The baby boomer generation is driving the growth of the senior population—the 65 and over crowd. The latest research shows that people over the age of 65 now make up 17% of the total population in the U.S. and the growth is just the beginning. That’s the kind of data the senior care industry should be looking at to justify extra effort on digital marketing strategies.

Here’s another nugget of information that should get your attention. The second-largest topic that people are searching for on sites like Google, Yahoo, and Bing is also strongly connected to people over 65—healthcare, which is a hot topic on search engines.

Your role is to educate consumers about in-home care and other homecare services. Online marketing establishes your senior care agency as the local expert authority in home care and assisted living services. The right advertising approach gives your home care agency credibility and strengthens your reputation.

Digital Marketing and Senior Care Stats

If you’re still not convinced, the following statistics emphasize some important reasons why it’s a crucial time to go after your share of the senior care market:

·   Business Insider projects that the home care market in the U.S. is expected to increase from $100 billion in 2016 to $225 billion by the year 2024. This figure reflects a 125% increase.

·   By the year 2030, around 2 million Americans will opt for life in a senior care community. That’s double the number since 2016.

·   According to American Senior Communities, senior living will become a highly competitive industry.

Large percentages of these seniors will soon be in the market for professional in-home care. Now is the time to start steering them in your direction. Take a look at these statistics for a little more assurance that a boost to your digital marketing efforts will be worthwhile.

·   Every hour, U.S. seniors generate 6,000 searches online for in-home care or healthcare. According to Senior Housing News.

·   About 70% of consumers seeking senior care will place a call when researching their options.

·   Phone calls will convert to customers 10-15 times more often (30% faster) than internet leads and give you a more immediate return on investment.

·   Retention is higher from phone calls as compared to web leads and they’re more profitable in the long-term.

·   94% of healthcare patients evaluate their providers using online reviews.

·   84% of people have as much faith in online reviews as a personal recommendation.

·   Home care agencies spent just over $129 million on advertising in the U.S. in 2020.

·   The senior care industry is expected to increase ad spending to $136 million by the end of 2020.

As these numbers demonstrate, a strong digital marketing campaign, along with a robust management strategy for building good reviews, is essential for acquiring new customers in the home care industry.

Home Care Agencies and Digital Marketing

Just imagine how many new opportunities you’ll have for new clients with over 10,000 baby boomers moving into the senior season of their lives every day.

Here are a few more things to think about:

·   The low rate of unemployment and a shortage of qualified in-home care providers make recruiting and hiring caregivers challenging at best.

·   Your marketing activities are separate from your sales efforts and without an overall digital marketing plan and SEO plan, you’re probably not getting qualified leads.

·   Your hiring processes don’t closely relate to your marketing plan without connecting them directly to your marketing strategy, so you could be missing out on highly qualified candidates.

·   The senior care industry is growing with local and franchises and they’re competing hard for a share of the market.  

Don’t take a chance on falling behind the pack!

Don’t Fall Behind Your Competitors

With new agencies vying for their share of the senior care industry, you need a digital marketing strategy that lets you set the pace. Here’s how to do it successfully:

1. Use your content to emphasize the need for in-home care.

2. Highlight the many ways that baby boomers and others will benefit from quality in-home care including how it helps with aging in place and the quality of life.

3. Best practices for sales suggest “making the ask”, so be proactive and ask for referrals.

4. Point out what sets your agency and your staff apart from other home care providers.

5. Referral sources are checking your online reviews and scope of services, so strive to rank this information high on search engines.

6. Be active on social media. According to the 2020 Benchmarking Survey, about 44% of home care agencies indicated that most of their leads generated from Facebook and Google and you can track your leads this way too. (This compares with only 3.7% for newspaper ads).

7. SEO is the leading source for customer leads (over 30% admissions rate).

Where to Spend Your Marketing Dollars in Digital

Incorporate a mix of channels into your digital marketing strategy—PPC, social media, and SEO. Your potential clients for in-home care are on all of them. If you’re not, you’ll be missing them.

