Huge opportunity for functional medicine practices in 2020 May 7, 2020 Recent months have highlighted the importance of health, and the fact that we so often take it for granted. Everyone has been forced to slow down, take stock, and contemplate the directions our lives are taking. It’s caused many of us to re-evaluate our priorities, including the way we see our health. This process is opening up a tremendous marketing opportunity for functional medicine practices. Traditional medicine is at the frontline of the fight to save lives, but functional medicine offers people a chance to look at things like building their immunity and addressing chronic health issues to increase their chance of staying healthy and fighting off viruses. Dr. Robert DeMartino (also known as Dr. Rob) is a chiropractor and functional medicine expert who runs Superior Health Solutions in Las Vegas, Nevada. He says his practice is currently focused on helping people take back some control over the situation at hand and regain their power. “However this looks whenever we come out of this… health is going to be a pre-requisite. It should have always been, ultimately, but health is going to be a prerequisite of going back to living… are you healthy enough to re-enter public areas? Are you healthy enough to go back to work? “Obviously, we want to protect people who are, but we also want to give solutions to others and not just say, ‘Sorry, you drew the short end of the straw, there’s nothing you can do about it.'” There has never been a more important time to develop and implement an inbound marketing strategy. There is a big demand for health advice, and current circumstances have opened many people’s minds to solutions outside traditional medicine. People are searching for answers, which means you need to make it as easy as possible for them to find you and your practice. Need help developing a strategy? Schedule a free consultation today. Marketing functional medicine practices Dr. Rob says his practice is implementing a two-fold strategy to help people. First, they acknowledge that many of the patients they treat are at risk – for example, people with autoimmune diseases and chronic diseases that may make them more susceptible to catching the virus. They’re working very hard to help keep them well. Second, they’re trying to increase public education about health. CDC figures indicate that about 60% of Americans have one chronic disease diagnosed, and about 40% have two diagnosed. “It’s something we’ve been talking about forever,” he explains, adding that he hopes one positive aspect to arise from the current situation is that it will increase public awareness. “The other bright side of this, and there’s not been many, is it’s bought a lot of us time. Time is another incredibly valuable thing. How do you use that time? How do you use it effectively to maybe look into some health stuff that’s outside of the box?” The best way to increase public education is through content marketing. This means creating and sharing valuable information through your website and social media channels answer questions your prospective patients are likely to have and let them know you can solve their problems. The key is to provide quality information in an open an accessible manner. If they find the information they need, they may follow up with a question or sign up for an e-newsletter. Boom! You’ve just got a lead. If not, they may click away and start looking elsewhere. Ready to get started? Contact us today. Developing a content marketing strategy Functional medicine is a fascinating space, because it’s still relatively unknown to the public. It’s your job to educate them about what it is, what symptoms can be treated, and how it works. There are a number of options you can try to position yourself as a thought-leaders: Blogging. An active blog is a powerful tool, because each post will be laden with key words that make your website more likely to rank on Google when people are searching for related topics. You can offer advice, answer frequently-asked questions, comment on issues in the media or explain one of your services or technologies to attract attention. Social media. Facebook is the most powerful marketing tool in the world, with more than 1.62 million active daily users. It’s primarily a personal network, which means posts work best when they’re interesting and informative or playful and fun. This is a great way to share fun facts about your practice, bust common myths and interact via polls. Video. Video is a great way to dive deep into a topic in a friendly and accessible way. It also builds trust, because it helps build emotional connections with prospective customers. They’ll feel like they know you a little bit, which will go a long way toward generating a lead. Read more: 10 tips to optimize your social media The next step is distribution – after all, there’s no point creating all this great content if no-one can find it. Every successful marketing strategy considers the following options: Website and social media. These tools are what you’ll use to create a first impression. Just like having a clean and professional clinic, you need to ensure your website is up-to-date that your social media accounts are complete so that you come across as polished. SEO. Search engine optimization is a strategy that ensures the content you create ranks on search engines. The best way to do this is by using lots of keywords that people are likely to search in the content you write, and by ensuring that your content is if good quality. Google Ads. Google Ads come in two forms: search and display. Search ads are the ones that appear at the top of the results page when you look for something; display ads appear as banners on other websites. These are highly-targeted, to ensure the right people are seeing your message, and operate on a pay-per-click system. Facebook Ads. Facebook is a great place to share and promote blogs, videos and more. These are also highly targeted, which means you can be very strategic in the way you target people. Read more: What are Facebook Ads and how can they help your business? Keeping yourself healthy Finally, we asked Dr. Rob for a few tips and tricks that will help you stay healthy as restrictions lift and we all start going back to work. It’s never been more important to optimize our wellbeing! “I always tell people you have to get healthy so you can live. You don’t live to get healthy,” he says. “You can’t spend your entire life just trying to build your health, at some point – all of our time is finite, right? Nobody gets to stay forever; we all check out at some point. What can you do to build on your health so that it doesn’t impede on your life?” The first thing he says is to ensure you’re getting enough Vitamin D. Many of us will have spent the majority of our time in isolation indoors, so make sure you go out and get sunlight on your skin. Next, he says, protect your sleep. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep every night, because that’s when your body heals. It’s tempting, while things are disrupted, to stay up late and sleep in longer in the mornings, but he warns a crazy sleep schedule will do you no favors. Read more: The rise of the idealistic marketer Monitoring your food intake is also really important. We’ve all heard of the “Quarantine 15” and we’ve all heard the siren call of our snack-filled fridges. Dr. Rob says it’s important to think of food as the fuel your body needs and try to avoid running to the kitchen every two minutes. Finally, mental health is crucial – not just when it comes to staying happy and healthy in isolation, but in coping with the transition back to normal life once we all re-emerge. “It brings us all back to family, and important conversations. I’ve been in more contact with people – not physically, but calling, texting, emailing, just checking up on friends. I feel like I’m making more contact now than sometimes I have in the past,” he says. “We all need to focus on laughter and getting back to basics. What makes us healthy?” Need help marketing your functional medicine practice? Schedule a free consultation.