A creative and effective marketing strategy for any business can be challenging. However, mental health marketing can sometimes become harder to understand and execute effectively.
You may have also noticed that your marketing strategy has probably had to change after the pandemic. Many practitioners before the pandemic had in-person services and may have switched to fully remote care after. If your counseling practice falls under that, you’ll need to change how you market yourself.
Your online presence will affect everything since you’re not offering in-person services. From gaining potential clients to maintaining current ones, you’ll need a plan for how you’ll do so. Here are ten tips for marketing your online counseling practice.
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Why Do You Need To Change Your Marketing?
You may be wondering why it’s important to change your marketing if you’re now a remote practice. Some signs of ineffective marketing may not have shown itself yet. However, not changing your methods may hinder your ability to gain new clients.
As Google is changing the way they allow healthcare professionals to use their tools, such as Google My Business, your mental health practice can’t use this tool without a physical location. In other words, when people search for “therapists in my area,” your practice won’t show up as one of the leading providers. When people search by location, it will show the practices with physical locations near them.
Although this may put you a step behind some of your competitors, it’s not bad. Some people have found that their preferred therapy treatment method is online or teletherapy. There is a demand for your services, so you need to know how to market to that target audience.
10 Tips on How To Market Your Online Counseling Practice
Your marketing will have to focus on your online presence and SEO-optimizing your website, blogs, and overall content. Being active on social media, providing educational videos on YouTube, or even creating an education podcast will also bump your probability of being found.
The key for marketing your online service will be using search engine tools to bump up your ranking on search engines. So, here are some tips on how you can effectively market your online mental health practice.
1. Identify Your Niche
Identifying your niche is essential for your online marketing. One reason is to figure out what services you’re going to provide or even what kind of education you’d like to be spreading online. Narrowing down your focus area builds credibility for your specialty. When people think about that topic, you’re the first one they think of.
It’s also critical to consider your differentiator, or why someone should choose you over the competition. There are many options for them, so what makes you different compared to other providers? This could be you providing services of medication management or additional resources. It’s whatever makes you different and represents your practice.
2. Identify Your Target Audience
Finding your target audience is critical for knowing who would want to be attracted to your services. This can be based on your specialties, such as helping people with depression, anxiety, PTSD, trauma, etc. Knowing whom you’d like to help will make creating your marketing strategy easier.
You should also consider the type of clientele that you work well for and that works for you. Creating a safe space where people can still feel connected, especially making the connection online, can be difficult. Take time to consider what your ideal client looks like and gear your marketing toward targeting that specific audience.
3. Create a Great Website
Most people will use online search engines to find a mental health provider. Creating a great website will exuberate your online presence, who you are, and how you can help these potential clients.
Your website needs to clearly identify your services and modalities with easily navigable pages that will lead them towards contacting you to schedule an appointment. Having an online contact page is critical as many people feel anxious calling and can easily sign up with a contact form. Ensure that your website has SEO-optimized pages, quick load times, navigable pages, helpful information, reflects your brand, and a way to contact you.
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Blogging is one of the best ways to boost your overall SEO. Search engines will see your page as a useful option to answer the questions clients might be looking for. Your blogs should have strong CTAs that draw people towards booking an appointment with you.
If you’re unsure what to write, it’s always a good idea to make a mental health blog marketing strategy that reflects your services and gives people educational information. Your blogs should reflect your knowledge in the field to build credibility and a way for you to market your services as the best choice for them. Don’t also forget to share your blogs on social media to drive traffic to the articles and your overall website.
5. Use Social Media
Social media will be one of your best tools for building your online practice. You can use it in several ways that will help draw people to your practice. This can include building brand awareness, sharing client testimonials, or showcasing your online therapy team.
Another reason to utilize social media is to promote education on mental health topics and show that you’re credible. Your social media posts can be pictures or videos of you briefly explaining a topic and suggesting people check out your blog for a more in-depth explanation. Make sure that you’re consistently creating content and that you’re on these social platforms:
Google ads are a great way to help boost your reach online. You want to make sure that when someone is searching for online counselors in a state that you’re licensed in, they see your website first.
You can make this happen by utilizing the Google ads function to push your website to the top. You can also use your Google Analytics to help understand the audience coming to your page and how you may want to adjust your ad strategy based on your target audience.
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7. Make Sure to Network
Although you can network on several social platforms such as Facebook groups, LinkedIn is one of the best platform for building your professional network. This is a great digital tool for connecting with other medical professionals or therapists in your area.
Connecting with people in your medical community will help you stay up-to-date and allow others to know about your services, possibly recommending you. It’s also an excellent way for people to see the professional side of your practice. You can react to important mental health issues and use the platform to promote valuable mental health education.
8. Use Social Proof
A great way to gain new clients is to have testimonials that speak to how you’ve helped people. When you deliver primarily online services, you will need to prove your credibility a step further. If you have testimonials from past clients, make sure to share these on your website, social media, etc.
Many people rely on social reviews for services they want to try, but even more so for online services. Since some may be skeptical about your service quality, make sure to use proof that you can help and that you care about your clients.
9. Utilize Video
Most people find it easier to judge a person’s character and personality in person; however, that can be difficult with online services. So, you should use videos on your social media accounts and website to show who you are.
When people can see your personality, they’re more likely to schedule an appointment with you if they get a feel of who you are and if you’d be a good fit for them. If you’re great on camera, consider interview-style videos or simply talking to people candidly to show how comfortable you are and how comfortable you’ll make the client during the session.
10. Invest In a Good Setup
Just because you’re not in an office doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t look professional. Since all of your business will be done online, you should invest in a good camera, microphone, internet, and HIPPA-compliant video call software.
You should still make sure that your background looks neat and professional-looking, as well as your clothes. If people see that you’re not professional, it can turn them away and make it hard for them to trust you. Even the smallest of these details are important for how well your online presence is marketed.
Why You Should Choose Beacon Media + Marketing to Help
Although you may have a vague idea of how you should go about your marketing, it can be hard to put into practice. You may not know where to start or exactly how to make a mental health marketing strategy. That’s where we come in.
Entrusting Beacon Media + Marketing with your online counseling practice will allow you to focus on what you’re genuinely passionate about: helping people through counseling. Marketing effectively can take extended amounts of time that should be dedicated to your clients. So, by choosing an agency to help, you’re freeing your time for what really matters.
At Beacon Media + Marketing, we can help you market better through many services such as social media, paid ads, SEO optimization, blogging, website development and design, branding, graphic design, photography, and video. We can help you with your mental health branding and marketing and get you to the top results of searches to convert potential clients.
Are you ready to take your online counseling practice to the next level? Get your free consultation!