How to Successfully Market Your Mental Health Services
Become the bright spot in the crowd, the one offering value that leads to recovery and restoration!
High-Quality Content, Authority, and Return On Investment represent the 3 Pillars of online marketing succcess for mental health practitioners and programs. These three components also define the term "content marketing."
In this article we are going to explore the value and meaning of the 3 online marketing factors essential to content marketing in the mental health service world. We will discuss “Authority,” “Quality Content,” and “Return On Investment” (ROI). Together these three factors represent the keys to effective mental health marketing. In the end you will have a better understanding of how you can affordably grow your referral sources and flourish through online marketing.
"The good news is that Content Marketing is the most effective and affordable way for practitioners and programs to market mental health and behavioral health services."
If you get these 3 foundational marketing elements nailed, you will enjoy tremendous online marketing success in the form of new referrals.
Before You Start - Do You Know Your Marketing Goals and Objectives?
What is the purpose of online marketing as it relates to mental health services? What are your goals, objectives, and expected outcomes? Without establishing your goals and objectives it will be difficult (or impossible) to be successful. If you do not have goals or objectives, establish them now.
"Marketing any business is about growth, and in respect to online marketing for mental health or behavioral health businesses it’s about cultivating and nurturing a continuous flow of new referral sources."
One of your goals might looking like this… “My online marketing goal is to create 3 new referral sources in the next 12 months.” Moreover, one of your marketing objectives might look like,”Through my current and new referral sources I launch a second addiction IOP group of 12 new clients.”
What Does it Take to Be Successful?
Marketing any business is a lot of work, especially in the realm of mental and behavioral health. To be successful with your online marketing campaign you’ll have to be prepared and willing to invest time, energy, thought, research, and even money. Or, you will need to hire a digital marketing firm to do the work for you. Either way, it will take energy, thought, intelligence, and know how.
“It should be obvious that marketing will have direct influence on your business’ success, so it is vitally important! They don’t teach marketing in college, so you will need to learn from others, or on your own.”
Step One to Online Marketing Success - Establish Online Authority
Becoming the trusted authority in your niche and location sounds like a daunting task, but it is not. It does take time, effort, organization, and know how, but overtime it can be done.
"The goal of building authority is not necessarily to write something everybody in your industry finds interesting, but rather to provide information that your prospective clients find worthwhile - and then repeat as often as possible."
When your website (especially blog posts) contains useful information your website will gain traffic and more importantly, it gains the attention of those looking for your services. Building online authority is all about creating value through high-quality content. It’s really that simple.
Mental Health Marketing - Singular Focus on High-Quality Content
It might not be simple to produce high-quality content, but if you create high-quality posts your online authority will rise naturally, and over time it's guarantee to produce the desired results. Since there are so many factors involved related to search engine optimization (SEO), as a mental health expert you need to focus entirely on creating high-quaility content. Forget about learning the tricks to SEO and focus on quality and value.
Being an authority in your niche (local online space) should be the goal of any mental health practitioner or program wanting to grow and expand. When you become an online authority in your geographical area you create the ability to reach more people looking for your services. By offering value through high-quality content you build authority and trust from your prospective client-base, and increase the potential to grow your business through new referral sources.
Online authority is not about ego or pride. It is about popularity though. When search engines find that your content is popular, they will elevate all of your content to the top. If your content has value it will be viewed, engaged, shared, and liked. With each engagement you get a “popularity” vote, and these votes are calculated and recorded by the search engines. The more votes the more popularity, the more popularity the better position your web pages receive in the search engines.
“Online authority is all about search engines (Google, Yahoo, and Bing) and Social Media Channels (Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn) recognizing you as an authoritative resource.”
Authority allows you to be an influencer in your niche and space. Online authority requires that present your high-quality content in front of your target audience and receive a positive response. You can increase the chances of your high-quality content receives engagement by being an engager as well. Meaning, you must be willing to interact with others online, creating a flow of back and forth interactions with your content in the middle.
What is High-Quality Content?
High-quality starts with producing “meat”. Your website and more importantly, your blog posts must be filled with meat (good information that provides value to the reader). If not, why would anyone read your stuff? In the therapeutic space good meat is content that improves knowledge, brings awareness, and offers hope. Your content must be able to improve lives or it will not be considered valuable by the search engines.
"Grammar and spelling are important too. You don’t have to be perfect, but your basic grammar and punctuation must make you look intelligent, capable, and educated."
To be considered high-quality your online articles must look good. Meaning, your posts are properly formatted and supplemented with media embeds - infographics, images, videos, tweets, or podcasts. The look and feel of a post is extremely critical. People love infographics and videos. If your posts have these elements people will share them, thus giving you a thumbs up vote in the search engines.
Lastly, your posts must be mobile friendly. Meaning, they must load fast and show up looking awesome on mobile devices. 70% of all web traffic is viewed on mobile devices.
