what to think about when hiring a digital marketing firm for your addiction treatment facility

Addiction treatment centers don’t need to be reminded that they’re in one of the most cut-throat industries when it comes to marketing their services to the masses both offline (boots on the ground, billboards, partner facility referrals, etc.) and online (SEO, PPC, Social, Email, etc.).

Oftentimes, treatment centers who are doing digital marketing, in particular, have a hard time conducting activities across the full spectrum of digital options and outsource some if not all of their digital marketing to third-party agency partners. This is where selecting a partner can be challenging, but it shouldn’t be.

When selecting a digital marketing partner for your center, we recommend five critical elements to consider and evaluate when pinning down a digital champion to help sherpa your center as a top contender in the digital marketing space.

1. Fully Integrated Capabilities. Not all digital marketing agencies are created equal. Some agencies are only focused on PPC while others may be pureplay focused on SEO, Social, or website design. If your treatment center is looking for “one check to stroke and one throat to choke” (the direction of which we highly recommend), we suggest finding an agency that can accommodate all of your digital marketing needs under one roof. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself and your staff getting taxed to hell with emails, conference calls, reports, website updates, change order requests, etc., coming from multiple vendors which negate the very reason you were looking to outsource digital marketing to begin with — the lack of time to do it in the first place.

2. Focus on Conversion Rates. Any digital marketing agency worth its weight should not just be focused, but insanely obsessed with conversion rates and identifying ways to improve them for their clients week after week and month after month. Why? Because if an agency is going to go through the process of optimizing digital marketing for a treatment center which brings in more targeted traffic, shouldn’t they also be focused on sourcing ways to increase conversion rates for that traffic? Seems like a rhetorical question, right? Well, it is. Don’t just drive traffic, people, drive conversions!

3. Proactive, Not Reactive. Oh, the stories we can tell here. Over the years we’ve worked with dozens of centers across the country, but there’s an unfortunate common thread we hear from a lot of them who are looking for a new marketing partner: their agency of record are reactive vs. proactive when it comes to ideation and execution of their marketing plan. As you go through the vetting process with potential agency partners, be sure to probe them with leading questions that will allow you to gauge whether or not they’ll be reactive or proactive in an engagement. If you sense, even for one second, a reactive partnership may be on the horizon with Agency X, immediately move on to the Agency Y for vetting.

4. Proven Track Record. Any agency that offers digital marketing with perhaps a vertical focus in addiction treatment marketing should be able to provide your center with case studies showing marked improvements for their clients in the addiction treatment market. Furthermore, any potential partner should be able to provide written and/or verbal references for contact. After all, if they have a proven track record, they should be able to provide references, right? Of course they should and 99% of the time when you request case studies, references, samples of their work, etc., they will provide you with them. Come to think of it, be on the lookout for firms that offer them to you even before you ask for them. Can you say shortlist?

5. Vertical Specialty. This is a hotly debated topic depending on who you ask and spawns a serious question for you as a decision maker at your facility. “Should my treatment center hire an “outsider” agency who doesn’t work with other treatment centers help us get a shot at winning the heavyweight title or should your center hire an agency that has a vertical specialty in marketing treatment centers online”. It’s hotly debated simply because treatment centers think every center is a direct competitor and in some cases, that is true. However, you need to ask yourself if it makes sense to put your brand, its reputation, and the legal aspects of marketing your practice in the hands of someone clueless about the industry, or should you partner with an agency that understands the intricacies of navigating the high seas that is online marketing for addiction treatment? We believe the answer is to find an agency that specializes in addiction treatment marketing who also possess a strong track record in the space.

Parting Note:

Here at Lead to Recovery, we understand there’s a good likelihood you’ve partnered with one or a dozen different marketing firms over the years and have been potentially been burnt to a crisp with amazing sales pitches offering the stars, but when on the launchpad during an engagement, there was no real rocket fuel to get the damn thing off the ground. That’s why we vet potential clients with equal scrutiny that you probably do to make sure that not only are we a fit based on your needs and expectations, but you’re a fit for us as well.

Don’t lose hope, people. There ARE reputable agencies out there in the space that can take things to the next level for your center but proceed with caution. Contact us today for a free quote and see how we can make you set out from the rest.