As a massage therapist, you’re providing pain relief and comfort for your clients – a crucial service for millions of people. Reaching your target audience in a value-adding, brand-building way is a core function of online marketing. This post provides an effective, straightforward 4-step process for massage therapist marketing.

We’ll first take a look at optimizing your business for local SEO (search engine optimization) before moving on to a strategic process for scaling online.

Depending on your personal goals, expanding your reach online provides scalable opportunities and a variety of different monetization channels beyond in-person meetings and sessions.

So thanks again for stopping by today and I hope this post provides you with an actionable plan to grow your massage therapy business and client list online!

Outline

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Introduction & Local SEO

Although growing a business online and reaching a broader audience – potentially at a global scale, depending on your goals – is exciting, optimizing your local reach is also important.

Optimizing for local SEO means your business is readily found by people searching for your services in Google. 

Since Google knows its user’s locations, local searching is automatic whenever someone searches for something like “massage therapy service” or “massage therapy near me”.

The first thing you’ll want to do is set up Google My Business for your services. The process is fairly straightforward and you can get started by following this link here.

Once you register your business with Google and input your basic information so you can be found, there are some things you can do that will optimize your profile and help you stand out from the competition.

3 effective ways to improve and optimize your Google My Business profile:

  • Fill In All Information & Provide Contact Details & Links To Your Website
  • Add High-Quality, Attractive Images
  • Add Reviews & Ratings

So what’s beyond local SEO? There are billions of people online and millions are searching for solutions related to pain relief, relaxation and massage therapy.

Reaching these people comes down to identifying a specific subset of this market, repeatedly creating content for them and building a brand around this niche market. 

From here, you can scale, test new audiences and expand infinitely.

Finally, besides adopting a comprehensive content strategy and optimizing for local SEO, there is paid advertising. 

Social media offers businesses of any size, budget or industry to generate leads, increase sales and revenue and scale online.

So let’s explore these strategies in greater detail and the order in which I would personally recommend them to my clients and friends in the massage therapy industry.

1. Niche Down & Isolate A Target Market To Serve

A first step to developing your brand and business online is to isolate exactly who you’ll be serving. 

As you develop your content strategy and clearly identify your target market, consider this digital marketing concept: If you try to target everyone, you’ll target no one.

So who exactly do you want to create content and brand for and help with your services?

This may be long distance runners or specific athletes such as soccer players. Or you may target snowboarders or extreme sports enthusiasts. 

Still yet, people with sports related injuries or with lower back pain caused by desk work or even stay-at-home moms interested in general wellness could all be viable markets to reach.

The overall process here is to 

  • Identify a specific target market you’d like to help
  • Identify the specific problems or pain points they’re experiencing 
  • Then providing solutions to those issues (via content creation) using your massage therapy knowledge, skills and services
    • Keep reading for more on content creation!

2. Create Content & Brand For Your Target Market

Since you know your clients best, you’ll likely already have a clear idea of your client’s pain points, issues and the common questions they ask. 

Using this existing knowledge, you’ll want to research these issues as keywords in Google and YouTube (if you’re making video content).

The purpose is to find keywords that have high enough search volume but low enough competition.

A good indication that a keyword has high search volume is if you start typing the keyword inside the search bar and Google’s autosuggest feature finishes the phrase for you as a recommendation. 

This indicates that a high amount of other people are searching for this exact phrase.

From there, you can scroll through the search results and you’ll often find additional recommendations (i.e., content ideas) under the “People also ask” section and at the bottom of the page.

You can continue down this rabbit hole and start collecting keywords that you can make high quality, value-adding content for.

Regarding low competition keywords, first explore the page one rankings for the particular keyword you’d like to create content for.

Are the articles that are currently ranking from large, well-established websites? Is the content high quality and longer form (over 1,000 words)? 

Does the content adequately solve people’s problems and answer their questions?

As a new website, you want to target keywords that do not have large, well-established websites ranking for them.

High-competition keywords tend to be more general (such as “what is massage therapy”), bottom-of-the-funnel (meaning people are in a buyer mindset and closer to purchasing something, such as “best massage oil”) or specific, branded keywords (such as “biotone massage lotion”).

So you want to create content that is niche and targeting longtail keywords (i.e., usually lower competition).

Look for keywords whose current rankings are from personal blogs, websites with lower domain authority, posts that are old and articles that are short. 

You can then improve upon the existing rankings by writing better, longer and higher quality content.

You can also use a free keyword research tool like Ubersuggest to dig deeper into the analytics, search volume data ad related search terms for specific keywords.