Also consider that one marketing channel can give a boost to another. PPC ads will give you a 10% conversion rate through your contact forms and 15%-20% through calls. Here’s the real beauty, PPC ads and social media visits will increase traffic to your website and that will also boost your SEO efforts. If you don’t convert a customer from PPC, they may give you a second shot when they go directly to your website.

As a few final words, think about your messaging. Tell your story in a way that prospects see themselves as part of it. When you deliver value to them and meet them in the places they’re already comfortable hanging out, you’ll know whether you need to change any of your campaigns.

Drive traffic to your senior care website

Increasing traffic to your senior care business website helps to drive business growth. By monitoring your analytics, you’ll know whether your marketing efforts to increase organic traffic are working well. They’ll give you insights about gaps and weaknesses in your SEO strategy.

All web traffic isn’t created equally. A heavy focus on quality traffic will drive the best results.  

Focusing on Quality Traffic Over Free Traffic

To increase traffic to your senior care or assisted living website, consider the two purposes of website traffic:

1. Increased traffic to your site will improve your search engine ranking.

2. A high rank drives traffic to your site organically.

If traffic isn’t creating conversions, shift your efforts toward improving engagement.

Ways to Drive Traffic to Your Assisted Living Website

It takes multiple channels working in concert to bring in lots of traffic. Your marketing strategies won’t be successful without investing sufficient time, money, and effort into tapping into various channels.

Try these digital marketing channels:

·   Email marketing campaigns

·   Social media campaign

·   Online directory listings

·   Online ads

·   Regular blog page

·   SEO strategies on your pages

·   SEO strategies coming from other sites

Google My Business

Most people search for senior living and assisted care living facilities using a Google search. Completing your Google My Business listing ensures that your listing shows near the top. Filling out your address, business hours, and other details is free and it’s sure to generate leads.

Benefits of Google My Business for Lead Generation

With a Google My Business account, you can post photos of your facility and your staff in action.

Google My Business is free for the taking and the benefits are priceless:

·   Displays your listing for relevant searches

·   Increases your branding and visibility

·   Brings more website traffic to your pages

·   Motivates prospects to schedule an on-site visit

·   Provides free testimonials

Boost Your On-Page SEO Strategy

Search engines weigh heavily on high-quality content when determining the rank for your senior living or assisted living facility website. Make sure that your blog articles and web page content is concise, well-written, and informative. Be sure to write impactful meta descriptions for your pages. Think of your meta descriptions as a sort of highly concise elevator speech.

Take Advantage of Free Listings in Online Directories

There are lots of free online directories and review sites where you can list your business. Keep a spreadsheet of all the places where you’re listed on online directories so that you can update all of them in the event of a change. Keeping your listings current gives you a better chance of getting more website traffic.

Build as Many Backlinks as Possible

When another site adds your link to their site, it’s called a backlink. Call on influencers in the senior care industry or some of your vendors to see if they’ll add your link to their site. Backlinks will yield a much larger audience and spread the good word about your senior care services exponentially. Google will reward your backlinking efforts too.

Social Media Postings Drive Free Website Traffic

Posting on social media sites is just as easy as it is free. Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest all offer you free opportunities to drive traffic to your website. Social media sites are popular places to post informative blog articles, videos, and photos of how you’re helping seniors live a quality lifestyle.

Set Up Landing Pages for Senior Care

Landing pages are web pages where you can set up offers for discounts or referrals. You could use them to entice prospects to enter their contact information in exchange for a report or an ebook. Landing pages offer a great way to capture some of the details that will help you engage prospects and keep them coming back until they convert.

Target Long-Tail Keywords

More people are starting to refine their online searches by putting descriptive phrases into the search engine box. These are called long-tail keywords. There are tools on the web that will help you find appropriate keywords to help you get the qualified leads that are the most likely to create conversions.

Start Email Marketing

If you don’t already have an email marketing strategy, it’s time to start one—it’s also free. Send out regular newsletters and throw in a special offer here or there to grab your prospects’ attention.

