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A Guide to Compassionate Marketing for Eating Disorder Treatment Centers

The competition for consumer attention has never been as vast as it is in the modern digital age. And with the average consumer’s attention being directed and redirected thousands of ways any given day, compassionate messaging has become extremely valuable – and necessary.

Successful marketing is often the product of a recipe containing many essential ingredients. With today’s focus on social good, social justice, and being sensitive to emotional needs, consumers have their ears tuned to the primary ingredient – compassion. And if you’re not actively showing that your company holds compassion and accountability to the highest standard, you could easily face a downturn in profit and a reduced customer base.

Brands need to show the consumer that they’re doing more than taking their specific needs into consideration. And when marketing for eating disorder treatment centers, you need to show consumers that you understand their struggle – and that you’re not simply trying to make a profit.

Ready to let Beacon go to work to help you develop compassionate messaging for your eating disorder treatment center? Learn how we can help your clinic thrive with our mental health marketing services.

What Is Compassionate Marketing?

5 Key Principles of Compassionate Messaging Infographic

It may seem puzzling to think of marketing as compassionate. After all, the primary goal of marketing is always to achieve the greatest ROI, right? Well, not exactly.

Without the element of compassion, a marketing message may easily fall on deaf ears, or fall flat on the page. Without a deep, authentic meaning in your messaging, you’ll likely fail at establishing a deeper connection with your target audience.

Compassionate content marketing is concerned more with kindness and honesty than with numbers or conversion. This is a message that places the humanity of your audience as the center focus of your efforts. Essentially, compassionate marketing is an intuitive and creative way to help your audience identify with your brand, and not feel like outsiders looking in.

At the end of the day, you want your audience to already feel like they’re a part of the family before they ever step through the doors of your clinic. And empathic messaging is the key to establishing this level of trust and understanding.

Normalize the Struggle

Those with eating disorders are already protective of their condition. In fact, many eating disorder patients have trouble coming forward and admitting to anyone that they have a problem. This type of disorder is often held as a secret, and this is why compassionate messaging will allow an eating disorder treatment center to offer the level of comfort that an eating disorder patient is looking for.

At the most basic level, as an eating disorder treatment center, you need to normalize the struggle and let it be known to the world that these problems are not the dirty little secrets that many patients attempt to keep buried. This is a condition that needs to be talked about, and the following methods offer an opportunity for doing so:

  • Start inclusive conversations about eating disorders on social media
  • Ask your audience to offer their ideas about eating disorders through surveys
  • Use a podcast to help spread positive and compassionate messaging about eating disorders
  • Invite social influencers with eating disorders to promote your clinic
  • Offer free ebooks or guides for those struggling with eating disorders
  • Provide stigma-breaking, informative blogs on eating disorders

People suffering from eating disorders need to feel welcomed and understood. As an eating disorder brand, you need to not only accommodate your patients, you need to let them know that they’re not black sheep – that they’re safe and welcome. And by doing so, the more effective and compassionate your messaging will be.

Eliminating the Shame

Shame is something we’ve all experienced at some point in our lives in moments of social rejection, failed connection, or when we’ve exercised poor judgment and made a critical mistake. In fact, the feeling of shame often occurs when our highest ideal of self differs from how we perceive ourselves. And an eating disorder can make one feel riddled with shame, guilt, and even self-hatred.

As a mental health brand specializing in eating disorder treatment, eliminating the element of shame is often a primary goal when treating a patient, and the same should be true when developing your marketing message.

Messages promoting self-compassion, self-love, and body positivity may offer the best hope for eliminating the shame that many of those with eating disorders feel throughout the day. And the more you can connect with your audience and deliver messages full of love and empathy, the greater the response from potential patients you’ll see.

Setting the Tone With Visual Empathy

A primary method for truly showing the consumer that you’re a compassionate brand is through a combination of messaging and visually authentic designs that work to reinforce your message. And in order to achieve this effect, the imagery needs to suit the message.

The following examples of imagery may prove quite effective and inviting for potential eating disorder patients:

  • Images of people enjoying food together
  • Images highlighting a compassionate patient/clinician relationship
  • Images of diversity
  • Images of togetherness
  • Images of embracing one another

The most effective imagery when it comes to compassionate messaging embodies the principles of kindness, common humanity, mindfulness, thoughtfulness, and inclusiveness. And when implemented in a design, this imagery can help to alleviate the internalized feelings of shame and self-criticism that many sufferers of eating disorders face on a daily basis.

Address the Tough Issues with a Gentle Touch

As mentioned, we all know that eating disorders can be a difficult topic to discuss openly. And with the American Society for Nutrition noting that eating disorders are on the rise, this leaves you with a larger audience and many sensitive issues to discuss. Whether in blogs, email content, ebooks, or guides, these discussions need to be open, honest, inviting, and gentle to those sensitive about their eating disorder.

Potential areas to discuss in your digital platforms may include:

  • Social anxiety caused by eating disorders
  • Mood disorders
  • Body dysmorphia
  • Depression
  • Binge eating
  • Anorexia
  • Bulimia

A gentle and compassionate voice can go a long way in the effort to help reduce the stigma and cultural stereotypes that often come along with eating disorders. Essentially, when your marketing message focuses more on helping than selling, this changes the focus of the campaign and highlights your brand’s core values. And this is where partnering with a marketing company can be a powerful tool for focusing your brand’s voice and delivering compassionate messaging.

Scaling Your Eating Disorder Treatment Practice with Beacon Media + Marketing

At Beacon, we know how difficult it can be to come up with the right messaging and deliver that compassionate voice that your audience is looking for. But this is why our team is here.

From web design, paid ads, social media marketing, monthly blog posts, and developing your entire marketing strategy, growing your eating disorder treatment practice can be left in our capable hands. And you can sit back and relax (or focus on other areas of your business) while Beacon Media + Marketing creates your next successful eating disorder marketing campaign.

Our team of creatives and digital marketing experts each knows exactly what to do to develop compassionate messaging and allow you to reach your business goals, and we can’t wait to see your eating disorder treatment center thrive!

Ready to see how Beacon Media + Marketing can help your eating disorder treatment center thrive? Reach out and schedule your free consultation today!