Patients come to you because of your expertise in resolving their issues. They rely on you to provide the tools they need to overcome conflict, grief, or whatever is interfering with their lives.
In a traditional marketing world, patients only appreciate your expertise after they’ve met with you a few times. With content marketing, it’s the exact opposite: potential patients can learn about you, and begin to find you trustworthy, before you have even a single session together.
Many prospective therapy patients choose a therapist based on a number of factors, including areas of expertise and past success stories. Many therapists use standard messaging and advertising to attract new clients. But content marketing allows you to distinguish your practice from others, and find the clientele that responds best to your programs and approaches.
On this page, you’ll discover the importance of content marketing for therapists and how it can help you build your practice. You’ll also learn the first steps to building a content marketing plan.
Let’s start by answering the question you probably have: why would a therapist need to utilize content marketing in the first place?
We’re long past the days when a professional service provider could post an ad in the phone book and get new clients. There’s so much competition that everyone looking for business has to proactively reach prospects and demonstrate their value.
This has made content marketing a necessity in today’s marketplace—even for health professionals. By creating and distributing genuinely helpful, valuable, and unique content, you are able to stand out. You’re also able to demonstrate the value you can add to someone’s life before a patient even steps foot in your office.
Whether you have a full calendar or want to find more patients, you need content marketing to ensure a successful practice now and in the long term. It’s particularly important if you want to reach any of the following goals:
Consumers no longer respond to traditional ads—they respond to information they find useful or entertaining. Over time, they gravitate to the businesses that repeatedly produce valuable content.
When you create a blog, distribute articles you find useful, or even write content for other websites, you stand out from other therapists—and can build a loyal following along the way. This dramatically increases your visibility, particularly among those in your targeted area.
Visibility is important, but so is the quality of the leads you generate. You may enjoy the response your content receives, but it should also introduce you to the people who actually need your services.
The people you want to target online includes prospective clients, but it can also include key influencers who promote your insights to a wider audience. It may also include medical professionals who refer patients to your office, or media professionals looking for quotes for their articles. High-quality content can attract all of these audiences.
People seeking help from a therapist want to know they’re going to a renowned professional with a stellar track record. Content marketing is one of the most effective ways to both achieve this and make your existing achievements better known.
If you produce content constantly and consistently, other therapists will start to pay attention and come to rely on your insights. This leads to an image as a thought leader and authority in your field—and continued demand for your insights and services.
By establishing your authority online in this way, you may find that more therapists are willing to refer patients outside of their area to your practice. This can help grow your business exponentially.
Now that you know why content marketing for therapists is so important, keep reading to learn the crucial steps you’ll need to follow to get started on a content marketing strategy of your own.
Content marketing is an effective way to build your practice and create a steady stream of patients and referrals. Once you decide to put a strategy into place, what’s the next step?
Actually, there are several steps you should follow. Content marketing for therapists isn’t an ad hoc process. It requires careful planning before you produce content, and a lot of management after.
Here’s what your strategy needs before you put it in place.
You have an idea for a blog post or whitepaper. What do you hope it does for your practice? Ask this question while producing content, and try to set some individual goals for each piece of content you aim to produce.
The answer to this question may change over time. For example, your goal in the first six months may be to raise awareness of your practice. Over the next year, it may be to increase patient retention.
Having a goal in mind makes it easier to choose topics. It also allows you to pick the right format for the distribution of your information, whether it’s a blog post or an infographic.
Therapists have several potential target audiences, but these audiences don’t necessarily respond the same way to the same content. If, for example you want to build your credibility, prospective clients may respond to therapies they can apply at home, whereas fellow therapists would gravitate to research papers.
When creating content, don’t just ask why—ask who it’s for. This will help you get a better grasp on the language, tone, and details you should utilize when you are creating a blog post or article.
Now that you know who should be interacting with your content, you need to know where to find them. If you want to reach parents of young children, would a social media post be more effective, or should you try a guest blog on a parenting magazin’s website? Do your colleagues spend more time on LinkedIn or on the American Psychological Association website?
Select the most popular sites for your target audience, and then create content for those sites. As you build your reputation online, you’ll find that it’s much easier to be accepted to write for these sites, and you may even receive invitations to do so.
If you’re having trouble getting accepted to write for other websites, try to focus on building up your own blog or database of articles first. You’ll need to pitch some solid sample content if you want a chance at being accepted, and there’s no better way to do this than to create it on a platform you own first.
Your plans to reach a particular group of people on particular sites may be sound, but there’s no way to know how successful they’ll be. You can only know how well your strategy is performing with a comprehensive analytics strategy.
Find a reliable tracking and monitoring program to measure clicks, actions taken, and, where appropriate, leads and revenues generated. Use the information to refine your next campaign, and then measure again.
Google Analytics is one of the best ways to track the results of your online campaigns, and it’s free.
Content marketing for therapists might be a new concept, but it’s quickly become a necessity for online marketing and lead generation. It takes time to develop a content marketing strategy and even more time to carry it out. The end result, though, is a thriving practice and an outstanding reputation, especially when your strategy is guided by experts in the field.
If you’re looking to improve the reach of your therapy practice, give content marketing a try. You may be surprised with the results!
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Content marketing can help you reach more potential patients online. Call 888.449.3239 or contact us online today to learn more about our affordable content marketing packages.