As a word of caution—don’t blast them with too many emails or too many flashy ads or people will unsubscribe quickly.

Guest Blog

As an expert in senior health care, you probably have a large network of people that are vested in seeing your senior care agency succeed. Ask another industry leader if they’d be willing to contribute a guest blog post to your site and offer to do the same for them. Leave a positive review for them and ask the same in return.

Interview Industry Thought Leaders

Your prospects want answers to their questions about senior care. A good way to answer them is to interview industry thought leaders and they’ll feel honored that you asked. Email out a list of questions for them to answer and get their permission to publish them. If the interview publishes the interview as well, you just got another quality backlink.

Engage Online

You won’t have to look too far to find online groups about senior care within your community and in the surrounding areas. Sign up and be active. Other members will see you as an expert on senior care. The more you engage with people interested in the topic, the more exposure you gain for your agency. Be genuine and sincere. This isn’t the place for the hard sell.

Make Mobile Responsiveness a Top Priority

Internet searchers are just as likely to use mobile phones or tablets to search for senior care. It’s essential to optimize your website for mobile devices. If they have to swipe and scroll too much, you’re likely to lose them when the time is ripe.

Check the Loading Speed of Your Site

The senior care industry is competitive. A high bounce rate indicates that your site takes too long to load. If prospects have to wait too long, it makes you look unprofessional. Optimize your pages carefully and pay special attention to your image file sizes, page structure, and plugins.

Share Videos on Your Website and Social Media Pages

Videos are highly engaging for users. It gives them a chance to see you and hear what you have to say. The senior care industry is a highly personal field and a clip of your services gives them an indication of how you provide care.

Present at Senior Care Conferences

When you present at conferences, it establishes you as an expert and a thought leader in the industry. Record your presentation or slides and incorporate them into your overall marketing strategy.

Post Content on Senior Care Online Communities

Many sites have online hangouts for you to post content on senior care:

·   Facebook groups

·   Reddit

·   Online forums

·   Quora-answer questions

Finally, the hardest part of getting higher quality traffic that’s free is just learning a few tricks of the trade. Try a few of the strategies listed here and watch your conversions increase.

reviews online

The longer you’ve been providing in-home care, the greater the chance that you’ll get a negative review somewhere along the way. Any number of issues could trigger a bad review—a problem with a caregiver, being short-staffed, a miscommunication, a scheduling error, or something else.

Everyone has an opinion and the internet gives them a forum for sharing it with others whether it’s good or bad. When you get a bad review, you might be tempted to ignore it, but it’s better to address it. Feedback can help your business grow and build trust even if you get an occasional bad comment or review.

Use a Reputation Management Software

It would be great if you had the chance to intercept a bad review before it went public. Reputation management software allows you to do just that.

Here’s how it works. You send in a review request and if a customer posts a bad online review, it will go to your email address first. That gives you an opportunity to address the issue directly with the customer. That way, only good reviews get posted.

Google My Business allows you to see reviews on your dashboard and you can set your account so that you get automatic notifications when a review goes live. Getting live updates gives you the chance to respond to bad reviews quickly.

Also, Google My Business gives you a link that you can include in email campaigns to request reviews.

Respond Quickly to Reviews

When people read a bad review, they’ll probably give you the benefit of the doubt and look for a response from you. If you don’t address negative reviews for long periods, it sends a message to the reviewer and others that you don’t care enough to be responsive.  

It’s crucial to post responses to reviews in a timely manner, especially when they’re not flattering. Be sure to address the issues directly in bad reviews. Be polite and professional, and above all, be genuine. That’s the way to minimize the impact of a bad review.

How to Respond to a Negative Review

There are a few things you need to take into account before responding to a negative review.

1. Accept responsibility for the customer’s experience with your home care services. Be sympathetic and offer a sincere apology, even if you feel the review is unfounded.

2. Give a short description of the kind of service your customers are accustomed to receiving. Respond to negative reviews by stating something along the lines of, “We strive for exceptional customer service and we’re disappointed that we didn’t meet your expectations.”

