Marketing Care Homes

Marketing Care Homes

Care Marketing – Challenges and Solutions

Marketing care homes presents distinctive challenges which require a unique and nuanced approach. Your target audience may be 65-year-olds and upwards, starting to think about options for care. Equally likely, though, it’s their grown-up children who may be in their 40s and 50s. These two target groups need very different marketing resources.

The care providers who contact us at Outsource Your Marketing they tell us they’re feeling increasingly overwhelmed by both the choice and digital expertise required to get their business seen online.

Just a couple of decades ago, the care marketing landscape was made up of TV ads, glossy brochures, and full-page spreads in top-end magazines. If you’re marketing care homes in the 21st century, though, you’ll need to manage email marketing campaigns, SEO, and social media ads.

In this article we explore the 4 biggest challenges care homes providers face when planning their care marketing strategy and we offer some tried and tested solutions based on our experience in this sector.


Marketing Care Homes – The Top 4 Challenges

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  1. Defining Your Target Audience
  2. Understanding and Responding to Customers’ Needs.
  3. Amplifying Your Online Presence
  4. Effective Local Marketing Strategies
  5. Defining Your Target Audience


1. Defining Your Target Audience

A successful marketing strategy hinges on a clear understanding of who you are selling to. In the case of care services, identifying your ideal customers is complex, but you can easily segment it. Primarily, you’ll be catering to two distinct groups:

  1. Senior Individuals and Care Seekers (65 and above). These are the individuals who are directly in need of care services. They could be thinking about options for their own care or seeking assistance on behalf of a loved one.
  2. Adult Children and Family Decision-Makers (40s and 50s). This group consists of the adult children of potential care recipients. They play a pivotal role in the decision-making process and are instrumental in selecting suitable care solutions for their ageing parents.

Understanding the online habits and preferences of each target group is crucial for effective marketing.

For senior individuals and care seekers you need an approach that combines online and offline resources. They are likely to use search engines such as Google and Bing to explore care options. However, they also rely on more traditional sources like newspapers, brochures available in doctors’ offices, and leaflets delivered to their homes.

Engaging with this audience through both digital and tangible channels will help you reach them effectively. Additionally, creating marketing materials that are easily accessible on phones and laptops, whilst also respecting their inclination towards hard copy materials, is essential.

Your marketing strategy focused on adult children and family decision-makers should lean more towards on online platforms. They are active users of search engines and can be found on social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. Creating informative and engaging content across these platforms can help you connect with them. Address their concerns, provide valuable insights, and establish your care services as a trustworthy solution.


2. Understanding and Responding to Customers’ Needs

When marketing care homes, or home care, a pivotal challenge lies in creating a marketing approach that resonates equally with both customer groups. To effectively engage older individuals seeking care, the strategy must underscore affordability, available amenities, and the level of autonomy offered by the service.

Younger seekers will be looking for care providers with a proven track record, made evident through glowing testimonials. Their focus will be on comprehensive support, excellent facilities, and a trained and empathic care team capable of delivering personalised attention to their loved ones.

For both older and younger searchers, interest in the availability of care is likely to start out indirectly, then find focus over a period of months or even years, and finally intensify due to an illness, or a fall. Independent care providers need to chart a well-structured, enduring marketing blueprint that equips searchers at each phase with relevant materials.

A useful way to visualise the customer journey is in the image of a funnel. This provides segmented identification of each stage leading up to the conversion, or purchase of care services. Marketing is created for and targeted at each segment of the funnel in order to increase awareness of and interest in your brand. When decision time arrives, the familiarity of a reputable brand significantly enhances the probability of being chosen.

Here’s how the funnel looks:

 

Understanding and Responding to Customers’ Needs


3. Amplifying Your Online Presence

No matter how compelling your content when marketing care homes, it needs to be discoverable by people actively searching online, in order to make an impact. This is where Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) comes into play. SEO involves optimising your website, blog, or online content to amplify visibility and ranking on search engines like Google.

When marketing care homes or home care agencies, it’s crucial for your website to appear prominently in Google search results when someone looks up a specific word or phrase related to your product. This is essential because the higher your position in search results, the more visitors your website is likely to attract.

To ensure your website performs well on Google, you need to focus on two key areas:

  1. Technical Optimisation. Ensure your website is mobile-friendly, enhance website speed and user experience, and structure your website in a way that search engines can easily understand and index your content.
  2. Keyword Optimisation. Keywords are the specific words or phrases people use when searching for information, products, or services online. Care-related keywords could include terms like ‘care homes’, ‘care in the home’, ‘home care’, or ‘residential care’.

When someone enters a search term in a search engine like Google or Bing, these platforms aim to provide the best possible results. They assess every available website and rank them based on technical aspects and whether the content includes relevant keywords matching the search term. The goal for your website is to be a top match for anyone seeking care-related information.

By optimising your website technically and incorporating relevant keywords, you increase the likelihood of becoming a valuable resource for those searching for care services. This not only boosts your online visibility but also helps you connect with those who need your services the most.


4. Effective Local Marketing Strategies

Your new residents are likely to be part of the local community, so creating a local profile for your care home, or agency needs to be part of your marketing strategy. Local campaigns would normally include a mix of the following:

  1. Google Map Presence. Securing a Google Maps presence can greatly impact your local business. To achieve this, claim your free Google Business Profile and provide comprehensive details about your care services, enabling online searchers to find you easily.
  2. Local Social Media Engagement. Use local Facebook or Instagram accounts to regularly share events and news, solidifying your presence within the community.
  3. Geographical SEO. Optimise your website content for a specific region by incorporating local keywords, signalling to search engines that you’re a relevant choice for those searching within that area.
  4. Brochures and Leaflets. Distribute leaflets in local doctors’ offices, libraries, and other community hubs. Regularly drop leaflets in local letterboxes to maintain visibility.
  5. Participation in Local Events. Attend local events like fetes, or charity functions to connect with people and discuss your care services. Meaningful conversations often get shared among friends and family.
  6. Paid Advertising. Run Pay-Per-Click (PPC) ads on Google Search Pages or social media platforms to directly target individuals actively seeking your services.

Combining a localised campaign with Search Engine Optimisation can enhance brand recognition, raise awareness of your services, and drive increased visits and inquiries. This approach establishes your care home or agency as an integral part of the local community, fostering connections and trust.


About Outsource Your Marketing and the Care Sector

OYM is an established digital marketing agency with expertise in developing effective marketing campaigns for the care sector. Over the past decade we have helped providers market independent residential care homes, home care agencies and supported housing providers. As a result of our work, clients see:

About Outsource Your Marketing and the Care Sector

If you would like to talk to us about marketing care homes, or home care services, give the friendly team at Outsource Your Marketing a call today on 01234 900203

     

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