5 Proven Marketing Ideas for Recovery Businesses on a Tight Budget

 5 Proven Marketing Ideas for Treatment Centers

Addiction Treatment Marketing Tips

Addiction Treatment Marketing Tips

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. And, there are plenty of marketing ideas for treatment centers that you haven’t explored, or are aware they exist.

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 My Business (previously Google+ Local) For Recovery Professionals:

While we are on the subject of Google, we can’t miss out Google My Business. 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!

Addiction Treatment Blogging

Addiction Treatment Blogging

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 internet marketing plan coupled with a consistently engaged blog and social media channels 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) Addiction Recovery Social Networking

Addiction Recovery Social Networking

Addiction Recovery Social Networking

Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google Plus and more niche relevant social sites like SoberLivingVideos.com, or In The Rooms are 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. So, get your engagement on to build your tribe!

“You can no longer afford to ignore social media marketing. In 2015, 96% 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.

Addiction Recovery Marketing Strategies Conversation

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. We’re open for conversations about marketing ideas for treatment centers, and if we can’t help you, we will point you in the direction of resources that can.

Updated for 2016; Google+ Local is now Google My Business.

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Addiction Treatment Mobile Marketing

Five Smartphone Marketing Tips For Addiction Treatment Centers

Five Smartphone Marketing Tips For Addiction Treatment Centers

Are you looking into mobile marketing to promote your addiction recovery services? Do you think mobile marketing can be effective in the recovery space, similar to social media? You better believe it! Look at these facts:

**53% of American consumers use their smartphones to access search engines at least once a day (Source: Google and Mobile Marketing Association Survey)

*By the end of 2013, 54 percent of all phones globally will be smartphones (Gigaom Study).

*By 2015, more U.S. Internet users will access the Internet through mobile devices than through PCs or other online devices. (IDC Study).


It can be tremendously valuable if you provide your audience the experience they are looking for. This article is a good primer to understand the basics of smartphone lead generation, and hopefully provide an idea or two you can take action on today.

There are different ways to promote addiction services via mobile marketing.

1) Recovery Text Alerts:

Text alerts are very popular for local deals and specials, though a bit different for those in recovery. A person seeking a private consultation, or daily motivational quotes may find value in a text series related to their needs, but they’re unlikely to be vocal advocates due to the sensitivity of addiction or disorder recovery. Your audience here needs messaging that is timely, personal, easily digestible and reminds them that additional help FROM YOU is only a call away. Be sure the intended recipients agree to receive your personal messages, and understand your goals and frequency.

2) Addiction Treatment Mobile Websites:

If you haven’t already, consider creating a mobile website. Your audience is on their iPhone, Android or Blackberry- they need to be able to connect with you.

Since your clients own smartphones and other recent devices like iPads and other tablets, consider making sure your mobile site is ‘responsive‘ (able to be fully viewed and experienced regardless of device) and look into advertising your mobile site on relevant applications (apps) that draw in targeted people looking for drug rehab placement services.

Updated for 2015: Here’s a few in use featured on (Healthline.com). Heck, build your own app! They aren’t as expensive or technical as you may think; check out this company making WordPress mobile apps, iPhone and Android versions, much easier:  Appy Pie and a cool video that explains how:

Also, you will find that many people use their mobile phone to visit social networks. This could be a great opportunity for you to reach out to customers via both mobile marketing and social media marketing while their eyeballs are glued to your message.

3) Deliver Digestible Content:

Adapt your content to your format. Keep in mind that mobile phones have a small screen and usually take longer than a regular computer to download content or display images. It is best to keep your messages short, avoid using pictures or complex designs and always test your content before it goes public.

Addiction Marketing Mobile Landing Pages

Addiction Marketing Mobile Landing Pages

If you share content that is not easy to load with a mobile phone, or if your messages are too long and do not contain anything valuable, people will quickly lose interest in your campaign.

The goal of your mobile marketing efforts is to promote and build long term awareness for your services in a way that attracts likely targets to your process instead of the other options. In the end, the number of consumers who visit your mobile website or subscribe to your text alerts does not matter. What really matters is how many admissions you convert via your mobile marketing campaign.

You can boost conversions by remaining focused not only on your unique services, but also how someone in this place of need will respond to your messaging. Bottom line, if they have difficulty reading or navigating your mobile website, chances are they’re gone.

4) Cater To Your Core Demographic:

Do not make any of your prospective guests feel excluded from your mobile marketing campaign. Allow parents and those needing help for themselves to answer surveys about how they like to consume their content, where and at what times. You can avoid excluding anyone from your campaign by making your content available in different formats, SMS text campaigns may require a smartphone to have different data plans.

Stay up to date with addiction recovery innovations and always look for new ways to promote your services without intruding. Being the first one to use a new tool or device to promote your business will definitely give you an advantage over your competitors, though it needs to be appropriate. We are very excited to see how the hybrid group buy/daily deal style of addiction treatment placement will work out from Recovery Brands.

Those needing high-end, affordable treatment may benefit here. This is the type of innovation to consider in our crowded recovery marketplace. Your audience is already programmed to be influenced by ideas like this, if they are designed to strike the right balance of providing value without overload.

