Drug rehab consultants play a vital role in the addiction treatment industry. Whether you are a new start-up, an existing center, or an ancillary service provider you need consultants for various reasons. Behavioral health business and marketing consultants prevent costly mistakes, save revenue and increase return on investment. Drug and alcohol addiction treatment centers and the entire industry spend a lot of money on their drug rehab marketing strategies. Without the expertise of a consultant they can, and do, waste hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Why Drug Rehab Consultants?
As an addiction treatment center owner, you’ve spent an enormous amount of time and resources to have a structurally sound clinical component for your center. You’ve hired the best and most qualified clinical team and have the best clinical protocols in place. The treatment side is usually the owner’s specialty. Many centers will hire accreditation consultants for their Joint Commission (JACHO) and Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, (CARF.)
These accreditation’s are extremely important for the treatment centers allowing them for better overall treatment for their clients, assists in gaining clients and makes them an authority with their competition. Consultants charge $30,000 or more to get them through the accreditation processes. Drug and alcohol addiction treatment centers owners know that these are an absolute necessity for their behavioral health organizations. The second reason drug rehab owners hire consultants is because at some point they all realize the importance of marketing. Then, they quickly realize they are competing against big dollars being spent by the larger addiction treatment centers every month. They also start to realize they need an internet of things (IoT) electronic foot print driving targeted traffic to their website.
Many owners do not put the same time, resources and investment in their marketing. Many do not respect marketing, nor do they understand the time, education and resources for an effective marketing strategy. They generally take short-cuts with their website, SEO and overall marketing. These short-cut are saving pennies and wasting dollars in the long run. In example they might save a couple thousand dollars on their website build. Their website looks beautiful to the eye, however it usually has poor structure, no schema, poor Google My Business and an extreme lack of social media marketing. Drug rehab centers must have a robust and targeted marketing mix to survive the business and operational changes in our industry. Drug rehab consultants provide the experience and knowledge to avoid costly mistakes on the business and marketing side of our unique industry.
Drug Rehab Marketing Consultants Should be Part of the Package
All drug rehab consultants should be assessing the most important aspect of addiction treatment marketing. Contrary to what most addiction treatment center owners and ancillary service providers believe your website is the most valuable asset in generating drug rehab leads. There are 7 key mistakes made with website development made by addiction treatment centers. Set-up correctly it will outperform all other marketing aspects combined. If set-up poorly you will be wasting a ton of marketing dollars and blaming your marketing company for poor results. You will be forced to using “black hat” marketing strategies and continuously get penalized by Google.
Here is where CEO’s and Executives need to have a long-term marketing strategy in place. Your addiction treatment center or any business website works 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This employee never takes a day off, never goes on vacation and you don’t have to pay it benefits. Best of all as a treatment center owner you have 100% control and know if you set something it will happen 100% of the time. This can work for you or against you. The question is how you fine tune this engine to work efficiently. First you must understand that what you see on the screen when you are visiting a website is only 10%. The other 90% is back-end stuff that must sync perfectly to get blessed by the Google GODS.
Your Website Must be an Authority and Trusted by Google and Potential Clients
Why is it vital for addiction treatment centers, or detox’s staff to be published on high profile industry websites? This positions them as an expert in drug and alcohol addiction treatment. Citing and including them in your websites builds instant trust with potential clients. Also, getting published on other high authority websites increases Google ranking. One of the most difficult areas of SEO for treatment centers and ancillary service providers is getting those back-links pointing to their websites. Regardless of whether your clinicians don’t have all the flashy letters after their names it is still greatly supportive if they compose articles and blog entries on your website. It is likewise similarly as critical or much more imperative for addiction treatment centers to distribute video recordings of staff teaching people in general about drug addiction and recovery. Videos rank the highest on Google and social media for retention and they help build trust. In fact, they receive more than 60% of the click troughs.
Drug and alcohol Addiction Treatment Industry Best Marketing Practices
Spread out your addiction treatment center marketing budget. Putting all you marketing dollars into one bucket like AdWords spells disaster. Many learned this mistake when Google restricted paid ads, some did not make the learning curve and had to close their doors. The centers that survived had good drug rehab consultants which put into place a diverse marketing strategy. Categorize your marketing into three buckets. This way when one bucket isn’t working you have the other two generating phone calls. Even with three buckets going on at the same time one, two or all three could fail at any given time. The three main buckets should be organic, boots on the ground and paid advertising.
What is organic marketing?
Organic marketing in one of the most difficult for drug and alcohol addiction treatment centers and ancillary service providers to fully understand. It starts with proper website structure. Without proper website structure your website is going to be leaking Google ranking juice. Google with either not read the site or penalize it. This is where the most marketing dollars are wasted by many treatment centers.
