What’s the future of AI in mental health marketing? When it comes to writing content, it doesn’t look great unless AI advances drastically. And the types of developments AI would need to make to write content for mental health clinics and addiction centers may not be the technological advances we want.
Mental Health Marketing Done Right
At Content Journey, we believe there is a right way to do mental health marketing. That’s why we follow guiding principles for mental health marketing.
Our five guiding principles for mental health marketing are:
- Authority. All our mental health content is written by clinicians and experts and backed by SEO research and best practices. Our team is led by two experts in mental health who have the academic credentials required for a deeper knowledge of mental health.
- Sensitivity. The people seeking mental health information online are often in vulnerable situations. It’s easy to enforce the stigma surrounding help-seeking with words or images. We believe all mental health marketing should be sensitive to the audience and help reduce stigma.
- Accuracy. When people seek help for a mental health issue, they need accurate information they can trust and understand. That’s why we back our content with credible statistics and academic research that the viewer can trace back to its origins. And we explain each piece of information to them in common language to help them understand the language of healing and what it means for them in practice.
- Understanding. Each person’s needs are unique, so every mental health clinic and addiction treatment center has slightly different offerings and approaches. We take the time to get to know your distinctive approach to treatment, so we can connect you with the right people and represent you well.
- Intentionality. We don’t just tell you what we think you probably should do to attract the people who need your services. We perform SEO research and collect analytics to ensure you can connect with the people who need your services most.
In short, Content Journey understands the importance of mental health marketing. We have expertise in marketing and mental health, and we care about doing it right and helping people in need.
Where AI Falls Short
Now that you understand our guiding principles for mental health marketing done right and with care let’s look at where AI, as it currently works for content writing, falls short.
AI doesn’t have academic credentials or expertise, but it can compile information from a wide range of online sources. Unfortunately, there are a couple of problems where authority is concerned.
First, AI doesn’t collect information from any source behind a paywall. That means many academic journals and news organizations aren’t included in its information-gathering process. These are resources that people typically view as reliable and accurate. So much so that they’re willing to pay for access to that content. Not including it when gathering research on any topic is clearly a limitation.
Second, it seems that Google doesn’t consider AI an authority, which may mean that AI content is problematic for SEO ranking. You want a strong online ranking for your mental health organization’s content.
Google looks for some specific things in content before it bumps it up to the first page of search results. The higher your content is in search, the more traffic your site gets organically and the more potential you have for conversions.
Understanding what Google looks for in content is where the acronym E-E-A-T comes in handy.
- Experience. Experience is the content creator’s first-hand or life experience related to the topic. AI doesn’t have experience and can’t get it.
- Expertise. Quality content shows your expertise because it gives valuable information with the necessary context to make sense. AI may fall down in this area.
- Authoritativeness. Authoritativeness means you have established yourself as an authority on this topic by creating a lot of content around it and showing up in other well-known spaces. AI can’t automatically provide this, but a bulk of AI-produced content that audiences read and engage with may.
- Trustworthiness. Trustworthiness looks at how well-respected your site is. It’s why getting links from other well-respected sites matters – it shows you’re worthy of trust. You may be able to build trust with some sources through AI-generated content.
The more E-E-A-T Google thinks your site has, the higher it will rank. But AI content can’t accomplish all of the requirements, which is a real problem it’s unlikely to overcome.
It’s the sensitivity trait that AI will hopefully never have. Reducing stigma and marketing to a vulnerable population responsibly requires humanity. AI doesn’t have humanity, and hopefully never will. Do you want technology with feelings? That’s some I, Robot-level nonsense that most of us aren’t interested in experiencing.
Of course, you can use marketing without sensitivity or humanity for your mental health treatment center, but why would an organization with a mission to help people risk harming them through marketing? It’s simply not worth it.
Accuracy is a huge concern with AI-generated content. AI compiles content from various sources, which can introduce inaccuracy because the information it pulled from is wrong or it joined unrelated topics. The result is incorrect information that frequently shows bias.
How inaccurate is AI? Well, that depends on what you ask it and the popular sources online regarding that topic. AI doesn’t know when it should dig deeper than the most popular posts or when nuance is involved. It can’t discern.
Plagiarism also is an issue where AI is concerned. It copies material directly from popular sources, which means using AI output word-for-word can result in content theft.
AI can’t understand a client’s needs or what differentiates your treatment center from others. However, the prompts a person feeds AI matter a lot, so it could produce targeted content if given enough information upfront by an expert on your business.
That being said, knowing what prompts to use to get the type of content you want is still pretty challenging. Regardless of what a person provides the platform upfront, a fair amount of editing is likely required on the backend to make the content unique to your treatment center.
Your marketing team can still be intentional with AI-generated content. They can do SEO research to determine what type of content is likely to get the best results and monitor analytics to see what’s working well and what to adjust. But, when looking at the other factors of mental health marketing, the beginning and end of the process may not be enough to make up for the problems in the middle.
The Future of AI
We don’t want to seem anti-AI. We’re not at all. We think there are some benefits to AI as it is now and some good uses for it. In fact, we use AI tools in our brief writing and processes. But, at this time, we don’t use it to produce content, and we wouldn’t start without fulfilling our ethical obligation to notify our clients of the change.
“I’m definitely not anti-AI,” said Lindsey Miller, founder of Content Journey. “We’ve been using and testing AI tools for over two years at Content Journey, and we’ll continue to test the technology as it advances.”
We also fully expect AI to continue to grow and develop. It’s likely to become more accurate and require less specific prompting as it develops.
“I wouldn’t say that we’ll never use AI to produce content,” Lindsey said. “Anything is possible, and it would be silly to draw that line in the sand right now.”
But, as far as the future of AI in mental health marketing, the technology has a lot of work to do to make up for the lack of humanity and discernment necessary to do this type of marketing responsibly. Lindsey said:
“In the mental health niche, trusting AI to get the nuances of that right seems irresponsible. You’re really going to trust machines to do that at this point? No matter how good the machines are now, they’re not to that level of understanding.”
Still, all types of content will continue being AI-generated. Why? Because it saves time and money. And the truth is that some organizations prioritize those traits above the concerns with AI, and that’s just fine. But when people’s health and wellness are at stake, these aren’t corners we’re willing to cut. Lindsey said:
“We all could save money and let AI write everything, but would we be getting the quality we want at the end of the day? As it stands now, the answer is no.”
Partner with Content Journey for Mental Health Marketing
At Content Journey, we pride ourselves on doing mental health marketing with care and expertise. That’s why we want to partner with you as your wellness marketing agency. We’ll work to understand your mental health organization’s unique traits and help you reach the people who need your help most. And expert humans write and edit all of our content. Book a call today to learn more about working with us.