Marketing your pediatric therapy practice with the wrong strategy can feel like you’re just not getting through to people. Or worse, you’re met with outright rejection. Here’s the thing – promoting therapy services for children requires unique strategies when marketing to adults.
For one, your target audience is parents and caregivers, and that makes things a bit tricky. But growing your pediatric therapy practice doesn’t have to be difficult. Read on for some expert tips to help in your mental health marketing for pediatric practices.
Ready to leave the work of growing your therapy practice to someone else? Learn how we can help with our mental health marketing services.
1) Know Your Audience
Children’s toy companies seem to have it so much easier when it comes to marketing. Their products can easily be promoted on kids’ TV shows, displayed on the lowest shelves of store aisles, or seen with their friends at school. But when it comes to pediatric therapy services, you’re out of luck marketing to children.
So, does that mean your therapy practice is relegated to dusty doctor’s office pamphlets? Absolutely not. You just need to shift your focus to a not-so-obvious (at first) target audience: Parents and caregivers.
This “indirect” target audience is nothing new in the world of marketing. Think about it. Are senior care services talking to seniors? No, they focus on their adult children. Are Valentine’s Day gift commercials for you (the recipient) or are they meant to reach your significant other?
In the same way, parents, guardians, and other caregivers should be your main focus.
2) Go Where They Are
The easiest way to connect with your target audience is to show up in related areas that don’t compete with your practice. These spaces can be in-person or online, but the key is to leverage an existing audience that is more readily available than the one you can build on your own at this stage.
Parental Blogs, Podcasts, and Forums
Caregivers and guardians are constantly looking for advice and resources to guide them in raising children. If you’re able to use guest posts and other partnerships to boost your content marketing and PR, it can bring in many new clients. Why? Because there’s already an existing audience that trusts the authority of the person or platform. Be featured in their space, and you can instantly gain credibility.
Schools and Daycare Services
When kids aren’t at home with their parents or another caregiver, they’re at school or in daycare services. So, chances are, these adults interact with the children often and may even see a difference in behavior from home life. Partnering with these facilities provides a good opportunity to get new business from referrals.
Pediatric Hospitals & Doctor Offices
Similar to schools and daycares, medical centers interact with children in a different context. But there’s one key “advantage” here: hospitals and doctors’ offices are focused on healthcare. That includes behavioral and mental health as well. If a concerned parent brings their child in for an annual checkup, they are likely to bring up issues they’ve noticed. It isn’t rare for a child’s primary care doctor to recommend therapy as a solution, and they could very well recommend your pediatric practice. That is, if they know about your services. (Hint: that was an action item).
Camps and Recreational Activities
This strategy is repeated here also. While you’re unlikely to get direct therapy referrals from these places, they are where your target audience is at. It’s a smart move to figure out a way to get in front of their eyeballs!
3) Focus on (Search) Intention
Given the nature of your practice, it’s smart to target parents who are actively looking for answers to their children’s struggles. At least at first – once you grow our practice, you can broaden your scope. The idea of search intention is usually referring to the use of paid advertising. For instance, Facebook ads are often presented on your feed without you intentionally searching for that product or service. This can sound confusing because good ad targeting will result in you seeing highly relevant ads. (Think ads for baking tools in your feed because you read cooking blogs, like social media posts for baking, or place an order for a cake recipe’s ingredients.)
But no matter how relevant or timely these ads may seem, they don’t use search intention. You never went to Facebook, typed in “large whisk” and then expected to see a paid ad for that product – even if it was something you wanted to buy once you saw it.
Advertising with search intention is different. For example, if a water pipe bursts in your home, you might immediately Google “plumbers [city] [state]” or “fix water pipe near me.” In that case, you will be shown paid search result ads from companies in your area. And generally speaking, companies are more likely to get your business when they present themselves as the solution to a problem you were already searching for. That’s the power of search intention.
Likewise, it may help to use marketing strategies that focus on this for your pediatric practice. And while it’s not direct marketing/advertising, blog posts are a great way to bring visitors to your website based on search intention. For example, an informative post for someone searching “how much does children’s therapy cost?” could bring in traffic and more leads to your practice.
4) Target Values in Your Messaging
Perhaps this tip sounds obvious to you. But many practices in the health and wellness space, end up revolving their message around “shoulds.” You should be eating this instead of your favorite comfort food. You should be doing cardio 3-5x a week instead of watching the entire season on Netflix. You should be reading a book to keep your brain sharp or you should schedule that doctor’s appointment.
Are all of these positive, healthy things? Yes, but it ends up sounding like another chore of a to-do list, or worse a judgment. That’s why the key to successful messaging is to focus on parent/caregiver values, which would naturally lead to seeking therapy for their children if needed.
Here are a couple of examples of values:
Empathy: Most people are actively trying to be good parents to their kids. Show you understand the issues they may face, too.
Nurturing: Frame therapy as something to be proactive about as well as nurturing for a child’s well-being. In other words, change the notion that therapy is a last resort or only when problems get out of control.
What core values and emotions can you connect with in your marketing?
5) Reputation, Reputation, Reputation
Lastly, this is possibly one of the most important points in growing your pediatric therapy practice. While every business needs to maintain credibility and reputation, you will have to put more emphasis on it. Why? You’re asking parents to take a risk anytime they entrust you with their child’s care.
Even if a bad review is only a disgruntled parent or an unrelated comment like an insurance complaint, it can still damage your practice’s reputation. As you grow, these things will be less of a blow compared to your overall positive feedback and credibility. However, when you’re still scaling, you must be more vigilant in managing your therapy practice’s reputation.
Scaling Your Pediatric Therapy Practice with Beacon
From monthly blog posts and running ads to marketing strategy and web design, growing your therapy practice can feel overwhelming! That’s why we’re here to step in. You can sit back and relax while Beacon Media + Marketing launches your next successful mental health marketing campaign. Our team of experts knows exactly what to do reach your business goals, and we can’t wait to see your pediatric therapy practice thrive!
Are you ready to see how Beacon Media + Marketing can help your behavioral health practice? Schedule your free consultation!