How to Market Your Rehabilitation Center

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Substance use disorders (SUDs) comprise a serious threat to public health and safety. Survey data presented by the National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics show that 53 million people aged 12 years or older have used illegal drugs or misused prescription medications during the past year.[1]Results from the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. (2018). Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). … Continue reading

25% of these meet the criteria for substance use disorder. When these individuals cannot access treatment, the results can be deadly. The CDC reports that over 100,000 people died from drug overdoses between April 2020 and April 2021, a 28.5% increase from the same period in 2019.[2]Drug Overdose Deaths in the U.S. Top 100,000 Annually. (2021). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/pressroom/nchs_press_releases/2021/20211117.htm

The demand for rehabilitation facilities has never been higher, and the competition is steep. There are currently more than 14,000 rehab centers across the country, and experts predict that the rehab industry will reach $53 billion by 2025.[3]Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (US); Office of the Surgeon General (US). Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health … Continue reading If you currently own a rehab or are an entrepreneur considering opening a rehab facility, providing evidence-based care from trained professionals is only the first step. You must also know how to market a rehab if you want to reach prospective patients and meet your business goals.

How to Market a Rehabilitation Center

Many rehab facilities have implemented digital marketing tactics to reach prospective patients and encourage them to enroll in treatment programs.[4]Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (US); Office of the Surgeon General (US). Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health … Continue reading An effective digital marketing campaign will leverage search engines, social media, email, and other tools to engage with your target audience.

Optimize Your Website for Search Engine Traffic

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of continuously improving your brand’s website so it will appear prominently on Google’s search engine results pages when online users search for your services. Begin by performing keyword research to determine which keywords people are using to research your company or the rehab industry.

With this information, you can ensure you are using the same language as your audience to communicate. Make it as easy as possible for them to find you among a sea of competitors. After compiling a list of valuable keywords, use them throughout the content of your website, focusing on only one or two primary keywords for each page. SEO also includes other components to boost your web presence, such as intuitive navigation, efficient HTML coding, and link building.

Invest In a Comprehensive Content Marketing Strategy

Content marketing is one of the most powerful and effective forms of marketing for rehab facilities. People who are searching for SUD treatment want high-quality, trustworthy information so they can make the best decisions for their health. Carefully crafting web pages, blog posts, articles, whitepapers, and other types of content allows you to clearly explain your services, demonstrate your credibility and authority in your industry, and expand the reach of your website. Structure your information in easily digestible chunks, use precise language, and add relevant visual elements to aid in comprehension, such as photos, charts, infographics, or videos.

Blog posts are typically more informal than web pages and are great for regularly updating your site with useful information readers want to see. This ensures that potential customers know to check your site for fresh content and signals to search engines that you are maintaining an active online presence.

Select your topics in advance based on what your target audience is interested in, such as explaining treatment options, answering a question, or giving them tips for sustaining recovery. Write original, engaging content on your chosen topic, incorporate high-ranking keywords, and schedule your posts to appear on a routine basis.

Maintain an Active Presence on Social Media Platforms

Maintain an Active Presence on Social Media Platforms

Do not underestimate the influence of social media.[5]Appel, G., Grewal, L., Hadi, R., & Stephen, A. T. (2020). The future of social media in marketing. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 48(1), 79–95. … Continue reading A sizable portion of your audience may not be actively searching for treatment centers, so platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are perfect for reaching these people and empowering them to seek professional SUD care. You can use social media to launch lead generation advertising campaigns, post engaging content, and update readers on the latest SUD news and research.

Social media can also give readers an opportunity to communicate with you directly on your profile. Types of posts that generate the most attention for rehab centers include inspirational statements embedded in positive images, thematic content for specific days of the week (Sober Saturday, etc.), video tours of facilities, and patient testimonials. Aim to post at least two or three times per week on each platform and closely monitor the performance of your content.

Strengthen Your Reputation with Testimonials and Reviews

When someone is searching for a rehab center, they need to trust that the facility they choose will be successful in treating their SUD and supporting long-term recovery. Testimonials from healthy patients who completed your program in the past can be incredibly helpful in reassuring potential patients that they can trust you.[6]Apolinário-Hagen, J., Fritsche, L., Wopperer, J., Wals, F., Harrer, M., Lehr, D., Ebert, D. D., & Salewski, C. (2021). Investigating the Persuasive Effects of Testimonials on the Acceptance of … Continue reading Place your success stories on a prominent location of your website to demonstrate the empathy of your staff, the effectiveness of your treatment, and the overall trustworthiness of your program.

Along with testimonials on your own website, reviews on other sites can help you reach a wider audience and help readers choose your facility over the competition. Encourage your patients to leave reviews on other websites describing their positive experiences. Then, respond to all reviews, both positive and negative. It may be tempting to simply remove a negative review but contacting the reviewer directly shows you truly value feedback and are willing to do whatever you can to satisfy your patients.

