Blog
27 Jan 2017 Digital

Rehab Marketing 101: A Comprehensive Guide for Beginners

Kelsey Galles
Kelsey Galles
Content Marketing Coordinator

For many, constant technology updates and the ever-evolving digital landscape can seem overwhelming and daunting. But remaining behind the pack without an online presence is equally stressful and crippling.

If you’ve made the decision to enter the digital world, you’re already on the right track, and a solid understanding of even the basics of digital marketing will set you on a path toward success.

We’ve broken down the fundamentals of online marketing so you can get started.


What is SEO?

SEO stands for search engine optimization. Just like the name implies, it involves a series of tactics and strategies to improve your website’s organic (non-paid) visibility on search engine results pages.

3 reasons you should invest:

  1. Employing basic SEO tactics ensures your website can be found online, and mastering SEO will improve your site’s rankings on search engine results pages.
  2. Search drives visitors to your website who are two times more likely to convert than non-search visitors.
  3. According to a study by Google and Compete, 86% of addiction treatment patients used search prior to scheduling appointments.

Where to start:
SEO includes on-page and off-page tactics. Start in house by cleaning up your on-page efforts. In other words, make your website SEO-friendly by:

  • Featuring quality content that is rich with relevant industry keywords
  • Ensuring your website is HTML optimized with appropriate title tags, meta descriptions, and subheads
  • Cleaning up your site architecture by eliminating duplicate content, improving page load speed, and making your site mobile-friendly

What is content marketing?
The Content Marketing Institute defines content marketing as “the art of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a target audience — with the objective of driving profitable customer action.”

In short, content marketing involves engaging your current or former clients and growing your client base through high quality content.

3 reasons you should invest:

  1. When it comes to admissions, the addiction treatment industry relies heavily on trust. High-quality content can deliver a sense of industry leadership to instill confidence in your potential clients.
  2. Search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing prioritize treatment facilities with quality content on search engine results pages (SERPs).
  3. Content can propel your branding efforts. Publishing a unique and informative piece of content can garner attention from major publications and industry influencers who will share your material and help boost your reputation.

Where to start:
Content creation starts with a compelling and relevant story. Evaluate your audience’s needs then match these with the stories, insights, and information your facility experts can provide.

The medium for your content is not as important as the information and stories you provide, so don’t worry if you don’t have a blog or designated space to publish your content. Ebooks, videos, webinars, and white papers can all be nestled into your existing website or can be afforded their own landing page within your website’s domain.

Depending on your available resources, a blog can be a good starting point to consistently publish relevant content. (Tip: don’t default to a blog unless you have a strategy in place!)


What is social media?
Social media is more than just posting on Facebook and Twitter a few times a week. It requires a well-thought-out strategy that inspires word-of-mouth marketing or peer-to-peer referrals via an engaged online community.

3 reasons you should invest:

  1. When executed well, social media drives brand affinity through trust and improved client relationships.
  2. Social media influences decisions. More than 40% of patients say that information they found via social media affects the way they deal with their health.
  3. Social media allows you to gather insights about your clients, which can be used to improve your marketing messages and services offerings.

Where to start:
Many marketers make the mistake of defaulting to Facebook or Twitter and then realize their audience is primarily interacting on another platform like Instagram or YouTube. Begin by researching where your potential clients are active on social media. Then, develop your presence on that platform.


What is PPC?
Pay per click advertising (PPC) is a model of advertising in which marketers pay a fee each time one of their ads is clicked. Essentially, PPC is a way of buying visits to your website. Search engine PPC is one of the most popular forms of PPC in the addiction treatment industry; it ensures that your website will be featured at the top of search engine results pages.

3 reasons you should invest:

  1. Paid ads work. The aforementioned study from Google and Compete found that when patients see a paid search ad, 39% will visit the website.
  2. The addiction treatment industry utilizes some of the most competitive keywords — employing PPC can help boost your website’s presence quickly (while you slowly  improve your organic rankings with SEO).  Be warned that the competitive nature of the addiction industry’s keywords also makes them more expensive, so participation can be pricey.
  3. Strategically placed ads on websites where you potential clients are browsing can deliver high quality leads for your treatment center.

Where to start:
Search engine PPC from Google Adwords or another similar offering can quickly bleed your budget without expert surveillance. For example, rehab keywords can run upwards of $33 per click. Search engine PPC campaigns require vigilant supervision and often constant optimization to ensure a positive ROI. Make sure you have a knowledgeable in-house expert to handle PPC campaigns or hire a reliable outside vendor to assist.


What is email marketing?
Email marketing is a form of direct marketing. This one-to-one communication allows marketers to send highly-targeted, personalized messages to alumni or referral partners. In the case of alumni communication, treatment providers often deliver email newsletters to inform alumni on upcoming events or relevant news. Referral partners are delivered similar updates which speak to novel treatment models, updated amenities, new locations, rockstar staff, or recent press.

3 reasons you should invest:

  1. Alumni are often a facility’s most powerful referral source. In some cases, alumni referrals account for nearly a quarter of new program residents. Maintaining positive one-to-one communication with alumni is vital to ensuring these high referral rates.
  2. Again, trust is an important element in the addiction industry. Email marketing allows marketers to connect and build lasting relationships with alumni and referral partners via relevant one-to-one communication.
  3. Email marketing has a high return on investment. According to recent research, for every $1 spent, email marketing generates $38 in ROI.

Where to start:
Building an ethical and engaged email list(s) is the foundation for any email marketing campaign. Leverage your social media accounts, press promotion, and website to capture opt-in email addresses from referral partners and alumni. Then, build out your communications strategy based on the information these different groups will welcome in their inbox each week, month or quarter.

If you’re getting started with digital marketing, the right partnerships can mean all the difference. Our platform can advance your online presence with a highly-visible profile on top-ranking addiction websites. Click here to learn more.

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