The United States has seen an unfortunate decline in mental health with an estimated 26% of Americans suffering from a diagnosable mental disorder.
As such, it’s more important than ever for mental health care providers to utilize effective marketing strategies to benefit their practices and reach community members in need.
So, let’s get started!
The Importance of Mental Health Marketing
You know how excellent your mental health practice is, but that doesn’t mean everyone else does. Mental health marketing is essential for increasing your admission rates and brand awareness.
Here are the four key areas that mental health marketing can address:
Getting treatment for mental health conditions is heavily stigmatized in our culture with 47% of Americans believing that seeking therapy is a sign of weakness. Even worse, approximately 60% of adults with mental health illnesses don’t receive any mental health services.
While this is an unfortunate situation, mental health marketing can help address and debunk stigmas around mental health conditions. In doing so, you can help those who are keeping their struggles to themselves and increase your admission rates.
Promoting services and treatments
Few people are aware of the range of mental health services that are available. It’s essential to increase awareness of treatment options so that more prospective patients are aware of all their avenues toward mental health care.
If your mental health practice has a specialty, be sure to include it in your promotional material. No matter the industry, successful marketing centers around unique selling points (USPs). So, be sure to advertise your industry-leading practices and treatment options.
Reaching your target audience
Successful marketing campaigns seek to establish who their target audience is and how to best serve their needs. While you’ll want to understand your target audience before rolling out your campaign, marketing efforts can provide an even clearer picture of your ideal customer by examining who responds and engages with your promotional material at the highest rate.
With an understanding of the audience your practice most appeals to, you can address their specific pain points and make them feel seen. In doing so, you will inevitably build greater trust with your clientele and increase patient retention and acquisition.
Mental health providers are all about helping people, and your marketing efforts can be of assistance too! Effective mental health marketing can boost public interest and support for mental health initiatives, which will lead to increased advocacy and funding for mental health research, treatment facilities, and support programs.
If you run a successful mental health marketing campaign, you aren’t just helping your practice but the entire mental health landscape.
Mental Health Marketing Strategies
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
In today’s increasingly digital landscape, it’s essential to utilize search engine optimization. There are two key ways that mental health practices can utilize SEO to drive patient acquisition.
To organically drive search engine traffic to your digital content, you’ll need to perform keyword research on what prospective patients are most likely to type in when looking for mental health guidance and treatment. Once you’ve identified the key terms and phrases, the next step is to tactically place them throughout your company’s website. These key terms could include phrases like “anxiety treatment” or “depression counseling”.
Search engines are more likely to rank an optimized website higher in the search listings when users search for the associated terms.
A staggering 86% of internet users use Google Maps to find local products and services, which means it’s crucial for mental health professionals to fully understand and utilize this search platform. When a prospective client types in “mental health practice near me”, you want to be among the first results to show.
The first step to having your practice prominently featured on Google Search and Google Maps is to set up a Google My Business account and claim your listing. Google favors businesses that keep their profiles up to date with details like operating hours, contact information, and office location.
Search engines also favor businesses with the most 4- and 5-star reviews. While you can drive good reviews through excellent service, it’s also a good idea to encourage your patient base to leave you a review online.
Google Pay-Per-Click Ads
Search engine optimization is a great way to organically boost your mental health practice, but oftentimes it isn’t enough to drive substantial results– which is where paid advertising comes in.
You can race to the top of keyword search results with Google pay-per-click (PPC) ads. Essentially, you pay to have your brand appear in the top three search listings for key terms you select, such as “best mental health clinic” or “therapists near me”.
What’s good about PPC ads is that you only have to pay whenever search engine users click through to your website. However, the downside is that these ads can be quite expensive, costing up to $80 per click for highly sought-after keywords.
Paid Social Media Advertising
Social media platforms are constantly collecting user data on everything from purchase habits to age, location, and many more. While many see this as a breach of privacy, this does allow mental health marketers to precisely target key groups on social media advertising spaces.
Your paid social media advertising should be specifically geared towards your ideal patient and encourage them to click on your profile to explore more of your content.
Wellness boards are an innovative approach to out-of-home (OOH) advertising that entices consumers to engage with promotional material. These in-store billboards dispense sanitizing wipes below a prominently featured advertisement.
What’s great about these sanitizing kiosks is that they can be placed in pharmacy wait areas, which is an ideal contextual setting for medical advertising. Even better, you can be sure that your ads are seen by consumers who are more likely to solicit your practice, considering that many pharmacy goers are picking up their mental health medication.