3. Part of your approach for how to manage bad reviews is to offer the reviewer an opportunity to take the conversation offline. Give them contact information for someone at your home care agency that can solve the problem or respond more fully.

4. Avoid asking too many questions or going into too many details about the issue with home care services. Limit your response to about three sentences. This will help you avoid adding fuel to the fire.

Focus on Solutions Rather than Proving You’re Right

As you consider how to handle negative reviews, it’s important to resist the temptation to prove which of you is right. In the interest of diffusing the complaint, just let it go. Redirect your approach toward solving problems and finding some common ground. That’s the best method for how to answer reviews so that everyone wins. Your aim should be to move forward in a way that shows you care and rebuilds the trust that was diminished along the way.

Don’t Just Wish It Away and Forget About It

Don’t talk yourself into believing that bad reviews won’t matter if you don’t respond to them.

Bear in mind that the reviewer was upset with your service when they gave the review. The best thing that you can do is to acknowledge their concerns directly and do your best to resolve them. The reason people post reviews is that they want to be heard and know that they have value.

Most people will give you credit for meeting the issue head-on and not side-stepping it. Honesty and humility go a long way when your home care service didn’t meet a client’s expectations.  

Express Empathy Using a Sincere Tone

The nature of service industries is such that it’s nearly impossible to please all the people all the time, even when you’re doing your very best to provide top-quality home care services. You won’t always be able to solve past problems.

Bad reviews sometimes reflect someone’s need to vent rather than to place blame. They simply want to know that someone in a position of authority cared about their feelings. That’s especially true in the home care services industry because of the personal nature of caregiving. You may be able to overcome a bad review by being sincere in your responses and always expressing empathy.

A Little Good-Will Goes a Long Way

There will be times when it makes perfect sense to give unhappy customers a little something extra. It’s easier to win certain customers over by offering some concessions in the way of free services or a discounted rate. That’s not to say that you have to offer some form of compensation to everyone that gives you a bad review, but under the right circumstances, it can be meaningful.

Negative Reviews Improve Your Services

While it’s always difficult to read a bad review, it’s important to view it from the perspective of the customer. Try to be objective in your assessment of the review. Even if you think it’s unfounded, there may be a vein of truth to it. The truth can be masked in negative reviews, so take them seriously and address the situation that triggered the complaint. Take this as a red flag that your agency may have some areas that need improvement and take action.

No company is perfect all the time. When you have 100% positive reviews, some people will think they’re too good to be true. Customers expect to see a mix of comments and ratings. A few negative comments sprinkled in with all the good ones assures customers that your agency is legitimate.

social media to grow your home care agency

A digital marketing campaign today isn’t complete without a social media presence. More people are active on social media every year. That’s a viable reason for using social media to grow your home care agency. Rather than writing random posts on Facebook, Instagram, and posting a few images on Pinterest, your time is better spent on developing an effective social media plan and setting specific goals.

Some of the social media goals you might set are:

·   Gaining followers

·   Boosting your brand

·   Viewing your agency as the expert in home care

·   Recruiting caregivers

Once you’ve identified your plan and your goals, it’s time to learn how to use social media effectively.

How to Use Social Media Effectively

Perhaps the most challenging part about developing a social media strategy is setting your goals. Consider the types of goals that will inspire people to engage with you in some fashion—getting likes, gaining followers, commenting on your posts, and visiting your website.

Here are some social media tips that will attract attention on social media:

·   Clarify and define your brand.

·   Write a captivating bio of your story and mission.

·   Set up an editorial calendar and schedule your postings.

·   Post consistently-your followers will be looking for weekly posts they like.

·   End your posts with a strong call to action to increase conversions

Social Media Marketing to Acquire Clients

Just as you beautify the outside of your home health care agency to draw the attention of people within your community, it’s equally as important to make your social media marketing strategy attractive as well.

