By: Chris Barr
Advertising your Chiropractic practice is important, and it must be done correctly. Effective marketing will bring patients in the door more quickly than you ever imagined possible, however, there are several horrible mistakes that you must avoid if you want your advertising to be successful. Although there are a multitude of details that should be reviewed in order to get the most out of your ads, there are several main elements that are often overlooked. Successful chiropractic advertising should seek to avoid these 7 commonly made horrible mistakes:
1. No central message (theme)
2. Layout too busy
3. Visually unappealing
4. Copy errors in spelling and grammar
5. Assuming patients understand Chiropractic procedures
6. Incorrect or inadequate contact/location info
7. Distribution methodology not taken into consideration (ex: direct mail, newspapers, etc)
One of the most important that is often overlooked when designing an advertising campaign is to find a central message, or theme, that sets the practice apart from other chiropractors in the area. Although you don’t necessarily need to ‘brand’ your office, it is important to set your self apart from the competition. Point out what you have to offer that others can’t or won’t provide.
Often, advertising is just too busy to be of any value. The second most common mistake that many doctors make when setting up their layout is to provide too much information. Certainly it’s important to get your message across, but less is more. Say what you need to say in as few words as possible because the average patient won’t bother reading through a long advertisement. Use bullet points and graphics if they help you to make the message clearer and more concise.
Layouts should be eye-catching. It is essential to grab their attention first and give them information second. Although the information is more important than the artistry of the ad, they won’t give your advertisement a second glance if it doesn’t attract their attention. Make certain you keep your fonts to a minimum. You can choose various sizes and colors, but don’t overdo it with the styles. That detracts from the beauty and simplicity of the layout. Make sure your graphics are clean and crisp and that images you use are in keeping with your theme.
Check for errors in spelling and grammar. This is especially important if you are referencing names or locations. You can’t always assume that a slight error won’t be noticeable. Patients want to know that they are going to be entrusting themselves to professionals so it is all the more important that your advertising be as professional and error free as possible.
Another grave error in judgment that can be a horrible advertising mistake when it comes to chiropractic is to assume that patients know what it is. Many common symptoms such as headaches and other unrelated body aches and pains aren’t often associated with the need for an ‘adjustment.’ You can draw a lot of new patients by referencing some common ailments that a chiropractor can treat. This would be a good place for those bullet points mentioned above.
Don’t forget to check and double check the contact info provided on the ad. If they can’t reach you to schedule an appointment, your advertising dollars were spent in vain. Make sure that you include your URL if you have web presence and the office email address if applicable. Also, see to it that your correct business address is included and hours of operation can also be helpful.
One last mistake that is also very common is that a distribution strategy isn’t planned in advance. It is necessary to get your advertising out there so people can see it. Do a little research prior to starting your medical brochure printing. Find out what the most effective method of delivery is in your market area, whether it be flyers, inserts in newspapers or direct mailings. That is something that your printer will absolutely need to know in order to print on the correct paper and in the correct format.
By avoiding these 7 horrible mistakes (commonly made), it is possible to deliver a highly successful advertising campaign. If you have any questions, your printer is well equipped to advise you on the specifics. (Which should have been listed as the 8th horrible mistake – don’t choose the wrong printer!)
Chris Barr is a marketing professional and graduate of Christopher Newport University. His areas of expertise include direct mail,internet marketing, copy writing, SEO, and new business development. Chris currently serves as Marketing Director for Taradel LLC in Richmond, VA.
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