After structure comes search engine optimization (SEO.) SEO is a complicated process and impossible to know all there is to know on the subject. Even the best drug rehab consultants only know a fraction of SEO. However they do know the many best practices that can get you to the first page of Google. Google only reveals a few golden nuggets; the rest is best practices. We get 10-15 calls every week from drug and alcohol addiction treatment centers on marketing and consulting. Almost everyone says their on-page SEO is good. This is rarely the case. I always ask them if they have Yoast installed on their website. Yoast is a WordPress plugin that tells you and guides you to having decent SEO on your site. Yoast will tell you if your SEO is at an acceptable level. Once thnigs are up to par with Yoast, it is time to hire an SEO specialist.
Organic SEO also covers publishing useful, attracting and engaging content. It is not enough to have you site look good in Google eyes, it also must be useful to the reader.
The last part of organic SEO is social media and this is an absolute must. According to Tech Crunch, people are spending over 5 hours a day on their cell phones. This doesn’t include time spent on PC’s at work and home. Our society has been consumed with social media being a daily part of our lives. It is paramount that your addiction recovery center gets in front of potential clients daily. For the most part this is not a features and benefits sales pitch. It is attracting and engaging potential clients with good content on an emotional level. Then attaching that emotion to your brand. You must build trust by providing content that conveys you understand the trials and tribulations they are experiencing with addiction and can help them.
Even with great content, it is useless unless you have the vehicle to get in-front of the potential masses. It takes an intimate understanding of Facebook and LinkedIn. Addiction treatment centers must understand the secrets, tricks and back-doors of these mediums to maximize their potential to drive leads. Facebook announced their new algorithm that puts the power of business marketing with individual profiles and groups, unless you pay for the advertising. We have been preparing for this social media marketing shift for the last four years. We are one of the few marketing companies that practices what they preach when it comes to marketing on Facebook and LinkedIn. We have built up 30,000 level one connections on LinkedIn and 12 groups with over 50,000 members. On Facebook we have 15,000 friends and 14 groups with over 60,000 members.
Boots on the Ground Pitfalls
Almost every treatment center puts most of their marketing efforts in boots on the ground tactics. While it should be in every drug and alcohol addiction treatment centers marketing mix, it should only be a portion of the marketing mix. All drug rehab marketing consultants should be telling you to have diversity in your drug rehab lead generation. We see many centers using boots on the ground, Google AdWords and call center lead generation.
This is most likely due to CEO’s and Executive looking for short-term solutions to keep their census at an acceptable level. They tend to get caught up with hiring Outreach professionals that say they have a book of business. This strategy has caused an extremely high turnover rate in the addiction treatment industry. Outreach professional’s positions usually last from 6 months to a year. We see this by looking at out 30,000 addiction and behavioral health professional level one connections profiles on LinkedIn. Many owners do not realize that this situation actually costs the drug rehab centers about $20,000 per turn over.
Paid Advertising the King of Short-term Solution to a Long-Term Problem
Google AdWords, or pay per click (PPC) has paved the road for unprepared drug rehab marketing plans. Addiction treatment centers have notoriously used AdWords in place of a good organic marketing plan. This is mind boggling considering the paid AdWords account for less than 5% of the click troughs on Google. The first three organic slots account for a whopping 70%. Bing, Yahoo and MSN are comparable to these numbers.
Google AdWords restrictions are somewhat being lifted in July of 2018. While we will see some centers jumping back on that merry-go-round, some should have learned the value of organic marketing. This is a long-term play that once established can last for years and generates higher converting clients.
Another famous short-term solution is a buy rehab leads strategy. Many treatment centers complain about buying calls but continue to do so. Now, in Florida they are no longer allowed by law to buy verification of benefits (VOB) calls. This call center lead generation option would give treatment centers qualified leads at least guaranteeing that the potential client has the insurance the center offers.
These buckets are constantly changing and providing different leads at different time. At any given time, they stop producing leads, and not for any given reason. As a CEO or Marketing Director you need to be juggling all three constantly. One of the biggest mistakes that drug rehabs make is when the census is up they do not invest more in their drug rehab marketing efforts.
Measuring the Success of Each Marketing Bucket
Drug rehab consultants should be putting in back-end analytics to measure efficiency. Keeping in mind the end goal is to understand your most elevated ROI. It is imperative to track lead generation sources that are converting into clients. It is critical to gauge the “first contact” of when the individual seeking addiction treatment reached out.
- Did they call?
- How many calls?
- What blog post generated the call or click?
- Did they click though from a landing page?
- Did they click though from Google, Bing, Yahoo or MSN?
- Did they click through from Google Maps?
- Was it from a “boots on the ground” lead?
This is vital marketing intelligence. By knowing this information, you can adjust your marketing strategy and fuel resources to what is working at that time. Again, this is not stagnant, it is constantly changing and adjusting is critical.
Call Tracking Metrics an Inexpensive Absolute Must Have Tool
The key to maximizing your ROI on marketing dollars is to know what is generating the most drug rehab leads, or calls. Call tracking can tell you where the potential client started and right through to where they called from. This is vital information for the marketing team. You can also assign a dollar value on the services sold to have dollars associated with conversions. It will also record the calls, so you can determine if admissions teams are doing a good job of converting clients. It also gives information on date, time, city, state, and much more. You can click here to check out how inexpensive this valuable tool is for your center.
