The Future of Drug Rehab Marketing.
When it comes to marketing, all signs point to a digital future for most businesses.
Whether it is replacing TV commercials with YouTube Ads, or mailers with email campaigns, most businesses rely on digital marketing now more than ever before. In order to stay competitive, it is necessary for almost every business to start digital marketing services.
So what does that mean for the addiction treatment marketing industry?
The History of Drug Rehab Marketing
Before the Affordable Care Act, there were fewer addiction treatment centers and these facilities were most often found through relationships with those related to the field – psychiatrists, counselors, therapists, churches, hospitals, jails and the court system.
During this time, marketing for drug rehabs was primarily local efforts, word-of-mouth, and traditional methods. That is, until the Mental Health Parity Act was implemented through Obamacare.
After this implementation, insurance providers had to cover addiction treatment, thanks to the ACA. Prior to this, many drug rehabs had been receiving payment from cash pay or were non-profits that accepted Medicaid or minimal sliding scale fees. There were those that were private facilities, but the ACA introduced a whole new market of people who had coverage and needed treatment.
While this new law was fantastic news for those seeking addiction treatment, it also brought on an onset of scammers and unethical practices. Since these insurance companies were not used to covering addiction treatment, there was a large gap in policies that allowed for abuse by money-hungry con people.
In the past, most facilities utilized outreach coordinators and marketing contracts to help keep their census full. However, some unethical facilities began using an unethical marketing practice called “patient brokering” in order to admit as many people as possible. Patient brokering is the act of paying a third party to bring a facility admissions, which sometimes included the practice of paying clients to attend specific programs. This quickly evolved, as some brokers realized that they could make a lot of money without having to actually help people.
Since this practice was causing many addicts to go to multiple facilities, never recovering, people started looking for extravagant amenities in their rehab facilities instead of quality care. To this day, this is why many rehab facilities have to advertise their amenities, like swimming pools, horseback riding, etc, over their expert care and services.
As patient brokering got worse and worse, more facilities began to need to rely on digital marketing as the new standard practice, especially once states started implementing active laws against patient brokering.
However, digital marketing for rehab centers itself also had a large number of unethical practices as well. Before Google altered their algorithms and AdWords put regulations into place, anyone and everyone could target addiction treatment keywords. Desperate addicts and their loved ones would trust these facilities advertised at the top of search engine results pages, having no idea that these centers could be unlicensed or unethical.
Finally, in late 2017, Google shutdown Adwords when this was clearly becoming a dangerous problem. Adwords was brought back in 2018, but now partnered with LegitScript, which requires websites to go through a screening process before they can run ads targeting addiction treatment.
The addiction treatment industry needs an ethical solution to these issues. Addicts and their loved ones should be able to easily find the right treatment center, without being taken advantage of.
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The Future of Addiction Treatment Marketing
Despite an ugly past, there is hope in addiction treatment marketing in 2021. Not only are there many ethical methods to get users the help they need now, but there are creative and innovative ways to get your brand name out there.
The future of digital marketing for rehabs involves the following methods:
Search Engine Optimization
When a loved one or addict does not know much about addiction treatment and is determined to find help, where will they turn? Google. Utilizing search engine optimization as a key marketing strategy gives your site the opportunity to rank for crucial keywords in your area (for example, “drug rehabs in Los Angeles”). Drug rehab SEO also allows for your website to provide informational content to users through blogs and resource pages, making your center seem like a thought leader and a credible source on substance abuse treatment.
In order to stay competitive in the addiction treatment space, your brand needs to be competitive online.
As we just mentioned, users usually turn to Google to find treatment. Paid advertisements are the first results they see, and usually the ones that stand out the most. Being able to target your ads towards keywords that you know users are typing when they are searching for help is a powerful tool.
PPC for drug rehab centers is the quickest and most efficient way to start bringing in leads in today’s day and age.
When a user lands on your website, they are looking for hope, reassurance, and help. Video marketing helps bring elements of credibility and trust to your website. Whether it be testimonials, a tour of your facility, or members of your staff speaking to their passion and ability, video marketing for Healthcare centers is key to success.
Sometimes, you have to meet users where they are. Their inboxes.
Email marketing in Healthcare is an effective way to inform potential admits about your rehab and how you stand out. It also is a great way to send contacts your newest blogs and insights, and to slowly build trust with potential admits who would not have reached out to you otherwise.
Social Media Marketing
There is a large chunk of your market that is not actively searching for your services. Far too many addicts never research treatment. How do you solve this issue? Go to them. Drug rehab social media marketing allows you to do this.
Almost every young person uses Instagram, Facebook, and/or Twitter. If you are able to reach them with positive messaging on social media and show them what their lives could look like with treatment, you may be able to admit clients that you would never have had access to before.
MGMT’s Approach to Marketing for Drug Rehabs
So how does MGMT handle addiction marketing differently than the hundreds of internet marketing agencies out there?
First off, we understand the industry. MGMT is made up of a team who has experienced treatment, worked at facilities, and done overall marketing for rehabs for a combined 19+ years. We understand the in’s and out’s of addiction treatment which allows our team to help you effectively market and manage your facility’s core business needs so your focus is treating clients.
We created this marketing group and management team that’s with you every step of the way, which allows you to focus on your core business.
Understanding the needs of a rehab facility can be underestimated by typical digital marketing companies, but not MGMT. We are a boutique digital marketing agency that understands that it is about the connection between how people find you, how you handle the calls for business, and the quality of services provided to clients. Because of this, MGMT can create unique marketing packages that tackle each area in running and marketing a drug treatment center.
Addiction Treatment Marketing Done Right
We know how time consuming owning and running a treatment center can be. Not all facilities have the capabilities to hire a full in house marketing team, which is where our unique approach to addiction marketing can help. If you are having issues with your call center we can help train your staff and audit your processes so that every call is being answered in the best way possible to help your potential clients get the help they need.
There is an urgency to the work we do and we are aware of it. As a company of recovering addicts we know things have gotten worse in the past year and the more we can help market your facility, the more we help others suffering from addiction. We help get them the help they need by putting your facility in the right place at the right time.
The future of addiction marketing is moving towards a society that uses social media and search engines to meet their demand for treatment and to aid in their continued recovery. The digital world is becoming the most relied upon way to get help for a drug problem.