The problem with chiropractic ads today is the process can be convoluted and inconsistent! It can be difficult to decide which mode of advertising to use and what mix to invest in, not to mention how to measure results and improve!
This blog gives you six steps to establish a solid and repeatable process to reduce your advertising costs overall. I will also give you some tips to use inbound marketing to help reduce your ad spending over time.
Follow the steps below to save money on chiropractic ads:
Step 1: Measure your historical monthly ad spending
The first step in any improvement project is to set your baseline. The average monthly spending over the past twelve months will be your baseline to improve upon. For simplicity of the example below I broke down the data into monthly buckets. You might want to use weekly buckets depending on how much time you have to devote to this analysis. I have found that monthly buckets are sufficient though.
Example of Advertising Spending Chart using (Click HERE to Download) Chiropractic Ad ROI Calculator
Step 2: Measure the Source of New Patients
Determine how many new patients you got each month from each source. If you don’t have this information you might have to start asking new patients “How they heard about you?”. Notice that I did not include referrals or social media sources. That’s because you probably don’t directly spend money on those sources. However, if you have a referral program and provide rewards to patients or doctors then you might want to add that category as well.
Step 3: Calculate the Cost of Patient Acquisition
Then determine the cost per new patient acquired. This is your Cost of Patient Acquistion or “COPA”. The formula is as follows:
Cost of Patient Acquisition (aka COPA) = (Total Monthly Ad Spending) / (# of New Patients for that channel)
In the example below you can see that on average Pay Per Click (PPC) ads cost $28.06 per new patient acquired. The overall average number for all channels is shown in the green cell of the Chiropractic Advertising ROI Calculator.
Step 4: Adjust your budget away from under-performing chiropractic ads
As you can see in the example above the billboard we are paying for has the least impact on # of New Patients / $ spent at $300 per new patient acquired. For this reason we should consider canceling the billboard and shifting money toward better performing ad channels like pay-per-click or inbound marketing (i.e. blogging, social media, and website). See next step about Inbound Marketing.
Step 5: Invest in Inbound Marketing
Inbound marketing is a low-risk long-term investment in promoting your practice. Inbound marketing differs from your other “outbound” advertising methods listed above in that it seeks to educate and attract patients naturally instead of interrupting them.
Inbound marketing refers to a set of activities involved in creating and sharing valuable content that potential patients will seek out, generating the right website visitors, then convert those visitors to leads/contacts, then turning your leads into new patients.
One of the best things about inbound marketing is that any investment in time you put in today can keep producing new patients for years, whereas chiropractic ads have a shelf life. As soon as you stop paying for an ad it stops delivering new patients.
Step 5: Analyze and Repeat
Make it a habit to review your ad spending and source of new patients every month. This won’t improve overnight but over a few months you should start to feel like you have some control over the situation and can reduce advertising spending overall. You can also use the data you are collecting to gain leverage in negotiating with new advertising vendors.
Another trend you should monitor is the COPA (Cost of Patient Acquisition) trend over time within a channel. For example, you might find that you can reduce COPA for billboards by selecting a new location or billboard vendor. Or you can improve digital ad COPA by trying Facebook ads.
Seek to gradually shift from an “outbound” approach to one that incorporates “inbound marketing” techniques.
Note: In order to calculate the TRUE full ROI (Return on Investment) you would need to determine the lifetime value of each new patient. However, this is not necessary to help save money on chiropractic ad spending, and will be the topic of another blog. Stay tuned for more!
Any discussion on saving money on chiropractic ads would be remiss without including the impact on said ads. Create a monthly routine of following these six steps (using the FREE ROI Calculator below) and you will be well on your way to getting control of your chiropractic ad spending!
Feel free to share this with your friends and also share in the comments below if you have any techniques that have helped you reduce advertising spending. Thank you for reading!