As the opioid epidemic continues to balloon, the addiction treatment industry has become a frantic space where ill-advised treatment centers may unintentionally step into dishonest marketing practices. For many marketers, online advertising can feel like a risky step into the unknown — especially for treatment providers who want to maintain integrity and a reputation for ethical marketing standards.
At the same time, those who are facing addiction are often looking online to find treatment options. Online advertising can be an extremely powerful tool in connecting those in need of help with your treatment center. As consumers continue to migrate toward online channels, it’s imperative that treatment centers diversify their marketing mix to include both online and offline media advertising.
In part one of our series, we discussed how treatment centers can update their sales and referral partner practices. In this installation we will discuss how treatment centers can modernize their media efforts to keep up with evolving consumer expectations.
Media efforts are typically the most expensive for treatment centers because they utilize cost-heavy channels such as TV, radio, and printed materials. It’s common for treatment centers to gravitate toward these traditional offline media approaches; however, digital media options should also be considered for their ability to reach additional prospects in a cost-effective manner.
Zach Binder, the Senior Director of Marketing Operations for American Addiction Centers, also notes that many treatment centers often forget to diversify their media channels, leading to a risky weight placed on one channel: “For example, I’ve seen certain treatment facilities rely too heavily on, let’s say, only billboards and event sponsorship without investing in their online presence.”
While treatment centers may fear loss of control in the digital space and a lack of focus with too many different campaigns running in different online and offline spaces, there are many simple practices that can be put into place to effectively manage and maintain a positive reputation.
To preserve a sense of control online, treatment centers can look into hyper-local digital strategies to target specific cities, towns or regions with relevant messages. By narrowing your audience to a specific geographic radius, you can ensure that your treatment center is an accessible option for those who call your center.
When executed with sensitivity, choosing online spaces where people are inherently looking for addiction treatment options will also maintain a sense of control and integrity. Make sure your services match up with what audiences on these websites are typically looking for, and ensure that visitors are given ample information about how their call will be directed when they eventually pick up the phone to seek help.
Binder asserts that facilities can maintain control over their online messaging if they are consistent across all media placements (both online and offline). “No matter how many listings, placements, sponsorships, citations or profiles you put on the web, make sure you maintain consistent messaging, logos, colors, descriptions, and facility photos.”
Summary: Quick tips for elevating media strategies