Are you looking for ways to market your mental health therapy practice? Content marketing is a great way to reach potential clients. In this post, I will discuss what content marketing is and how you can use it to promote your counseling services for free. I’ll also provide some tips for creating effective content and go over common content marketing tactics. Read all the way to the end and I will cover the #1 secret to making your content marketing strategy work for you! So, let’s get into it.
What is Content?
Often, you will hear this word thrown around without much context. “Content is king”, “push out more content”, “content! content! content!” But what does content actually mean? It’s pretty simple…. Content is anything – post, blog, video, podcast, live, etc… that you publish for the public. – I know, pretty profound, right? But there it is.
What is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is a branch of digital marketing. Compared to traditional and digital marketing concepts, most experts look at content marketing as value added marketing. The objective here isn’t to make sales but to provide education, information, and value to your audience. This helps foster deeper connections, builds your authority, and engages your audience.
Content marketing includes using long and short form content to offer information. Long form content is essentially content that comes in long form such as blog posts, podcasts, YouTube Videos, articles, e-books, and more. This blog/podcast is an example of long form content.
Using long form content, you can write or talk about your area of expertise that offers valuable information to the audience. The benefit of using long form content is you can essentially market your practice for free minus website domain costs. When someone searches for something on the internet, website crawlers will scroll your content to see if it matches what the inquirer is looking for. You can ensure your website is found by using a solid SEO – or Search Engine Optimization – strategy in your blog. I will go over how to properly write for SEO in future content.
Short form content is shorter versions of content like social media posts, reels, TikToks, voice clips, short videos, etc…
Why is Content Marketing Especially Important for Therapists?
Content marketing is especially important to those in the mental health industry because people typically do not buy the service, they connect with the provider.
“Potential clients are less interested in buying therapy and more concerned with finding the right solution to their problems. After all, therapy is an intimate experience. The individual must feel connected to the person they see on a webpage or posting on social media” (Sutton, J. PhD, 2021).
Some benefits to using content marketing as a mental health professional include:
- Building your trust and authority within your niche
- Connecting with your audience
- Generating relevant leads
- Helping you reach more clients who are looking for you and your services
The old way of finding a therapist by looking in the Yellow Pages for mental health providers, calling for an appointment, driving to an office for the first session, and spending needless amounts of time and money to find that the provider and client are not compatible are gone. – Thank goodness! I might be showing my age here but I definitely remember those days!
Consumers are looking for new therapists on the internet. It usually starts with a Google or Social Media search. Once they find someone they think offers the types of services that can help them, they will often look at the types of content that has been published by or about that provider. Meaning, if you do not have content that demonstrates your expertise in the area the potential client is looking for – you are missing out on an opportunity to connect and provide services to that client. Since 82% of decision-makers want informational content and not ads (WebFX, n.d.), you could be missing out on a very big portion of people who want to connect with you if you are not using content to establish trust, authority, and connection.
The types of content that builds authority, trust, and connection are:
- Educational – What can you offer that teaches someone effective strategies?
- Informational – Content that provides correct and relevant information around the services you offer
- Inspiration – offer some quotes or infographics that inspire your niche.
An added benefit to content marketing for therapists is increasing your reach and normalizing the need for mental health. Unfortunately, there is still a heavy stigma surrounding mental health in our society. By pushing your expertise and content to the public, you are helping build on the movement that mental healthcare is healthcare and taking care of mental health is just as important as taking care of physical health.
Market Research and Your Niche
How do you know what types of content will resonate with your ideal clients? The answer – Market research.
Market research is where you gather information about your ideal client such as demographics, consumer activities, likes and dislikes, and other preferences. Market research is essential in all marketing for all businesses. You need to identify who is receiving your content and who you want to receive your content and ensure those align with each other.
Researching your market takes time but it’s one of the best investments you can make in your practice to increase your impact. I will cover more about how to effectively conduct market research in the coming weeks. So be sure you subscribe to this blog to get those updates when I post.
Using market research and your own area of expertise, you can create your ideal client profile and then create content that talks directly to them. You probably have a specialization in your practice. Some therapists specialize in anxiety disorders, PTSD, eating disorders, or family and marriage dynamics – the list goes on. Using that specialization, you can identify your niche – people looking for that type of service. From there, really dig deep into your ideal client and determine their needs. Keeping the end user (your ideal client) in mind will help you create meaningful and impactful content that resonates with your niche.
Content Marketing Tactics
There are many different ways you can create and publish content.
|Written Content||Visual Content||Audio Content|
LinkedIn Articles and posts
Captions on photos on social media
Social media copy
It’s important to note that the content tactics you should use are based on your market research and where you know your audience typically lives online. Once you know what tactics you are using, you can create a schedule that suits your life and business that allows you to publish consistent content. It doesn’t have to be every day – it just needs to be consistent. After this, you can move on to the #1 secret to making your content work best for you.
The Next Steps or Calls to Action
I’m sure you have heard the saying going around in the marketing world that content is king or content is key. I’ve even said it earlier. However, I don’t 100% agree with that. While I do agree that content is the first step in getting the attention of the individuals that you can serve. It certainly is not the end all be all of content marketing.
Let me explain:
You have just published a blog that offers tips for calming social anxiety. You’ve created quotes and graphics using the blog information, you’ve recorded a podcast, you’ve pushed out the social media postings. You’re done, right? So, now you wait, and you wait….. And wait. And wait some more. Where the heck is everyone? Why aren’t you getting calls, emails, messages, comments, etc.? You got so caught up in all this content creation that you forgot to tell your audience what to do after they’ve consumed your content. Call to actions!
Call to actions is the secret to making your content strategy work for you. It’s great that your ideal clients are consuming your content by visiting your website, reading the blogs, and liking the posts. But that’s not going to bring them in the door. People need to be told what to do. Adding a call to action on your content that aligns with the goal of why you’re posting is essential.
Here are some examples of CTA’s (Call to Actions) that work well:
|Email subscribers||Website Visits||Comments/Messages|
|Subscribe to my email list to learn more about “topic” |
Download this free “downloadable product/content” about… XYZ
|Click here to learn more: |
Read the full article here:
Check out my latest blog/podcast/etc.. here:
|Drop a YES if you agree|
Let me know in the comments if…
Leave a “relevant emoji” if you can relate…
Shoot me a DM if….
You get the idea…
Always provide your audience with a next step to get them into your funnel because visibility is the first step.
Content marketing is the process of building awareness around your services, fostering connections, and establishing trust and authority with your ideal client. Paired with actionable items like call to actions, content marketing is the first step in getting your potential clients into your overall marketing funnel. From there, you will need to continually foster those relationships to engage and offer value to move these contacts down the funnel and ultimately sign a new client and increase your positive impact.
Thank you for reading today! As always, if you need help or have questions feel free to shoot me an email, send me a DM on my socials, or fill out the contact form below. I look forward to hearing from you!
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Jeremy Sutton, Ph.D. (2021). Marketing for Therapists. Positive Psychology. Retrieved August 19, 2022 from https://positivepsychology.com/marketing-for-therapists/
WebFX. (n.d.). 7 Digital marketing strategies for your campaign. WebFX. Retrieved August 19, 2022, from https://www.webfx.com/internet-marketing/actionable-digital-marketing-strategies.html