Expected to grow 10 percent between 2016 and 2026, chiropractic is becoming far more popular among athletes, injured people, and other patient populations. The American Chiropractic Association also estimates there will be 80,000 chiropractors in the US by 2020, with colleges graduating roughly 3,000 new clinicians each year.
This growth is great news for the profession, but it does mean stiffer competition for practice owners. Fortunately, the number of chiropractic patients is also growing, and there are plenty of cost-effective ways for you to capture their business and generate referrals. Following are the top 8 trends to follow for 2018.
1. Start with Your Website
Whether the brunt of your business comes from referrals, walk-ins, or solicitations, a quality website should be one of your top marketing priorities. If you don’t have one yet, now’s the time to build!
You can set up a simple starter site without too much upfront cost
or technical know-how, or you can hire a web developer to take the task off your plate. There are even companies dedicated to building websites specifically for chiropractors and other health professionals.
And, even if your website is already up and running, a spruce-up may be in order. You’ll need regular updates and rich content to stay Google-relevant, and if your pages haven’t been changed in the last couple of years, you might not be appearing in local searches.
2. Interact with Online Reviewers
From restaurants to retailers, every business is up for review online – including healthcare practices. Great word of mouth is also critical for chiropractors, particularly when most of their business is cash-based. Regularly check Yelp, Healthgrades and other popular review sites, and engage with positive and negative reviewers alike. Your participation can only help, and if you do find a negative review, a prompt response can regain the patient’s trust.
3. Social Media Marketing
Social media has become ubiquitous, and there’s no avoiding it if you’re marketing to a consumer audience. The average consumer spends 35 minutes per day on Facebook alone, and it’s a great place to start. Set up a business page with messaging that’s consistent with your website, and make sure your location, hours, and available services are on display.
Just as importantly, post often, and prioritize informative content over self-promotion. A lively page full of patient interaction is a great draw for new business, while a ghost town of a page will turn people away.
4. Consistent Blogging
In addition to helpful Facebook posts, it pays to post informative content on your own website’s blog. What types of pain have patients been complaining about the most? What health trends have you seen in the media, and what should your patients know about them? What are some ways for people to stay healthier in between visits? Answering these kinds of questions on your blog will help to establish you as a trusted expert who cares about your patients.
5. Leveraging Testimonials
Don’t rely on review sites for positive press! Use your website and social media accounts to post case studies and testimonials from happy patients. Include complex and simple cases alike to appeal to a range of prospects, many of whom may have encountered the same issues.
6. Email Marketing
Even in the age of mobile apps, pop-up notifications, and Facebook ads, “old-fashioned” email marketing can still work wonders. That said, there are right and wrong ways to go about it. The average office worker receives well over 100 emails per day, and if a prospect isn’t expecting yours, it’s probably going to go unread.
To make the most of your efforts, only email to patients and prospects who’ve signed up for your list, and display the sign-up form throughout your website. That way, you’ll only be emailing people who’ve taken interest in your articles, testimonials, or reviews.
7. New Patient Programs
Even if you’ve established a great clientele who come to you for every ache and pain, new business is always a must. To keep a steady stream of fresh faces coming through your door, set up a promotional program for new patients. Offer a discounted initial consult, one-time free adjustment, or even a free chair massage (if you work with a massage therapist).
8. Segment Your Audience
Whether you’re a generalist or specialist, your marketing efforts will be more targeted and efficient if you segment your audience. Athletes, elderly patients, accident victims and more – they all have different needs. An injured athlete wants to get back to play as fast as possible, for instance, while a chronic back pain patient wants to enjoy activities of daily living. Tailor your marketing, special offers, and follow-up messaging accordingly!