletter templates to make the process easy. For snail mail versions, simply use free design tools like Canva to create a template you can reuse each month.
Many chiropractors fail to implement a referral system that allows them to generate new patients from existing patients.
If this is you, it’s time for some truth bombs:
If these numbers don’t drive home the fact that your practice NEEDS a referral program then we don’t know what will. Also, keep in mind that referral traffic is already more qualified than traffic coming though colder avenues.
So, how do you develop a referral program?
It can be as simple as choosing an incentive to encourage referrals and then promoting the opportunity through channels like your website, social media, email list, and newsletter. You can also leave referral cards at your front desk so that patients can pick some up when they pay.
Check out this great example from Sound Chiropractic:
As you can see, there’s almost nothing to it.
You should also take note that they’re specifically running a referral promo for a particular month. It’s up to you whether you want to run specific promotions at set times or maintain an ongoing program. The only thing you might want to do is establish clear terms and conditions for rewards so that you don’t land in hot water.
Ultimately, a referral program might be just what your practice needs to generate new patients and get you through lean times.
As we mentioned earlier, small local business owners understand the struggle and generally like helping each other succeed. Partnering with these entrepreneurs to cross-promote services can be a great solution to boost referral traffic for both entities.
However, to ensure this strategy is effective, it’s important that the businesses you partner with have the same or a similar target audience to your practice. You wouldn’t partner with a local ice-cream shop, but you might partner with local gyms, yoga studios, personal trainers, swim centers, massage therapists, spas, and so on.
Another thing to consider is what a partner could offer your patients and what you could offer their clients. What’s the value proposition for your patients? Think about developing specific packages and offerings that make sense for that particular audience.
It might take some time to foster these mutually-beneficial relationships, but you’ll be pleased you put in the effort when you start to see results. If you’re not sure who to partner with, ask your local Chamber of Commerce for referrals.
Contests and giveaways are ideal for generating email opt-ins while simultaneously generating exposure, increasing brand awareness, and boosting engagement. Thanks to their undeniable popularity, they also have a greater chance of going viral than many other types of offers. In turn, lead costs tend to be drastically low.
You simply need to consider what would make sense for you to give away. Prizes could include specific treatments, vouchers, products or supplements you offer, or anything related to your services. Whatever it is, it must be relevant and enticing enough for your target audience to act.
Here’s an awesome example from Vibrant Life Chiropractic where email entries where required for eligibility:
(Source: Vibrant Life Chiropractic)
While this specific promotion was run online, you can also put entry cards at your front desk, pin posters to local notice boards, or use any of the other promotional methods we’ve outlined in this guide for your own giveaway.
If you’re running an online promo, you don’t have to focus on collecting email sign ups alone. You can also require social media account follows, likes, photos, comments, reposts, or tagging to lift awareness and help spread the word. To make things fair for participants, consider using online giveaway software such as Rafflecopter or KingSumo.
Lastly, and as a word of warning, ensure you understand competition laws within your region before setting up a contest or giveaway. You’ll also want to make sure your marketing collateral includes crucial information such as how to enter, start and end dates, what the prize is, contest rules, and when and how you’ll announce the winner.
Fun events like patient appreciation days can attract new prospects, but it’s important to remember that chiropractic marketing isn’t just about acquiring new clients. It’s also about delighting existing patients so that they not only remain patrons of your practice, but become engaged promoters too.
In fact, studies reveal that acquiring a new customer costs up to 5X more than retaining a current one and building long-term relationships with new patients can cost around 16X more than cultivating loyalty with your existing patient base.
Keeping patients happy is essential to good retention rates and word-of-mouth marketing. And there are few better ways to foster good feelings towards your practice (whether someone is a patient or not) than to show local community members how much you appreciate them.
Fortunately, patient appreciation days are relatively inexpensive and super easy to organize. You simply need some scrumptious food, free adjustments or massages, and a couple of prizes for giveaways. If you’re feeling a little adventurous, spice things up by throwing themed parties, hosting barbecues, or renting fun venues. Really, your appreciation events are only limited by your budget and imagination.
Check out this great invite by Zeigler Chiropractic:
(Source: Zeigler Chiropractic)
Be sure to promote your event via your website, blog, email, and social media platforms, as well as through flier handouts and posters. If you’re planning to host something a little more elaborate and need a rough headcount, incorporate an RSVP request into your invite copy.
Now that we’ve armed you with an extensive list of chiropractic marketing tactics and strategies guaranteed to help you get ahead of the competition, it’s time to give you the secret sauce for ensuring your efforts reap delicious rewards.
Perhaps one of the biggest mistakes business owners make—and the #1 reason so many fail—is that they choose an idea that sounds good and they run with it.
Although it’s possible to achieve a modicum of success, the problem with this approach is that developing a successful chiropractic marketing strategy starts way before any tactics come into play.
First, it’s imperative to:
Without these crucial ingredients, the tactics and strategies we’ve covered in this guide mean nothing. Sure, you can create content and offers that get a few nibbles, but it’s nothing compared to what you’ll gain when you’re sending the right message to the right people at the right time.
Let’s explore these concepts further.
Arguably the most important element of your overall marketing message, a value proposition is a clear statement of tangible results a buyer derives from using your products and services.
It’s a promise of value to be delivered and it answers the following questions:
Your value proposition guides every marketing message from the copy on your website to the ads you run on social media.
