online marketing trends for therapists

Online Marketing Trends for Psychotherapists

Is one of your goals to grow your practice in 2018? With so many different marketing strategies, it can get confusing trying to figure out what to work on. These 7 online marketing trends for therapists will help you shape your marketing strategy for the year.

Psychotherapy marketing and practice-building continues to get more sophisticated each year. What worked last year just isn’t as effective this year. Technology has shaped the way clients research and select a therapist. Your job is to align your marketing efforts with your clients selection process. These online marketing trends for therapists will show you how to do that.

1Content Marketing.

Smart Insights considers content marketing to be a “MegaTrend” for 2018. I agree, which is why its tops the list of 2018 trends! As a profession, we’ve been a little late to the party on this one, and it’s high time we change that.

Content marketing is THE BEST way for psychotherapists to market themselves.

What exactly is ‘content marketing’? Well, it’s providing great FREE content (like articles, podcasts, and videos) so that your potential clients fall in love with you before they even meet you in person. Your content positions you as a trusted authority, and you stand out from the crowd with your marketing.

If you’ve yet to dip your toe into the content marketing pool, this is a great time to do so. Why not start with one or two simple blog posts? It gets easier as you go. Promise.

If you’re already experienced with content marketing, something to consider for 2018 is to pay attention to less content and pay more attention promotion. What’s the point of a great article that nobody ever reads? I know how discouraging this can be. You may want to produce less content and focus more of your time on making sure you get in front of your potential clients. Some of the biggest content marketers are now recommending new content twice a month, rather than every week.

2. Social Media.

In 2017, something significant shifted with social media: Social media content alone is no longer enough. You MUST incorporate paid ads to market effectively on Facebook and other social media platforms.

Here’s why:

  1. Fewer and fewer people are visiting your Facebook page. They may visit once when they are “checking you out”. Then they may visit again when they are ready to call you. In between, they want to see your content in their news feed.
  2. Social media feeds are saturated. This was one of the biggest changes for 2017. At any given moment, there is far more content than could possibly be shown in any one person’s newsfeed. This means that the only way to consistently and reliably reach

We used to teach therapists that they only needed to use paid ads if they wanted to accelerate their results with Facebook. That all changed in 2017. Now, your ad strategy is far more important than your content strategy.

What does this mean? People are getting more invested in social media, spending more time on it per day, and consuming more information from social media.  This is expected to continue, and you want to make sure YOUR news also shows up for your clients. The only way to guarantee that is with paid ads.

(RELATED: Facebook Ads for Psychotherapists)

3. Marketing Funnels.

Marketing funnels have been tested and proven in many industries over the past few years, but as psychotherapists, we tend to be “late adopters”. If you aren’t familiar with a marketing funnel, its a marketing system that develops and nurtures relationships with potential clients over time. Why is this so important?

Because clients don’t make a spur-of-the-moment decision to see a therapist. This is a process that happens over the course of several months. Based on our data from our “done-for-you” marketing program, we’ve learned this process takes 6 months on average for couples. If you’re right there with the client during that decision-making process, you become the “go-to” person they call when they make the decision.

How does a marketing funnel work exactly? It ties together social media, email, and a few specially designed web pages to provide valuable information to the clients and develop the relationship over time.

[RELATED: Click here to learn more about our “Done-for-You” Marketing Program for couples counselors.]

4. Video Marketing.

85% of the internet users in the US watch videos online. I predict video consumption will continue to grow in 2018. Video is a powerful marketing tool, and one that is going to continue to grow quickly. Since so few psychotherapists use it, you can really set yourself apart when you make video part of your marketing strategy.

Here are some tips to get started with video:

  • Turn your blog content into video. 80% of people online would rather watch a video than read a blog post. You can breathe new life into an old blog post by turning it into video.
  • Don’t worry about professional videography, especially when you’re getting started. Your phone’s camera is good enough, and viewers don’t expect professional quality from a psychotherapist.
  • Go live. According to Facebook, live video gets 3X more views. This can be scary the first time you do it, but your clients and potential clients love the authenticity of live video. It humanizes you and allows your personality to show through.

Over the past few years, psychotherapy marketing has become much more personal: your clients want to “get to know you” before they call you. Video marketing that tells your story is the fastest way to achieve that. One of my former coaching clients, Diane Munoz, does a fantastic job of using video to reach her target audience:

 

(RELATED: How to Get Started with Facebook Ads for $5 per Day)

5. Niche Marketing.

With the continued growth of both content marketing and native advertising, niche marketing becomes more important than ever. If you try to be all things to all people, you just won’t stand out from the crowd.

Clients aren’t looking for a therapist. They’re looking for a problem solver. They’re looking for someone who can help them get from where they are now to the life they envision for themselves. When we launched our “Done-for-You” marketing program in 2017, we knew the program had to be niche specific, or we wouldn’t be able to get our clients the results they wanted.

Another great reason to consider choosing a specialty? Specialists are able to charge higher fees than generalists. So if your goal is to raise your fees in 2018, niche marketing will help with this.

6. Email Marketing.

This isn’t new by any stretch, but if you don’t already have a solid email strategy in place, you need one for 2018. Why?

We need multiple ways to connect with our clients and our potential clients. Just because they visited our website doesn’t mean their going to remember us 2 days from now. Just because they ‘Like’ our Facebook page doesn’t mean their seeing our content.

Research shows that clients need 10 – 12 points of contact with a therapist before they are ready to call for therapy. Email gives you the ability to do this better than any other marketing tool we have.

Email continues to be “the gold standard” of online marketing. If you aren’t already incorporating email marketing into your practice-building, now’s the time.

If you are already using email marketing, look for ways you can truly serve your clients, and provide them with real value in your messages. Your email list should be generating new private practice clients. If it isn’t, you need to change your email strategy.

7. Website.

What do 5 of the first 6 online marketing trends all have in common? They all rely on your website. The importance of having a high-quality, client-attracting website becomes even more important in 2018.

Your website is your own little piece of online real estate. It’s your face to the world. For many potential clients, your website is your chance to make it or break it.

With 81% of your potential clients searching or researching online before they call you, you can’t afford NOT to have a strong, client-attracting website.

Gone are the days of generic, clinical websites. Your website needs to be specific, client-centric and valuable. When your client clicks on your website, they need to say, “Finally! I’m in the right place. Here’s someone who can help me.

The way to accomplish this is to have articles, videos, and other resources that provide excellent value in advance of someone calling you for therapy. Data shows that a potential client will visit your website 10 – 12 times before they call you. Make sure that you’ve got lots of valuable information that keeps them coming back for more. This is how you’ll develop the “know, like, & trust” factor that’s so essential.

 

Note: Want to know EXACTLY how well your marketing stacks up? If you work with couples, take our “Marketing Effectiveness Quiz” to see how well you score and get personalized recommendations to improve your marketing. Take the quiz now: