When it comes to marketing your business today, remember: this isn’t your grandparents’ era. Things have changed.! In fact, the people living in them – and the children who may have to make the tough decision to help their parents move – more and more are members of the Rock and Roll Generation: Boomers and Generation X (their adult children).
ADULT CHILDREN WANT INFORMATION - AND LOTS OF IT!
As new agencies and facilities are forming to serve the Baby Boomer population, competition for this growing market will only continue to rise as well. To emerge as a leading agency, you have to plan and execute a marketing strategy that takes advantage of both inbound and outbound tactics.
To connect with potential clients, you need to be both creative and active to establish a larger presence in your community. Word-of-mouth will always be the best form of marketing, but you simply can’t rely only on referrals to acquire new clients.
You want to first identify your target market, define your message, then create meaningful relationships.
IDENTIFY YOUR TARGET MARKET
This about the Who, What, Where, How and Why.
The Who: 2 categories – physicians (create a relationship with physicians for a strong referral network), and patients (word of mouth and direct inquires).
What: What are you the best at? What differentiates you from your clients?
Where: What is the area of your services?
How: Make clear how one can contact you.
Why: Have a clear pitch, whether in the form of a mission statement or a direct ask for action.
Talk to your current referral sources and patients. Ask questions like:
What attracted them to your business?
What are their pain points?
How did they find out about you?
Soon, you’ll begin to see a pattern to why patients and physicians have chosen your services. Once you identify this, you can start to target new referral sources and patients. Do you have a specialty? Such as certified in Alzheimer’s and dementia care? It’s recommended that agencies and facilities differentiate themselves by focusing on a niche market. If you specialize in a particular service, you can promote the value of the service.
HOW IS YOUR BRAND?
The best brands create the strongest stories. Establish a brand consistently by building your reputation. Your presentation should consist of: your name, logo and tagline of your organization.
As a visual part of your brand, it’s typically the first thing your audience will see, so it needs to draw attention. Whether you choose a text-only logo, or symbol, make sure it looks professional. A symbol can create a deep meaning of a brand.
It should be short and to the point. Some examples are:
Providing Outstanding Home Care Service to Our Community.
Excellence in End-of-life Care.
Committed to Excellence in Assisted Living
Avoid three word taglines – they can tend to confuse your audience.
CREATE AN INFORMATIVE WEBSITE
Even though you might assume that seniors are not internet savvy their kids and grand kids are certainly so. The first place people search for information is online, and the first marketing tool you can have is a great website. The website need not be fancy, but it certainly should be informative. It should assure the family that you are a legitimate and trustworthy business. Add your credentials , license number and accreditations to your site.
Many health care industries are extremely competitive. Some agencies can spend around $2,000 - $6,000 or more monthly to rank well on search engines. Make sure your SEO is up to par. The best marketing you can do, is traditional marketing. This mailers, collateral, educational workshops, etc.
TYPES OF MARKETING
This refers to your marketing efforts aimed directly at your potential clients. As with all marketing, the goal of consumer marketing is to let people know you exist and help them understand the services you provide, hopefully converting these prospects into new clients.
Some examples of consumer marketing are: newspaper ads, TV ads, radio ads, billboards, a sign on your car door, your website and SEO (search engine optimization), speaking at senior events, attending health fairs, and having a listing on a consumer outreach website, like a franchise website or BestofHomeCare.com.
Includes efforts aimed directly at current clients, doctor’s offices and other referral sources, as opposed to potential new clients themselves. By reaching out to these referral sources and building a relationship of trust with them, they are happy to recommend your services to those they know who are in need of home care services.
Create Facebook and LinkedIn pages for your company. Advertise your business on your social media page among the friends who follow you on your personal social networking pages, and encourage them to refer anyone they know who is in need of your services
You can also send friend requests to companies that may have referrals for you, such as assisted living facilities. Include important information about your company, such as how long you've been in business, your years of experience in health care, and your professional specialties.
Engage with potential customers on a regular basis by asking which health concerns they want answered, and by responding to inquiries as quickly as you can.
Establish your brand as an industry leader. This means producing and curating content that demonstrates your knowledge and expertise about specific health issues or geriatric concerns. Make sure this matches the traits of your target audience. The goal is to provide education and provide value to your audience and be known as a thought-leader in your industry. As your audience starts viewing your content more and more, you’ll start to gain authority and build your reputation and awareness.
SOCIAL MEDIA ADVERTISING
You can target specific populations in great detail. With all the changes with algorithm lately, the best way to really target your audience is through Facebook ads.
You can target by
In some cases by specific demographics like income level and home ownership.
DEFINE YOUR REACH
Most of your audience will search for your company using search engines like google and bing. Make sure you’re on them.
Set up your business on Google My Business and Bing Place.
Set up your Google Search Console and claim your website to view analytics. Search Console allows you to see search traffic, impressions, crawl errors, etc.
Optimize your web pages by reworking your content to match certain keywords. There are companies who specialize in helping you do this, including Yoast SEO and MOZ.
Produce fresh content at least every week.
Hire in-house experts or outsource SEO link-building and off-page SEO.
On your website, post concise, informative health articles that pertain to your business. For instance, if you provide care for elderly patients, post articles on how seniors can prevent or manage conditions like osteoporosis or arthritis. Post the articles on other health care websites as well, and include your Facebook link and website address at the bottom of the article so potential clients can easily get in touch with you.
Write articles for your local publications. This will give you a way to educate both the public and medical professionals about the benefits of your company.
START A NEWSLETTER
A great way to capture new leads is by starting a newsletter. You can have a link for a subscription to your newsletter through your website as well send a copy to your existing clients. Make sure the newsletter not only has exciting offers but is also information packed.
OTHER MARKETING TYPES
Join the directories and organizations in your industry families are most likely to research.
ATTEND HEALTH FAIRS
Go to as many health fairs as you can, as often as you can. Bring plenty of promotional materials, like pamphlets and door hangers, that health care professionals can display in their offices. If possible, ask a health care associate to come with you so you can answer attendees' questions in a timely manner and give each individual a few minutes of undivided attention. Don't forget to bring business cards as well, with your website address, social media links and phone number clearly printed on the front of the cards.
HAVE AN OPEN HOUSE
Community outreach events are very effective marketing tools for home health agencies. They show your involvement in the community and provide excellent opportunities for networking. Organize an open house at your facility once a month or, if your space won’t accommodate it, reach out to a local organization—such as a senior center—to host the event. Make sure all attendees include their email address when they sign your guest book. You can use this contact information to stay in touch with targeted communications to keep your agency top-of-mind.
Send a letter introducing your services to social workers, counselors, therapists, doctors, pharmaceutical companies, or anyone else who may give you referrals.
REMEMBER - You need to speak the same language as your clients. For an elder law attorney, it’s important to understand your clients reservations and fears before they even meet you. It’s important to remember that you’re not only dealing with the client one-on-one, but dealing with a family member reaching out for guidance.
You must communicate your agency’s competencies to a specific segment of the population.
Unlike other industries, you must develop a strong brand, recognition and create a strategic partnership with the community - it's your best promotion.
Your most important asset is your network - not your virtual network, your real one. Every successful executive and entrepreneur will tell you, their most important asset is their network. If you keep an easy theme at a pace you can handle, eventually you’ll start seeing your hard work pay off.. If you need some further help or have questions, give us a call (203) 429-9671.
Salty Red Dog Marketing, LLC is a marketing agency in Darien, CT & NYC. We service businesses with marketing strategies, social media and consultations.