Digital advertising plays an important role in hyperlocal marketing for physical therapists. Where local SEO strategy focuses on building your long-term online presence, digital advertising is one of the most effective ways to get your physical therapy practice in front of prospective patients immediately.
In this article, we’re going to go over six ways to improve digital advertising strategies for physical therapists to help you to maximize your digital advertising ROI.
The Benefits of Digital Advertising for Physical Therapists
Digital ads — also known as pay-per-click (PPC) advertising — appear across websites and apps like Google, Facebook, YouTube, and more. It can be a great way for professional service providers like physical therapists to attract new leads, generate brand awareness, and promote specific services/products.
With digital advertising you can:
- Generate more leads: There are lead-gen ad formats specifically designed to help increase the number of new patients who contact your physical therapist office.
- Target your ideal audience: Digital advertising platforms allow you to harness the power of Big Data to target people in your area who are interested in your services.
- Increase brand awareness: Digital advertising can be used throughout the customer journey to help people recognize your practice, have positive brand associations, and understand the variety of services you provide.
- Control your budget: You can decide how much you bid for specific keywords, automatically pause campaigns if they reach a certain spend threshold, or set rules to increase ad spend during peak search hours to reach more potential patients.
- Easily track performance and run tests: Unlike traditional advertising, you can access detailed analytic information about your digital ad campaigns to track what is (and isn’t) working. Furthermore, you have the ability to test and optimize campaigns to further increase your digital advertising ROI.
Digital Advertising Channels & Platforms for Physical Therapists
The digital advertising field is constantly evolving, however, there are three forms of digital ads that have a proven track record for helping physical therapists reach their marketing goals.
Search advertising is a great channel for lead generation since you show relevant ads to people with strong purchase intent. You can think of it as the advertising equivalent of spearfishing. Rather than casting a wide net and filtering out sales-qualified leads, you hone in on your ideal patients right at the moment when they are searching for physical therapist services.
Social advertising is particularly suited for helping businesses nurture relationships with people interested in physical therapy, but aren’t quite ready to schedule an appointment.
Where search advertising is keyword-based, social advertising is interest-based. Namely, the social media platforms use algorithms to determine when a person might be interested in your ads based on their previous behavior (the types of content they consume, interests/hobbies, etc.). Remember, today’s interactions could be tomorrow’s patients.
Display advertising is the closest to traditional mass advertising, where you broadcast your message to a wide audience. As such, display advertising is most often used for branding and general awareness-building. However, it still offers much greater audience targeting capabilities than a billboard, TV commercial, or radio spot. For example, you can target your display ads to run on specific sites or apps that you know are popular with your audience.
Display advertising can also be used for remarketing campaigns (which target viewers who have visited your website) to stay top of mind with prospective patients.
Google and Facebook both have extensive ad networks for display advertising.
Digital Advertising Strategies for Physical Therapists
Here are six important tips to building successful digital advertising strategies for physical therapists to maximize ROI.
1. Plan Your Paid Advertising Campaigns
The first step of creating a successful digital advertising strategy is to establish a solid foundation by:
- Understanding your business goals, the ultimate result that you want to achieve with your advertising campaign — such as generating leads, driving office visits, increasing brand awareness, or re-engaging previous patients.
- Setting SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely) campaign objectives that support said goals. For example, “I will drive X many new leads in the next X months from X campaign with a budget of X dollars”.
- Deciding which key performance indicators (KPIs) you will use to determine if your campaign has met those objectives. It is important that you pick KPIs that reflect your goals. For example, metrics like “views” or “likes” are a poor fit for lead generation campaigns but can be useful for brand awareness campaigns.
If you don’t have a strong foundation for your digital advertising efforts, you will end up wasting time and money on ads that don’t provide a good return for your physical therapy practice.
2. Understand and Target Your Ideal Audience
Another key step is to create an ideal patient profile of who you are trying to reach with your campaigns. This entails really understanding who your ideal audience is so that you can leverage this knowledge to fine-tune your targeting. You need to go beyond the fact that they need a physical therapist. Rather, you need to research their basic demographic information, needs, motivations, responsibilities, interests, goals, and technological preferences. Creating an ideal patient profile will be an invaluable resource to help you set the right targeting parameters (such as keywords, location, search times, devices, etc.) to ensure your ads show up at exactly the right place and time to catch a potential patient’s attention.
3. Create Effective Messaging for Ads and Landing Pages
Your ad can show up at exactly the right time, for your ideal patient — but it doesn’t have the right message, nothing is going to happen. Effective ad copy centers on how you can help fulfill your patient’s needs or solve their problem. Beyond catching people’s attention, it also establishes a clear path that prospects can follow to continue on their buyer’s journey. Realize that messaging is also more than just ad copy. Consider how the language, visuals, and layout you use for your ads and landing pages all work together to represent your brand and what you offer to prospective patients.
4. Understand and Leverage Tracking and Reporting
You could set up the best campaign in the world, but if you don’t have tracking and reporting in place, you are not going to know if the campaign is successfully meeting its objectives (or how you can further improve your return on investment). A major benefit of digital advertising is that it gives you the ability to track campaign performance throughout the entire customer journey — not just the final conversion. Take advantage of this feature. By understanding the various micro-conversions that people have on their way to becoming patients, you can make your entire customer journey more effective.
5. Optimize Performance Based on Results and Insights
Don’t make the mistake of setting and forgetting your campaigns! If you don’t monitor and optimize them after launch you’re going to end up wasting money and losing potential patients. Once you have tracking and reporting set you, you can really start to optimize your campaign using real-world performance data. By running A/B tests to try out different keywords, targeting parameters, ad copy, etc., you can fine-tune your campaigns to maximize your digital advertising ROI.
6. Expand Your Reach and Channels to Scale
Start with search ads on both Google and Microsoft Ads to capture high-intent leads — the people who are searching for physical therapist services right now. Then expand to running ads on Facebook, and other social media networks, for leads, audience building, and awareness. Once you’re getting steady results from search and social, layer in display ads to increase brand awareness and remarketing as your audience grows. After your search, social, and display campaigns are well-established, consider experimenting with video ads (or other emerging formats) to increase awareness and aid in lead generation. By coordinating ad campaigns across search, social, display, and video, you can dominate your local market across the entire customer journey.
Take Charge of Your Digital Advertising with Surefire Local!
Digital advertising requires a certain amount of knowledge, skill, and time to manage properly. However, do not let this intimidate you! Surefire Local is here to help.
Our mission is to help make online marketing easier for small, local businesses. With the Surefire Local Marketing Platform™, you can effectively manage your digital advertising campaigns from a single place. Our expert marketers are also always available to help guide you through building custom digital advertising strategies for your physical therapy practice.
Book a demo today to learn how we can help you grow your business profitably!