I imagine that most recommendations for physical therapist comes from a Dr. I had an injury on my shoulder and he gave me a suggested PT to go to for help. That would be one place to go offline to see how you get to be a qualified supplier to an orthopedists. One creative approach to this might be to start a podcast where you interview orthopedists about the role of PT. That way, you get to meet them in person and build a connection with them. The podcast could build your personal brand nationally but the real objective is getting to meet orthopedists. It can be done by phone to make it easy for them but at least you get to connect with them directly.
For more ideas, give me a call through Clarity.
I'm sure the inbound marketing purists might gnash their teeth at what I'm about to say, but 20+ years in the marketing field has proven to me that an integrated approach works best.
Frankly, the vast majority of physical therapy referrals come from physicians or other allied to the medical field. Others may be referred by insurance companies.
In this instance, having a strong content-driven presence online is a must-have, including a blog that talks about what you do, but offline is crucial. I'm not talking about advertising as such, although a little bit of targeted promotion would not hurt.
Networking with those who provide referrals and growing relationships with them are arguably the best methods to grow a practice. There is not much point in spending a lot of marketing resources on potentially attracting eyeballs from areas beyond your local market. Of course, that will need to be tweaked if you are in a small city or huge metropolis. However, few people will want to travel more than a few miles for physical therapy. In this case, all marketing is definitely local.
I just looked up "physical therapy" online and saw – what I expected to see – 1 local practice paying per click to rank above the others.
That (AdWords in the case of Google) can be an effective component in a broader marketing strategy. Unfortunately for the business I happened to see, they were wasting some of their money.
If you've good budget, then I'd like to recommend you go after 2 options as part of your major strategy:
#1 - Use Pay Per Click program from Google
#2 - Use Local Citations, since if you search for few search terms, then websites like yellow pages, Google maps and other similar are turned up. ***I can guide you in 5-10 minutes, with a full fledged plan on how you can achieve this YOURSELF.***
#3 - Doing organic optimization, that's a long term solution.
Just throwing it out there that I own www.simplyappointments.com
My question to you is how large is your city? Sometimes people try and promote too large when customers will no do the travelling to get to you.
Google/Facebook allow you to specify your target market, age, location, and much more.
Word of mouth in your business I think is king though. Make sure your current customers are super happy and let them know you want more customers.
And yes, being able to book appointments online is pretty damn important. for me anyways.
Hope this helps you some.
I agree with most of what the above experts have mentioned. I would add something somewhat contrarian - instead of looking to compete - look to see where you can create a monopoly. e.g. in areas that you have specialized skills or processes that are hand to duplicate. Then brand and message to doctors and create content appropriately. Also look to network at a higher level: creating joint ventures to exploit the specialized skills.