You spent years becoming a mental health professional. The investment of your time and energy was worth it to help people. That will forever be your end goal. However, those countless hours of studying, exams, and clinical rotations didn’t prepare you for the importance of a mental health marketing plan.
Content Journey specializes in mental health marketing. We understand what it takes to help you connect with the people who need your treatment services most, and our track record in mental health marketing proves it.
This post explains why you need a mental health marketing plan and what it entails.
Why Your Mental Health Treatment Center Needs a Marketing Plan
Ideally, clients would understand the benefits of mental health treatment and automatically show up on your doorstep. Sadly, that isn’t reality. Stigmas toward seeking treatment exist. So do plenty of other treatment centers. People fear the unknown or are unaware they need help at all. These barriers need to be removed. To do so, you must step out of your comfort zone by creating and implementing a mental health marketing plan.
Mental Health Marketing Plan Components
Did you know baking and marketing plans have something in common? Both rely on specific factors to make a successful recipe. Your treatment center’s marketing plan doesn’t have to be an exact instruction manual, but it should consist of the following components.
Key components to include in a mental health marketing plan:
- Objectives. What specifically are you attempting to accomplish with your marketing plan? Be sure your goal is measurable and time-bound.
- Target Audience. Your ideal client. It’s not just someone who needs help. It’s a specific type of person who needs particular assistance that you specialize in.
- Branding. The unique qualities that define your mental health treatment center.
- Search Engine Optimization. The research strategies implemented on your website are to list higher on search engines.
- Content Marketing. The niche, engaging content created for your ideal client’s benefit.
- Social Media. The online platforms used to promote your valuable content.
- Online Advertising. The ability to pay for immediate digital content placement in front of your ideal client.
- Analytics. The metrics tracked to determine the success of your marketing efforts.
What exactly do you want to accomplish with your marketing plan? Be realistic about what’s possible with a single plan, but also create a goal that’s worth reaching. Be sure any goal you set is measurable and time-bound. For example, to increase conversions from our website by 3% this fiscal year.
Understanding Your Target Audience
The first step in any marketing plan is defining the target audience, aka your treatment center’s ideal client. It will help you write messaging – like your mission and values – to address client needs. After all, 80% of consumers are likely to do business with a brand that offers personalized interactions.
You can’t know too much about your target audience. Consider:
Begin by understanding the demographics of your current clients. What is their gender? Age? Are they located near your treatment center? What’s their education level? These factors will help you start to determine who is – and isn’t – your target client.
Narrow down this group with psychographics – a person’s behaviors and beliefs. For example, your demographics may show your target client is a 26-year-old female near your treatment center. However, psychographics reveal whether she struggles with the external pressures of a child-free lifestyle versus the anxiety of starting a family.
Defining Your Brand
You now know your target client, but does your target client know you? Establishing your brand’s authority is essential for building client trust, showcasing your expertise, and separating your treatment center from others. When people see your branding, it should instantly spark recognition and answer, “Has this center’s services worked for people like me?”
Developing your brand might seem daunting. We promise it’s not as difficult as one might think. Branding is a fancy way to describe how you consistently share with people who you are and what you’re about. You might have these elements, yet you need a quick refresh to ensure a cohesive brand identity.
Your brand identity should consist of:
- Your treatment center’s name
- Your mental health niche
- Your story, mission, and values
- A matching logo, colors, and font styles
- Images that represent your ideal client
- An overall unified brand voice
Adding Search Engine Optimization
Your website promotes action, getting people the help they desperately need. But how do you avoid this life-changing information getting lost in the internet void? Insert the aid of search engine optimization.
Do you remember the last time you clicked a link on Google’s second page? Probably not. Less than 1% of people do. This fact is why it’s essential to implement SEO strategies to get your center’s website on Page 1. When you secure the top spot, you have a better chance of having a 31% click-through rate. Here’s how to rank higher on search engine results pages (SERPs).
