People in North American society are aging and technology is improving which means the home health care industry is booming. As the owner of a home health care agency, this is good news but it also means that you need to learn how to tap into this market. Fortunately, there are a lot of different ways of doing this today - each with its own level of importance.
Some of the ways you can market a home healthcare agency today include:
Unfortunately, there’s no business in existence that’s capable of relying on a single source of marketing. Instead, for your business to reach its full potential you must engage in various types of marketing. This is especially true in regard to digital marketing.
The nice thing about digital marketing is that your business will get recognized online in front of a lot of different people who may not have known your business even existed otherwise. Today with everyone being on their phones and laptops Google has grown in popularity as the number one place to find information. Social media is also the main place people go when they want to learn information about someone. This is why it’s so important to invest in this type of marketing.
Social media is an important part of your digital marketing campaign. As it grows increasingly popular with each passing year, your home care agency must adapt to accommodate this trend. However, you can’t simply jump in and start posting. You need to determine what your goals are first (e.g. gaining followers, spreading awareness, becoming an expert in your field) so you can create a plan to achieve them. There are many things you’ll want to do with social media today.
Define Your Brand
The first thing you should do before launching a social media marketing campaign is take time to define your brand. As a home care owner, you already know what niche you’re in but it’s still important to decide how you want to portray your brand (e.g. professional, informative, personal). By determining this you’ll be able to remain consistent with the rest of your activities on social media.
Create a Compelling Bio
The bio on your social media account is your opportunity to tell people about who you are and why you exist. This is your opportunity to really let your voice shine. Let your followers see who your home care business is and what they should expect from you whenever you post. Wrap up your bio by sharing your website link with your followers so they can quickly and easily access you whenever they need to.
Create an Editorial Calendar
If you’re already familiar with social media, you’re probably familiar with spontaneously placing posts there occasionally. However, this isn’t how you’ll want to run your home care company’s social media account. You need to take time to strategically plan out every post. This means once a week you need to sit down and put together an editorial calendar so you always know what you’re going to post throughout the week. This can include posting blogs, events, videos, awards, press releases, or even whitepapers depending on what you’ve set your social media post up to portray you as.
Regardless of how you plan to handle social media, it’s important to remain consistent with your editorial calendar if you want to see results. For instance, if you want to have “Tips Tuesday,” make sure that you do this every Tuesday so you get the results you want (e.g. boost in followers).
Stay on top of Updates
One of the biggest challenges you’ll face with social media is that it’s always changing. This is something you’ll need to stay up-to-date with if you want to get the most from your account and marketing strategy. While this may seem like a nuisance, these updates are actually great because they give you new ways to interact with your followers. You’ll probably also have the opportunity to interact with people who you otherwise wouldn’t interact with if you stuck to a more traditional marketing plan.
End with a Call to Action
While pretty images and witty text are important to social media, that’s not all there is to it. Good posts are those that encourage your followers to find some way in which to interact with you. It could be that they like your page or maybe they follow your page, respond to your post, visit your website, or take some other type of predetermined action. Regardless of what you want to encourage them to do, you’ll need to end your post with a strong call to action. Doing so will get your viewers to actually engage with you. Your call to action can also help increase the number of people who move from your social media feed onto your website - something that may result in new business for you.
To reach out to even more people online you’ll need to use SEO. While this is slightly more technical than using social media, it’s still a free money-making investment that’s worth your time.
There are a lot of different things that are covered by SEO. Not only will you need to make sure your home care agency’s website is fully optimized so that search engines like Google will find it appealing, but you also need to find ways to get backlinks from other high-quality websites. Your ultimate goal in doing all of this is to create a steady stream of traffic to your website. For this to happen you’ll need a fully-functional website that offers your visitors a great experience. You’ll also need to grasp some of the foundational rules for working with search engines and their algorithms.
This starts with creating high-quality content regarding your niche, your business, and the services you provide. This information needs to be relevant to people who are searching for businesses like yours because then the search engines will take more of a liking to your website. For this reason, you should be writing blog posts about anything and everything that’s relevant to the topic of senior care. Not only will this help you in the SERPs (Search Engine Rank Pages) but it’ll also help you establish yourself as an expert in the industry.
Pay per Click Advertising
When you search for “home healthcare services” in Google you’ll find a lot of ads that show up because they’re utilizing Google’s advertising platform, Google Ads (formerly AdWords). These sites are bidding on specific keywords that they’ve discovered people are using to look for their company’s services. This is another great way for your business to be able to take advantage of the over 52 million searches people make regarding the senior year industry every year. When your home care business gets noticed in these results it’s likely that you’ll get a call to schedule an assessment. Obviously, these are calls that you don’t want to miss out on.
Taking the time to advertise on Google is worthwhile but for your home health agency to see results will require some work and patience on your behalf.
