Every single day in North America, 10,000 people turn 65, this trend will continue for the next 20 years. You can’t deny that society is aging—as technology improves, our life expectancy has increased, which results in the rising costs of medical services. That’s why the home care industry is booming!
Running a home care business is no small feat. There are so many factors of the business one as an owner needs to consider and manage, such as recruitment, scheduling, managing, sales, marketing and so much more!
So, your team of caregivers—whether they are CNA’s, Registered Nurses or PNW’s, are all licensed, insured, professional and amazing, there’s no doubt about that. Being in the home care business, our purpose is to make people’s lives better. Not only providing exceptional service to our clients but also giving their family members peace of mind. How can we convey the value to our local community?
In this blog, we’ll go over some crucial marketing strategies you should be doing for your home care business! The main objectives of putting effort into marketing are two main things: to increase brand awareness for our business and ultimately, to drive more conversions and gain more clients. The topics we will cover include:
- Digital Marketing
- SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
- Print & Branded Goods
- Professional Referrals
- Community Events & Networking
Marketing encompasses lots of different channels and efforts. Some owners might do all the marketing initiatives on their own, some have a marketing specialist on their team, or hire a contract worker or agency for extra support. Take a look below and see how many you check off the list!
Nurse Next Door Chatham‘s Franchise Partner Tina Hodgson and her team member are all smiles at a community event!
It’s important to note that no business can solely rely on just one source of marketing. Marketing is multipronged and needs to work together to fully synergize to its full effect. This is especially important to digital marketing. Some business owners might think that because they’ve invested two thousand dollars into digital marketing, they can take a backseat and wait for clients to come knocking. This is completely false and it is a common mistake!
Digital marketing is awesome. It allows you to put your business out there on the internet and get in front of so many people that might not even know your business exists! Everyone’s on their phones and laptops: we use Google to find out about almost anything; we learn about other people’s personal lives on Facebook, we read blogs to learn more about topics we’re interested in, perhaps like you right now! That’s why it’s crucial to invest in digital marketing efforts. We’ll highlight Facebook and Google Ads.
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Everyone’s got Facebook. You’d be surprised to learn that: 62% of online Seniors aged 65+ are on Facebook and 72% are between age 50-64 (source). That’s your core audience that would love to know about your business!
Having a Facebook business page is essential to any business. You need to be active on it and post regularly. This way if someone found out about your business and decided to look you up on Facebook, they’d see that you’re legit and that your page isn’t idle (such as haven’t posted anything for two months). By having a Facebook business page means you have access to Ads Manager, which is where you can set up ad campaigns. Facebook offers a variety of templates such as carousel, video, lead form, etc. They offer online training for their ad platform on Facebook Blueprint, which is free of charge. It’s definitely worth exploring as a small business owner in-home care!
Google is where we look for answers for everything. You know those top results when you search for something? If you look at the top results, they’re typically “ads”. Google Ads is a pay-per-click (PPC) advertising system. Business owners are able to use Google’s Search Network and/or Display Network to reach their audiences.
Google’s Search Network shows ads to people who are actively looking up the keyword you have chosen. For example, for a home care business, your investment in Google Ads will enter you into a bid to have your ad show up when someone types, “home care in Berkely”.
On the other hand, Google’s Display Network shows ads to people that are searching for a product of service online and will be exposed to banners on various websites.
For more information on Google Ads, check out DisruptiveAdvertising’s detailed breakdown.
With a joint effort of Facebook and Google Ads, you can tap into a wider audience. This is a recommended strategy to claim your online presence when marketing your home care business to gain more clients.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
As mentioned in the previous point, Digital Marketing is an important piece of your overall marketing strategy. To further enhance and reach more people online, then you’d definitely have to explore Search Engine Optimization (SEO). This is slightly more technical but can be a potentially free investment.
SEO covers a lot of things. It means the full optimization of your website, giving it the ultimate appeal to search engines like Google or Bing. The ultimate goal is to have a smooth, functional website that allows users to have a great experience on it and drive qualified traffic to your website. Search engine algorithms are often updated, but if you as a business owner can grasp some of the foundational information of SEO, it could already make a huge difference!
Here’s a quick breakdown of what SEO is:
Check out Moz’s “Beginner’s Guide to SEO” to get started!
Print & Branded Goods
Good old fashioned advertising is done through print. Design high-quality copy and graphics if you’re looking to advertise in local newspapers or magazines.
