Therapy Insider Marketing

Advertise Mental Health Businesses Online

How to Advertise Mental Health Businesses Online

There is a huge difference between marketing and advertising, and the messaging for both is quite different. Advertising is a component of an overall marketing plan and strategy. Many business owners get confused with advertising and marketing, including mental health practitioners.

Knowing the difference between adverting and marketing can put your practice on a pathway to substantial growth. And, knowing the difference allows you to be targeted while keeping your cost to an absolute minimum. Because you’re not into wasting money, it’s very important to know “how to advertise.”

Building Your Practice is the Objective of Advertising

Many mental health practitioners rely heavily on traditional referral sources to build their practice. Referrals equate to new clients. Referrals usually come from colleagues (other mental health practitioners), psychologists, psychiatrists, schools, doctors, local social services, churches, and current and former clients.

There are literally hundreds of potential referral sources, but they all have one thing in common. They know you and your services. In one way or another you became known as a source of therapeutic help, and refer’s shared information about you and your practice.

"In order to cultivate rich channels of referrals you must have engaged in some form of marketing. Meaning, you became “known” to the right people through a strategic plan. Additionally, these refers probably vouched for your credibility and therapeutic value."

To become known you had to have marketed yourself and your practice. Maybe you handed out business cards, joined the local Chamber of Commerce, or offered free mental health screenings at the State Fair. One way or another you got your name out there and built relationships. However, today we are going to skip over “marketing,” and delve right into a subset of marketing, better known as advertising.

Advertising is a paid form of marketing, and it’s generally a “public” in nature, in the form of a broad announcement with a persuasive call to action. Advertising is usually conducted through a common venue like a newspaper, magazine, or radio station. But there’s more. Today we are going to focus a specific type of advertising, that being Internet advertising.

Online Advertising is Very Specific and Targeted

There is a huge difference between online marketing and online advertising as well. The most important difference is the messaging. They are both quite different. With online marketing it’s more of a systematic strategy that involves a mixture of online components all working together through a well orchestrated plan. With online marketing you are attempting to communicate your overall value proposition through your website, blog posts, guest posting, social media, etc. Not so with online advertising. Online advertising is much more surgical and pointed.

Your online marketing message is about branding you and your practice while communicating that you have the solutions that will improve the life of your clients. Your marketing message is telling your story while building a sense of trust (expertise). With advertising, your are encouraging people to set up the next step, right now.

"With advertising there is a sense of urgency. You are attempting to get people to sign up today for their first session to receive mental health services." There is no soft-sell because you are paying for the ad and you don't have money to waste."

There are many ways to promote and advertise mental health services. I believe the most affordable form of advertising is through the Internet. It’s the most effective too. Hopefully, in your marketing plan you created an advertising budget. If you did, I am here to show you where and how to spend your advertising dollars to get the best bang for your buck.

Online advertising is a focused attempt to influence prospective clients by providing a short but persuasive message about your services. Online advertising is the process of attracting new customers through online advertising that allow you to target your audience and reach out people who most likely are looking for your services.

5 Effective Advertising Strategies for Mental Health Practitioners
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5 Effective Advertising Strategies for Mental Health Practitioners Smart Advertising Strategies Working for Mental Health Businesses ..

Getting Started with Google Adwords

Google AdWords is an advertising network for any business wanting to advertise on Google search results. With Google AdWords program is a pay-per-click (PPC) advertising system that allows you to set up an ad campaign or several, and only pay when people click on your ad. 

Google Ad campaigns are controlled by key words or key phrases, and geographical location. For example, when someone types into Google, “marriage and family therapists in San Antonio, TX,” a series of advertisements show up at the top of the Google search results page. Most likely, a Marriage & Family Therapist from San Antonio have placed that ad.

Setting up a Google Adwords campaign can be done in a few minutes after completing a few guided steps. Google makes it as easy as possible to get started, and they offer a ton of free support.

"Google wants you to be successful, so don’t be shy if you need help. Google will offer you a great deal of guidance and insights with the goal of helping you to see a healthy return on your investment."

With Google Adwords you get to set your daily budget and maximum cost-per-click. You can turn the ads on and off at will. To begin with you will use a shotgun approach (trial and error), but don’t worry. You can always fine tune your ads. Expect to spend some money at first as you find the sweet spots with your ads.