You have multiple options for inviting people to get to know more about your caregiver agency through social media. It will take a bit of time and effort before you meet your goals, so plan to get started with the following types of posts:

  • Posting blog articles.
  • Setting up events and posting them online.
  • Creating videos to post on your website and social media platforms.
  • Announcing awards for home care services
  • Celebrating your caregivers.
  • Posting upbeat and inspirational messages.
  • Sharing Videos reviews of happy clients
  • Collecting reviews in Facebook

How to Use Facebook

If you use Facebook for personal use, you’ll really like learning how to use Facebook to take advantage of social media.

Recent statistics show that Facebook has over 2.7 billion active users. According to Hootesuite, about two-thirds of people check out local businesses on Facebook at least weekly. You can even learn how to use Facebook live to post videos of your events in real-time.

Marketing on social media requires a softer sell than other forms of marketing. Facebook users expect it to remain a fun place to hang out. Too many sales post without engaging people in a conversation are a turn-off. The way around this is to post something every day or every week and post promotions occasionally. Use pictures, photos, and videos in your posts to attract comments and likes.

Ask a question to get some comments rolling. Be sure to respond to questions and comments in a timely manner so followers will keep coming back to join in on the conversation.

Use Facebook’s pop-up messenger to ask visitors to your Facebook business page two or three questions. It will tell you why they came to your page and give you a chance to engage with new prospects in real-time.  

Promote your Facebook business page on your website, business cards, letterhead, and other forms of media to maximize its potential.

Also, be sure to check out Facebook Insights, which is the back-end analytics on your business page. It provides valuable data about the characteristics of your target audience that you can use to enhance your overall marketing plan.

How to Use Twitter

If you’re interested in how to use Twitter, a few quick tweets on a regular basis will tell people within your community about all the wonderful things that are going with your in-home care services.

To set up your business Twitter account, create a Twitter handle that incorporates your company’s name so your followers can find you easily—for example, @ABChomecareagency.

You’ll also need a header, which is your background image. You can use a photo of your location, staff, a caregiver on the job. Add a profile picture, which could be a photo of your CEO or your logo. Choose this image thoughtfully as it will accompany your tweets and interactions.

You also have the opportunity to include a bio using 160 characters or less. Use your mission statement for inspiration. Input your company website’s URL to direct traffic to your site. In the section labeled birthday, put your company’s founding date.

How to Use Pinterest

Pinterest is much like having a bunch of different bulletin boards, each with a different topic, and being able to share them with your prospects and referrals. Pinterest provides a place to connect with followers and influencers. It gives you the chance to show them the benefits that you provide as a reliable in-home health care service, rather than tell them about it.

Pinterest is the fourth most popular social media platform in the United States and the number of “pinners” is growing rapidly.

To extend your social media reach even further, you can connect your Pinterest account to your Instagram and YouTube accounts. You can run ads on Pinterest and collect contact information for follow up and adding to your list of prospects. Add a Pinterest tag to your company website to direct interested prospects to photos of your caregivers in action, informative articles, and interesting videos about in-home caregiving.

How to Automate Social Media

Unless you have the budget to hire a marketer to post on all of your social media platforms on a regular basis, it will be hard to find the time to post every day on social media. There is a better way for how to use social media wisely. That’s by using other programs to automate your stories and postings.

Your editorial calendar is your guide to when your postings should go live. It’s not possible to automate all postings, but certain tools will streamline the process of posting on social media.

Here are some of the tools that you might want to use to automate your social media postings:

·   Hootsuite

·   Ganto

·   Buzzsumo

·   Sprout social

Social Recruiting

Lots of caregivers are searching for jobs on social media platforms which makes it a fantastic place for social recruiting.

There are two ways to post help-wanted ads of Facebook. If you have the budget for it, you can use the Facebook feature called “create a job” and it will intuitively walk you through the process of posting a job them you boost the post following Facebook guidelines and choosing the right demographics. You can also share your job posting on Instagram, Pinterest, and other social media platforms. It is recommended to pay ads to recruit caregivers.

Finally, be sure to respond to messages and comments in a timely manner. Offer up a soft call-to-action on a regular basis to keep them engaged. Social media platforms present opportunities for growth and engagement which will yield some great connections and conversions.