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Content Marketing for Therapists: How to Turn Strangers into Patients

Today, 82% of successful marketers are investing in content marketing. Besides providing an impressive ROI, this marketing tactic has many benefits for mental health professionals.

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Content Marketing for Therapists: How to Turn Strangers into Patients

Over the next year, the field of mental health counseling is expected to grow at almost three times the rate of other employment forms. Therapists all over the country need to prepare for the influx of competition.

Investing in content marketing is the simplest way to outrun your competitors and increase visibility. Let’s take a closer look at leveraging content marketing to attract, convert, and retain patients amidst upcoming challenges.

Why Are Therapists Investing in Content Marketing?

Today, 82% of successful marketers are investing in content marketing. Besides providing an impressive ROI, this marketing tactic has many benefits for mental health professionals.

Gain Visibility Across the Internet

Content marketing doesn’t just help educate potential patients and establish your practice’s credibility. It allows you to work on brand awareness. Knowing when and how to share high-quality content is the key to putting your therapy practice out there.

Mental health content marketing is an integral part of:

  • Search engine optimization (SEO) – high-quality content helps put your website on top of the SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages).

  • Search engine marketing (SEM)– excellent ad content and CTAs coupled with the top content on landing pages allow your paid ads to win top placement above search results.
  • **Social media marketing **– high-quality content coupled with paid SMM tactics allows patients to learn more about your private practice and its solutions.

Sharing your content across multiple channels can help your practice improve its online presence and visibility.

Build Trust in Your Expertise While You Sleep

Content marketing tactics work for your practice round the clock. When you put high-quality content out there (website, social media platforms, and other channels), strangers learn about your credibility, trustworthiness, and expertise.

With the right approach to promoting, updating, and refreshing your content, you can build a significant audience, some of whom will convert into paying patients in the future.

Once you establish credibility, you can cement the stranger’s impulse to use your services by sharing reviews and testimonials. Leveraging them is also an essential part of content marketing for therapists.

Convert Strangers into Loyal Patients

After guiding strangers to your website through SEO, SEM, and SMM, content becomes the driving force behind converting them into patients. Meanwhile, other tactics work on retaining existing patients and turning them into brand ambassadors.

The best part about high-quality content is that it can be repurposed for different channels and even for different parts of the patient’s journey (also called buyer’s journey in the non-medical marketing world). This makes it one of the most cost-effective marketing strategies.

To understand how content marketing can convert strangers into patients, you need to dive deep into the marketing funnel (sometimes referred to as the marketing flywheel).

How Therapists Attract and Retain Patients with Content Marketing

In the 21st century, when people experience mental health issues (or have a loved one who does), they rarely pick up the phone to make an appointment at the nearest clinic. They go online first.

At the moment they start typing a query, online marketing for therapists kicks in.

For content marketing to help you attract and retain patients, you need to:

Know Your Target Audience

Before you start providing valuable content for potential clients, you need to know exactly who these clients are. While you may have a general idea about your target audience (e.g., couples for marriage counselors and children for child therapists), you need to go into detail to understand their:

  • Needs
  • Goals

  • Demographic information (age, income level, location, education, marital status, etc.).
  • Common pain points
  • Hobbies and interests

To collect this data, you can analyze existing patients, look through their social media profiles, peek at patients that your competition is targeting, and speak to your staff. You also need to consider the traits you want your ideal patient to have.

The more information you can gather about your target audience, the easier it will be to structure your content around it. Once you collect all the information, you can create a so-called patient persona.

This fictional person represents a segment of your target audience and has all the characteristics of your ideal client.

When you browse content ideas for therapist content marketing, you should keep this persona in mind. For some therapy fields, you may need to design several patient personas and create different content for each one.

Understand the Content Marketing Funnel

A content marketing funnel is a system marketers use to provide content that attracts potential patients and takes them through the patient journey.

The three stages of the content marketing funnel are:

1. Attract

At this stage, the patient starts researching a certain condition or tries to find the best therapist in the area. Valuable content with intent-based keywords can help your website appear on top of the SERPs via SEO and SEM.

Your content essentially attracts the potential patient to your website where you can start implementing conversion tactics.

2. Engage

Once potential patient visits your website, you need to help them understand that you have the best solution to their problems. This is usually done with the help of premium content, including:

  • Blog posts
  • White papers
  • Case studies
  • Webinars

  • Comprehensive guides

This content continues to prove your credibility and trustworthiness while showing the patient that professional help is just a click or a phone call away.

You can also use content marketing to collect the visitor’s information. For example, you can offer gated content in exchange for an email address.

At this stage, you also use content to make a conversion. This type of content includes:

  • Personalized emails
  • Testimonials and reviews
  • Patient stories

3. Delight

Once the visitor becomes your patient, content marketing continues playing a major role. You can now use content to retain existing patients, increase their lifetime value, and turn them into brand ambassadors.

Figure Out the Patient’s Journey

A patient’s journey is a series of events and experiences that a potential patient goes through from realizing their need for assistance to becoming a loyal patient. To evaluate this journey, you need to have an excellent understanding of the patient persona.

The three key stages of the journey are:

  • Awareness – the patient becomes aware that they have a problem (at this point you can implement blog posts, videos, social media content, and infographics)
  • Evaluation – the patient considers options for solving the problem (here you can use videos, whitepapers, and webinars)

  • Purchase – the patient researches your practice and chooses it as the solution to their problem (patient stories, reviews, testimonials)

Once you understand the journey, you can use content marketing tactics to help the patient go through it.

Use Content to Move Prospects Down the Funnel

To move the prospect down the marketing funnel while guiding them on their journey, you can use different types of content marketing tactics including:

  • Blogging – blogs work for all three stages of the funnel because they educate, raise brand awareness, build credibility, and help patients promote your practice by sharing content.
  • Social media marketing74% of American adults search social media for health information. Social media content for therapists can attract new visitors, convert them, and then re-engage existing clients by providing useful content regularly.
  • Video marketing– video content is an excellent way to explain complex medical issues to your target audience and help them get to know your staff before making an appointment. This type of content works great at the engagement stage.
  • Email marketing – email content is a highly effective way to convert a patient since it opens a direct communication channel. You can use email marketing for the engage and delight stages since it also helps retain and reengage existing patients.

Overall, content is an integral part of any digital marketing strategy. Knowing how to leverage it for your practice can help put it ahead of the growing competition.

Should You Be Your Own Content Marketing Manager?

As the competition grows, content marketing for therapists will only become more important. Effective content marketing is a complex strategy that requires a comprehensive approach to creation, implementation, monitoring, and sharing.

If you want to delight your existing patients with an occasional blog or a monthly newsletter, you can probably handle the content marketing on your own. However, the effect of such a light strategy is likely to be limited.

If you want to generate targeted leads and turn strangers into loyal patients, you can benefit from hiring a digital agency that offers comprehensive content marketing services.

Published on
Sep 16, 2022

Written by
DoctorLogic Employee