The best advice I can give you is to think like your prospective client. When you are setting up your ads “be the client.” Think like the client, act like the client, and become the client. First, what would they type into Google search if they were looking for services you offer. Furthermore, when creating your ads, think about what would prompt you to click on your ad? What special message does your ad have that would prompt them to seek more information?

Don’t be afraid of using Google AdWords, but be prepared to go through a learning curve. It will seem overwhelming and complicated at first, but many mental health practitioners just like you have become Google Adwords masters. There are a few key things you need to know and understand to get started, and as you learn you can venture out into the advanced features when you are ready.

To get started with Google Adwords, click here.

Yahoo and Bing Online Advertising PPC - YBN

Like Google, Yahoo and Bing offers an ingenious collection of advertising tools for mental health practitioners wanting to advertise online in their local area. Yahoo and Bing Ads are similar to Google Adwords, except that their audience and market reach is much smaller than Google’s.

Several years back Yahoo and Bing merged to become YBN - Yahoo Bing Network. This past spring Yahoo and Bing renogiated their partnersehip, but for your purpose right now the details of the new agreement are not important. The important thing is that YBN is popular for businesses with smaller ad budgets, such as mental health specialists.

"Like Google, Bing allows for you to advertise through two different networks, Bing Search Network and Bing Content Network. On the surface there is not a lot of difference between the search giant Google, and the YBN ad platform."

Google AdWords is the leading pay-per-click online advertising platform, bar none. Google supposedly owns two-thirds of all search business, and claim they deliver more impressions, higher click through rates, and better results when compared to Yahoo - Bing. On the face of it, Google seems to be the better of the two.

However, it is also true that many mental health professionals have found great success using YBN ads. The truth is that Yahoo-Bing costs 50% to 70% less than Google. That is a significant cost difference.

To me, the Google vs Yahoo-Bing debate is like comparing Outback to Applebee’s. Both are restaurants, and both have their advantages and loyal customers. One costs more, and one has better food (depending upon who you talk to). In the end, I guess it depends upon your taste and your success.

If you listen to the YBN faithful, you’ll hear that they have found a great deal and they are happy with their results comparative to the cost. The good news is that the competition for the top ad spots on the Yahoo Bing Network will costs you less, and therefore the rates you pay for each click is very affordable for businesses with small budgets.

"Yahoo touts that their data insights and technology is cutting edge. The real question boils down to whether or not the YBN online advertising platform will generate new clients for your practice. I believe that YBN delivers a great product for the price."

What’s more, Yahoo Bing Network will work with you to help you find the right mix ads that promises to drive real results. They have no problem offering professional support for businesses that buy less than $500 per month. Google will give you the same attention, but only if you spend $250,000 per month. YBN is in a heated competition with Google Adwords, so their customer service is first rate.

The bottomline is that the promise of real results for you means more new clients. If you can make Yahoo-Bing work, then you’ve hit a home run.

Get started with Yahoo Gemeni Advertising, click here.

Get started with Bing Advertising, click here.

Using Twitter for Advertising Your Behavioral Health Program

Like Facebook, Twitter has a self-serve advertising platform that allows advertisers to target people based on their known interests. Interests are listed by categories, which are determined by Twitter. Additionally, like Google, Twitter Advertisers are able to target prospective clients based on keywords and key terms. Keywords and key terms determined by hashtags (#) that Twitter users use when Tweeting a post. The combination of targeting interests and key words can be a powerful advantage for Twitter advertisers.

"What are Twitter hashtags? A hashtag is a word or term with # symbol placed in front. Hashtags are used by Twitter users, and Twitter indexes the hashtagged keywords or topics so that people can find and follow topics they are interested in." 

Additionally, Twitter advertisers are able to target prospective clients in other ways that are different from Facebook and Google. Why is targeting important? Targeting theoretically lowers advertising costs while improving your reach to the right audience. Therefore, advertisers can theoretically gain more clients at lower costs by targetting their audience with percision. However, it takes “Twitter skill” to realize this advantage.

For example, Twitter allows advertisers to target the audience of Twitter influencers. What is a Twitter influencer? It is someone, or a business, who has a lot of loyal Twitter followers. If you can find a few Twitter influencers in your market and location it is possible for you to target their followers. Finding an influencers is easy, but it takes experience and learned skill to tap into their set of followers.

"Even though Twitter allows advertisers to target users through keywords and hashtags, targeting by specific interests is hard. The selection of interests is limited and very broad. Where as Facebook allows advertisers to hone in on specific interests, Twitter does not."

