Chiropractic Economics’ 22nd Annual Salary & Expense Survey reveals that doctors of chiropractic (DCs) spend, on average, $7,075.78 per year on advertising. If part of a chiropractic group, this amount rises to approximately $22,554.12 annually.
How do you put these dollars to use wisely? More specifically, how do you market your chiropractic practice in a way that increases sales, yet looks like it was professionally done? Here are 10 factors to consider.
Branding refers to the image your practice portrays to the rest of the world. It also references the way others feel when they see something that represents your business. The question is: do you want your brand to make others feel happy, healthy, energetic, or something else?
Keep this in mind when developing your marketing materials so each one creates this type of effect. The colors you use can help incite these feelings.
The most common hue in healthcare is blue, followed by green and white. If you choose to combine colors, use no more than three so your materials look clean and crisp. Use warm tones to make your practice feel cozier, or more welcoming to your patients.
One of the most effective ways to improve the recognition of your brand is to create a memorable logo. A logo that, the moment someone sees it, they instantly know it’s yours. Ideally, this logo should contain the word “chiropractor” or “chiropractic” to identify the services you provide.
Additionally, your logo’s design should be simple and easy to decipher. Make it gender neutral so it appeals to all demographics. If it contains a slogan, keep that slogan short. Aim for five words or less so it can be read quickly and doesn’t require a lot of brainpower.
When it comes to any text, research reveals that Sans Serif is the best font because it is “easiest to read at a glance.” And if you want fun to play around with using a few different fonts, that’s fine. Just limit it to three for the greatest effect.
A 2019 BrightLocal survey found that 90 percent of consumers look online when they want to find a local business. This makes your website incredibly important because it will likely be your opportunity to make a good first impression.
When creating your site, use your brand’s colors and fonts while aiming to keep it simple. With text, less is more. Instead, use big images to help your site’s visitors “see” what your practice is about. It’s also important that prospective patients can easily navigate from one page to the next. If your site is too complicated to get around, you’re more likely to lose your prospect.
A good website is informative. For instance, new prospects likely want to know what your office looks like, so give them a virtual tour. Place your contact information in several places throughout the site so visitors know exactly how to get in touch with you. Talk about what makes you different than other DCs in the area, sharing your unique selling proposition in a way that makes them want to choose you as their chiropractic provider.
Being informative includes offering visitors a variety of free tips for improving their health. Talk about how to lower their back pain, improve their posture, and more. This helps establish your expertise as a healthcare professional. It also shows that you care about your visitor’s health and wellness enough to provide free advice.
To improve your site’s rank in search engine results, optimize it for Google. For example, use local search engine optimization (SEO) terms such as “Seattle Washington Chiropractor” so Google can better connect you with those in your area who are actively searching for your services.
Another way to optimize your site for Google is to make sure your page loads quickly. The slower your website is to fully display on the screen, the less this search engine will like it. It’s also helpful to choose a short, descriptive domain for your site. For example, seattlechiropractor.com is better than johnsmiththebestchiropractorinseattle.com.
Don’t forget to use meta tags as well. These are short pieces of text that say what is on your page, but instead of being placed on the page itself, they are placed in the page’s code. These improve your rank because they tell Google the type of services you provide.
A third consideration when marketing your chiropractic practice is the sign you place out front. For people driving by, this may be the first interaction they have with your business, so you want one that will portray your professionalism while providing insight into the services you offer.
To keep your signage professional, avoid the use of cheap-looking products. The Sign Bros. indicates that the best sign materials include:
• Acrylic – versatile and durable
• Aluminum – galvanized aluminum is resistant to corrosion, whereas brushed aluminum offers a more dimensional look
• Aluminum composite – also called polymetal; like acrylic, it is versatile and durable
With regard to the size of your sign, Signazon indicates that each inch of letter height offers 10 feet of good readability. So, if you want your sign readable from 100 feet away, for instance, the text must be at least 10 inches tall.
What do you put on the sign? First and foremost, your name and logo. The word “chiropractor” or “chiropractic” should appear as well, especially if it’s not already in your logo. Again, stick to the colors and fonts you’ve chosen to improve brand awareness.
4. Digital Marketing
Globally, companies are expected to spend around $605 billion on digital marketing in 2020. With so many online marketing options available, how do you get the biggest bang for your buck?
Facebook is definitely the winner among social media sites since it has 2.45 billion active users per month. The next most popular is Twitter, with a much smaller user base at 330 million.
One advantage of using Facebook Ads is that this platform allows you to target a specific audience. In chiropractic, reaching out to physically active people offers the best response. Keep your message simple so it’s easy to understand, and keep it general so it has wider appeal. Also, change your ad every six months to keep your audience from subconsciously tuning it out.
Google Ads are another effective option for drawing more traffic to your website. A benefit of this option is you only pay if your ad inspires the searcher to take a specific action, such as clicking your website’s link or clicking to call your business. Link these ads to your homepage and target people within 25 miles for the greatest effect.
If you want a marketing tool that keeps your current patients coming back, email delivers. Email is also a great way to reach out to patients you’ve seen in the past but, for whatever reason, have failed to keep up with their treatment plan.
The one thing to remember with email marketing is that it absolutely must comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). This involves staying away from using private or sensitive patient information in your messages.
If you do want to send this type of data via email, Paubox offers a HIPAA compliant solution. Either way, obtain your patient’s permission—in writing—before sending messages to their inboxes. The last thing you want is your communication to be marked as spam.
An effective use of email is to send regular newsletters. These can be used to share helpful tips, provide inspirational patient success stories, and more. Use “To Your Health” newsletter, by MPA media, as an excellent way to prompt clients to connect your practice with greater levels of health and wellness.
Update your list every 3-6 months so newer patients don’t get left out. Checking your list every so often also enables you to remove patients who may have left the area or who have requested no electronic correspondence.
Though some business professionals believe that snail mail is dead, the Tampa Bay-based print and marketing company ABCOtoGO says that the opposite is true. Sending advertisements through the mail does still work…as long as it’s done correctly.
ABCOtoGO goes on to explain that 40 percent of your success with regular mail is dependent on your mailing list. Another 40 percent is determined by the appeal of your offer. The final 20 percent is based on factors such as copy and design.
Postcards are a good mail option because they’re cheaper to print and mail. When taking this route, using glossy cardstock creates a brighter, crisper, more luxurious finish while offering a wider range of colors according to the Papermill Store.
To cut costs more, don’t send these cards to every residence in your area. Instead, target areas with certain levels of income or people with a specific condition. Patient-specific mailings can also be used to upsell new products or services. Either way, don’t forget to stick to your brand’s colors and fonts.
Purchasing radio time is an additional way to expand your practice’s reach. The key is to create an ad that increases brand awareness but also inspires the listeners to want to take action by visiting your website or calling for an appointment. What does this type of ad consist of?
In a 30-Second radio ad, your business’s name should be repeated at least three times. Also, explain what makes your practice different than others in your area. Include a free offer as a way to reward the listener for taking action. If you’re not comfortable using your voice, ask a local celebrity to deliver the pitch instead.
The best radio station to target is one that is central to a 50-mile radius of your practice. To get the most reach possible, purchase a rush hour time slot. And even if you enjoy listening to hard rock, hip-hop, or alternative rock stations, these aren’t necessarily the best choices for marketing your practice.
8. Newspaper and Magazines
Many publications are going digital, at least in part. That said, there is still a large segment of the population that like to physically hold a newspaper or magazine in their hands. How do you appeal to them?
Purchase a full-color print ad that, again, utilizes your brand’s colors and fonts. Some publications sell ads that are as small as an inch. Stay away from these by choosing an ad that is ¼-page or bigger.
The message in your print ad is important too. Think about the reader when creating its content, such as by appealing to someone with a specific condition. An effective print ad must also contain a strong call to action, encouraging the reader to make contact with your office. If you have a free offer, this is a good place to share it as well.
Good publications for print marketing are those that are most popular in your area. Also, consider purchasing ads in newspapers and magazines that typically contain other health service ads. These likely have a reader base already interested in this topic.
9. Health Fairs
Does your community hold an annual health fair? If so, this a great place to highlight your practice’s presence and increase brand awareness. Plus, health fairs are jam-packed with your target audience, so it’s like fishing in a barrel.
In addition to providing informational brochures about your practice, increase the likelihood that attendees will schedule an appointment by showing them specifically how you can help. This involves taking diagnostic tools such as the WonderTrack Posture Assessment to highlight their individual problem areas. This opens the door to talk about how these issues may be impacting their health, and why you are the one with the solution. Spinal models are helpful in these instances as well.
If possible, have at least two people at the fair to represent your practice. This allows you to connect with a higher number of visitors interested in your display. It also looks less awkward than standing by yourself, and when people see the two of you having fun together, it becomes a dynamic they want to become a part of.
10. Health Talks
You can be the best chiropractor in the world, but if your community doesn’t understand the value you offer, they’re not going to walk through your doors. This requires educating them about the benefits of chiropractic and the various ways it can improve quality of life. Health talks help achieve this goal.
When preparing for a talk, think about the patients who would benefit from that topic most. Reach out to them and share how attending the talk could change their lives. Develop a sign-up sheet and, prior to the talk, send out a quick reminder. Encourage them to bring a guest. Though it’s helpful to keep the audience small (10 people or less) so you’re able to interact with each attendee in a more personal way.
For the event itself, aim for 15 minutes or less. People don’t have a lot of free time, so holding a 4-hour health talk doesn’t have a lot of appeal. Change up the topics each to gain interest from a wider audience.
Changing venues helps too as people may be more inclined to attend if the talk requires less travel or is in a venue that offers some additional incentive. An example of the latter is holding your talk in a local gym, making it more convenient for people to attend and then work out after.