You can also try one of my favorite tools, AnswerThePublic. It’s a free visual keyword tool that provides extensive insights and inspiration for hundreds and thousands of potential keywords to target.

Essentially, you’re creating a blog. An initial goal should be to write about 30-50, high-quality, long form (1,000+ words), helpful articles targeting lower competition keywords.

You can optimize the content for Google search engine ranking (SEO) by ensuring that the target keyword is at least in the title and within the first paragraph or two.

Since a full tutorial on SEO (<— free mini lesson!) and blog creation is outside the scope of this post, check out the recommended read below for more information on getting started with content marketing!

Recommended Read: Step-by-Step Guide On How To Start A Blog & Write An Effective Blog Post

Building Brand With Social Media

By creating high-quality, helpful, targeted content (at scale), you’ll be doing 2 things:

  • Creating a high-value asset that will compound over time with free traffic and numerous monetization opportunties
  • Creating authority, trust and brand

Branded content is highly valuable for businesses. What you’ll want to do (besides the above content marketing strategy presented) is couple your branding and content creation with a social media strategy.

This can be as simple as posting consistently on Instagram with some type of value-adding content. 

And if you’re wondering what constitutes “value adding content”, try to create things that are either educational, entertaining/interesting or inspiring (or some combination of those).

From here, personalizing your profile through color choices, messaging and overall aesthetic.

One of the great things about a sound social media strategy (besides branding) is you’ll be fostering awareness through organic growth and word-of-mouth.

Patel (2020) of ExpressText talks about the importance and value of building awareness and word-of-mouth marketing. In fact, as he reports, over 90% of people trust product/service reviews from friends and family and 88% trust reviews from strangers.

These are powerful statistics and should further guide your social proof strategy. That is, add reviews to your site and Google My Business listing while also using a social proof tool that shows site visitors live for users. 

This can have a huge impact on perceived trust and authority – especially if someone is new to your brand/business.

Just remember, results come from consistent action (posting daily), value-adding content (not just a sales focus) and patience (as you know, building brand isn’t an overnight thing).

3. Implement A Digital Marketing Strategy

I’ve placed digital marketing below content creation and building brand through social media because you can now essentially leverage these two assets to improve your digital marketing campaigns as a whole.

Your content can become click-worthy offers while your branded social media profiles support trust and authority for people unfamiliar with you.

Among many other things, a good digital marketing strategy recognizes and identifies:

  • The User’s State-of-Mind & How It Changes Across Different Platforms
  • Audience Targeting & The Sales Funnel Process For Your Business & Offer

  • How & When To Implement Ad Retargeting

Although the intricacies of building out a full digital marketing campaign are beyond this article’s objective, the points listed above are some more crucial, often overlooked concepts for creating a successful and effective campaign.

If you’d like a more comprehensive look at how to implement a digital marketing campaign, check out the recommended read below on building a profitable Facebook ad campaign for massage therapy!

Recommended Read: A Step-By-Step Strategic Guide To Facebook Ads For Massage Therapists

4. Expand & Scale

Starting niche and developing your brand at a micro level allows you to explore and expand new markets for easily. 

Since you’ll have established a level of credibility online while also establishing a marketing process for business growth, scaling your massage therapy business online will be smoother than trying to reach too many at the start.

Furthermore, as you create more content and search engines such as Google start to trust you more, ranking for more competitive keywords and niches will become easier with time.

When I discuss expansion and scaling, I’m referring to both your digital marketing campaigns and your audience reach.

Scaling marketing campaigns can be as straightforward as testing new audiences and offers while raising the budget on your best-performing ads and ad sets. 

And expanding your reach involves the creation of fresh, new content targeting that market’s specific pain points and questions.

Together, scaling a business online opens up nearly limitless options and opportunities.

And scaling into new markets can be complimentary to your initial efforts. 

For example, if you started off by targeting winter sports enthusiasts (skiing, snowboarding, ice-skating, snow shoeing), you can then expand into summer sports. 

Ultimately, you could become an authority for action and adventure sports athletes.

Conclusion

This post explored massage therapist marketing and provided a comprehensive formula for content creation, brand building and digital marketing. 

We also explored local SEO and the significance of a value-adding content strategy for implementing a more effective digital marketing sales funnel.

A core recommendation for this post was to first nice down and isolate a specific niche who you can serve and provide value to. 

After building this foundation, opportunities for expansion and scaling can be carried out with more direction, experience and agility.

Overall, crafting an evergreen content strategy and establishing brand identity are competitive assets that will enable you to grow your massage therapy business in exciting and profitable ways.

Let me know in the comments what your thoughts are on content marketing as a massage therapist!

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