It is my recommendation you use Twitter only if you already know how to use Twitter (personal account). If you are new to Twitter I would not suggest you start advertising through them. Twitter is trying to become a better advertising platform, and they are making progress. But until they figure out how to expand the categories of “interests”, I wouldn’t bother using Twitter.

LinkedIn Interesting Advertising Platform - The Professional's Social Network

LinkedIn is a social media platform design for businesses and business people. It’s the professional’s social network. LinkedIn members are able to connect with communities based on their professional experience. LinkedIn is not exactly “social,” but it is a place where professionals can connect.

The good news is that LinkedIn’s advertising platform lets you reach highly targeted groups of professionals with your custom marketing message. If your practice specializes in providing mental health services to professionals, such as corporate executives, LinkedIn might work for you. The only drawback is that LinkedIn is not easy to learn, and it is costly compared to Facebook and Twitter.

If you are looking to reach a very relevant professional audience then it is worth the time and effort to at least join LinkedIn as a member. Join, add your profile, find people you know who are already LinkedIn members, and engage. Once you feel comfortable using LinkedIn, then give their advertising platform a try.

"Your success on LinkedIn all depends upon your particular client-base. If you serve a lot of professional people, LinkedIn might be your best social media adverting platform."

Basic membership for LinkedIn is free, and a paid upgrade is available to those who are serious about using LinkedIn for business purposes. For example, many people use LinkedIn to find employees or to land a good job. All LinkedIn members get a profile page. The profile is developed by adding employment and professional experience, as well as education. Additionally, members are able to add professional groups and associations they belong to.

The LinkedIn news feed is much like Facebook. But instead of “followers” or “friends,” members are referred to as “connections.” Unlike Facebook or Twitter, LinkedIn requires connections to have a pre-existing relationship. However, LinkedIn advertisers can promote their posts and advertisement to all connections.

There are two types of LinkedIn ads, sponsored updates and text ads. Both of these options are designed to send people to your website or blog posts. Sponsored Updates are based on high-quality content, and the Text Ads are more of a traditional ad like you would find in Google Adwords. Typically, Text Ads lead visitors to a well designed landing or squeeze page made for sales conversions.

I have found that both options work well, as long as you know what you are doing and you have a very specific audience you are trying to reach. LinkedIn also allows you set and manage an advertising budget and they provide incredible analytics. Unfortunately, LinkedIn is not known for the customer service. You might need to find someone you know that can help you figure it out.

One of the most important element of success using LinkedIn advertising is your title and imagery. This is true with all social media advertising, including Google, Facebook, and Twitter. Your headline is everything. It is your message that compels people to investigate. Your image also is very important. A powerful picture is worth a thousand words.

If you’re looking to target a strictly professional audience, LinkedIn Ads is an advertising platform you should give a try. To get started with LinkedIn Ads, click here.

Using Twitter for Advertising Your Behavioral Health Program

Like Facebook, Twitter has a self-serve advertising platform that allows advertisers to target people based on their known interests. Interests are listed by categories, which are determined by Twitter. Additionally, like Google, Twitter Advertisers are able to target prospective clients based on keywords and key terms. Keywords and key terms determined by hashtags (#) that Twitter users use when Tweeting a post. The combination of targeting interests and key words can be a powerful advantage for Twitter advertisers.

"What are Twitter hashtags? A hashtag is a word or term with # symbol placed in front. Hashtags are used by Twitter users, and Twitter indexes the hashtagged keywords or topics so that people can find and follow topics they are interested in." 

Additionally, Twitter advertisers are able to target prospective clients in other ways that are different from Facebook and Google. Why is targeting important? Targeting theoretically lowers advertising costs while improving your reach to the right audience. Therefore, advertisers can theoretically gain more clients at lower costs by targetting their audience with percision. However, it takes “Twitter skill” to realize this advantage.

For example, Twitter allows advertisers to target the audience of Twitter influencers. What is a Twitter influencer? It is someone, or a business, who has a lot of loyal Twitter followers. If you can find a few Twitter influencers in your market and location it is possible for you to target their followers. Finding an influencers is easy, but it takes experience and learned skill to tap into their set of followers.

"Even though Twitter allows advertisers to target users through keywords and hashtags, targeting by specific interests is hard. The selection of interests is limited and very broad. Where as Facebook allows advertisers to hone in on specific interests, Twitter does not."

