13 Aug How to promote your online therapy after COVID-19: Part II
How to promote your online therapy after COVID-19: Part II
In a previous post published a few months ago, we provided tips on how to make your online therapy more effective, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. As many countries begin to transition back into the “new normal” post pandemic, there will be another wave of opportunities for psychology and psychiatry practices to promote teletherapy services and attract new clients.
In an op-ed piece by Secretary-General of the United Nations António Guterres, the UN leader stressed how the aftermath of the pandemic continues to send shockwaves across communities, especially due to the neglect of mental health services by governments and continued closures of facilities. Physical symptoms of COVID-19 may slowly disappear, but individuals will remain at the mercy of grief, anxiety and depression for a considerable time to come.
For this reason, we have decided to expand upon our series of marketing advice for therapists and to help you provide care to those who will need it most. This is the second part of our series on how to make your online therapy more effective, focusing on leveraging two main approaches: Google My Business and social media.
“Google: Who can I do teletherapy with”
The past, few months have demonstrated how the pandemic has ushered or rather, forced global citizens to shift the majority of actions online. Instead of visiting the local shopping center, individuals enter into a freshly-designed e-Commerce page. When cravings for a delicious meal seep in, car keys stay on the countertop while fingers dial away on mobile devices to order delivery service. Even companies who were hesitant about remote working are now working with human resource departments to develop related policies in the post-pandemic workplace. All of these changes underpin one blatant yet relevant truth: if your practice does not begin maximizing online tools such as Google My Business, then your business will come to miss out on potential clients.
Google My Business is easy to set up for your practice, even if you are more digitally challenged. It affords you the opportunity to boast reviews from other clients and provide information about your services to those curious about learning more. One of the drawbacks is that once you have created the account, it may take a few weeks before your business listing appears in Google. However, once completed, you can begin to optimize the listing to broadcast your services and pique potential clients’ interest.
According to a 2019 Local Consumer Review Survey by BrightLocal, a leading marketing and SEO agency, 91% of consumers reported that positive reviews increased their likelihood in using a business.
If you have already created an account, here are more specific tips related to enhancing your practice’s Google My Business profile:
- Create posts that present updates, new services, offers or events. If you have already integrated teletherapy services, this is an ideal moment to let potential clients know.
- Add special features that include a booking button or service catalog
- Encourage former or current clients to leave a review. This could include sharing a custom shortlink (g.page/[yourcustomname].) to make the process simpler.
- Whether you receive positive or negative reviews, it is recommended to respond to each one. By engaging with people, your business will appear active and trustworthy, especially if you are willing to address raised concerns or questions.
- Take advantage of Google My Business messaging services to reach out to clients hesitant about calling. It is a great way to anticipate potential clients’ needs and make the first contact less direct.
- Finally, use Google Insights to track how leads are arriving to your profile. Is it because they already know of your business? Or because of discovery searches where your business name appears under the category of services sought? Google Insights reveals vast information about conversion paths and details what actions leads are taking so you can tailor your profile accordingly.
Promote your online therapy on social media
According to a data report published by leading social media management platform Hootsuite, more than 320 million new people joined social media platforms in 2019 alone, increasing the total number of users to 3.8 billion in 2020. These figures are impactful, given that for your practice, it could mark the opportunity that you have been seeking. With a vast, worldwide audience on social media, you can advertise your services using social media business accounts and different types of content for free.
This can be especially important, if you are providing services like online sessions and virtual reality (VR) therapy services. Online sessions and VR therapy are still forging a name for themselves and there may be those who are not familiar with all of the advantages of such therapeutic approaches. However, if you can upload videos or posts on social media that introduce these types of service, you can build familiarity with such therapy and even answer questions that users may have.
Another worthwhile point to consider is that videos, in fact, drive engagement on social media and spread news of your practice more easily. In a separate report published by Social Media Today, viewers were able to retain up to 95% of a message when it was presented through video format. Similarly, in an era of active cell phone use, 92% of those with cell phones shared videos with others. This data suggests that social media use and video publications can be an optimal and cost-efficient way to build your practice’s reputation.
Where does your practice stand in social media presence? How well are you leveraging the free platforms to market your services? Are you using video content?
In a time when uncertainty is at its highest, what remains true is that if you are not online, you are not in line with clients’ changing needs. Growing a stronger online presence will boost your practice and help you to build a wider clientele base.
Other articles that might interest you:
- The Advantages of Online Therapy
- Why it’s important to have a good website and what it should feature
- 8 apps that will make your life easier as a psychologist