1 – People Go to Google for Addiction Treatment
Let’s imagine a scenario.
Let’s say that Mrs. Smith is doing laundry or she is cleaning her son’s room. Let’s imagine she finds a heroin needle or a used pipe in her son’s pocket. What do you think she is going to do?
The answer is very clear. She will go to Google and she will start searching treatment options or start asking questions about what she should do.
If a mother types in a search query that says “signs my son is using heroin”, wouldn’t you want your facility to be the resource she goes to for help?
Of course you would.
Inbound Google traffic is more valuable than ever because there is intent behind it. We know exactly the problem this mother or “user” has, and if we position ourselves correctly, we can provide value and resources that will ultimately admit her son into treatment and potentially save his life.
Inbound search traffic can completely change your business. But only if you are willing to make the investment.
2 – People Are Shopping Local, Now More Than Ever
One of the most under utilized tools in all of digital marketing is Google My Business.
Have you ever pulled out your phone and searched “restaurant near me?” You know those results you get with the pins on the map? That’s Google My Business.
The conversions on those searches are extremely high. In fact, more phone calls, visits to the store and clicks to the website come from Google My Business than any other traffic funnel.
The reason is because those GMB search results make it very easy to call or get directions or visit the website. The buttons are front and center. You can see below.
Google is rewarding local search more every day. The opportunity is there. This is good because it levels the playing field. The more traffic Google steers to local organizations, the more chance you have to compete because you aren’t going up against nationally recognized websites or brands.
If any treatment facility wants to be taken seriously from an online brand and reputation standpoint, they need to invest in their GMB listings. This means…
- posting pictures in their profile.
- updating the information to ensure that it is accurate.
- reaching out to alumni and graduates to earn positive reviews.
There is no reason not to do this. If you are not investing in your local search marketing, you are missing opportunities. You are missing out on traffic, phone calls, admissions and the opportunity to be of service.
3 – Online Communities Spread the Message
One of the opportunities for online marketing (with the lowest cost of entry) is building a social media community.
Let’s be up front about this, lots of treatment centers invest in social media expecting there to be a return on admissions or clients. This is rarely the case. Social media does not have the proper context to be a “driver of admissions.”
However, what it can do is create a community of brand ambassadors who feel passionate about your facility and the way in which you helped save their lives.
Social media is a great tool for alumni to network, continuously be fed resources and be connected to a peer support group. If you use social media to provide resources and stay involved in the recovery of your graduated patients, it’s almost guaranteed that you will see referral admissions from your alumni.
How many times have you had a great experience with a company or a service and recommend it to someone you know?
Reversely, how many times have you had a bad experience and told a friend about it?
My guess is quite a few.
So why would addiction treatment be any different?
If you are letting your treatment patients leave your facility without a way to remain connected to your alumni program and your digital network, you are doing yourself and your patients a huge dis service.
- Create secret Facebook groups for alumni to support each other.
- Build a alumni email list and send your alumni weekly or even biweekly resources and updates.
- Share the success stories and sobriety dates of your alumni and send them out to everyone through a blog or email list.
The possibilities are endless.
But if you are not willing to make an investment in your social media/ branding/ alumni services, you will never see the results of your work and the lives you can continuously impact.
The addiction treatment industry is behind the 8-ball.
Most facilities in the addiction treatment industry still rely on word of mouth. Not to mention referral relationships and business development to keep them operational.
That’s great. Obviously, those marketing avenues are hugely important and I would never suggest people stop that work and focus solely on digital marketing.
But, I would say that too many facilities are scared to take the leap. We have had countless experiences of market managers or even owners of facilities tell us that they “don’t see an immediate return” on digital, so they don’t get started. Almost always, we will hear back from these people a year later because they are getting left behind.
A year from now, you will wish you started today.
Digital marketing is an investment. It is not a quick fix and there is no instant gratification. However, the long term value digital marketing will provide for your facility and for your clients is without question.
What are you waiting for? Let’s get started.