The world of online marketing is constantly evolving, and your drug rehab advertising strategies need to change with it. Today, more people than ever are online—almost 90% of people in North America use the internet. The internet is both a resource for finding answers and information, as well as a digital space where people spend significant chunks of their time. On average in the U.S., people spend more than 5 hours per day online using their computers, phones, and tablets.

That means the digital sphere is where you can best connect with potential clients. It’s becoming more and more common for people looking for addiction treatment to turn to the internet. In an average month, Google gets over 100 billion searches typed into its search engine. In recent months, searches for alcohol and drug rehabs have been at their peak levels of popularity. And, even if individuals aren’t looking for treatment, the majority of people struggling with substance abuse are among that huge portion of people spending time online.

Your online presence and marketing tactics are crucial to the success of your treatment program. But what drug rehab advertising strategies are most successful? How can you attract relevant traffic—people in need of substance abuse treatment—and then convert them into clients? Let’s look at the current state of online marketing and how it can guide your drug rehab advertising efforts.

Mobile Devices are Taking Over

The majority of time spent online is now spent on mobile devices:

  • More people in the U.S. (and 10 other countries) conduct online searches on their mobile phones than on their computers.
  • Most cell phone users today have a smart phone, which they use to go online. Around 1 in 3 cell phone users almost only use their phones to go go online.
  • Mobile apps and mobile web now account for a huge portion of digital media consumption (around 60%).

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It’s clear that you need to give some attention to mobile devices when planning your drug rehab advertising strategy. Mobile functions differently than desktop. You need to implement some mobile-friendly advertising campaigns. You need to ensure that the format of your treatment program’s website is easily readable on a mobile device. You might consider advertising opportunities within popular or relevant mobile apps.

While mobile internet usage is increasingly popular, it’s also important to be aware of problems with mobile marketing. Around half of all clicks on mobile ads are accidental. Most people don’t trust ads on mobile devices, and many people now block those ads on their smartphones. And, marketing calls, spam, or text messages are generally not well-received.

Video: The Most-Consumed Form of Online Media

Video traffic online makes up over 70% of all internet traffic, and that percentage is steadily increasing each year:

  • Visual content is 40 times as likely to get shared on social media compared to other types of content.
  • YouTube is the second most-used app on smart phones.
  • Four times as many people would rather watch a video to learn about a product or service than to read about it.

Utilizing video content in your drug rehab advertising has the potential to extend your reach on social media and engage more with mobile users. Most importantly, video is an opportunity to build trust with potential clients. While face-to-face visits to treatment facilities are on the decline, video gives you the option to show potential clients and their family members what you’re all about.

Introduce yourself and your staff, give a virtual tour of your facility, show them some of the unique aspects of your program. Choosing a treatment center can be a stressful process, so you want to give potential clients greater peace of mind in whatever way you can. A video helps potential clients and their family members better imagine what treatment will be like with your program, so they can feel more confident in their decision. Plus, including a video on your landing page can increase your conversion rate by 80%.


Social Media is Huge

It’s no secret. Social media now accounts for almost one-third of all time people spend online—the majority of which is done on a mobile device:

  • The average person spends around 2 hours every day on various social media platforms.
  • Facebook, by far, is the largest and most popular platform, with nearly 2 billion active monthly users.
  • Facebook also is the most-used mobile app, ranking above YouTube. As of 2016, nearly 1 in every 5 minutes spent on mobile internet was spent on Facebook.

The social media audience is extremely large and diverse. Having a presence on social media and implementing Facebook ads can be smart moves for your drug rehab advertising schema. Online users tend to trust reviews and comments they read on social media pages when making decisions about products or services. And, you have an opportunity to increase your visibility and brand recognition through your social media presence.

It’s important to note, though, that more consumers trust a brand’s actual website than their social media pages. While social media ads can increase your visibility and be effective in some cases, they don’t tend to perform well in gaining new clients. You should devote some attention to social media, but you need to build a multi-dimensional online presence.

Organic Search Still Reigns Supreme

The foundation of your drug rehab advertising has to center around organic search online and your search rankings. For the majority of marketers today, improving SEO and their organic search ranking is their top priority when it comes to inbound marketing—and creating relevant, valuable content (often through blogging) has been the most important and effective SEO strategy.

SEO has also been named one of the most difficult digital marketing tactics for brands to execute. Our team of SEO experts at Stodzy is happy to help you build search traffic that will actually convert. We’ve learned that valuable, quality content will always perform well. It’s more shared on social media, it’s how you earn inbound links, and it’s the best way to improve your search rankings. Those search rankings are the key to increasing your visibility online and attracting relevant traffic:

  • 36% searches on Google are associated with a location—meaning people are looking for a “rehab near me,” and you want your treatment facility to appear in their search results.
  • More than 95% of clicks go to the top 4 search results, and one-third of clicks go to the first search result.

Rise to the Top with PPC

Establishing credibility with search engines and seeing the impact of your SEO efforts will take time. As you build your treatment program and brand, pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns can be an effective drug rehab marketing tactic. In fact, PPC is reported by marketers to be one of their most effective paid forms of advertising. It ranks above print, online banner ads, social ads or promoted social media posts.

PPC also increases your brand awareness dramatically—by about 80%. Even if people don’t click your ad right then, they see your treatment program name and the services you offer. This can lead to greater recognition and trust of your brand. Rarely do individuals conduct a one-time search for addiction treatment—it’s typically a process. Having seen your brand name and coming to recognize it, people are more likely to look into your program as they continue their search.

Google dominates search engine market, with 65 to 75% of all searches done there. That makes Google’s AdWords and PPC worthy investments for your drug rehab advertising, if you can afford it. PPC is going to cost you for every click. But, PPC campaigns are designed to attract relevant clicks which will convert, so your PPC campaigns should pay for themselves quickly.

Maintain Engagement, Continue Evolving

Online marketing today is multi-faceted and complex. There’s no single thing that is most effective on its own. You need a solid strategy to increase your brand’s visibility: on both desktop and mobile, across social media platforms, and in organic search rankings. Most importantly, you must keep your audience engaged. That means providing valuable content consistently and regularly, staying involved on social media, and tending to your brand’s online reputation.


Medical and healthcare services are one of the top three industries that most people turn to online reviews to learn more about. It’s an industry in which reputation matters to people when choosing a specific business or brand. It’s important to respond to those reviews—good and bad—because potential clients are doing their research, and most people trust those reviews just as much as a personal recommendation. All of these factors color your brand’s credibility.

The most effective drug rehab advertising strategy is to strengthen your digital presence across the board. This will not only make your treatment program more credible to the individuals looking for treatment, but you will also be recognized by search engines as a valuable resource. The more value you can provide, the more visible you become online.

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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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