Are you serious about management success and developing a thriving chiropractic practice? If you answered yes, then I will assume that by now you have a functional marketing strategy in place.

The whole point of a strategy is to help keep you from throwing away money on something that’s not really going to help your business grow. What do you want to achieve and how much money are you willing to commit in order to achieve it? This is what marketing strategy will enable you to determine – and achieve.

Where will you spend your hard earned money?

Optimization of your chiropractic website is no doubt pretty close to the top of your list. Newspaper advertising should be near the top too. Setting a budget is one thing. It’s also important to work out a plan to spend that money wisely.

I’ve put together a few pointers to help you on your way when deciding how to spend your allocated newspaper-advertising budget – to put your chiropractic office on the map.

Research is a must

Newspaper advertising is only effective if people actually read the publication in question. A little local knowledge comes in useful here. You should have a pretty good idea as to what newspapers and magazines are popular in your local area – and which ones aren’t. You need cold, hard figures though – so ask for a circulation breakdown from the newspaper itself. It’s also worth doing a little research. The Alliance for Audited Media (formerly The Audit Bureau of Circulations) is able to provide not just circulation figures but also detailed social metrics for newspapers with a circulation above 25,000.

 One bad result isn’t the end all

Be realistic, it’s perfectly normal to expect results just don’t base the rest of your marketing on the first ad you run.  It could be a huge success, if so run it again, but at a later date, don’t risk wearing it out. If it’s not successful, try another ad.

Don’t give up if you don’t see instant results; give your marketing some time to grow. Newspaper advertising for a small business is all about raising your profile over time. If your chiropractic practice was recently established, you’re going to have to give it time for people to get to recognize your name. Recognition will come – but you’re going to have to stick with it.

Stay consistent and resist the urge to dip in and out of the market

It might be tempting to decide to splash out on the largest ad you can afford if you have a particular good month – but then not spend anything at all in those months when cash flow is tight. You need to resist this approach. If you simply ‘dip in and out’ of newspaper advertising then quite simply, people are going to forget who you are. Making a solid commitment to placing ads on a regular basis – rather than a big glossy ad once in a blue moon – will prove to be the best strategy.

Don’t be talked into buying advertising space you can’t afford

I cover this topic in the Ultimate Chiropractic Ads kit.  A newspaper advertising sales team can be a pretty persuasive bunch.  Hold off on package deals until you have a few runs under your belt.

But you might receive phone calls sometimes, offering great deals on unused advertising space. This can often be a great value, but not always a great location in the paper.  It’s fine to take the paper up on these offers from time to time, but ask questions and weigh your options, it might not be such a great deal if your ad is tucked away on in an obscure section and not seen. Also consider, unplanned advertising could eat into other parts of your marketing budget. The same goes for seemingly great value advertising space in neighborhood newsletters and start-up magazines. These publications can be great for building up a friendly, community-based profile – just don’t let the spending spiral out of control.

A willingness to commit and the ability to keep a tight rein on your budget: if you get this right then you’ll soon see that newspaper advertising becomes a highly successful part of your chiropractic marketing plan.