Does your home care business have a strong brand? You gotta show it off! Partner with a vendor and have them produce some awesome branded merchandise to hand out to people you meet! Brochures are a must, which is self-explanatory. The obvious things to incorporate are a well-defined list of your services, like meal preparation, housekeeping, companionship etc, as well as your contact information. But it’s also good to list what your home care business’s mission and what value you can bring to the reader.
Have some extra budget in your marketing budget? Invest in some branded swag!
Branded pens, notebooks, note pads, temporary tattoos, water tumblers are all affordable and popular items that can spruce up your community event (elaborated below).
It is absolutely essential for a home care business to build and grow their professional network. This means you making visits to the hospitals and clinics in your local area and selling your business! It could be as simple as dropping off some coffee for the nurses at the hospital, having a friendly chat with them and asking for permission to leave some brochures at the brochure stand in the waiting room. Be sure to make a great impression.
You can also ask to be put in touch with the discharge planner in the department. This is where you bring your professional A-game. What makes your business stand out from the other home care businesses? What do you go above and beyond for your clients? How can home care support the discharge planner and make his job easier? How do you contribute to reducing hospital readmission rate? How can we help senior citizens with recovery and daily living?
Think of this as B2B marketing. It’s crucial to build up your image of being a reliable resource to healthcare authorities, have them refer their patients to you to build up your client base! This will mean you need to get your hiring and scheduling down pat to supply your professional referrals.
Community Events & Networking
In the previous point, if Professional Connections is like in-person B2B marketing, then Community Events is like in-person B2C marketing!
Home care is a human business. That means you obviously cannot just rely on online marketing strategies, right? It’s important for you, as the business owner of your home care company, to get out there into the community and CONNECT with people.
Whether it be participating in your local senior expo, networking at a Chamber of Commerce event, cheering on the crowd for Walk For Alzheimer’s—there are plenty of potential events and activities you are can join in on to expose your brand! Meet people in your neighborhood, connect with fellow small business owners or entrepreneurs, network with organizations that align with your brand mission—there are so many potential partnership opportunities waiting to blossom. It’s dependent on you to make that happen.
As mentioned in “Print & Branded Goods”, it’s a good idea to have a variety of branded items on your table/booth when you’re at an event. People love freebies! So having functional and well-branded items will have people using your pen or notepad at work or home that has your website and phone number on it. For pricier items like a stainless steel water bottle, you can have it as the prize for a raffle. This way people can fill out their contact information, which you can follow-up later as warm leads.
By meeting people who are attending these events in the community, you get to start the conversation! A lot of people don’t even know that home care is an option for their aging loved one, so you will be able to educate them and highlight your business and what you could offer them. Such as alleviating them from caregiver burnout, improving a seniors’ physical and mental well-being. Once you have a great chat with them, you can follow-up immediately by offering them a pen and brochure so they can remember you as they meander their way through other booths at the event.
Being face to face and having a genuine connection with someone about home care is one of the most effective and intimate ways to increase your client base.
This is what we call a mash-up. Parking and marketing, all at once. The first step would be to work with a graphic designer and getting your car wrapped. This way you have a billboard on wheels, which is effectively parked, or on the go! It’s a great way to establish a community presence. If it permits, being able to bring your branded vehicle into your community event would no doubt make your booth the center of attention!
How do you effectively execute parketing? In the morning, drive your wrapped car to a high foot traffic area (think, business district, shopping mall etc), park it at a spot for the most optimal visual spot while also abiding all parking regulations (or else it’s a bad look for your brand). Take an Uber or Lyft to your office or home as you carry on the day, then get dropped off again when you go pick it up. If it’s allowed, you are potentially able to park in one spot for a few days. The more eyeballs you get on your car, the more calls you’re likely to get. It is a bit of a hassle, but it pays off!
All of these tips only fall under marketing efforts and there’s so much more of the business you need to cover and manage. That’s why if you’re looking to start a home health care business, you can consider buying a senior care franchise as they already have established their brand, have resources and proven systems in place to support you with the goal of business success.
Being in the home care industry means heart and profit. You are making a difference in people’s lives and a positive impact in your community. Keep up the great work!
Check out our blog for more tips and case studies on running a home care business!
For Start Up Costs & the Support we provide, Click DOWNLOAD FRANCHISE REPORT to download a FREE Franchise Report.