2017 Chiropractic Internet Marketing Expert Status Report
For the second year in a row, Upper Cervical Marketing has reached out to experts in the chiropractic Internet marketing space to give you an understanding of what’s working now in the marketing of chiropractic practices online and what’s not.
This year by far the most effective new patient generating strategy mentioned by our experts is Facebook Advertising. All 7 of our experts discussed the effectiveness of Facebook ads for attracting new patients.
We once again asked 3 important questions about what’s working with Internet marketing today, what trends we can expect in 2018 and what was working that isn’t working anymore.
You will get a ton of value from this article as these experts share inside knowledge.
How this article is structured is we will highlight one question at a time, give you a breakdown in graph form of the answers and then give the actual answers to the questions from the 7 experts.
Question #1: What is the most effective new patient generating online marketing strategy right now?
Our Chiropractic Internet Marketing Experts
Dr. Bill Davis
“The most effective new patient generating strategy currently is combining a positive online reputation with targeted Facebook ads. Accumulating video testimonials, Doctor generated videos and online reviews on Google, Facebook and Yelp are critical to not only generating new patients online but also for converting your referrals from your existing patients. Along with having a positive online reputation, Facebook advertising allows you to reach the right people who are struggling with chronic health conditions and give them hope and your positive online reputation gives them the trust to come into your office as a new patient.
But a comprehensive program is also key. You cannot put all of your eggs in one basket when it comes to online marketing. And every market is different. An initial Facebook ad may be the first step in getting that lead to convert but in our experience, the person may need 5 to 7 touch points before coming into the office, especially in more competitive markets. Landing pages with free reports still work in many markets followed by email autoresponders but in other markets Facebook retargeting ads are key. Targeted search engine optimization can also be very important depending on the market. But ultimately having a comprehensive Internet marketing program in place that is specifically designed for your practice type and is focused on building hope for potential new patients and creating trust, credibility and likeability will continue to be effective.”
Dr. Matthew Loop
“Facebook advertising and Google My Business are the top two new patient generators for chiropractors in 2017.”
Dr. Philip Cordova
“We have become much more specific with the types of patients we want to attract into our office. We are not a big “sports chiropractic” office, but other offices are. The types of ads they would run versus what we would run should be very different.
Becoming very specific in your targeted niche is the best way to effectively use online marketing, especially with Facebook. You can stand out from the crowd and bring in more of the people you want to see.
You still need to have the basics in place (a good website, rank for city name + chiropractor, update your social media), but after that – it’s time to focus on who you want in your office.”
Dr. Mike Hamilton
“For the majority of chiropractors, a top ranking website that quickly shows a new patient what they want to see is critical. It’s also important to have a top maps rank and plenty of Google reviews.
Google Adwords paid advertising has been very effective since Google changed the look of the ads, but watch out for the fees. Trust me when I tell you that it doesn’t take much effort to manage Adwords. You don’t need to pay hundreds of dollars in management fees to a company to do it for you.
Facebook advertising has also been working for some offices, but the fees that the salesmen are charging to manage it are pretty excessive. Done properly with the correct fee structure this might be something to look at.”
Dr. Adam Arnold
“The most effective method of online marketing right now is using Video Lead Generation ads on Facebook.
I like this method for 3 reasons.
- It is a low-cost option. For just $5 a day you can get video views for as low as one cent.
- The video lead generation is very low tech because you do not need landing pages or fancy CRM systems.
- Service based industries and especially in chiropractic, it allows a rapport to be built between the doctor and the patient before they have ever even met you. This means you already have developed a first layer of trust with the patient before they enter your office.”
“Building Facebook Custom Audiences through FB Video Ads is the most effective way to generate quality leads on social media. There is no better way to position yourself as a Celebrity, Expert and Authority in your community than building a custom audience which takes a stone cold prospect and turns them into an insanely, fiery hot fan that can’t wait to use your services!”
