Content marketing for rehabs illustration

Aligning Content With The Recovery Journey

An effective content strategy meets your audience where they are. In this approach, targeted content empowers readers in every phase of healing. This type of rehab marketing shows your potential clients that their recovery is your top priority.

Instead of pushing readers to make a snap decision, you’ll show them that you respect their process. By positioning yourself as a source of helpful information, you earn your audience’s trust. Ultimately, this encourages people to turn to you when they’re ready to start treatment.

Let’s look at your clients’ experience with your content through two lenses that, in rehab marketing, have everything to do with each other: the buyer’s journey and the recovery journey.

The buyer’s journey is the steps your clients go through to reach a decision to enroll in treatment:

      • Awareness
      • Consideration
      • Decision

The recovery journey, based on the Stages of Change model, involves:

        1. Precontemplation 
        2. Contemplation 
        3. Preparation 
        4. Action

Good content is tailored to connect with readers in each of these stages.

rehab marketing content funnel

Recovery Journey:
Pre-contemplation

What it means for recovery: In this phase, a person is actively drinking or using drugs, but in denial about their addiction. They may not yet see the negative impacts of their behavior, or they might not be ready to admit what’s going on. Forceful or stigmatizing language can easily push them further into denial

What it means for rehab marketing: Precontemplation begins long before someone even considers rehab. Because they don’t yet recognize the problem, they’re not looking for a solution. For these readers, denial is the primary barrier to treatment. They may be easily triggered and sensitive to stigmatizing language. While your potential clients are in this phase, it’s often more effective to connect with their loved ones. If you do address them directly, it’s best to share information without passing judgment. 

How to create the right content: This is a great time to educate your readers about the basics of addiction and mental health recovery. Content can help readers recognize that they need help. By encouraging your audience to plan for treatment, and helping them see their experience in a larger context, you empower them to start recovery. Your content can also help loved ones navigate complex relationships, supporting people with addiction while continuing to care for themselves. 

Example topic: How to set boundaries with an addicted family member

Recovery Journey: Contemplation
Buyer’s Journey: Awareness

What it means for recovery: When a person begins to notice they have a problem, they enter the contemplation stage. They’ve started to ask questions, and they might be thinking about cutting back or quitting. People in this stage may not be ready to talk about their addiction openly. Instead, they often turn to the internet for the answers they need. By sharing content that works against stigma, you can hold space for the complexity of what they’re going through.

What it means for rehab marketing: At this point, the person knows they have a problem. They have yet to research specific solutions, and they’re open to new ideas. By answering their initial questions, you can make a powerful connection.

How to create the right content: Your audience’s searches are based on their problem. Your content should answer their questions and provide accessible solutions. Working against stigma and helping your readers see their issues in a larger context will ease their feelings of overwhelm. 

Example topic: How self-medicating trauma can lead to addiction

Recovery Journey: Preparation
Buyer’s Journey: Consideration

What it means for recovery: Here, your audience is looking for help in earnest. They understand they have a problem, and they’re starting to research different types of treatment. For these readers, content is an opportunity to demystify the recovery process.

What it means for rehab marketing: In the consideration phase, buyers are taking concrete steps to solve their problem. When the problem is addiction, that means researching treatment and making a short list of rehabs. Effective content shows them whether your approach can help them meet their specific goals. 

How to create the right content: If a reader in this stage is on your website, they want to know more about what you do and how it’s different from other rehabs. Provide them with detailed information about what they can expect in treatment. Quotes from your team about your unique approach, and from alumni about their experience, invite readers to make an emotional connection with your program. 

Example topic: What to expect in holistic rehab for PTSD

Recovery Journey: Action
Buyer’s Journey: Decision

What it means for recovery: In the action stage, your reader knows they need treatment, but they don’t know where. This is your chance to equip them with information that can help them make a decision.  

What it means for rehab marketing: Rehab is often an emergency. Most people in the decision stage of the buyer’s journey have to move quickly, and your content will have to keep up. For example, you can automate email follow-ups with new leads to maximize your number of touch points with potential clients. Consistent, helpful content can make them feel supported during this vulnerable time.

How to create the right content: To connect with this audience, give them a clear, tangible sense of what happens during rehab. Highlight the details that make your program unique, and frame them in a way that centers their needs. By letting readers know what to expect in your program, you can remove barriers to treatment.

Example topic: Video of an experiential therapy unique to your location 

Journey-Aligned Content Boosts Your Rehab Marketing Strategy

During rehab, content helps clients plan for aftercare and keeps loved ones in the loop. After treatment, it connects alumni with valuable resources – including your team. By nurturing these relationships, you ensure your clients’ success while organically growing your network. 

Connect with us to learn more about supporting your clients’ healing with journey-aligned content.