Why Add Google Analytics to Your Drug Rehab Marketing Plan?
Google analytics like call tracking provides information on an addiction treatment centers websites. All drug rehab consultants should know how to read and utilize this vital information. It tells you real time traffic, city, state, pages visited, where they came from, interests and more.
Google analytics tells you what the most popular pages of your website and blog are. It tells you how long they stayed on your website. If it is less than 60 seconds, it is called a bounce. If you have pages with a high bounce rate, then you need to edit those pages to make them more engaging. For the pages with long visit time, it tells you that it is good content and you should be producing more similar content.
Providing Staff Tools for Effective Drug Rehab Marketing
Without experienced, educated and dedicated workers it can be a battle to become a successful behavioral health organization. This is especially true when hiring drug rehab consultants. In addition, because we are in a video age on social media, you need staff to speak and present about your drug addiction treatment program in front of a camera. They must be able to convey treatment information and touch on an emotional level. This is a human aspect that will build trust and position your drug and alcohol addiction treatment center as an authority. Building electronic video assets is critical for getting clients and getting to page one on Google.
The Role of Addiction Conferences and Events
Conferences, events and training’s play a vital role in our industry. You should be sending your staff to events and conferences to build on their knowledge of treatment, marketing and the business side of behavioral health. Many drug rehab consultants attend many of these events to gain much needed knowledge on our complex industry. You need to provide them tools on an on-going basis and not just hiring them and relying on their book of business. Getting them educated on social media marketing (so their not damaging your brand,) networking strategies, SEO, call tracking, Google analytics, patient brokering, billing, collections, utilization review and many more. Providing them on going education and experience will pay dividends down the road.
Behavioral Health Network Resources provides 3-4 addiction professional conferences every year. These conferences feature Executive Thought Leaders, drug rehab consultants, Senators, Attorneys and high profiled and experienced behavioral health professionals. Each conference attracts 5-7 Addiction Executive Thought Leaders, 150-200 attendees and 14-20 exhibitors. You can check out our next EMP conference on 6/27/18 by clicking here.
The Importance of Offering a Full Continuum of Care
When you go to a restaurant they don’t force you to order a few items. They generally offer a la carte. You need to offer the most options possible that relate to drug and alcohol addiction treatment. You are investing a tremendous amount of time, resources and money in your addiction treatment marketing strategy, you need to make sure you have a lot to offer when they decide to pick-up the phone.
- 30, 60 and 90 In-patient Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP)
- Out-patient treatment Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)
- Alcohol and Opiate Detox
- Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT)
- Christian Track
- LBGTQ Track
- Sober Living Options
- Family Program
- And many more
Two of the best motivations to do this is the insurance companies are demanding documented improvement of clients. Second, it costs a considerable amount of cash to produce qualified drug rehab leads and you need to maximize revenue.
Consultants Assist on the Business Side of Behavioral Health
The two main areas addiction treatment centers gain revenue include marketing and billing. We’ve covered some marketing aspects above, however there are other areas to consider. Billing and collections can get out of hand very quickly. The insurance companies are playing dirty by rejecting claims, delaying reimbursements, questioning medical necessity and auditing addiction treatment centers to get out of paying for services. We recently sat down with Dale Redlich of Pay 2 Patient, LLC a respected behavioral health collections consultant. Here’s what he had to say.
Being a treatment center owner for over 20 years, one of the most difficult areas was with our billing and collections. Receivables get out of control quickly and drastically effect operating cash flow. We periodically relied on external assistance to get this under control.
To make it even worse there are some situations where the insurance companies send the checks directly to the treatment centers clients. This causes huge problems for treatment centers and detox’s to get those checks. Many times the treatment center’s clients keep that money. How bad is this situation, some centers can have millions of dollars in receivables from this situation. These are evident especially with Empire and Federal BCBS insurance in Florida. You can contact Mr. Redlich at 954-592-1921, or meet him in person with our 5 other Addiction Executive Thought Leader panelists at the Addiction Executive Thought Leader conference in Riviera Beach, FL on 6/27/18. Mr. Redlich will be addressing this situation head on at the conference.
So, Why Hire Drug Rehab Consultants
As an owner of a addiction treatment center, detox, or ancillary service provider, you are going to spend on the low-end hundreds of thousands of dollars on your marketing. Drug rehab consultants can put a proven marketing plan in place producing the best ROI and reduce waste. Consultants can tell you what works and what does not work. They can tell you how to get your website built with proper structure. They can tell you your SEO is poor and put a team in place to correct it. They can put into place and train marketing staff on call tracking and Google analytics. They can train your admissions staff to maximize your call center lead generation. Drug rehab marketing consultants are proven and trained guides that completely understand the business and marketing aspects in the addiction treatment industry.
Behavioral Health Network Resources are drug rehab consultants, drug and alcohol addiction treatment marketing specialists and we also host addiction executive conferences education on ethical business and marketing strategies. In addition, we partner with the nation’s best JACHO and CARF accreditation consultants, Give us a call for a no obligation consultation today at 561-235-6195.