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When you look at the marketing efforts of various drug rehab and addiction recovery centers, you will quickly notice that their content is mostly about them and says very little about those they are trying to help.

Or maybe I just notice this with the trained eye of a marketer and other people miss it. Clearly, the people that wrote and approved the copy on so many treatment center websites or ads missed it.

When potential patients are reaching out for help, they don’t really care about your facility because they’re all the same. Every high-end facility offers massages, yoga, private rooms, and “individualized treatment.”

I can look at 20 rehab program websites and 19 of them will all boil down to the same exact list of features.

Speak to YOUR Ideal Client

To drive effective marketing, you need to speak to people about themselves. What are they struggling with? What are they hoping to achieve? How can you uniquely help them?

The problem with most treatment centers is that they think every single addict is their potential patient. So they create generic, uninspiring copy that speaks to no one.

But what happens when you speak specifically to a target group. Take a look at a landing page my agency, Circle Social Inc, developed for a campaign for a treatment center in the South Bay of California.

You’ll see that we know exactly who we’re talking to. It’s a very specific group of upper-class moms who have adult children still living at home with an addiction. Everything on the site speaks to that customer persona.

And the entire page is focused on identifying a common problem they have, then providing a solution. In this case, it’s a free 36 page e-Guide on addiction treatment for adult children in the South Bay.

There is no huge list of clinical terms like dual diagnosis, cognitive behavioral therapy, or partial-hospitalization program. Instead, we write copy that speaks to parents grounded in real world problems and solutions.

And that’s what gets moms to provide their name and email, so that we can follow up with them.

Humanize Your Content

Specializing in addiction recovery marketing, I’m constantly telling center owners, directors, and staff that they need to humanize their communications, whether that’s online or off.

Your average patient and their family are not doctors or specialists in the field of addiction, recovery, or mental health. They don’t know the jargon of the field and would often prefer not to. They just want help for themselves or their loved one.

Focus on Aspirations

And really good marketing focuses on aspirations, not fixing problems. Rather than just talking about solving the addiction issue, you need to paint a picture of the life people will have after.

Take this simple aspirational ad we created below. It’s the story of John, one of our clients and the founder of recovery centers and sober living houses in Wisconsin. Well you can’t see it from the screenshot, the entire second half of the post focuses on how he overcame addiction and dedicated his life to helping others.


And you can see how people reacted to that kind of advertisement. 668 post clicks, 48 comments, 15 shares, and 333 positive reactions. That meant that, on Facebook, the ad was mostly spread for free. Of the over 6,000 people reached, we paid a miniscule $63 for that ad campaign. The rest was spread for free by all the likes, shares, and comments.

That’s the power of speaking to your audience and writing aspirational content rather than problem-solving content. You won’t be surprised to hear that, through continued campaigns like these, their centers are full and they have a waiting list.

Quick Recap

  • Focus on how you can help, not the features that you have.
  • Not everyone is your patient. Find an ideal client and speak to them.
  • Humanize your content.
  • Don’t fix problems, evoke aspirations.

Do these things and, I can tell you from experience running hundreds of online ad campaigns, that you’ll see better results.