Before the internet, word of mouth was enough for most private medical practitioners to keep their business going. Referrals were and still are a powerful tool for building your profile and attracting new clients.
But times are changing, and competition is increasing.
With a model that relies on repeat business, the real challenge for physiotherapists is to get new clients through the door on their own accord, and that’s exactly where a lot of private practitioners struggle. After all, they’re medical pros, not marketers.
In private practice, your reputation is everything
The truth is, most prospective clients have already made up their minds about you by the time they walk into your office.
Maybe they heard about you from a friend, or maybe they saw your website or Facebook page after a quick online search.
This is a powerful insight: it means they’ve already formed an opinion about you based on what they’ve heard or, more likely, seen online.
Therefore, the key to winning over new clients is making your online image as clear, focused and compelling as you can. It has to be a true reflection of your business, your expertise, and the value you bring to the table.
This means creating content that educates and provides value to your target market. It’s your chance to establish your authority in your field, and show them why you are the best choice for their needs.
And there’s also a hidden benefit: by establishing your expertise in a specific area, it gives you the ability to charge above market rates for your services. Consuming your content allows a prospective client to SEE that you have the knowledge and ability to solve their specific problems.
The more targeted your content is, the better
It’s time to leverage your specialisation, your skills and your experience, to show clients exactly how you can help them with their problems, all before they’ve set foot in your office.
That’s where the content you publish online comes in.
The key to effective content marketing comes from narrowing your expertise to a specific area or need.
Let’s say, for example, a large segment of your clients are footballers. How many private practitioners cater specifically to football-related injuries or issues?
By presenting yourself as an expert in this area, you’ve just caught the attention of every footballer, coach or parent who is involved in the sport.
And by sharing real, practical and useful advice with no strings attached, you’ve not only demonstrated your expertise, but you’ve also shown that you are credible, trustworthy, and above all, that you genuinely care about your clients.
That goes a long way in building relationships and increases your chances of turning potential clients into paying customers.
Now, let’s get into some precise strategies you can use to make this work.
5 Content Marketing Strategies For Australian Physiotherapists
1. Get the Timing Right
Timing is everything, so keep competition starting dates and large events in mind when you are publishing content. For example, the Melbourne Marathon Festival is typically held in October. With this in mind, you could begin publishing marathon-related content in August, offering advice on how to prepare to run in the event.
Similarly, football and netball seasons kick off in early April, so you could target this time of year for publishing content aimed at footballers and netballers. Players and coaches are likely keeping an eye out for content that will give them an edge, so offering tips on how to avoid and prevent injuries will be well received.
Articles on things like stretching techniques for increasing flexibility, the benefits of sauna for recovery and endurance, and preseason recovery programs will also experience high engagement.
2. Target Specific Sports
Whether it’s the beginning of winter or the beginning of summer, creating content that is specific to a particular sport is another great strategy for reaching potential clients. You can create multiple pieces of content with a one-sport focus, such as ‘The Best Boots For Soccer Players’, ‘How Netballers Can Prevent Injury on Rain Affected Surfaces’, or ‘5 Ways Cricketers Can Stay Hydrated in the Field.”
Publishing content that is sport-specific will allow you to advertise to a narrowly focused group, increasing your chances of engagement and building authority across different sporting codes.
3. Target Specific Weather Conditions & Seasons
Another way you can narrow your focus is by combining a segment of your client base with the current season. For example, providing winter-specific advice for runners offers a relevant topic to a subset of your customer base. This will allow you to create a ‘niche’ focused piece of content, making you highly relevant and increasing your chances of engagement.
It’s important to provide value with actionable, practical advice that will answer any common questions your prospects might have. For example, the winter months usually mean that people are running on wet or damp surfaces. Content that advises runners on which running shoes or foot support are best for wet surfaces, what post-run recovery regimens work best, and what precautions to take to remain safe during winter will be relevant and valuable.
4. Create Specific Programs & Checklists
Creating specific programs and checklists that your prospects can download is an important strategy you should be utilising.
For example, you could publish the program as a downloadable PDF, where prospects need to enter their email to receive the program. This allows you to build your email list, giving you the opportunity to continue a dialogue and build relationships with prospects.
You could create a step by step injury prevention program aimed at footballers. Prospects would have to exchange their email to download the program. Downloadable content is essential for building your email list, and it also positions you as an authority within your target market.
5. Target Specific Age Groups
Another great strategy is to focus on delivering content targeted at specific age groups. Different age groups usually face different challenges when it comes to work and physical activity, so narrowing your focus to age groups is a great way to create relevant content.
For example, over 35’s mostly engage in physical activity for the health benefits, so providing advice on how to achieve optimal health while enjoying physical activity will be relevant.
You could also create content aimed at over 35’s who work full-time and sit at a desk all day. Some of these people are probably suffering from back soreness, so advice on the best standing desks, stretching techniques for back health, and advice on how to avoid problems caused by sitting all day will be helpful.
It’s worth noting that publishing valuable content is only one phase of content marketing. You also need a clear strategy in place for turning readers into prospects or clients. There’s no point putting all your effort into creating content if you have no way to capture leads or make a sale.
The best advice for getting the most out of your content is having an opt-in strategy attached to each piece of content. This can be in the form of an offer (such as a free consultation), or a content download (such as the injury prevention program mentioned above). This way, you’re incentivising each reader to exchange their email for more value, which allows you to generate leads and build relationships prospects.
If you’re not already producing content and building an email list, then now is the time to get started.