Dr. Chad Woolner
“If you’re anything like me there’s no shortage of ads on your Facebook feed promising you 100+ leads pouring into your clinic from all the various gurus out there. In addition to delivering these astounding results, you’re also being promised that it will only cost you $.05 per lead or less! On top of all that, they tell you that they’ll do it for FREE! If you’ve been down that road and experienced it first hand you’ve likely seen far different results. You see, most of these types of approaches tend to not pan out. Don’t get me wrong, I think Facebook advertising is great…When it’s done right. The problem with these typical approaches is that the quality of leads usually leaves a lot to be desired. In addition to the quality of the leads, the more important question is what percentage of those leads actually make it into your practice and become new patients?
I believe that hands down that the best online marketing strategy right now is the effective use of online marketing funnels. That being said, I realize that is somewhat of a very broad statement. Let me clarify a little and provide some more specifics. When I say “online marketing funnels”, I mean a strategy specifically designed to capture the attention and of an audience sufficient to get the right prospects to take some type of action. That action might be the prospect giving you their name, email and/or phone number. It might be the prospect calling your clinic to set up an appointment. Ultimately, it means that the prospects are drawing closer to you one way or another. Once you’ve captured their attention you now have the opportunity, again through online marketing funnels, to engage with them in an ongoing conversation. This is the way I think of online marketing funnels. This conversation should be designed to create overwhelming value for these prospects. An ongoing, value-based conversation is what leads to trust. This might look like a series of emails teaching prospects about proper stretching exercises to help with low back pain. It might be a series of videos teaching about the biggest mistakes people make with their diet. It might be something as simple as an invitation to a free lunch workshop or event. It could even be you sharing a success story or case study from one of your best patients.
Ultimately, it should be something of value to the prospect and not merely something you think they should value. The reason that this strategy works so well is that it helps to overcome the two greatest barriers that we face today as chiropractors and entrepreneurs. The two greatest barriers as mentioned above are “attention” and “trust”. Anymore these days people are being bombarded and quite frankly, overloaded with information. It is becoming harder and harder to cut through all the white noise. Building an online funnel the right way is hands down the most effective marketing strategy right now to attract high-quality new patients into chiropractic practices.”
Download our Facebook Ad Checklist and make sure your ads are communicating effectively to your target market.
Question #2: What trends do you see with online marketing going forward into 2018?
Bill Davis: “Video content will continue to become more and more important especially on Facebook. Facebook executives have been quoted as saying they see their network going to 80 to 90% video within the next few years. Those doctors that make a commitment to consistently accumulating video testimonials and getting in front of the camera themselves to make short videos will be the ones that will win in 2018 and beyond.”
Matthew Loop: “Instagram advertising is something to watch in the near future. As more attention turns to that network more opportunity will be available for DC’s that know how to advertise.”
Phil Cordova: “I think you will see niches becoming even more targeted. You won’t necessarily get all the way down to “left-handed tennis players who like to water ski” but why not? You can tailor your message specifically to them and explain how you can help. Then, bring them to a page on your website with helpful information for their likely conditions and explain how your office can help them get the results they’re after.”
Mike Hamilton: “We have been monitoring a lot of changes with Google+ and Google My Business. It seems like Google has finally given up on Google+ and conceded to Facebook. With that battle lost it looks like Google is looking to win the war when it comes to “Directory and Review Listings”. We have seen the addition of posting to your business listing, the ability to add an appointment link and soon to come if not already here…Instant Chat along with a Q&A sections.
It looks like Google is heading in the direction of turning Google My Business into a “One Stop Shop” when you are looking for a local service. If you look at what has been rolled out and what is coming you would get the impression that Google is trying to take care of all your needs within the “Google” system. They are, but you will still need your full website.
Facebook is beginning to pick up steam. There is a title wave of salesmen approaching chiropractors with pretty much the same program. Some form of a discounted consult, exam, x-rays, and adjustment limited offer. It has been working well in some cities, but it doesn’t seem to have much lasting power. That might be due to the lack of ad variety that is being used. My gut tells me that someone with more skill at writing compelling content will be able to overcome some of that short term success.”
Adam Arnold: “The biggest trends in online marketing beyond video are artificial intelligence. Google, Microsoft, and Facebook are spending millions and millions of dollars on this technology and early adaptors are seeing huge dividends. When a bot is developed properly they are having a major impact on businesses to allow them to cut costs via automation and also bot ads are offering a high ROI on the investment.”
