A Winning Retargeting Strategy

The Private Practice Section of the APTA teamed up with AH to do double duty on promoting a high-value member resource while also generating membership leads for the organization.

The Private Practice Section of the APTA teamed up with AH to do double duty on promoting a high-value member resource while also generating membership leads for the organization

When member businesses were allowed to open after COVID-19 closures, leaders of the Private Practice Section (PPS) of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) anticipated that many of them would need guidance for reopening. Not only would PPS members—owners of private practice physical therapy businesses—be navigating new safety mandates set forth by local and state governments, they would also be wading through an entirely new employment and patient care environment.

With that in mind, PPS commissioned a comprehensive resource called the PPS Reopening Outpatient Therapy After COVID-19 Playbook that broke down the complex considerations for private practice physical therapy owners who wanted to reopen their doors to patients and employees.

This rich resource presented an opportunity for PPS to work with AH’s MarCom team to create a campaign that would track and market to a highly relevant audience across social media channels with the goal of generating membership leads.

Choosing Campaign Content: Value is Key

PPS already had experienced incredible success with COVID-19 resources that they had made available to the physical therapist community. “PPS had developed a library of resources that were being shared with members and nonmembers in the spirit of camaraderie amid a crisis,” said Sarah Black, AH’s Director of Content and Creative. “Those resources received a lot of positive feedback, so we knew that people were looking to PPS for guidance.” This attention and the quality of their resources presented a unique opportunity for PPS to engage with these prospects in a new way.

PPS was hesitant to make the playbook widely available to nonmembers as they had done with other COVID-19 resources, however. “The alternative was to extract a portion of the playbook and highlight some key takeaways that were still valuable for readers but also showcased the depth of the full piece,” said Black. “The messaging of the campaign encouraged prospects to join for access to the full playbook.”

Retargeting on Social Media

To promote the playbook, AH and PPS looked to LinkedIn and Facebook.

“We chose LinkedIn because it has the most accurate professional data set, which was really critical for the success of this campaign,” said Kira Jones, PPS’s Marketing Manager and member of AH’s MarCom department. “LinkedIn gave us an opportunity to target a very specific audience, and potentially a new audience for PPS, that we might not otherwise connect with.”

If LinkedIn users clicked the promo video—featuring author Robbie Leonard sharing key highlights from the playbook—but didn’t download the playbook sample from the PPS website, a pixel tracking code was installed on their browser that allowed PPS to retarget users on Facebook with the shorter videos and other content.

Facebook served as a secondary platform for the campaign. “Facebook offers more robust ad format options than LinkedIn, which allowed us to utilize the campaign content differently,” said Jones. The single promo video used on LinkedIn was broken up into several shorter video snippets and shared as several different ads.

The benefit to using both campaigns in tandem on the same campaign: “It allows you to take advantage of richer promotional cross pollination,” said Jones. For every one time someone accesses LinkedIn, they access Facebook five times, providing significantly greater potential to serve content on Facebook. That cross pollination was the single best way to ensure that the target audience from LinkedIn saw the PPS ad for the playbook.

“If a user came back to the PPS website, regardless of whether they downloaded the resource or not, now they’re in the Facebook pool, seeing that Facebook content,” said Jones. “It was a way to ensure PPS was top of mind over a period of time to a new audience.”


The retargeting campaign generated over 100 qualified leads for PPS to follow up on, with a total spend of just $500.

AH also added a form that asked persona questions to identify the qualities that would make a user a new quality lead, so when AH gave PPS the data, they would know that they fit their profile.

“Using this as an opportunity to gather data about prospects only helps strengthen communications with those prospects down the line and will help PPS put their best foot forward for these potential members,” said Jones.

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