Home health care is a booming industry. The aging population of baby boomers is increasingly in need of in-home care including non-medical home care, post-acute care, long-term care, skilled nursing, and hospice care. Effective health marketing strategies will allow consumers to feel confident in choosing your home care agency.
Most consumers will head straight to Google or another search engine when they are looking for a home care agency. Therefore, online or digital marketing strategies should be foremost in any marketing campaign. But do not dismiss word-of-mouth marketing–especially referrals–and other “old fashioned” marketing materials.
If your agency has a marketing manager, he or she should be trained not only in SEO (search engine optimization) and digital marketing, but also be skilled in finding referral partners such as hospital discharge planners and care consultants, social workers, and nursing staff. In addition to health care workers, potential referrals could come from many other sources, most importantly current and former clients.
How to Create a Successful Home Care Marketing Plan
It may be helpful to organize your marketing ideas and strategies into the following areas:
- Social Media
- Digital Marketing (website/blog content, SEO, online ads)
- Networking and volunteering
- Printed marketing materials (newspaper and magazine ads, direct mail, etc.)
Seek Referrals From Past Clients and Healthcare Professionals
Obtaining referrals is one of the most popular ways to expand a business in any market or industry. Referrals are useful for attracting new clients and gaining the trust of those who have a genuine interest in learning more about the services you provide. Seek referrals from past clients you have helped while also connecting with healthcare professionals who are willing to provide your agency with recommendations and referrals. When you have an online presence, create referral forms that are easy for your visitors to share with their own friends and loved ones in need of a home care solution.
Build Your Social Media Presence
Build your social media presence using top platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter. Study hashtags that are most relevant to the home care industry and the current services you provide. Create your own hashtag to represent your individual home care agency and to attract followers while gaining interest in your location and what you offer to prospective clients.
Use the same name for each of your home care social media accounts to prevent users from feeling confused while browsing for more information on your agency when using social media. Research the name you have in mind across multiple platforms to verify that it has not already been taken or used by another official agency. Upload your agency’s official logo and implement your designated color scheme across your social media platforms to appear professional while streamlining all of your social media accounts simultaneously.
Update Your Social Media Frequently
Use social media to your advantage by posting frequently and with an online schedule in place. Create an update calendar to keep your followers informed of upcoming events, services you offer, and even testimonials or reviews from current clients who are using your agency. Avoid missing out on potential opportunities to attract new clients when going days, weeks, or months without making an update. Social media platform algorithms depend on the activity of users and promote users who post more frequently.
Use a CMS to Improve Your Agency’s Website
Using a CMS (content management system) such as WordPress is one of the best ways to create a robust and professional online presence. A CMS provides you with easy access to meta tags, titles, and helps you manage keywords and phrases to focus on within your website’s content.
Content is King
Providing current and potential clients with authentic, in-depth, informative, and unique content is a way to stand out from even your top competition. Craft content that is difficult to find elsewhere on the web and research your top competitors’ websites to discover new topics that require a more in-depth approach. The more unique and informative your content is, the easier it becomes to attract new clients.
Optimizing your website with SEO (search engine optimization) is essential to increasing the number of visitors and page views you receive. Spend time researching keywords and phrases that are most relevant to your agency using tools such as Google Trends. Compare your top competitors’ websites to gain valuable insight into the marketing strategies and techniques deployed by other agencies in your industry and region.
Update your website’s page titles, meta tags, and meta descriptions to match the type of content you are offering along with the keywords you want to target.
Provide Transparency Online
Providing transparency is a key component to building a successful business, especially when you are doing so online. Always respond to user inquiries, comments, and opinions directly when using social media. Avoid deleting negative comments or reviews and instead, share a professional response that is thorough and addresses each issue individually. Remaining transparent as a business is ideal when you want to gain the trust of those who are on the fence about using your home care agency for themselves or a loved one.
Showcase Online Reviews and Testimonials
Showing off positive reviews and testimonials from current and past clients is another way to gain the trust of those who wish to learn more about your home care agency. Share real client testimonials using your official website (by creating an entire page for the content) and with your social media pages. Sharing photos and video media of clients (with their permission) is another way to create a professional and positive reputation when you are interested in expanding your current clientele.
Use Photos and Video Media to Maximize Your Online Reach
Photo and video media are extremely helpful when launching online campaigns using social media or third-party ad servers. While text ads can also work to attract new clients, colorful and professional imagery along with videos stops users in their tracks. Using professional photography, illustration, graphics, animations, and videos that are relevant to your home care agency is a great way to appeal to a wider audience while appearing professional and modern.
Launch Online Ad Campaigns
Online ad campaigns are a valuable use of your marketing budget. Use easy tools such as Google Ads and Facebook Ads to get started. Facebook Ads allow you to target individuals based on their age, gender, location, and even specific interests (based on keywords) they have. Find and target your optimal demographics without a massive ad budget while honing in on the wants and needs of potential future clients.
Networking and Volunteering
Networking and volunteering play a major role in growing any type of business, especially a home care agency. Attend local networking events surrounding health care professionals and businesses to connect with others. Building professional connections helps with increasing the number of referrals and recommendations you receive. Volunteer at medical conferences and networking events to expand your contact list while gaining access to insider information regarding marketing, sales, and managing clientele.
Local Newspaper and Magazine Ads
When you want to expand your reach locally, consider taking out local newspaper and magazine ads. Local ads can help to spread the word about your business to those who are not currently online or using social media. Using local ads is optimal when you are interested in helping the elderly who prefer to seek out information and businesses in an old-fashioned way.
Direct Mail Campaigns
Direct mail campaigns are an effective way to reach seniors and the elderly population. Use direct mail to share postcards and other memorable advertisements with those you want to reach. Provide information regarding the services you offer along with clear and direct contact details to learn more.