Traditional advertising occurs through print advertising in local newspapers and magazines. For this, you’ll want to create high-quality copy and graphics. A good place to start here is with brochures. Some of the things you’ll want to incorporate here include a list of your services (e.g. meal preparation, housekeeping, companionship) and your contact information. You should also include your home care business’s mission statement and tell your readers what value you can bring to their lives.
You should also partner with a vendor who can produce branded merchandise for you to hand out to people. Things like pens, notebooks, note pads, temporary tattoos, and water tumblers are also affordable but popular items.
It’s vital for you to take time to build and grow your professional network. This is why you should take some time to visit the hospitals and clinics in your area. Whether you take them something special (e.g. taking coffee to the nurses) or go have a friendly chat with them, make sure you take some brochures and ask for permission to leave them in their waiting room.
You should also talk to discharge planners. Make sure you act very professionally when you do so. This is your opportunity to share with them why your business stands out from others in your industry. Make sure you not only mention how you go above and beyond to make your clients’ lives better but that you can support the discharge planner in a way that’ll make their job easier too. Take time to point out that by helping senior citizens with their recovery and daily living your company will be able to help reduce the hospital readmission rate.
With this type of B2B marketing, your main focus should be on building up your company’s image as a reliable source so they’ll want to refer their clients to you. There are a lot of great places where you can do this so don’t be afraid to think outside of the box (e.g. healthcare insurance agents, pharmacists, elder law attorneys). Of course, you may find that in order to keep up with their demand you may have to invest some money and time into your hiring and scheduling processes but it’ll be worthwhile to do so.
Besides networking with other businesses you’ll also want to take some time to network with other members of your community too. After all, home care is a human business so you can’t rely solely on online marketing strategies. As a business owner, it’s important for you to connect with people in your community.
There are lots of great ways you can interact with your community. Whether you sponsor an event or get involved in an activity (e.g. senior expos, Chamber of Commerce events, charity walks), you’ll want to do so in order to bring exposure to your brand. These events will allow you to meet people in your neighborhood, network with other small businesses, and form partnerships with other entrepreneurs.
Make sure when you attend any of these activities or events you take a variety of branded items with you. Since people love to receive freebies, they’ll look forward to using your pens and note pads both at home and at work. People will then take notice and remember your brand when they’re in need. You can also raffle off pricier items (e.g. stainless steel water bottle). Doing so will encourage people to leave you their name and contact information which you can later use to follow up on as they’re considered “warm leads.”
While you’d think that most home healthcare agencies would reach out for feedback, many of them don’t do it until there’s a specific issue that they need to address. When things are fine you should still be talking to your patients and their family members about how you’re doing. Sometimes you may find that they’re having small issues they’re feeling too embarrassed to bring up or larger issues they’re avoiding mentioning. This is the feedback you need to hear because it’ll help you improve your performance.
Every home care agency is bound to have some patients who truly love the services they’re receiving. They’re the ones who truly trust you and your caregivers. These people would be more than happy to hear from you so you should take a few minutes to reach out to them and inquire as to whether they have any friends or relatives who may also be in need of services.
You’d be pleasantly surprised by how many of these people would be willing to advocate for your home healthcare agency whenever they come across someone who’s in need of a trusted caregiver. When you invest in doing this correctly these people will become honorary members of your marketing team who can bring you lots of new clients.
For those clients who may not be ready to be your biggest cheerleader, give them some incentive to do so. Every three or four months you should take the time to send them referral cards that will get them a discount whenever they refer someone to your agency. It doesn’t take much time or money to do this and it’ll help your clients remember you when they come across someone who may also benefit from your services.
Don’t limit your referral efforts to your existing clients. Also, consider organizations like doctor’s offices and medical clinics, churches, community organizations, and senior centers. There are a lot of people in your community who are in need of a qualified caregiver but don’t know where to look. Networking with these agencies will benefit everyone who’s involved.
Your home healthcare agency should be working with the local senior advocacy groups. By doing so you’ll get your name out there as you work to advocate for the elderly’s well-being. When people notice that you don’t just provide eldercare but that you’re also passionate when it comes to the elderly’s well-being and rights they’ll take notice and remember you the next time they know someone who’s in need of your services.
There are lots of things you can do here including:
Consider Doing Some Volunteer Work
By actively engaging in volunteer opportunities throughout your community you’re telling people that trust and compassion lie at the heart of your home healthcare agency. There are lots of volunteer opportunities that you can engage in including local health fairs, blood drives, school fitness programs, soup kitchens, and clothing donation centers.
Seeking out accreditations that demonstrate that your home healthcare agency is dedicated to providing its patients with high-quality care people will know that they can trust you. These accreditations are available through various local, state, and national home care organizations. Once you’ve achieved a new accreditation make sure you promote it in your local media outlets so people know about it.
Now that you know that you have an important business (one that a growing number of people need today) and you see that there are a lot of different ways to market your business, it’s time you get started with doing so. Taking the time to tap into this market isn’t as difficult as you once may have feared. Now there’s some type of marketing that most anyone can do so stop procrastinating and get started today