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Physical Therapy Outcomes & Marketing Blog

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Estimated Reading Time: 7 minutes
Last Updated: 3/12/18

#1 Provide value to the reader. The reader is your target market, so you should have a lot of good input to provide them.

#2 It must be well written if in written format and decent quality (especially sound) if in video or podcast format. If you aren’t communicating clearly, you’ll just make the reader mad and do damage to your brand.

#3 It must be original material or material presented in an original way. If it’s already out there, you’re too late. But you can always reference established material and provide a new spin or translate it to apply directly to your target market.

There are your general concepts. Not rocket science. Doing is always the hard part. To get inspired, let’s look at some folks that are doing it right.

Top 3 blogs to emulate for your PT content marketing

These blogs do an excellent job of providing clear, helpful content to their markets. After you’ve written your next post, pop back here and read one of these. See if you feel like you’re on par. I’ve done a quick review of their set ups and some stats on their last ten posts. (Headline data is from CoSchedule Headline Analyzer)

Julie Wiebe PT http://www.juliewiebept.com/blog/

Julie Wiebe PT Website Homepage

Average words per post: 567
Average headline rating: 54
Posting frequency: ~1 per month
Facebook following: 8.3k

What she’s doing right

  • Link to the blog in navigation and from the thumbnail pictures
  • Call-to-action (CTA) button to subscribe is prominent
  • Great push on her article pages for social follows and newsletter subscription
  • Related posts available
  • Multi-media including podcasts and videos
  • Content is targeted to a specific target market

Room for improvement?

  • That CTA button would be nice in a contrasting color to draw just a bit more attention
  • She could use more subheadings with keyword to improve search engine optimization (SEO)

Pivot Physical Therapy http://www.pivotphysicaltherapy.com/blog/

Pivot Blog Homepage

Average words per post: 409
Average headline rating: 60
Posting frequency: ~1 per week
Facebook following: 9k

What they’re doing right

  • Link to the blog in navigation
  • When you click to the blog from the homepage, it opens a new tab so you can still go back to the website to find a clinic
  • Consistent use of graphics
  • Links to additional resources in the content
  • Repurposes and shares another reputable site’s content
  • Links to other posts within the blog
  • Appropriate use of categories

Room for improvement?

  • I could not easily find a way to subscribe to this blog
  • Newsletter subscribe link tucked away at the bottom is broken
  • Content is directed at a general market
  • They could use more subheadings with keyword to improve search engine optimization (SEO)

Six Physio https://www.sixphysio.com/blog

Six Physio Blog Homepage

Average words per post: 661
Average headline rating: 51
Posting frequency: ~3 per week
Facebook following: 1.3k

What they’re doing right

  • Link to the blog in navigation
  • Highlighting comments on the post – social proof to show this is a blog worth reading
  • Multiple contributors to share the workload
  • Posts that include testimonial information and they add some patient satisfaction metrics
  • They do a pretty good job of defining a target market of active athletes
  • Related posts listed
  • Effective use of subheadings, categories, and tags

Room for improvement?

  • All caps are hard to read. Unless the title is very short, I recommend against all caps.
  • Recommended font size is 16 pt. They are a bit small – this will be hard to read on mobile.
  • They only have a tiny subscribe button at the bottom of individual posts
  • Would benefit from more descriptive post titles

Mike Reinold https://mikereinold.com/blog/

We don’t need to go into depth here. Mike counts as a professional blogger. This is too advanced to emulate right off the bat but good to check out for the direction you want to go. He posts about three times per week and nails the CTAs. My only complaint is finding it – he calls his posts articles. He has 107k Facebook followers. So yeah, he’s worth a look.

So now we know what we’re shooting for. Let’s start thinking about an action plan.

See how blogging fits into a comprehensive content marketing plan

Blogging for PT Practices: We all know you can’t fold your toilet paper

Bunch with paints
Folder with ruler

When you first join my running group, they haze you a bit. Part of this hazing is asking, “Are you a buncher or a folder?” It usually takes them a few seconds to figure out that we’re talking about how you handle your toilet paper. Over time, the group noticed that this seemingly random question was actually a pretty good predicter of who would be the more anal retentive, organized planner and who would be the spontaneous, unpredictable entertainer.

No one is all one thing, but I fall towards the folder end of the continuum. Not long ago I was dating a guy who is definitely all one thing: buncher. I was dating the exception to the rule. I would walk into my kitchen and every chair would be pulled out from the table and half of the cupboards were open. I would find keys hanging in the door, my car keys dangling from my trunk, doors unlocked, and piles of paperwork left everywhere, including personal checks not deposited for many months.

Despite being a wonderful person, after many conversations and his attempts not to leave my house wide open to robbers, I realized I had to give up. I was asking him to be something he wasn’t and he was just feeling bad for not meeting what turned out to be unrealistic expectations.

If you’re a PT, there’s a slim chance that you will enjoy opening your computer AFTER you’re done charting. Give up before you start and let’s save everyone a headache.

Decide who will be your ghost writer or co-author and collaborate on the blog. Also, consider whether you’re comfortable with doing video. This is getting away from beginner and into intermediate territory, but it’s also the way the web is going, especially Facebook.

Co-authors could be staff members, another practitioner who likes to write, or even a hired hand. Check out Upwork

Here’s your blog plan:

  1. Sit down with your co-author and figure out what info you want your target market patients and clients to learn about. Peek back at your keyword research to have a sense of what’s getting searched for already. Then put your PT spin on it. Here are a few tips:
  1. Shoot for a length of 1600 words or 1000 if it’s graphic-heavy. Since my day-job is peddling outcomes software, I can’t in good conscience recommend following an average without leaving you at least a link to the intermediate discussion of the data. I will add, if 1600 is too hard, start with 500-800. Better to ship something short but good rather than blathering on for half the blog just to get to a number.
  2. Have two calls to action.
    1. Primary is to subscribe to your newsletter for quarterly updates on how to manage your target market’s issue. See the Email Communication section for how to build a sign-up form in MailChimp that you can link to. Have your marketing staff person run through that section while you’re writing content.
    2. Secondary, sprinkled throughout the article as appropriate, is identifying who should schedule an appointment and have that phone number and email handy in your header.
  3. ALWAYS have at least one graphic. I recommend Pablo and select a size friendly for Facebook. You can also take your own graphics and drag and drop them into TinyPNG to have them optimized for the web for free.
  4. Head to CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer. Come up with at least 10 titles of no longer than 60 characters. Pick the best and the second best. Try to use the second best or something similar as a heading partway through the post so you take advantage of the keywords and you can keep it handy for testing later. (Caution, don’t go over 20 headlines and set a benchmark to be over 70. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten higher than 82.)
  1. Plan working titles or detailed topics and dates by which the articles will be published. Plan for at least three a month. You give your writer the outline, some bullet points, another online article for reference, etc. They do the actual writing. You proof read for content before publishing.
  2. Once written and published, be sure to promote them based on the promotion schedule that you’ll learn about in the next section.

Why are we blogging?

You blog for Search Engine Optimization (SEO). It tells the internet robots that your site is actively updated and full of good keywords. You want SEO because it helps people in need find you.

You collect emails so that you can reach your customers and prospective customers. Previous patients and clients need reminders to maintain their health and come in before things get bad. They also know other people who could use your services, and this makes it easy for them to forward valuable information to those in need.

Finally, a little on the intermediate track, social media robots won’t show your Facebook posts to anyone unless you pay them. That’s why there’s a section on here for paid social. Email will give you better access to your target marketing and word-of-mouth (WOM) assets.

See how blogging fits into a comprehensive content marketing plan