Addiction treatment marketing deservedly gets a bad rap. That’s because the majority of treatment centers have 0 legitimate digital marketing efforts and they use ‘marketers’ who have no background in marketing and don’t know what an effective marketing campaign looks like.
Every rehab (or any small business for that matter) needs tools to get their marketing campaigns going and many of the tools out there have high costs that don’t fit within the budget. I have used hundreds of free and paid tools and I have included some of my favorite free digital marketing tools.
A website is the basis for your treatment center’s digital marketing efforts, but marketing isn’t just publishing a page and hoping it works. Everything needs to be tracked, tested and improved upon. Google Analytics is the go to analytics solution for businesses. It tracks not just users and page views, but hundreds of important metrics that must not be overlooked. You can find where your users are located, how they are interacting with your website, where your users are coming from and much more.
If you have a little experience and you know what you are doing you can setup custom events and conversion tracking to track form submissions and other relevant events. This can give you more information on the users that are actually boosting revenue for your center.
Tip: Use the behavior flow chart under the behavior tab to see where users are landing and what they are clicking on once they do land. Use this information to inform your updates to your site so that your traffic is directed towards a conversion.
Local SEO is very important to your digital marketing efforts, and most centers have a big mess when it comes to their NAP (name, address, phone) listings/ citations across the web. Local SEO generates the best kind of warm local leads that money can’t buy. It is important to have consistent listings and have a good reputation on the web, because it results in free leads that want to go to you specifically. How would 10 additional free leads per month effect your center?
Moz offers many great free and paid tools for digital marketers. One of the best (if not the best) tools for local SEO is Moz Local, unfortunately Moz Local is not free, but it is free to check your listing. This is the best place to start when looking to compete in the local market. The listing checker will tell you how your listing appears across the web’s major aggregators while checking for inconsistencies and duplicates. Inconsistent listings will have a negative effect on your local rankings so make sure your NAP listings are accurate everywhere.
Once you have the information you can go update your listings manually. If you don’t mind spending a few bucks, you can pay MOZ $99/year to do it for you automatically. This also allows you to monitor all your reviews in one place and save time on going from directory to directory to update the data. In order to keep the tools on this post completely FREE, you will need to check the listing with MOZ’s free check listing tool and manually update your listings.
Canva is a great tool that lets anyone create professional quality graphic designs in a simple easy-to-use platform. Our team uses Canva as our go to tool for designing social images, infographics, and even print materials. Many times when looking through a center’s posts it seems bland and often downright unbearable to read and if you’ve implemented Google Analytics, you can see your website visitors feel the same way! So spice up your posts and draw prospects in with beautiful graphics with Canva for free.
In addition to a feature rich interface with many image manipulation tools they also offer over 50,000 templates to take your graphics to the next level. Canva’s free version includes:
- Access for up to 10 team members
- 2 folders to organize your images
- 1GB of storage
- 50,000+ templates
- Ability to upload your own images
These free features should be enough for any treatment center, but they do offer paid versions with support for more team members, additional folders, etc. We recommend using Canva for a DIY graphic design tool.
Are you frustrated that you aren’t getting the maximum results from your high cost PPC efforts? Do you collect emails, but never seem to get any response from prospective clients? If you need a good marketing automation solution MailChimp’s free version provides many of the tools you need starting out and has the most favorable limits on their free plan in the marketing automation industry. As you grow your contacts you can upgrade to paid plans, but if you’ve used the tool well the profits should easily justify the cost.
The forever free plan includes:
- Up to 12,000 emails to up to 2,000 contacts
- Free learning resources
- A/B Testing
- Mobile App
- Landing Pages
- And much more
If you have never used MailChimp it can be frustrating to implement all of the features, but MailChimp’s learning center can cut down the learning curve and turn you into a pro in no time. They even have a tool to tell you how a subject line may perform based upon historical data and industry statistics. If you take the time to learn, MailChimp will take your email marketing from 0 to 100 real quick.
Tip: Connect your website to MailChimp with their WordPress plugin to add landing pages and forms to get more people into your automated funnel.
Keyword Research is the cornerstone of SEO in 2018 and beyond. Answer The Public’s Keyword Research Tool provides great insights to direct your SEO efforts. Answer The Public is a free tool that shows the type of queries people are performing online. To use the tool, just visit the website and type in your keyword. The tool generates a graph to show all the questions and phrases people are looking for surrounding your word or phrase.
These results come from Google and Bing’s auto suggest and those places offer a treasure trove of data for marketers. The tool just takes the data that the search giants already give us and put it in a much more consumable form. This will help you create content that is actually useful to the searcher, rather than the typical lackluster content the typical rehab has on their site.
You will need to use other tools to grade how competitive specific terms are, to know if it is even worth pursuing. We will talk about one such tool next.
Our next tool from MOZ is their Keyword Explorer. The keyword explorer only allows limited number queries for free, but starting out you should focus your efforts on quality, not quantity and just a few queries can give you huge lists of keywords. The keyword explorer can give you valuable data that the previous tool can’t like:
- Monthly search volume
- Words your competitors rank for
- SERP analysis
- Much more
It is very likely you will reach the free limit very quickly each month. I encourage you to try the tool out and if you like it check out some of the others like the Open Site Explorer and Fresh Web Explorer. MOZ’s tools are incredibly valuable to our business and help us give our clients a huge advantage over their competitors. You can get a free trial to MOZ Pro and try them out for a month before deciding if it’s worth the money. We have found it to be worth it every time.
Last, but not least is HootSuite, the social media management tool that allows you to manage your social media accounts from one convenient dashboard. It is super valuable if you want to maintain brand consistency across platforms and schedule out posts. The free version lets you manage Facebook, Instagram and Twitter which should be enough for a treatment center starting out.
The major pitfall of HootSuite IMO is the cost of analytics reports, however with just the free version and a little effort, you should start to perform better on social media. In order to get additional followers and perform well on the major social media outlets, you will still have to engage with your following.