Support Continuing Care through Email Marketing

Many rehab centers boast high rates of recovery for patients, but they often use unreliable metrics to claim success. Some measure the effectiveness of their treatment by the number of patients who complete their program and fail to consider how well patients can sustain their recovery in the months and years after the program.

The goal of treatment should be a combination of favorable results. These can include a reduced number and frequency of relapses, longer periods of time between relapses, improved physical and mental health, stronger relationships, and fewer legal problems, accidents, and injuries. To accomplish these goals, an effective program should provide resources for success long after the program ends.

Along with in-person strategies, you can also use email marketing to help patients sustain recovery. Email marketing refers to sending messages to people who opt-in via subscription forms, including past patients as well as prospective patients.[7]Eze, S. C., Chinedu-Eze, V. C., Awa, H. O., & Alharthi, R. (2021). Factors stimulating value micro-businesses attribute to digital marketing technology (DMT) adoption. PloS one, 16(12), e0260145. … Continue reading

While email can be great for nurturing leads, it is also extremely valuable for people who have already completed your program and are looking for additional support. By sending regular newsletters with informative, valuable content, you are continuing to build on the relationship you developed during the program. You are also increasing the chances your success stories will refer other people to your facility through word of mouth.[8]Huete-Alcocer N. (2017). A Literature Review of Word of Mouth and Electronic Word of Mouth: Implications for Consumer Behavior. Frontiers in psychology, 8, 1256. … Continue reading

Register on Google My Business

Many people use their phones to perform rehab searches and look specifically for centers close to their location. Registering your facility on Google My Business helps push it to the top of location-based search engine results pages. Include your business name, phone number, address, hours of operation, photos, and a detailed description of the services you provide to give readers access to contact info in one convenient location.

Use PPC Advertising

Advertising is a key component of any marketing campaign, so you may be wondering how to advertise rehabilitation in the most effective way. Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising allows businesses to display ads online—you’ll only pay when users click on your ads. Google’s PPC platform AdWords is the most popular paid advertising network in the world and works on an auction system that operates each time someone performs a search with specific high-value keywords.

The Changing Face of Rehab Marketing

Rehab Marketing

In the past, most people had limited options for treatment and only learned about treatment centers through word of mouth. Today, implementing strategic marketing is crucial for establishing your reputation as a reputable facility that offers effective, evidence-based treatment.

Whether you already own a rehab center or are considering opening one, Apogee System Consultants can help you reach your target audience, build favorable relationships with past and prospective patients, and meet your business goals.

Sources:

Sources:
1 Results from the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. (2018). Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/cbhsq-reports/NSDUHNationalFindingsReport2018/NSDUHNationalFindingsReport2018.pdf
2 Drug Overdose Deaths in the U.S. Top 100,000 Annually. (2021). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/pressroom/nchs_press_releases/2021/20211117.htm
3 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (US); Office of the Surgeon General (US). Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health [Internet]. Washington (DC): US Department of Health and Human Services; 2016 Nov. CHAPTER 7, VISION FOR THE FUTURE: A PUBLIC HEALTH APPROACH. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK424861/
4 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (US); Office of the Surgeon General (US). Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health [Internet]. Washington (DC): US Department of Health and Human Services; 2016 Nov. CHAPTER 6, HEALTH CARE SYSTEMS AND SUBSTANCE USE DISORDERS. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK424848/
5 Appel, G., Grewal, L., Hadi, R., & Stephen, A. T. (2020). The future of social media in marketing. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 48(1), 79–95. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11747-019-00695-1
6 Apolinário-Hagen, J., Fritsche, L., Wopperer, J., Wals, F., Harrer, M., Lehr, D., Ebert, D. D., & Salewski, C. (2021). Investigating the Persuasive Effects of Testimonials on the Acceptance of Digital Stress Management Trainings Among University Students and Underlying Mechanisms: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Frontiers in psychology, 12, 738950. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.738950
7 Eze, S. C., Chinedu-Eze, V. C., Awa, H. O., & Alharthi, R. (2021). Factors stimulating value micro-businesses attribute to digital marketing technology (DMT) adoption. PloS one, 16(12), e0260145. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0260145
8 Huete-Alcocer N. (2017). A Literature Review of Word of Mouth and Electronic Word of Mouth: Implications for Consumer Behavior. Frontiers in psychology, 8, 1256. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2017.01256


Author: James Haggerty
Experienced Chief Executive Addiction Recovery and Mental Health Professional Business professional in the Addiction Recovery and Mental Health industry for the past 26 years. Caring, compassionate and strongly motivated to make a difference in the organizations I am affiliated with and welfare of the population we serve. Currently focused on advocating, educating and developing projects leveraging evidence based, real time technology to support individuals in recovery. JamesHaggertyRecovery.com

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