Addiction treatment is very important work. With so many people struggling with substance abuse, treatment centers play a vital role in rehabilitating men and women and teaching them coping skills to living a long, happy and healthy life.
Addiction treatment marketing is an important service that requires a specific form of knowledge and expertise. Addiction treatment and recovery is its own culture and understanding the struggles that addiction and families of addicts go through will prove very valuable in your marketing efforts.
Stodzy has worked with dozens of treatment centers across the country to build effective marketing campaigns that convert into leads and admissions. We know the ins and outs of all sides of marketing and we plan to use our expertise to help grow your treatment census, assist in helping people find the treatment they need, and improving the addiction treatment industry as a whole.
Let’s get started!
Digital Marketing for Addiction Treatment Centers
The best and most long term beneficial addiction treatment marketing method is through the internet. There are many forms of digital marketing within our niche and we will run through the pros and cons of each one of them.
SEO – Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving your website so that it ranks better in Google search results. SEO includes a number of different steps that every rehab center should follow for a successful marketing campaign.
First, keyword research is most important. There are hundreds if not thousands of possible keywords to want to rank at the top of the search engines, so we have to know which keywords are worth fighting for and compare that to the potential return on getting clicks from those searches.
At Stodzy, we almost always (with a few exceptions) take a geo located search campaign. Meaning we try to rank for searches that are local in your area. Let’s imagine your treatment facility is in Park City Utah, then we will work hard to make sure your website appears at the top search results for “drug rehab in Park City Utah.”
SEO has huge rewards because once Google sees your website and brand and an authority, they tend to keep you there. So once you have earned Google’s respect, you will be able to maintain that search result and bring in admissions from your own business website, and you will be able in from it for years to come.
In many ways, content marketing can be considers a sub set of SEO. In order to rank a webpage for a certain keyword, you need to actually write the words (or content) on that page. Seems pretty cut and dry, right?
Well content marketing can also be considered a marketing tactic within itself, because content comes in many forms. To keep it simple, we like to think of content coming in 4 different forms.
- Written word – A blog article or an essay or a guide or a website. This guide that you’re reading right now is considered written content.
- Videos – A YouTube video or a TV commercial. Video could even go so far as a short Snapchat video or an Instagram post.
- Audio – Podcasts are become more and more popular and there are even social media apps such an anchor that level audio content.
- Image – Pictures, memes, infographs or any still image that can tell a story, spread your logo and increase the reach of your brand.
Creating valuable content is a great way to grow an audience. This is a great tactic in marketing your addiction treatment center, but we also find content marketing very valuable in keeping your alumni informed.
One of the great things about the treatment industry is watching your work transform the lives of people who have gone through your program. For this reason, creating content and resources to help past clients remain sober is another valuable form of content that you can produce.
Social Media Marketing
Social media has pros and cons in our industry.
The kind of content that resonates on social media usually has a lot of entertainment value. This could include list posts, or news story or pictures of cats. When using social media to marketing your treatment center, there are some important lessons we have learned that we want you to keep in mind.
First, social media is great for building community. The recovery community is very passionate and very tightknit. If you are able to build a Facebook page and grow an engaged community around great content, you will see your traffic numbers and your engagement rate increase dramatically.
However, we have found that this type of traffic doesn’t always convert well into admissions. People go to social media for entertainment. The intent behind the traffic that social media brings is not always in line with getting treatment.
But sometimes it is, and we definitely see positive results behind our social media marketing efforts.
With that said, it is important to remember that social media is an advertising platform at its heart. With a well tailored, well targeted ad campaign, we can justify allocating some budget towards Facebook advertising.
The best digital marketing campaigns work when all of these marketing channels work symbiotically with each other. Social media boosts your content. The content spreads and grows your brand which can increase your SEO results.
Ultimately, digital marketing is the best long term strategy because once your brand has been established, that is when you are in the best position to cut ties with third party sources that may not always be reliable. Being in control of your own marketing and your own brand is always the best case scenario for our clients. Just imagine if your entire facility could be filled from the leads you bring in from your own website. That’s the holy grail of addiction treatment marketing.
Inbound Addiction Treatment Leads and Call Center Management
In a perfect world, every treatment center would be able to build their own websites, work on their own brand and be completely autonomous when bringing in clients. However, that is rarely the case. Building a digital marketing strategy takes time and patience and execution.
Many times, buying inbound phone calls and leads are a great way to subsidize that workload so that you can maintain your client census and keep your receivables flowing as needed.
There are a few critical mistakes that treatment centers make when they decide to buy inbound leads. We have witnessed facilities make every one of these mistakes it almost always results in huge loses of budget, frustration and ultimately believing that the leads themselves were the problem. So they write off lead generation as a whole and they never take the time to look internally at their own mistakes.
Common mistakes to avoid…
- Not investing in top tier phone reps – Be sure your phone reps are professionals. These phone calls are important. There is a lot on the line both for you and for the person who is in need of treatment. Handle the with expertise.
- Not investing in infrastructure – Having the capability to handle these calls is important. Avoid sending phone calls to a cell phone. Ideally, you want a hard lined phone with a good connection and a good working environment. These leads require your help and they deserve your full attention.
