Home Care Marketing: Growing Your Business
This marketing guide covers the traditional and digital opportunities available to maintain and grow your home care business. You should monitor the impact of any particular activity to ensure your marketing budget and time is being spent wisely.
Some of the activities we discuss have short term benefits while others take time before a return on investment (ROI) is realised. Throughout this guide we will identify short, medium and long term activities, their relative cost as low, medium or high and the frequency of the activity, that is weekly, monthly, quarterly or annually. The combination of these metrics will allow you to determine your ROI given your own unique business constraints.
Traditional Home Care Marketing Activities
Flyers and brochures
Activity: Create and distribute flyers and brochures in your local area to promote your services. This should include hospitals, GP practices and local charities. A flyer or brochure should be brief focussing on the core services you provide and not contain anything that might date it. Their purpose is to open a dialogue between your company and the reader. Use them to get the reader to contact you or invite the reader to get more detailed information from your website. For mobile users a QR Code is a simple way to bring the reader to your website. For those without mobiles you should provide a short web address like www.yourcompany.com/findoutmore.
Contact your local council
Activity: Find out who commissions care services in the authority in which you work. Ask for a meeting with them so you can present your company, its services and target geographic areas. You should build a relationship with this person so they approach you first when they have contracts on offer. It is important that you respond promptly to any contact from them. A sluggish response from you may mean they start to approach other providers before you. Keep the service commissioner up-to-date with your current capacity for new clients or better still provide a place on your website they can refer to to see if you can take on more work.
Contact local charities
Activity: As well as charities distributing your brochures they may also agree to cooperate on joint projects if it will benefit the people they support. You should document these activities, taking pictures and video as appropriate for later use to promote your activities in social media and articles and news posts on your website.
Attend professional associations
Frequency: Ongoing membership
Activity: Joining or attending professional associations can provide several marketing benefits for businesses. Professional associations provide opportunities for businesses to network with other industry professionals, which can lead to partnerships and referrals. Membership can enhance a business's credibility and reputation. Being associated with a respected organisation can lend legitimacy and trust to a business.
Local events and sponsorship
Activity: Local events such as coffee mornings are opportunities to meet potential clients. Community organisations are often on very tight budgets. A contribution from you in exchange for a ‘sponsored by’ billing in their event marketing will help reach new clients and their families.
Activity: Ask your existing clients to refer you to their friends and family members who may need your services. Word-of-mouth recommendations are often the most effective way to gain new clients. You can also use their recommendations on your website or share positive feedback on social media.
News articles in local papers
Activity: Take advantage of every opportunity to write an article for your local newspaper. They are often more than happy to print your contribution to their publication. For an article to be effective it must be relatable. For example, news of a company-wide pay rise for your staff is only of interest if you focus on what it means to your staff and clients, not what it means to your company. Focus more on storytelling rather than writing a press release.
Cost: Low to High depending on the network and its size
Activity: This can come in the form of an advert in a local newspaper, the inclusion of a flyer in a mail drop with other advertisers or adverts in local publications like church community magazines. Essentially you are paying for access to the organisation’s network. Reaching out to a network is unlikely to give an ROI as a one-off. It takes time to get into the mind of the reader. It could take up to a year to achieve this.
Digital Home Care Marketing Activities
Create a website
Cost: Low, using templates from code management services like WordPress
Frequency: Hopefully only once
Activity: Your first attempt at publishing a website need not be perfect. It takes time for search engines to index your content and longer still for that content to rank well. Search engines care more about the words you write rather than how attractive your website looks. That said, your website should look professional and provide a menu structure that helps the reader find and understand the services you offer. A website should be supported by a collection of social media sites. It is not enough to merely display a social media logo on your website and hope readers might engage with you there. You should give them a reason to engage. This can be done by including links to social media Q&A posts in the articles you publish on your website.
Publish website content
Activity: It’s not enough to merely describe the services you provide on your website. You should also publish ongoing activities to give a reason for people to revisit your website. Search engines like Google monitor re-visits by people to your website. That’s a sign your website has content worth re-visiting thereby improving your website’s search engine ranking. Regular new content will also keep any visitor on your website for longer which again helps your website’s ranking.
Create and maintain a social media presence
Activity: There are many popular social media platforms. Not all of them will be of value to your business, but you should reserve your branding in as many as you can because you never know when a particular platform might become useful to your business. It’s best to have the same handle, i.e. @yourbusiness, across all the popular platforms e.g. Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn etc. The social media landscape is ever changing, subtle and complex, too complex for this brief overview so we fill the gap by offering advice in our group Care Begins at Home.
Frequency: 6 monthly
Activity: Sadly there are very few local newspapers still in print. Those that are struggle to survive. Their reach is sold as a traditional print run, web visitors and social media followers. Their digital metrics are often misleading. An article on a newspaper’s website typically has 95% of its available page space devoted to advertising. Any advertising you buy will be lost amongst other advertisers. Their social media reach is quoted as followers rather than engaged followers.
Publishing content & SEO
Time: Medium depending on writing skills
Frequency: Monthly with new content
Activity: Your website is not a digital business card. You should think of it as a living being fighting for its place amongst other websites for the attention of readers, your future clients and their families. Your website will not stand out if its content is never updated. Creating content may seem remarkably easy with the help of AI Bots like ChatGTP but this is not recommended. Your content needs to be authentic and unique and relate strongly to the communities you serve. We recommend you write articles for your website that take no more than 5 or 6 minutes to read. The article should include links to other articles in your website that are related to the subject. Search engines like Google record re-visits to your website. A re-visit improves your website’s ranking, so at the foot of any article say that you publish new articles on a monthly basis or at whatever frequency you can maintain. Over the years your website will grow and Google will notice this and rank you accordingly. For more detailed advice on optimising your website for search engines (SEO) please join our group Care Begins at Home where our SEO expert can answer your questions.
Frequency: Update when company details change
Activity: Register your business in directories such as Yelp, Google My Business and Yellow Pages to make it easier for potential clients to find you when they search for your services in their area. When making a listing you should use the service to search for providers as if you were a potential client yourself. Pay attention to the businesses that are presented to you first and understand why they are so you can replicate their success and then add additional details so you stand out above them.
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