Remember the recipe metaphor? Using all ingredients is essential – missing just one affects your entire dish. The same is true for on-page optimization. Boost your content’s full potential by following SEO writing best practices and simple SEO solutions on your site. Oh, and don’t forget to write with keywords.
Keywords are the terms your target client uses to search for their treatment options. You can determine these by using keyword research tools like Semrush or KWFinder. Once you’ve selected your keywords, place them within your content’s title, introductory paragraph, and throughout your post.
Behind the scenes, you want your site seen as authoritative among other mental health websites. That means you must also pay attention to what’s happening off your site to give it authority.
Off-page optimization factors include:
- Backlinks. Getting backlinks or other websites linking to yours increases your domain authority and tells Google that you may be a good source of information.
- Review Sites. Gaining positive traction on review sites in your industry and Google Business Profile will help here.
- Earning Certifications. Earning well-considered certifications and displaying them on your site shows your expertise.
- Social Media. Having an active, engaged presence on social media helps establish your brand’s online authority.
- Guest Posting. Guest posting on other blogs in your industry so that your name and your brand name links to them helps show your credibility.
Implementing Content Marketing Strategies
Once you know who your ideal clients are and having your branding in place, you’re ready to begin content marketing. What is content marketing? It’s safe to say you’ve been on the other end of it. Think of a brand you didn’t know about until you Googled a specific question. Suddenly, you’re on a website for what seems to be an expert resource to give you the information and services you need to solve your problem. That’s how content marketing works.
Getting traffic to your site from Google searchers is possible for your treatment center too. When you take time to craft relevant, engaging content, people notice.
A treatment center video walk-through can ease a nervous client before their first session.
More than 50 million Americans have a mental illness, but more than half don’t receive treatment. Informative blog posts erase preconceived notions that treatment isn’t available or attainable for them.
Recording an educational podcast provides professional mental health advice to any on-the-go listener.
Even an infographic on social media can serve as a preventive care measure.
These are all examples of content marketing and how it can work to attract people to your treatment center who need your help.
Leveraging Social Media
Your marketing plan can greatly benefit from using social media to promote your content. More than 59% of the world’s population is on social media, including 7 out of 10 Americans. Not only is social media cost-effective, but it also serves as a client-provider support system outside your scheduled sessions. Ethically, you can’t acknowledge your client on social media, but you can answer general mental health questions, post self-care tips, and share educational articles.
Buying into Online Advertising
Want to reach your target client and expand your audience quicker? Allocate some of your budget toward these three paid strategies.
By knowing your content’s keywords, you’ve already knocked out the research portion of pay-per-click campaigns. Put money behind those phrases to skyrocket your website on SERPs and gain new eyes on your content. You only pay for clicks, but it’s worth it when Google’s top three search results receive 54% of clicks.
Social Media Ads
Another option is social media ads. Meet your ideal client where they’re at by placing an ad into their social feeds. Simply use your social media platform’s ad feature – like Meta Ads Manager – to pick your targeted demographics.
Promotions for current clients are best as display ads along your website’s top banner. It might seem passive, but it benefits those currently checking your website.
Phew! You’ve put in a lot of time for this mental health marketing plan. Was it worth it? Are potential clients responding? If not, how can it improve? Limit guesswork and answer your questions by measuring key performance indicators (KPIs).
There are many KPIs, but the good news is you don’t have to track all of them. Choose a few that help you understand the success of your ultimate goal. Website KPIs could be the percentage of page bounces or the number of site visitors turned leads. Use analytics tools like Google Analytics or Meta Insights to determine this information for future content optimization.
Need Help with Your Mental Health Marketing Plan?
Congrats! You now know how to create a marketing plan that will transform how clients find information about your mental health treatment center. Need a second set of eyes to review your strategies or take the pressure off your plate? Content Journey is here for you. Book a call and let our professional mental health marketers start on your plan today.