Chris Burfield: “I only see video getting bigger and bigger in 2018! Also, I’m seeing strong momentum being gained with FB Messenger Ads!”
Chad Woolner: “Moving forward into 2018, I believe we are going to see these typical Facebook ad approaches (simple ad leading to a landing page simply offering some sort of “deal” or “offer”) becoming less and less effective. We can already see this shift happening as Facebook continues to change its advertising algorithms accordingly. I believe that the future of marketing is going to continue to shift towards more of an “old school” model of business. I can’t help but think of the book “The Thank You Economy” by Gary Vaynerchuk. He explains in the book that with the advent of the internet and social media we have become increasingly hyper-connected and as a result, we have reverted to some extent back to the good old days of the small town businesses where everyone knew everyone. You had the town barber, the town dentist, and the town chiropractor. Your reputation, authority, and social currency will largely dictate your success in business. Using funnels not simply as a quick “get me lots of new patients” type approach but instead as a strategic long term move to help you establish credibility and authority in your community is the future of marketing. I can say this with absolute confidence because this isn’t based on some foreseeable new technology or trend but rather because it’s based on sound, solid marketing principles that have withstood the test of time. The technology and tactics are interchangeable but the overarching strategy will remain the same.”
Download our Facebook Ad Checklist and make sure your ads are communicating effectively to your niche.
Question #3: What was working in online marketing that is no longer working based on your opinion?
Bill Davis: “Organic reach from Facebook posts is nearly dead in almost all markets. Facebook is a pay to play network to reach even the people that have liked your page. So we recommend posting less to your Facebook pages and boosting or creating ads that are focused on your most important content.
Also short blog content is becoming less and less effective. Google rewards websites that have cornerstone content and is calling short blog posts “thin” posts that do not improve your search engine rankings anymore and can even cause your site to be downgraded in some cases. Long form blog articles that are at least 900 words are becoming the standard. Fewer articles that are longer are more effective with Google now.”
Matthew Loop: “Relying only on organic Facebook distribution no longer works. The social network is a business. You need to pay to play or your brand will remain obscure.”
Phil Cordova: “Coupon/discount offers are rampant right now, and that’s something we’ve moved completely away from. While Facebook ads are a great strategy, linking your ad to just to a coupon offer with no follow up is not the best use of Facebook advertising. Yes, you will see new patients, but you will also be disappointed.”
Mike Hamilton: “What’s not working is anything that does not show real traffic. Blogging can work even today, but you have to show Google the people are reading your blogs. If there’s no traffic then the blog will be ignored for the most part. The same goes for Facebook or any other posting that is done for your office.”
Adam Arnold: “Organic reach in both Facebook and Google is becoming more and more difficult to achieve decent returns on (both in time and money), especially if you are new in an already competitive market. In other words, if you are a chiropractor establishing a new practice in a competitive area of a major city, it will be tough (if not impossible) to overtake any chiropractor who has a head start on you and has been doing SEO work years ahead of you. Paid advertising is by far a much better strategy.”
Chris Burfield: “Direct to offer sales are no longer working. The market has evolved. People want a relationship with you first before they ever step foot in your business. This is why building FB Custom Audiences that you can retarget are more crucial now than ever.”
Chad Woolner: “As I’ve already stated, I believe the short term Facebook ad strategy is coming to an end. Like any new marketing platform that initially gets exploited and then inevitably pulls on the reins and brings everything to an abrupt halt, this is what I foresee happening with 90% of chiropractic Facebook ads, if it hasn’t happened already. Again, for sake of clarification, I’m not saying that Facebook advertising as a whole is dead. I am simply suggesting that if you think you can simply throw up an ad, direct traffic to a single landing page and think that you’ll get a flood of leads for dirt cheap, then just realize that this isn’t going to cut it. Perhaps you’re crushing it right now with this approach, if so good for you! But rest assured, this isn’t going to work forever. I’m seeing the tide shifting already and I believe that if chiropractors don’t dramatically change their thinking and approach to a long term strategy their marketing will be in serious trouble.”