By using digital marketing as therapists, you can successfully market your practices and gain competitive advantage because other therapists aren’t necessarily doing the same.
Your customers (potential and existing) need your services. However, your services aren’t the same as those of a graphic designer or an architect. The buyer journey is completely different, so you can’t resort to tactics that work for everyone else.
This guide is going to cover everything about therapist marketing funnels and the most important digital marketing trends.
Before we get into the thick of it, it’s important to understand what makes therapist marketing funnels unique (and what they are in the first place).
In a nutshell, marketing funnels are the process that our clients go through before they book an appointment.
A typical marketing funnel
The first step is awareness when your clients first become aware of your business. Typically, this is done through listings and directories, as well as referrals and word of mouth.
When we apply digital marketing, we can use tactics like SEO and advertising, which we’ll cover in more depth later on.
The second and the third stages are interest and desire, or to put it even better – consideration. Your potential clients have gone from being aware of you to being engaged enough to want to book an appointment at your practice.
This sounds pretty simple on paper. However, the trick is in engaging them through digital media in order for them to make that appointment.
What makes therapist marketing funnels unique is that it’s not enough for your practices to be convenient to your clients (as opposed to a product).
Instead, it’s important to build authority and show both expertise and pleasantness in order to drive the potential clients to make an action and book the appointment.
All of this (and more) can be done through successful application of digital marketing trends for therapists. Marketing is always changing, but the desires of your clients stay the same: they need someone to help them.
And here’s how you can show them that they’ve come to the right place:
1. The Foundation: Content Marketing for Therapists
The foundation of your therapist marketing funnels is content. We create it all the time, no matter if we’re talking about blog posts, social media posts, or the words we say. And it’s effective; content marketing drives 7.8x more traffic to websites.
And content is what helps your potential clients navigate from awareness to being assured that you’re the right therapists for them, and ultimately proceeding to book an appointment.
In fact, content is so effective that 78% of consumers say that personally relevant content increased their purchase intent.
Why is content marketing effective for therapist marketing funnels?
Because content provides value for free, and patients are able to understand that you’re knowledgeable. Additionally, they can’t help but feel that they’ve already received a lot of value, so it’s much easier to convince them to book an appointment.
This funnel progression can happen in the span of one content piece but since choosing a therapist requires a lot of consideration from your clients, it typically happens in stages.
Content can help with that, as well.
Typically, we think about the following formats:
- Blog posts, articles, eBooks and guides
- Infographics and images
Creating a content strategy can be as simple as using tools like Answer The Public to find the questions our potential patients are asking the most, and answering them in a blog or with a video.
And when elements of SEO and keyword research are added to it, it becomes a winning combination for both inviting more potential patients to check out your site, and making them stay by serving useful content that will ultimately convince them you’re the right therapist for them.
2. The Action: Using Video Content in Therapist Marketing Funnels
As far as content goes, blog posts are pretty effective. However, video is the winner when it comes to digital marketing trends.
Video is much easier to consume for patients who are either wondering if they need a therapist, or who want to choose the right therapist.
Video is consumed so much that around 80% of global internet consumption is video content. In addition to that, 73% of consumers have made the purchasing decision after watching a video.
How can therapists use video content?
The benefits of video content for therapists are twofold:
- It provides value to potential patients by sharing information
- It establishes authority
When we talk about video content for establishing authority, we mean: video shows personality.
Let’s consider your typical patients.
Are they just looking for someone who can help them feel better (e.g. convenience), or are they looking for someone who will be pleasant and knowledgeable at the same time?
Typically, we face the second situation. That’s why it’s important to show your personality in your content, and nowhere does it shine through as much as it does in video.
And when we talk about providing value, we focus on serving the needs of your patients – even before they’ve become your patients.
Again, you have to consider your typical patients and their needs when creating video content.
Fortunately, video comes in so many forms and shapes across social media that you have the opportunity for more creativity than your competitors.
After all, that’s what marketing is all about.
A great example of a counselor intro video
Live Video Marketing for Therapists
Since most of us are on social media, let’s use that as the first step towards getting more patients with marketing.
Video is a big marketing trend at the moment, which is why platforms like Facebook and Instagram have great video features.
For example, live videos can be used for direct communication with potential patients. They’re even viewed 3x longer than recorded videos!
They’re more convenient and personable than recorded videos or phone calls, and especially so when potential patients are still in the awareness stage. In fact, they may not even be 100% sure that they want to speak to a therapist.
But by participating in the live videos you post, they can get answers to the questions they didn’t know they wanted to be answered.
It’s best to create a schedule of going live so (potential) patients can find us, and refer their friends, as well.
Another great way of using video digital marketing trends for therapist marketing funnels is turning blog posts into videos.
People are more likely to watch videos, so even if they’re not your #1 content type, you can use tools like Lumen5 to create short and interesting videos out of blog posts.
Of course, the main point of videos is the brevity of communication (and brevity is the soul of wit) and the personality, so appearing in the video to talk face-to-screen to your customers (even for just a second) can go a long way.
Formats to Consider
Among other ideas, videos can be structured as:
- Commentary on popular topics
- Advice (e. g. How to relax after a stressful day)
- Q&A sessions
3. The Nurturing: Email Marketing
Finally, with great content come great patients, but some of your potential patients may not be convinced.
This is completely normal, and it’s also one of the reasons why content works so well for all stages of the therapist marketing funnels.
Some patients may be completely convinced after reading one post or watching one video, and they’ll proceed to book an appointment.
However, others will need more time.
And since social media reach is declining (our posts aren’t being shown to everyone who follows us), it’s best to keep getting their attention with email marketing.
It’s profitable, too, since the return on investment is typically 38:1.
Setting up a newsletter is pretty simple, and can be done with free tools like MailChimp, while also ensuring that you stay in touch with your prospective clients.
Newsletters can also be a platform for further one-on-one communication with people interested in your practice.
We have to consider the segment of your patients who prefer written communication, and may feel more open to contacting you when they’ve already gotten the feeling of knowing you through consuming your content.
What Can You Talk About in Newsletters?
Just like with content, you have to put your patients’ needs first.
From directing them to videos and other content that may be useful to them, to showing the behind-the-scenes of your practice, it all depends on who you are talking to.
You have to keep in mind the tone your patients would like to be addressed with, as well. Sometimes it’s good to forget the formalities and talk casually, as creating a connection and then nurturing the relationship matters if we want to use therapist marketing funnels to get more patients.
Finally, email is great for just getting in touch. And a great first point of contact can be:
What’s on your mind today?
Who knows? Maybe that’s going to be the final point where your potential patients say: This is the right therapist for me.
Reach out to us and to schedule a time to discuss the ideal marketing funnel for your therapy practice.