We get it.
You give your patients excellent care…
Your brand is all about quality…
But you don’t always feel that’s the image you’re putting out there online.
I’m not going to lie to you, just having the right tools won’t solve this problem. You or your staff are still going to need to invest (at least) some time and (most likely) some money in order to move the needle.
The right tools can cut your time investment down and you can get many of them for FREE. These are many of the tools that we use every day in our chiropractic marketing agency, and we’ve tested out a lot of different solutions since we got started in 2000. Let’s get started!
If you’re in a hurry, here’s the quick list of FREE marketing tools for chiropractors:
- A Patient Persona Document
- Yoast SEO
- A social sharing plugin
- Adobe Spark
- Your phone
- Your existing video editing software that came on your computer/phone.
- Facebook Ads Manager/Business Manager + Apps
- Google Ads Manager
- Hubspot Free
- Google Analytics and Tag Manager
- Facebook Analytics and Insights
- The Digital Marketer blog
- Hubspot Academy + HUG Groups
- Facebook Blueprint
- The Google Academies
You’re going to be tempted to skip this, don’t do it.
A Patient Persona Document is just a simple template that helps you keep your focus on what’s important to your audience. If you keep this in front of you as you create content, you will be more likely to use messages that resonate and generate results, rather than fade into the background. You’ll want to identify their goals, challenges, pain points (no pun intended), and influencers.
There are a lot of these templates out there, and you are welcome to use ours.
Your website is your home base and you’re going to need a content management system to… well… manage the content.
We use WordPress whenever possible for three reasons:
- It’s not going anywhere, so you can be sure there will be support available for a long time. There are over 60 Million people using WordPress and it powers 31% of the web. That’s crazy if you stop and think about it.
- It’s highly customizable. Start with a good theme. There are free ones, but you can spend $50 or so on a site like theme forest and get something that looks very high end. Our favorites are DIVI and X. You can do absolutely anything with them and you don’t need to know any code to look like a pro.
- A plugin allows you to add new functions or features to your site. Some are paid but many are free. There are over 45,000 of them available. Again, you don’t need to know any code to get your site to do some really cool stuff. A couple that you’ll want to add are Yoast SEO and a social sharing plugin.
You may pay a one-time fee for a theme, but other than that, Wordpress is 100% FREE. Just be sure to go to WordPress.org, NOT WordPress.com.
We haven’t met many chiropractors that have designers on staff. Actually, we haven’t met any, but they all want a polished look for content. Good news, you can easily make really good-looking images and graphics with these FREE tools.
Canva and Adobe Spark
There are a lot of websites out there that you can bookmark to keep up with the constantly changing list of image sizes you need for Facebook posts, facebook cover images, Instagram posts, YouTube thumbnails, etc.
You can just select what type of image you want to create and start with a template from Canva or Adobe Spark. These tools are both super easy to use and you’ll look like you hired a full-time designer when you’re done. Use your own images or choose from their library. Both are FREE.
Want to spend a little money on design? Try a service like Design Pickle. For a flat monthly fee, you get a dedicated designer with unlimited requests, and they’re pretty good.
Corny, terrible stock images are usually the most expensive and least effective options out there.
People are actually paying for this stuff.
If the chiropractor down the street is doing video and you’re not, he’s going to beat you online. Video is THE dominant form of content, the biggest driver of engagement, and it’s only growing.
Did your blood pressure just go up? It’s a lot easier than you think it is.
Big, polished, expensive brand videos are great for driving massive amounts of awareness and usually make the doctor feel pretty good about himself, but they are not very good at generating engagement, warming up cold traffic, or driving conversions.
You know what is good at those things?
A free video you can shoot with your phone. No joke. Take a look at this video from a dentist’s office that has GREAT engagement
Not your style? No problem. You don’t have to entertain. You can educate, tell a story, or give them some useful advice. Just provide value.