In this example, we wrote website header copy based on the value proposition statement we created for a group of chiropractors who specialize in treating scoliosis patients conservatively.
Since there was a clinical study conducted on the effectiveness of their treatment modalities, we were able to incorporate that proof element into the copy.
Now it’s not easy defining your value proposition when you’re struggling to identify what’s unique about you, your business, or your product and service offerings. For most chiropractors, the techniques are similar and the desired outcomes are the same.
To overcome this problem, try to focus on your distinctive competencies. These can be based on technology you use in your practice, your position in the local market place, your range of products and services, the prices of your offerings, your unique protocols, your philosophies, your people, your target audience, specific problems you treat, customer satisfaction, or anything else that differentiates you from others. Remember, you’re working on a local level, so even if you’re not unique on a grand scale, you are unique to your community.
If you need help crafting your value proposition statement, Tor Gronsund offers seven proven templates for writing value propositions that work.
Okay, let’s move on to the next key ingredient for making a campaign successful.
Everyone believes they know their customers, but how true is that?
Successful marketing deeply depends on effective communication. Speaking to the wrong person is guaranteed to get you nowhere fast, which is why it’s essential to create buyer personas representative of your ideal patients. After all, the needs of a new mother with a colicky baby are very different from a construction worker with back pain or someone who needs pain relief from a car accident injury.
Basically, a buyer persona (a.k.a. customer avatar) is an archetypical representation of a real person who might be interested in what your practice has to offer. This individual has a specific set of traits and follows a decision-making process influenced by a multitude of factors and biases.
Here are just some of the data points a buyer persona can include:
Understanding your patients in terms of their problems, goals, limitations, desires, values, beliefs, and capabilities not only ensures you create the right offer and pitch for the right person, but it also shapes your ad copy by helping you identify the right language, tone, voice, and style for motivating action. You’ll be equipped to create hyper-targeted ads for each of your patient segments so that you’re not wasting precious marketing dollars delivering ads to people who aren’t interested in your offering.
With that said, it’s time to look at how the marketing tactics presented throughout this post fit into your buyer’s journey.
Generally divided into three stages, your buyer’s journey is a research and decision process that looks like this:
During the awareness phase, potential patients are coming to the realization that they have a problem or need. They’re open to solutions and have started researching the pain in order to understand it and better define it. They’re often using search terms related to symptoms, such as ‘how to get rid of lower back pain’ or ‘headache causes.’ In the offline world, ads and materials related to their problems capture their attention.
At this stage, you should be producing and promoting valuable educational content focused on your prospect’s pain, as well as ads that generate awareness about the issue.
Now consider which marketing channels and tactics you might use.
A virtual office tour or patient testimonial make zero sense here because people don’t know you, your business, or what you do.
Instead you’ll use channels that help you meet them at this initial level of awareness. Therefore, you’ll have your website, GMB listing, and social media profiles set up so that people can find you. You’ll be implementing local SEO using pain and solution-focused search terms. You’ll be publishing written, visual, video, and audio content via your blog, podcast, social media channels, and guest blogs. You’ll be buying Google Ads and Facebook Ads.
Offline, you might be leveraging billboard ads, TV ads, pamphlets, sponsorships, or any one of the other methods that will draw attention to your practice while helping people understand their problem the potential solution.
Starting to see how this works?
Let’s carry on.
We’re at the point now when prospective patients have clearly defined their need and are weighing up their options. Although they might know about your practice, they’re not quite ready to take the leap. They’re evaluating potential opportunities, comparing prices, and figuring out which solution is going to best meet their needs. This is the point where comparison content, free consultations, live interactions, massages, and that virtual office tour come into play.
Now many of these ideas can be promoted through a number of the channels already mentioned in the awareness phase. It’s simply the offer and messaging that’s changing.
Instead of offering up a blog post on “10 reasons your neck is stiff and what to do about it,” you’ll make use of appropriate online, offline, and hybrid channels to promote a free 15-minute in-office massage. You’ll record a video outlining why chiropractic is better for treating neck pain over painkillers. You’ll be sending out an automated email series to subscribers who signed up during the awareness phase that explains what you do, describes the benefits, and answers any common questions they tend to have during the consideration phase. You’ll show prospects why your practice is better than your competitors.
And then you’ll close the deal during the decision phase.
At this stage, prospects have decided that chiropractic is the right approach for them. They’re simply gathering information to reinforce their decision and looking for opportunities to act.
Your role in this phase of the buying process is to tug them over the line. Reviews, testimonials, brand-specific content, and special new patient deals work like magic for doing just that.
As you can see, different marketing tactics and strategies work at different stages of the buying journey. While some are relevant for all phases, others are only applicable for one or two.
A pretty simple rule of thumb is to ask these two questions:
Don’t forget that each time you create an offer, develop a message, and select a channel, you need to consider your buyer persona.
It might still be a lot to navigate, but we hope you’ve grabbed our life preserver.
Don’t let go!
Be sure to take things slow and test each tactic as you work through them. No single marketing technique will solve all of your problems, so weed out the ones that don’t yield results and hang on to the ones that do. It might take some time to get where you want to be in your practice, but use this guide as a starting point and you’ll put yourself on the right path. If you need additional help, book a free 15-miute consultation to find out how our team can assist you.