Terraboost is an innovator in this advertising medium and independent studies have shown that 66% of shoppers engage with their sanitizing kiosks and that 50% would take a brochure or coupon to learn more.
Content and Social Media Marketing
We briefly discussed how to boost organic traffic to your mental health practice by incorporating keywords in your website landing page, but this can also be accomplished through informational articles and social media marketing.
Informational blogs and articles
If you want to maximize your online presence, consider creating high-quality content in the form of articles and blogs on topics that your mental health practice specializes in. Once again, you’ll want to conduct search engine optimization by including key terms and phrases. Topics to write on could include “Coping Strategies for Anxiety” or “Recognizing the Signs of Depression”.
By creating high-quality, informational material, your articles are more likely to be shared among other potential clients. Also, search engine algorithms favor brands that establish themselves as credible educators online by publishing multiple articles and blogs.
Social media marketing
On average, people spend 28% of their time online using social media platforms. With such a large portion of online traffic going to social media platforms, it’s essential that you meet consumers where they are.
Successful social media pages for mental health practices will often feature informational content on what makes them stand out from the competition. But more importantly, you should have content that is personalized and puts a friendly face on your business.
An active social media page is a great way to retain patients that follow your account as well as attract new ones.
Email marketing most often comes in the form of newsletters and is all about catering to your existing clientele to drive patient retention. The best way to do this is to segment your existing patients based on key factors such as demographics, appointment history, and mental health conditions.
With your segmented client list, you can send out relevant emails to them via personalized newsletters. These newsletters could have different topics based on the patients’ needs, such as “Techniques to Reduce Anxiety” or “How to Cope with Grief”.
For any type of healthcare marketing, which includes mental health care, client testimonials are one of the most effective video advertising strategies. By having your patients describe how your practice has benefited their lives, you can easily appeal to prospective clients to place their trust in you.
Client testimonials are often featured on cable news, but this advertising space can be extremely expensive. Substantive results can still be gained by publishing your client testimonials on your practice’s online landing page and various social media platforms.
For the best chance of client conversion, you should create multiple client testimonials videos that survey people with different illnesses and backgrounds. People resonate with those who are going through similar struggles, so it’s important to create a variety of content.
Incentives and Partnerships
There are plenty of advertising mediums you can use to boost your brand, but don’t forget to leverage your existing client base. Word-of-mouth marketing from your loyal patients can be massively successful as well as cost-effective.
New patients acquired from referral programs are more likely to trust you and your practice since you were recommended by their friend or family member. Your referral programs can incentivize current patients through things like gift cards and discounted services.
It’s also a good strategy to make connections with other health practices and businesses in your community to conduct cross-promotions. For example, a local gym could promote the benefits of therapy for mental health, and in return, you promote the mental health benefits of regular exercise to your clients.
Successful Mental Health Campaigns
If you’re looking for some inspiration on effective mental health marketing campaigns, take a look at some of these successful examples.
Bell Let’s Talk
Bell Let’s Talk was a Canadian campaign that focused on eliminating the stigma around mental illness and promoting awareness of it. Although this campaign was started by Bell Canada, a telecommunications company, it can still serve as a great example of how marketing around mental health issues can help to bring about beneficial societal change.
Throughout the campaign, Bell Canada encouraged people to talk, text, and engage on social media about mental health and to raise funds for mental health initiatives.
Time to Change
Time to Change was a mental health campaign formed in 2007 by mental health charities MIND and Rethink Mental Illness. The goal of this national UK campaign was to reduce stigma and discrimination by 5% in the first 12 months.
Mental health marketers can learn the effectiveness of powerful slogans from this campaign, seeing how it popularized terms like “Be in your mate’s corner” and “Ask Twice”.
Bring Change 2 Mind
Bring Change to Mind is a nonprofit organization co-founded by actress and activist Glenn Close. Like the other campaigns, it seeks to end the stigma around mental illness, but it does so through compelling PSA videos and by providing resources for high schools.
Creating an effective mental health marketing campaign can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. We at Terraboost have worked with countless healthcare brands and can provide you with key industry insights and a free personalized quote.
Our network of 120,000+ wellness billboards are located in top pharmacies across the country, such as CVS, Walgreens, and Rite Aid. If you’re looking to add an effective out-of-home advertising medium to your marketing campaign, get in touch with us today.