You already have a phone, so that’s free, and you likely already have iMovie or Quicktime, or similar program where you can trim your video and make minor adjustments. For most social media uses, that’s all you need.
The Quicktime Player or the Chrome extension Screencastify are good solutions for screen recordings. These come in handy for some videos, if you want to talk about an x-ray, or patient portal, or something like that.
If you invest in anything, make it a microphone. People forgive mediocre visuals, but not sound.
I know, ads aren’t free. But I included this section because they really are necessary and because technically it is free to create your accounts and set up your ads (I know, I know, it’s a stretch).
Every social media platform has their own advertising solution, but there are really only two that are a MUST for most chiropractic offices.
If you have multiple chiropractic locations, multiple businesses, Facebook/Instagram pages, people managing your accounts, or ad accounts, you will want to use Facebook Business Manager to keep track of it all. We wrote a blog post on setting it up.
I also recommend downloading the Pages Manager and Ads Manager apps if you want to monitor your ads and run campaigns from your phone. Just start by creating a few audiences and boosting some of your most popular organic posts to them.
Google is the other no-brainer.
Search campaigns run your ads in Google’s search results for relevant keywords.
Display campaigns run banners or videos on Google’s network that spans over 2 Million sites and reaches 90% of internet users.
Running ads on Google is usually the quickest win we can provide for our chiropractic clients.
A lot of times chiropractors have a really big list of current and former patients that is just sitting there, doing nothing, slowly dying.
If you have the opportunity to provide value through someone’s inbox – take it.
If you want to dip your toe into the marketing automation pool, Hubspot Free has recently been updated and provides some good value for zero dollars. The free version has analytics, pop-up forms, a contact database, and kickback emails for form submissions.
Gravity Digital is a Hubspot Partner and we use the pro version for our own business and love it.
If you want to know what’s working and what isn’t, you’re going to have to look at the numbers regularly. Most of the best tools for measurement are completely free, including the ones listed in this post.
You’ll want to get a Google Analytics account and install and configure their plugin on your site.
Google Tag Manager is also a great tool because you can control all of the various tracking pixels that you’ll need from one spot.
Facebook also has helpful free analytics including audience insights that can give you information about who is engaging with you and what other things they’re interested in.
The free training that is available online is truly remarkable. You can absolutely learn how to do anything you want – and learn how to do it well. Here are a few of our favorite training freebies.
The educational marketing content that Digital Marketer produces is truly outstanding. Anyone who is serious about being a better marketer should be reading their content regularly to stay up to date with the latest tactics.
Gravity Digital is a Digital Marketer Certified Partner and we utilize their HQ platform to train our own staff.
The Hubspot Academy has a large variety of courses that can help you learn all of the marketing fundamentals including Inbound Marketing, Content Marketing, Email Marketing, and a brand-new Social Media Marketing course.
There are also local groups all over the country where Hubspot users come together to learn. They usually have a guest expert come and speak on a particular topic or provide a workshop. We frequently attend the Houston Hubspot User Group. The groups are free to attend.
If you want to learn the Facebook platform, Facebook Blueprint is a free course that will take you through it feature by feature. If you have a staff member in charge of your social media activity, this is a good investment of their time.
Google provides a few different learning environments, but the two most beneficial ones for local businesses like chiropractors are the Google Analytics Academy and the Google Academy for Ads. As the names suggest, these free courses will help you understand the analytics and ads platforms so you can run effective campaigns and interpret the data from your website in a way that is actionable.
One more note... We put together a Marketing Playbook just for chiropractors that is VERY in depth. Check it out and download a copy here.
There you have it!
These are powerful tools that you can deploy for your practice today without spending a dime. Now you have no excuses! Get to it!
About the Author Matt Brannon
Matt joined Gravity Digital as the Marketing Director in 2013. He immediately connected with the company vision and values, and played an integral role in Gravity Digital’s transition from a traditional ad agency to an inbound healthcare marketing agency.
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