There’s so much focus today on the importance of digital marketing. And, yes, the business world and the addiction treatment industry have undergone a digital revolution. Currently, online searches for addiction treatment are at an all-time high.

But digital marketing isn’t everything. There are many forms of digital advertising that can be effective, but it’s so important to diversify your marketing efforts. So check out these 5 marketing tactics that go beyond digital ads to generate leads for your treatment center:

Do Great Work, Get Involved

The prominence of digital marketing hasn’t changed the fact that word-of-mouth and family referrals still are the most effective marketing tactic. People trust word-of-mouth recommendations, especially from people they know. If you think about it, both digital marketing and word-of-mouth referrals rely on the same concept: your brand’s reputation. You demonstrate that your treatment program provides high quality care and truly cares about helping those in need, and you gain new clients in need of your services.

By genuinely helping people to build a solid foundation in their recovery, you accomplish a major marketing feat. Those satisfied and grateful alumni and their families are more likely to recommend your treatment facility to others, and even leave positive reviews online. You can also elevate your program’s reputation by being involved in your community:

  • Participate in community events
  • Take part in fundraisers
  • Get involved in recovery advocacy efforts
  • Find volunteer work opportunities for staff and alumni from your facility

You might also consider hosting events or launching efforts of your own. These are powerful ways of gaining positive exposure, and showing that genuine care is the core of your treatment program’s philosophy.

Focus on SEO

It’s clear that, with so many people today online, word-of-mouth marketing just isn’t enough on its own. There are tons of digital marketing options like online advertising or pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns, but none of these are as effective as a solid SEO strategy. If someone is searching online for information about a topic like the link between trauma and substance abuse, or if they’re searching for the best treatment center in their area, a search engine offers search results and ranks them based on what the most useful resources would be. Quality SEO is the key to getting your facility’s website seen in those search results.

It’s so important to optimize your webpages for relevant keywords, and make sure that those links rank high enough in the search results so someone will actually click on them. Part of this ranking is determined by the quality of your content, and part of this comes from backlinks on other websites. When other sites link to your webpages as a resource, it’s seen as a vote of confidence. Search engines take this into account: more backlinks mean more people trust your website. Focus on distributing valuable online content regularly, like through a blog. SEO isn’t a quick fix—you won’t see results overnight, and you may want to enlist help from our SEO experts who know the field inside and out. It’s a time investment, but the payoff can be huge.

Buying Phone Calls and Leads

Even with a quality SEO strategy, it’s going to take time to see a change in your search rankings. Online visibility has to be earned, but there are other ways to generate leads in the meantime—like buying phone calls and leads. Buying inbound treatment calls can connect you with new, potential clients that might not have come across your facility otherwise. This is a financial investment, but it opens up opportunities for you to help more people in need of treatment.

But, before buying calls, you’ve got to be sure that you have the right infrastructure in place:

  • representatives to manage calls
  • training for those reps
  • call tracking system and call logs
  • call routing system, so calls can be taken anywhere, at anytime
  • consider setting up phone rooms

The key to buying inbound calls is proper organization. Don’t run the risk of losing quality leads. We can help you get a reliable treatment call system up and running.

Alumni Marketing and Events

One major problem with many treatment facilities today is a lack of continuing care. Whether you provide aftercare services or just check in and reconnect with past clients, this is a crucial element of success in treatment. Staying in touch with those alumni can also be a useful marketing strategy for your treatment program. Remember, those alumni who have completed your program are the people who can pass on word-of-mouth referrals to family and friends. Keeping up with them can improve their recovery and, by going the extra mile, you’re more likely to earn their recommendation.

Of course, people do relapse. It’s an unfortunate reality of addiction and treatment. But, by providing quality care and keeping up with clients after they leave, you also help many people stay sober. Keep lines of communication open:

  • Create phone lists and set up periodic phone calls check-ins, during which you can offer advice and support.
  • Compile email lists for weekly newsletters, in which you can share valuable content (both from your blog and other sources) that can be useful in their recovery.
  • Interact on social media pages.
  • Host alumni reunion events to bring people together, or get them involved in community events.

These simple efforts can make a huge impact: increase traffic to your website, strengthen your brand’s image, generate word-of-mouth leads, and, most importantly, provide long-term support.

Traditional Advertising

Digital advertising is everywhere, but it still hasn’t eliminated more traditional forms of media, like billboards, radio ads, or TV commercials. These media reach people in everyday life—in the car, on the bus, or in their own home. It can give you a new kind of exposure and wider exposure, especially locally. Just by seeing or hearing your ad on a difficult day or in a moment of need, someone may feel motivated to make the call. Family members and loved ones of those struggling with substance abuse may feel lost and not know what to do, but these everyday ads can give them direction.

In general, your marketing efforts are investments, of both time and money. You have to decide what’s right for your facility. But, the moral of the story here is don’t be one dimensional. Don’t rely on just one form of marketing or just one campaign. There are so many tactics you can employ to elevate your marketing efforts. Some of them can also guide you in providing better treatment services. Ultimately, there’s an interplay between your marketing efforts—the more visible you can become online, across media outlets, or even spoken about from person-to-person, the wider net you cast for potential clients.

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    Tim Stoddart

    Tim Stoddart is the CEO of Stodzy Internet Marketing. He lives in Nashville with his wife and hit adorable pitbull, Alice. Tim loves to write about digital marketing and personal growth. You can learn more at

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