2017 is coming to a close.
We saw a lot of important changes take place in the treatment industry. We saw a lot of positive improvements in regards to ethical marketing practices as well as some real changes in the PPC vertical.
We also continued to see changes in the landscape of digital marketing. Techniques that used to be effective a few years a ago, no longer had the same results. In contrast, we were surprised to see how well some other marketing techniques were working that we didn’t expect.
In this article, we will go over all of our findings for 2017 and make some predictions for the new year.
Local Search is a Big Winner
The biggest suprise for us was how effective Google my business pages have been in creating admits. Even is cities that have high population and have lots of competition, we found that local search marketing continued to be one of the most cost effective practices a drug rehab could embark upon.
We expect this trend to continue. As Google continues to build out its local business directory, we expect more and more traffic to be funneled towards drug rehab directories and local business pages.
Also, the conversion rates on Google local search are very high. We expect this is because the push to call button is directly on the mobile search listing. As almost all of Google local search is sourced from a mobile device, it’s a natural transition to make the phone call through a simple call button.
The point is, if you haven’t already created your local business listing you need to do so that asap. You need to fill it with as much information as possible. You need to insert as many pictures as possible and you need to get honest reviews on the page.
It will pay off.
Buying Phone Calls is a Win, As Long as You Have the Infrastructure
Even before Google made the restrictions on paid search, we were seeing an influx in facilities wanting to buy treatment phone calls.
We approached this carefully. Buying calls seems like a simple solution to bring in more clients. However, it is important to us that rehabs have the infrastructure in place to properly field these phone calls.
One of the biggest lessons learned this year is the importance of a proper call center and call center reps. If you do not have an established team with adequate training, you will do more harm than good. Most importantly, the person calling for help will not get the help they need. Subsequently, you are burning through your marketing budget on phone calls that are not providing a return.
This is dangerous and potentially life threatening.
With that being said, we saw great results from clients who were properly staffed and set up with the right technology to field the calls, track the calls and properly route the calls. The closing percentage remained steady.
Lesson learned – if you have an admission team, a phone system, a call tracking system and well trained reps, than buying phone leads is a no brainer. TV leads performed well. Web leads performed well. There are lots of people out there in need of your services.
Long Term SEO Remains the Holy Grail
One of the concerns we had this year was that we saw more and more clients looking short term rather than long term. Search engine optimization is still the best marketing tool for drug rehabs.
Since the birth of Stodzy, we have seen countless clients focus the majority of their budget on short term results. This could mean PPC, media buys, press releases, etc.
When so little of the attention is focused on the long term branding, search and reputation, the position will be dreadful after a year or two years.
Every single time we have had the opportunity to be patient, methodical and deliberate with our search rankings, the client yielded phenomenal results over the course of 12-24 months. It can be scary and uncomfortable to be investing resources for work that is expected to pay off later down the line, but there is no better way to grow your treatment center than to dominate the search results.
This protects you from huge swings in the industry and more importantly, provides the best resources possible for people who are looking for help.
Facebook Ads – Cautious but Optimistic
We did a ton of experimenting with Facebook ads. We saw mixed results.
As powerful an advertising tool as Facebook is, we are having a hard time believing that the people engaged on Facebook are the right prospects for converting into a treatment admission. It’s all about intent. Chances are that someone scrolling their Facebook feed is not actively thinking about finding a treatment center.
We remain optimistic about the platform. There are just so many people on Facebook. It becomes a numbers game. After enough trial and error, we did manage to see some net positive results.
We did this by converting Facebook traffic into phone calls as well as lead forms. Between the two, we were able to build a Facebook campaign that had a net positive CPA. If you want to learn more about this, you can contact us. We saved all the data, I would be happy to share it with you.
On to the New Year
I am so looking forward to 2018. As a man in recovery, I am optimistic about the country and the awareness of the drug problem. I am optimistic about the amazing people I see working in this industry every day and I am excited about our work.
Stodzy has been in business for 5 years now. We continue to be the leader in addiction treatment marketing. We continue to provide service as well as results and we strive to always be out doing ourselves.
2017 was a great year and 2018 will be even better.