Nursing homes are a vital part of our community because of the care that they offer to the elderly. They are the institutions that are able to aptly provide senior citizens with all that they would need during the golden years of their lives. Even though nursing homes play a significant role in society, there are a number of challenges that they face when trying to reach those who could benefit from what they have to offer. Aged Care marketing is an essential part of the entire role that nursing homes play, because it informs people about the different kind of services that are provided and contributes strongly to their preference when making a choice.
Attracting residents and keeping the occupancy rates high is one of the core goals of aged care marketing when it comes to a nursing home, and not all ideas work well to help these institutions reach this goal. To be successful in that area, it is essential to know the best ways to market a care home, and the steps that one should take towards achieving that goal.
If you are someone who wants to help promote a nursing home and are looking for effective strategies to implement, here are some methods that have worked for aged care facilities and can help you to achieve your goal.
1. Build Trust Online
One of the biggest mistakes that a company can make in today’s age is not to effectively leverage their presence online. The number of potential customers that one can reach via the internet is enormous, which is why been viewed as a trustworthy authority is so important. While it may seem like a nursing home is mainly for the elderly, a lot of the people who are looking for nursing homes are quite younger than one would imagine.
Because the younger age group, which mainly ranges from 40 years to 60 years are relatively tech-savvy, they tend to look online for nursing homes that tmay be a suitable choice for family members. And for this reason they will perform their due diligence extremely thoroughly. When a client looks up your nursing home or searches for in your locality, you want them to get an impression of a home that can fit all of their needs. On the internet, first impressions matter, and the way a company presents itself is incredibly important.
Typically you have only a few seconds to capture somebody’s interest when they visit your website, so it needs to look sharp and be styled appropriately to match your organisations brand and overall aesthetic of the nursing home itself.
The tone of your copy also needs to be appropriate and lead potential clients into a feeling of security your establishment is the right place for them, or their loved one, to reside.
Another essential (and easy) way to build trust online is to showcase (and continually improve) one’s presence. People are more drawn to institutions and companies that feature customer reviews and any other kind of post that explains the benefits of all that is offered. If a nursing home website features many verified positive reviews, the visitor user is immediately filled with confidence based on the social proof presented to them. Incorporating appropriate meta data into the website will also ensure that star ratings are visible on search results and paid advertisements which extends the reach (and benefits) further into the digital ecosystem.
Content creation and, in particular blogging is one of the best ways to improve one’s digital presence. It is one of the easiest methods to showcase the personality of the organisation, it’s staff and other residents and is a good means to communicate positive, ad-hoc news about your nursing home.
2. Get Involved With Publicity
One of the benefits of being on the internet and promoting your brand online is the potential for free publicity. Blogs and sites are continually featuring companies and institutions when they want to promote an idea or a particular product. When it comes to nursing homes, there are a few options that can help promote the brand and also improve their online presence.
One of the best ways to get free publicity is by being a source in a story or being quoted on some kind of media. If a reporter is doing a story on elderly care, for example, they are often on the lookout for people that can give them a short insight into the field. These quotes are generally placed somewhere throughout the article and contain a reference to the person quoting them at the end. This also states the name of the institution that the person worked with, which is another way to promote your nursing home.
There are plenty of sites that one can sign up on to get regular emails about requests for quotes and sources (check out HARO). This is not always a sure way to get the word out, but is one of the many routes that one can adopt when trying to promote their nursing home.
Another option is to get involved with local sponsorship and advertising opportunities.
These present some of the best value ways to expose your organisation directly to the community it aims to serve. Check out options to sponsor events run by local schools or community organisations and make sure you take up adverts in local publications which often cost a couple of hundred dollars.
3. Capture Your Leads
A person who is visiting your blog or your website is generally there because they are interested in something that you have to offer. Not all people visiting your site might choose to come to your nursing home, but following up on them is a good way to keep them interested in the idea. This is the process of lead generation and is one of the more effective ways to market a nursing home online.
Emailing your potential visitors is one of the best ways to be able to generate interest online. But getting the email addresses of those who are interested in what you have to offer is a lot harder than it seems. One of the best ways to be able to acquire them is by adding a ‘lead magnet’ on your blog or website that encourages your visitors to sign up or give their email information to stay updated on more content. Using these emails, you can easily send them updates about the nursing home, thereby influencing their decision on whether to choose it or not.
The content you offer could be as simple as a brochure in pdf format, or a more practical document about the process of transitioning to life in a nursing home. As long as it provides value to your ideal customer base they are likely to exchange their email (and/or home address) for a copy.
Consider employing marketing automation for follow up purposes, which can include a series of drip emails and physical mail outs. The benefit of this approach is that once it’s set up you have a lead nurturing machine that will run itself and require minimal input by staff members. Check out Autopilot which is a great low cost tool that we help clients to set up to do this exact job.
4. Don’t Shy Away From Social Media
Social media can be a tricky tool when it comes to nursing home and elder care marketing because of the content of the subject and the prospective customer base. However, more and more people are using social media as a tool to engage and find services that they could go in for, which is why now is the best time for nursing homes to turn to social media. Social media is not only a tool to promote the brand in an additional channel online, but is also an active way to engage with those who are interested in what the nursing home has to offer. This can be incredibly effective when it comes to nursing home marketing and is a tool that very few nursing homes have incorporated.
Social media is also a great tool for addressing any concerns that people might have or any questions that may arise about the nursing home. It allows for quick and prompt responses which can boost the overall community engagement which will be viewed favourably by prospective clients. Overall, this is one more tool that can help with elder care marketing.
5. Market to the Search Engines!
Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is a term used to describe activities that enhance your digital presence on search engines, which as we all know are the gateway to the internet.
Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising is an extremely effective way of engaging with potential clients who are in a particular phase of the consumer lifecycle. Because you can target advertisements at individuals who are searching out particular solutions your message can be visible at a relevant time to them, when they are much more susceptible to making a decision (or in the discovery phase and collecting information). Just make sure that the ads are written in an engaging manner, ideally by somebody who has excellent copywriting skills. After somebody has visited your website you may also elect to re-market to them, which describes the process of displaying graphical advertisements after they have left and are browsing the internet. Retargeting your visitors in this way keeps the business front of mind and is a proven way to increase acquisitions. Once your account has an established history and spend consider using HTML5 advertisements which feature animated graphics that are much more eye catching and attractive.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) has become incredibly important because of the big role that searches play in a person’s decision. When a person is looking for a nursing home online, one of the first things that they are going to do is put in the words ‘nursing home’ into google. Their results may be filtered according to their location, but the results that are better optimised appear first. The person conducting the search is then going to click on the first few links to be able to get the kind of information that they need. Your nursing home should be optimised so that it appears in the first few results, thereby encouraging people to click your links.
Ensure that you are making the most of local by setting up a business profile on Google. Once established you will be able to add information about opening hours, services, location and more. The end result it appearing in the business box (to the right of search results) when people seek you out online and popping up on Google Maps which enhances your brand and increases visibility.
There is no doubt that thoughtful digital and traditional marketing are essential for the growth of nursing homes, but the task of working to this goal is not always the easiest. Opting for a professional service is always advised when working in an area that you don’t fully understand. They can carry out the task of marketing your nursing home for you, so that you don’t have to worry about a thing and can get on with doing what matters!
If that sounds like an idea you’d like to explore further, contact us to discuss how our team’s consultancy and management can help to put the right marketing strategy in place that will boost your aged care marketing.