- Not tracking your phone calls – This is by far the simplest and most costly mistake. Tracking the data behind your phone calls has so many benefits. You can listen to calls to improve, you can measure your average phone call length and you can route phone calls to reps who are having the most success.
Now, look at these criteria and honestly ask yourself if you are ready and able to properly handle inbound leads and phone calls. Remember, these are real people on the other line and many of these people are in desperate situations. Treating these leads without the utmost of care is immoral, unethical business and flat out harmful. Be sure you are ready if you decide that buying leads is the option for you.
With that being said, there are a few different sources to buy leads for addiction treatment marketing. Let’s go through these sources in detail.
Web leads are calls that are driven from giant websites that provide resources and hotlines to people that are struggling with drug addiction. Web leads are very valuable and as a lead source, they will most likely have the highest conversion rates.
The problem with web leads is that they are difficult to target down from location. Most web leads are sold to treatment facilities that have the capability to handling clients and patients from all ends of the country.
Media Buys and TV Leads
Classic TV media buys are still an effective way to bring in phone calls and leads. TV and radio both have driven positive results for our clients and we recommend them as a viable option for inbound phone call generation.
One of the down sides of media is that they can be unpredictable. With TV ads, it is difficult to predict exactly who will be calling. There may be some extra scrubbing to do before you find a client that matches the criteria for your facility, but if you are willing to do the work you will find that TV ads still bring in the right clients that have a positive return.
TV is not dead. It may not have the same power as it did in the golden ages of advertising, but there is no doubt that TV ads still generate thousands and thousands of calls from people in need of treatment services.
Business Development for Treatment Centers
To adequately market a treatment center, you need to do more than web marketing and lead generation. In today’s climate, getting out there and networking with other businesses is still an extremely important element to growing your census.
We firmly believe in grass roots marketing and we love to help our treatment center clients put themselves in a position to succeed. Business development could mean a lot of things and there is more than one way to proceed. Let’s take a look at some of the common ways to form relationships that will help your facility stay full.
Working With Other Treatment Centers
Many times, there are factors that will pre determine whether someone can attend a certain facility or not. Most commonly, this could be an insurance issue.
The fact of the matter is that insurance plays a big roll in the treatment industry. Maybe a potential client has an insurance policy that you can’t manage. That is unfortunate, but it happens every day. The best next step would be to refer that patient to a well respected facility that does take that particular insurance. This way you know that the client is at least getting the help that he or she needs.
This is a win win because in addition to doing your job, you’ve also built a relationship with another facility. Now, next time this facility comes across a client that they can’t accept, you may be in a position to accept that client. This will lead to a referral back to you and again, everyone wins. The clients get treatment, you maintain your business model and everyone is working together.
When we work together is when we can build the best treatment industry possible.
Contacting Other Businesses
Addiction is a very prevalent health issue in our country. There are lots of industries, companies and organizations that a ripe with addiction problems. Most often, these organizations are willing to work with facilities in order to get help to their employees or co workers.
Some examples of these organizations may be…
- Other medical facilities
- Employee Assistance Programs
- Care coordinators and HR departments of other businesses
These are just a few examples of organizations that could benefit from knowing about your services. The point is that you need to get out there and let your services be known. Many organizations deal with internal addiction problems and extending yourself to them through education and outreach is a mutually beneficial relationship.
Aftercare and Alumni Services
In many ways this is the most element of service you can provide. It is also the most advantageous for your treatment center and its well being. Building an aftercare program is not only the right thing to do, but it is also a great marketing aspect within itself.
Our turnkey, alumni email program has worked wonders in helping facilities stay connected to past clients as well as remaining visible to family members and friends in the unfortunate case that a former client has relapsed or another person is in need to treatment.
By providing great treatment, you will positively affect the lives of many people who may otherwise be struggling. In addition, your alumni will act as your best branding and marketing tool there is.
Think about it, everyone knows people know struggle with addiction. What better of an advocate could there be other than someone who has already gone through your treatment process and came out the other end with positive results? In most cases, this person will talk about the experience he or she had in your treatment facility and will most likely refer a friend, family member or colleague to your facility if they had a positive experience.
Great marketing comes from the inside out. Being able to stand behind your services and your treatment program will do wonders for the health of your business. All other efforts will not mean anything if your reputation and your word of mouth brand suffer because you do not do a good job and you do not help people with their addiction problems in the way they deserve to be helped.
Addiction treatment is a labor of love.
It is not easy to work day in and day out and do heart breaking work in hopes of helping people break through their addiction problems. Many people get into the treatment industry with great intentions but when doing so, don’t realize what is required from a marketing standpoint.
Yes, treatment is a very unique industry and there needs to be extra measures taken to ensure that treatment marketing is done with ethics and morals in mind. We need to maintain the ideals and standards that will keep the treatment industry healthy and valuable.
There are many great techniques and strategies that are well within the scope of morality and will also bring in new clients to your facility. This is a win for the clients and a win for you and your company.
Let’s get to work!