5) Addiction Recovery Calls To Action:

As a regular reader here, you are probably aware we don’t understate the importance of strong calls to action in all marketing efforts. Your mobile addiction treatment marketing campaign should help you stay in touch with your audience, and make it easier for them to Click-To-Call you (or pick up the phone and call you)- and collect personal information to get them into your (e)mailing database. It may seem simple, but the fundamentals are easily overlooked with so many moving parts. Make sure there’s no barrier to prevent Every visitor from being able to contact you within one or two actions on your site.

Addiction Treatment Marketing Calls To Action

Addiction Treatment Marketing Calls To Action

These basic tips should help get you started leveraging strategies that actually work in the world of addiction professionals on the smartphones and other devices your audience is using to find you- or another recovery program. Make sure they are in your process by taking care of them every step of the way.


Leave a comment below if you have experienced any mobile generated patients, the most innovative idea will receive a one minute, custom video for your recovery service. Previous winners can apply here.

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Google Plus Local For Recovery Professionals

How Google+ Local Will Impact Your Recovery Business

How the New Google+ Local Will Impact Your Recovery Business


Google Plus Local For Addiction Professionals

Google Plus Local For Addiction Professional

For many addiction treatment professionals, understanding how Google+ Local and the search engines work is not easy. Since Google seems to be changing the internet search and social media landscape on a daily basis, how in the world are we to understand how to leverage G+ for our recovery business?

Last month, Google made another substantial change to their services; Google Places merged with Google+ creating the new Google+ Local pages. In case you are not aware, Google+ Local is the latest by the search giant, and fast growing Social Media Networking site on the web.

The fact that it is owned by Google explains its popularity and now they’re forcing local businesses to jump on board by moving all Google Places business listings over to Google+ Local pages.

If you’ve seen the new Google+ Local pages, you’ve probably noticed that they are more user-friendly and dynamic. Interacting with your admits and prospects is much easier than with Google Places pages. More importantly, this is now where your Google business page will be located, so it’s crucial that you learn about it and optimize your page for full exposure.

Any addiction treatment business that does not have a Google+ account will now need to create one if they want their local business listings to be seen in local search results. In fact, if you’ve never done anything with your local business listing pages, now is the time to do so if you want any chance of capturing positive attention about your services to your target market.

While you may have to spend some time learning about this growing platform, this change can actually work in the favor of your local recovery treatment business by providing you with even more exposure. Google+ Local is livelier, more social, and makes it a lot easier for people to discover and share local information than the former Google Places.

Here are a few other things you should know about the new Google+ Local Pages:

* All Prior Google Places Pages have been Replaced with Google+ Local Pages
* These Pages Have a Strong Focus on “Social Media”

* The Pages Can Rank at the Top of Search Engines

* Customer Reviews Now Using the Zagat 30-Point Scoring System.

* Consumers must have a Google+ Account to Submit Recovery Reviews.

* Your Recovery Pages will be Available in Maps and Mobile devices, iPads, etc.


These are just a few of the many changes coming our way with the new Google+ Local pages. Now, every day searchers and socializers have a way to find and share local businesses of interest right within Google. In the addiction recovery space, the valuable content and communication tools will likely serve as the best, measurable ways to drive new admissions to your recovery or detox center.

Many recovery businesses today are struggling to keep their beds full every month and are looking for ways to increase admissions. Due to the fact that many internet users go online to search for addiction recovery centers, having a strong online presence is no longer an option if you want to generate more customers and sales. Google+ Local is an exciting new way to help you reach your local target audience easier and faster.

It also develops a long term “social proof” history to let prospective enrollments understand you take your reputation seriously. Leveraging G+ Local for treatment center lead generation is proving effective for conversions, the G+ Hangouts live streaming conferencing is delivering treatment leads to savvy addiction pros with personal interaction. Check out Social Media Examiner’s step- by- step guide here: How to Use Google+ Hangouts for Your Business

How to Use Google+ Hangouts for Your Business

Google Plus Addiction Marketing

Google Plus Addiction Marketing

Monitoring and managing a positive addiction recovery reputation online can become your internet referral network fairly quickly. The stronger your reputation becomes, the more treatment referrals you will receive. Many of our clients can afford to rely almost exclusively on this online networking for business as word of month will always be the strongest decision influencer for addiction service providers.

This scenario also means in most cases that advertising costs are kept to a minimum, if any at all once you establish a strong foundation. How great would that be?

Update: As many agree, experiential therapy can be highly effective, check out this example and draw some comparisons:

Reach out to us and we can see if we can help. Our next Google Plus Local piece will cover their interactive, streaming conference/video service- Google Hangouts. This simple and attractive tool can be very valuable in the recovery space. Here’s a useful article from social media pro Phyllis Khare over at Social Media Examiner that lays it out well! Discover Miss Phyllis’ How to Use Google+ Hangouts for Your Business and her website.

Here’s also a quick video how yummy Cadbury chocolate uses Google+ and Hangouts!

Google+ Local For Recovery Businesses will impact the way you educate and help those needing support they are comfortable with, stay tuned for part two of the series!

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