Finding the right home care marketing mix for your agency can be like trying to recreate your grandmother’s famous recipe from memory. How much butter did she use? White or brown sugar? How many cups of flour? Your marketing strategy is very much like a recipe, particularly these days with such a wide span of digital and traditional marketing channels. Most companies know that building a strong online marketing presence is vital to stay competitive, but deciding how much time and money to allocate toward which channels can present a real challenge.
When creating your marketing plan, the important thing to remember is that it’s not about choosing between traditional or digital marketing, but finding the right mix for your agency and market. These days, it’s almost impossible to identify a target audience as exclusively traditional or digital, even when you’re targeting seniors. But understanding which customers are tuned to which channels can help you create the right marketing balance and craft the best messaging for your brand.
Building Your Digital Presence
While it may seem easy to dismiss the Internet and social media as not senior-friendly, recent data shows that’s increasingly not true. According to the Pew Internet Research Center, a growing number of Baby Boomers and seniors are joining online social media spaces, like Facebook and Twitter. As of November 2016, 87% of people aged 50-64 and 64% of people aged 65 and over use the Internet on a regular basis, and 64% of people aged 50-64 and 34% of people aged 65 and over use social media sites.
Your target audience already has an active digital life, which means it’s vital for your home care agency to have too. But how much should you invest in digital marketing?
- Website and SEO: Your website should absolutely top the list when it comes to investing in digital marketing. According to Home Care Pulse’s 2016 Home Care Benchmarking Study, search engine optimization (SEO), websites, and online ads made up the top revenue-generating consumer marketing sources for home care agencies in 2015 at 20.6%, 10.6%, and 6.7% respectively.
A professional looking website with a user-friendly interface and solid, ongoing SEO strategy that includes blogging and regular content creation helps your agency get found in online searches and establish your agency as an educational resource to those facing care challenges.
- Social Media: Social media marketing also allows agencies to reach potential clients where they spend a great deal of online time, but the social sphere has become a pay-to-play arena, meaning you will have to engage in paid advertising in order to get the most out of social media sites. The good news is that social media ads are very affordable, ranging from as little as $10 to as much as you’re willing to spend. Just make sure you’ve got eye-catching graphics and engaging content to go with them.
- Online Reviews: When Baby Boomers go online to search for home care services for their aging parents and other senior loved ones, increasing numbers of them are turning to online review sites like Google+, Facebook, and industry-related reviews sites like Caring.com to read reviews from others who have been in their same position. Home care reviews carry an incredible amount of weight with consumers. As many as 92% of consumers in the US and Canada read online reviews when researching products and services, and recent research done by Caring.com revealed that home care agencies with 15 or more reviews receive 1.5 times more leads than those with only one or two reviews.
- Email Marketing: Reaching clients and referral sources via email is easy, cost-effective, and allows you to create deeper, ongoing relationships with current and potential clients and referral sources, offering them caregiving tips and news about how your company makes a difference in clients’ lives.
Don’t Neglect Tradition
While an increasing percentage of marketing today has shifted to digital, traditional marketing efforts are still necessary and effective. Digital marketing certainly has its advantages, but nothing can really compare to the personal experiences created by traditional marketing. Traditional marketing methods, like relationship building, community outreach, direct mail, presentations, rack cards, flyers, brochures, press releases, and other forms of traditional marketing help you reach clients, caregivers, and referral sources on a more personal level.
So What’s the Right Mix?
Finding the right marketing mix for any business is an ongoing process. What works for one home care agency may not work for another. The key to finding the right marketing mix is knowing who your clients and referrals are and what reaches them. A professional marketing firm with in-depth home care industry knowledge and focus, like corecubed, can help your agency discover the marketing mix that will get the best results. Contact the home care marketing experts at corecubed to learn more.