It is my recommendation you use Twitter only if you already know how to use Twitter (personal account). If you are new to Twitter I would not suggest you start advertising through them. Twitter is trying to become a better advertising platform, and they are making progress. But until they figure out how to expand the categories of “interests”, I wouldn’t bother using Twitter.

LinkedIn Interesting Advertising Platform - The Professional's Social Network

LinkedIn is a social media platform design for businesses and business people. It’s the professional’s social network. LinkedIn members are able to connect with communities based on their professional experience. LinkedIn is not exactly “social,” but it is a place where professionals can connect.

The good news is that LinkedIn’s advertising platform lets you reach highly targeted groups of professionals with your custom marketing message. If your practice specializes in providing mental health services to professionals, such as corporate executives, LinkedIn might work for you. The only drawback is that LinkedIn is not easy to learn, and it is costly compared to Facebook and Twitter.

If you are looking to reach a very relevant professional audience then it is worth the time and effort to at least join LinkedIn as a member. Join, add your profile, find people you know who are already LinkedIn members, and engage. Once you feel comfortable using LinkedIn, then give their advertising platform a try.

"Your success on LinkedIn all depends upon your particular client-base. If you serve a lot of professional people, LinkedIn might be your best social media adverting platform."

Basic membership for LinkedIn is free, and a paid upgrade is available to those who are serious about using LinkedIn for business purposes. For example, many people use LinkedIn to find employees or to land a good job. All LinkedIn members get a profile page. The profile is developed by adding employment and professional experience, as well as education. Additionally, members are able to add professional groups and associations they belong to.

The LinkedIn news feed is much like Facebook. But instead of “followers” or “friends,” members are referred to as “connections.” Unlike Facebook or Twitter, LinkedIn requires connections to have a pre-existing relationship. However, LinkedIn advertisers can promote their posts and advertisement to all connections.

There are two types of LinkedIn ads, sponsored updates and text ads. Both of these options are designed to send people to your website or blog posts. Sponsored Updates are based on high-quality content, and the Text Ads are more of a traditional ad like you would find in Google Adwords. Typically, Text Ads lead visitors to a well designed landing or squeeze page made for sales conversions.

I have found that both options work well, as long as you know what you are doing and you have a very specific audience you are trying to reach. LinkedIn also allows you set and manage an advertising budget and they provide incredible analytics. Unfortunately, LinkedIn is not known for the customer service. You might need to find someone you know that can help you figure it out.

One of the most important element of success using LinkedIn advertising is your title and imagery. This is true with all social media advertising, including Google, Facebook, and Twitter. Your headline is everything. It is your message that compels people to investigate. Your image also is very important. A powerful picture is worth a thousand words.

If you’re looking to target a strictly professional audience, LinkedIn Ads is an advertising platform you should give a try. To get started with LinkedIn Ads, click here.

Other Online Advertising Nuggets

If you have a larger practice or program consider hiring digital marketing team. A qualified digital marketing firm can help you develop and launch a well-defined marketing plan that involves search engine optimization, online advertising, email marketing, and tools that will save you time and improve your quality.

A digital marketing agency can assist your business in creating a powerful online presence through advertising. If most cases, a marketing firm can save you enough money to pay for their professional services. Consulting companies can also help you with branding, website design, and lead generation and management.

"Buy an ad placements on online directories, such as Yelp, Yellow Pages, BBB, or websites like TherapyInsider.com. Many people online directories to find listings for businesses in their area. Online listings are low-cost, and they add to your credibility."

Set up a listing for your business in search engine local directories. Make sure you get indexed by Google and Bing, both offer a free listing for local businesses. To get listed on Google, go to Google My Business.

To get listed on Bing, go to Bing Places for Business. Yahoo charges for local listings, but you get listed on a lot more than Yahoo if you buy their service. The service, called Yahoo Localworks, costs $29.99 a month and lists you in 50 directories including Yahoo Local, Yelp, WhitePages, Bing, Mapquest and more.

Therapy Insider Partners with Mental and Behavioral Health Businesses

Therapy Insider is uniquely positioned to help mental health practitioners and programs cultivate new streams of referrals through native advertising and social media marketing. For more information, click here.

"Therapy Insider provides professional behavioral health businesses with the tools and acumen to leverage high-quality content as a strategy to build enhanced referral systems."

By providing professionals with advertising, “best practices”, “how-to guides”, “realtime analysis”, and “curated content” Therapy Insider makes it easier for practitioners and programs to achieve cost-effective results through native advertising.

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