Being Active as a Thought Leader
If you are producing high-quality content and you are active with online communities you will be viewed as a thought leader by both your colleagues and client’s alike. Overtime, your content will gain high rankings in the search engines and social media channels because people engage it (read it, like it, comment on it, and share it). The high rankings will lead to increased traffic, and the increased traffic will lead to more engagement - which describes “critical mass”.
“Critical mass is the place where you have become an online authority in your niche and geographical location. Meaning, your web posts show up in search results because the search engines have recognized your value and consider you to be a thought leader.”
To gain online authority through hiqh-qualty content it takes producing content that is highly valued by people online. It also requires you to get active in social media and engage with your potential client base and colleagues in your space. If you desire to be viewed as a though leader (authority) by the search engines you have to engage with related audiences in social media. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Youtube are the top platforms.
High-quality content is really about being a valued resource. If you want your prospective clients to come to you for advice (mental health services), start by offering your advice, coaching, and counsel online. Then, encourage content sharing by “sharing content” with your audience.
Allow your audience to learn from you, but just as important be willing to share content from other authorities in your space. Associate your channel with great content from you and many other professionals. Become the hub of the best information and by doing so it will pay off.
Being recognized by the search engines as an authority has huge advantages for your practice of program, such as increased rankings of your individual web pages (blog posts), getting in front of your prospective client-base with info they are looking for, all the while lowering your marketing costs.
If you don’t have time or staff members with the time to produce quality content, hire a professional firm that understands how well-written content builds website authority.
The Importance of ROI
If you hired a high priced marketing consultant and he or she was in your office right now, what would they ask you about your business? If they were worth their salt they would ask something like this, “what is your is practices’ purpose, intent, and goal? And, what is your current marketing strategy? What is working for you now, and has worked for you in the past”
What would your answers be? Could you answer these questions? Moreover, could you answer their next series of questions, such as, “Can you verify the effectiveness of your past and current marketing, and what is your marketing ROI?”
What is ROI anyway? It is something that you need to know before you start marketing your practice or program. Return on investment related to marketing is a universal term that describes a measurement used to calculate and evaluate the performance of your marketing investment. In this case “ROI” measures the return on your marketing investment, thus measuring the cost of your marketing and comparing it to the results.
Why is ROI important? All businesses should be looking closely at their marketing cost while evaluating the effectiveness therin. Recently, I had a client who was spending a reasonable amount on paid Google ads. The actual amount sounded relatively low, and seemed affordable. However, he had virtually no verifiable results.
Not Knowing and Flying Blind is a Plan to Fail
My client could not tell me if the ads were producing new clients. He explained that he had been using Google Adwords for quite some time, and he was comfortable with the results, but could not prove that the Google Ads were actually responsible for new business.
What’s worse, is the reality that my client was spending a great deal of time working on his content marketing campaign. He personally produced a large volume of content for his blog and managed his company’s social media channels. He reported that he spent 12 to 15 hours per week on writing and publishing blog posts and then syndicated them through Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
At first glance it seemed to me that my client was spending a lot of time on his content marketing plan, which is typically a good thing. However, I dug a little deeper and found that his efforts were not bringing in new client referrals. We found that he needed to make a few adjustments predicated on the data coming from the reporting tools (tools that he had ignored).
I helped my client to discover that his investment was not producing a great deal of traffic or new referrals. Therefore, he was potentially neglecting other elements of his business that could produced better results. Although he loved writing blog posts, and working his social media, it was not producing the results (ROI) worthy of his time. If he were to continue this strategy he needed to make some slight corrections.
Together we took a thorough look at his processes, his plan, as well as his tools. We came to the conclusion that he could produce better results and spend less time by spending time analyzing results. In a short time we were able to increase his referrals and lower his time. Meaning, we greatly improved his ROI, and that’s not all.
All we did was tweak his strategy a bit. We analyzed his past results and made some intuitive adjustments. We then added some automation tools that gave him better information. In addition, we incorporated a social media publishing tool with enhanced analytics, and then hooked him up with a customized Google Analytics report that tracked goals tied to conversions.
In the end, my client shaved off 7 hours per week, spending half the time on his marketing campaigns with much better results. Not only that, he was able to produce higher quality work.
Lastly, our work together led to establishing a baseline ROI. Moving forward he will was positioned better to measure his real ROI, allowing him continue to make slight adjustments through intelligence and intutition.
The good news is that Content Marketing is the most effective and affordable way for practitioners and therapeutic programs to market mental health and behavioral health services. Becoming an online authority in your niche and geographical location should be your goal, and with effort, patience, and determination you can become the online authority and receive incredible rewards.
Before you start an online marketing campaign you need to know your marketing goals and objectives. You need to be clear about your purpose as it relates to growing your mental health business. You need to know what your expected outcomes are, and the cost to obtain them. Without establishing a plan to reach your goals and objectives it will be difficult see success. You need to know your ROI.
Marketing any business is about growth, and in respect to online marketing for mental health or behavioral health businesses it's about cultivating and nurturing a continuous flow of new referral sources. Anyone can do it, but only those who produce high-quality content and become recognized as online authorities will produce new rich referrals sources.
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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