Most addiction recovery businesses are on a tighter budget, especially when it comes to marketing. Times are harder and many companies don’t have a lot of money to invest on advertising and marketing. If you operate a recovery business that isn’t at full occupancy, you are feeling this too. The irony is, not marketing your treatment center will have a detrimental effect on your business.
One local business leader named Rick who owns a sober living home, has just closed his recovery retreat because nobody is booking his facility for recovery. He says he can’t afford to advertise any more. This year alone he has spent over $68,000 on advertising in his local newspapers, Google’s Adwords and online with expensive one time ads. His efforts turned out to be a total waste of time and money. He reacted to the market instead of defining his reputation in his area. Since all the other addiction centers are spending thousands every month online, he thought he should as well.
The biggest challenge with that mentality is the lack of tracking and measurement necessary to understand exactly how much it costs to acquire a new resident. Without understanding this, Rick had as good a chance of winning the lotto. If he had taken the time to explore what works best for his business model, with his unique audience, he may still be in business.
Although Rick is pursuing other avenues, the good news for other companies who are still in business is that online marketing is not only much cheaper but it is far more effective than traditional methods of marketing plus you can easily track the success of each marketing campaign that you launch.
Here are some proven marketing ideas for recovery businesses on a tight marketing budget:
1) Optimize your recovery website for the search engines:
This is one of the first things you need to put on your ‘to-do’ list. Why? Because Google is not only the most popular search engine on the web, but it is also your business’ best friend. Google and the search engines want you to rank high in the search results.
If their clients are searching for a trusted addiction treatment center, it is Google’s job to tell them about your practice. However, you have to make it easy for them by optimizing your site. This need not be expensive at all and yet will one be of the best investments that you will make for your business. The return can be phenomenal as prospective residents far and wide discover your business online.
2) Google Plus Local For Recovery Professionals:
While we are on the subject of Google, we can’t miss out Google+ Local. As mentioned in the previous marketing tip, Google really is on your side and it wants to help your business be found. They make sure that if potential clients are looking for a recovery service that you provide, Google wants to make sure that its results are totally relevant and your company appears in the listings.
As a result, search results are becoming much more local and personalized and recovery centers who claim their Google Plus Local Page and optimize it properly get the best rewards. (More Phone Calls!) See our post here for more: How Google+ Local Will Impact Your Recovery Business
3) Start an Addiction Recovery Blog:
No matter what type of recovery business you are in, you can still have a blog. In case you don’t know what a blog is, it basically stands for ’web log’ and they’re effectively online diaries. If you are going to create a blog for your company you need to do the following:
Host the blog on your own domain. Example:TrustedAddictionTreatmentScottsdale.com/blog
Anyone can set one up, that’s the easy part. Thinking of something interesting to say each time you blog is the tricky bit. You need to write good content that will be interesting for your visitors and clients. People won’t thank you if it’s just going to be one long sales pitch. Create a community and make your visitors feel part of it by responding to each blog comment.
If you do, the more people will be inclined to read and comment on your blog more often. Don’t feel you need to be Shakespeare here. You probably have developed most of the content you’ll re-purpose for blogging, and likely have some inspirational people who would appreciate expressing themselves on the blog. Leverage your assets!
Even though addiction treatment is a very sensitive issue that many aren’t comfortable discussing, your blog and social media channels can provide great comfort for someone seeking recovery or their families. The web is too crowded with options and spam, it’s challenging to know who to trust.
An active blog/social media channel can provide the social proof necessary for them to pick up the phone and call you instead of the other options down their list. And, you’re making them feel less alienated with their situation because others have been there and are sharing how to deal with recovery.
Here’s a few examples to get you started, in no particular order;
http://www.soberrecovery.com/ (almost 200k visitors per month, user generated content!)
TheFix.com (beautiful, cutting edge recovery blog)
Drinking Diaries Caren and Leah are writers living in the New York area.
4) Recovery Social Networking
Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and more niche relevant social sites like SoberLivingVideos.com, or In The Rooms are all popular sites that you can’t ignore. By creating a profile on each of these sites, you will not only create new opportunities for potential clients to find you but they will also be excellent sources of traffic.
Recovery businesses that use social media sites like these almost always see a significant increase in monthly traffic. The part that excites them the most is the fact that it is completely free. All it costs is a little of their time but the results are well worth it.
By investing a bit of time and effort providing good content that is relevant to your audience and interacting with your followers you will soon build a loyal following. This will raise your online company profile and make your site easier to find in the search engines.
The more often you show up, are in the discussion- the more likely your recovery reputation will make the decision easier for a prospective resident to call you first.
“You can no longer afford to ignore social media marketing. In 2012, 85% of addiction treatment centers found that social media generated more exposure for their business. “
5) Addiction Recovery Case Studies and Testimonials
If you have satisfied clients who appreciate the impact you had on their recovery journey, why not get a testimonial or case study from them? Case studies and testimonials are a perfect way to get brand new clients because they build credibility and give the potential clients the confidence to try your treatment knowing that other people were successful.
They will be less inclined to commit if they don’t see any testimonials or reviews. The technique is to get your alumni and their families talking about you, the experience, and the results they generated. Most clients will be happy to do this if you ask them. You could also provide feedback forms on your website.
Online searchers are used to and conditioned to leaving reviews. They are a great way to get more people interested in your services. Full names aren’t required, they can remain anonymous.
We hope this brief guide to marketing your addiction treatment program on a tight budget was useful. The next in the series will cover launching an email newsletter, physical networking, how to set up a performance based affiliate program and other budget conscious marketing strategies. If you have any additional questions, call us to let us know what you need assistance with. If we can’t help you, we will point you in the right direction.