In Home Care Marketing: 12 Strategies to Grow Your Business
In home care, agency leaders are constantly juggling urgent priorities and challenges in their business, from compliance changes to audits to hiring in a labor shortage and beyond. So when it comes to home care marketing, it’s often the path of least resistance to let it slide while more time-sensitive tasks come first.
While building and maintaining the capacity to provide exceptional services with a team of highly skilled caregivers is the most critical priority at any agency, making sure potential clients know about your services is a close second.
Whether you want to launch a new home care start-up, grow your existing business or become the number one choice for home care clients in your region – we have 12 strategies inspired by our most successful customers that will help you reach your goal in home care marketing.
And don’t worry – you don’t need to do all of them to boost your growth, especially without adding a dedicated marketing hire to your business. But adding any of these tactics to your operations will help you generate more demand, book more clients and even build your hiring pipeline.
1. Build a marketing plan
As a home care leader, we know you’re incredibly busy. That’s why it’s crucial to create a marketing plan so you can stay organized and ensure your valuable time is appropriately focused on the right home care marketing tactics. Here’s what your marketing plan should include:
- Information about your target audience: Who is your ideal client? Where do they get news from? What other kinds of healthcare providers do they use?
- Your agency’s top value propositions: What sets you apart from your competitors? What unique skills do your caregivers offer?
- Your top goals: What do you want to accomplish with marketing this year? The ability to charge higher rates? Find more customers in a particular geographic area? Grow a specific business line?
- A calendar: What are your key upcoming dates for your business? Is there anything you want to promote? Are there local events where you could network with referral partners or potential clients?
- An inventory: What are you already doing? Where does your company have a digital presence now? Have you invested in any advertising channels already?
2. Focus on providing quality care
While marketing strategies will help you grow your agency, charge higher prices, expand your business lines and attract top talent, it’s essential to remain committed to providing your clients with the best care. When it comes to building your business, it’s one of the most effective marketing strategies you can pursue. Word-of-mouth marketing from happy customers leads to five times more sales than paid ads.
3. Ensure your company profiles are thoroughly set up
When a client’s family is first considering home care for their loved one, an online search is typically part of their research plan. If your agency doesn’t have a comprehensive presence on specific popular digital channels, you are likely missing out on valuable business. For best results, make sure you include all your latest contact information, photos and client-related updates on these directories:
- Google My Business – Over 90% of searches are done through Google. While having a company website is essential (more on that in our next step!), claiming your agency’s Google business profile is necessary.
Get started by setting up your free account on Google Business Profile. Already have one? Make sure it’s updated with your most recent contact and operations information.
- Facebook and other social media – Home care is a personal business. Make sure you can connect with potential clients on their platforms of choice, especially Facebook and Instagram.
- Local business directories – Most areas, whether urban, suburban or rural, will have a council set up to promote local businesses. Get involved in yours to boost leads from local clients and network with related providers.
- Home care lead websites – Many potential clients’ families will search referral websites like Caring.com to compare their options.
4. Build or update your website
If you don’t have a website, start here. While many people feel intimidated by the prospect of building and maintaining a website for home care marketing, it’s never been easier to manage with simple and low-cost website builders like Squarespace or Wix.
Not only will your website allow your company to appear in Google searches for home care services, but it will also make your business look trustworthy. It also gives you a channel to tell your story, describe your services and build your agency’s brand.
If you already have a website, keep it current! Chances are that your geographic boundaries, service lines and company information have changed over time. Make sure it reflects your most recent offerings so you can capture as much of your ideal market as possible.
5. Have a Contact Us page on your website
Speaking of websites, make sure you have a channel to collect inbound leads. That is, somewhere potential clients can contact you. For best results, include an open form that allows people to send an inquiry through your website. Asking leads to take additional steps, even just copying and pasting an email address into their email application, can lead to a potential client abandoning their outreach efforts.
6. Create a referral program
According to the 2021 Home Care Pulse Benchmarking Report, agencies that report referrals as their top lead source get up to 73% of their clients through this channel.
If your clients and their families are happy with your services, encourage them to tell their neighbours, relatives and friends about your business. Offering a modest incentive for referral business, such as a chance to win a giveaway or a small rebate off a visit, for both the new and existing client, can go a long way.
Want to take your referral game up a notch? Look no further than your caregivers. If you already have a hiring referral program, consider adding client referrals as a tier. If not, create something similar to what you’re offering to clients to spread the word.
7. Network with professionals in related fields
Clients and their families often start looking for home care services after a diagnosis, injury or another life event. Your agency can get a steady stream of warm referrals from other healthcare practitioners that support patients through these changes. Not sure where to start? Consider these providers and programs:
- Physical therapists
- Occupational therapists
- Primary care providers (e.g. physicians, nurse practitioners and family health teams)
- Social workers
- Adult day program organizers
- Nursing home staff
- Local chapters of disease-specific associations (e.g. Alzheimer Society, Multiple Sclerosis Society, ALS Society)
- Veterans’ programs
8. Optimize your website for SEO
While this strategy might sound high-tech and intimidating, we promise it’s not! SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, a digital marketing tactic that helps your website show up when people search on Google for keywords related to your company and services.
At a high level, SEO helps you align your website writing with the questions people ask when researching or deciding on home care services. By understanding the word combinations people enter to search for home care agencies, you can update your website’s blog posts and informational pages to make it easier for Google to suggest it to prospective clients.
Curious about how to get started? Read this helpful article.
9. Create a blog and post consistently
Most consumers will read several pieces of content on a website before contacting a business for the first time, such as articles, Q&A, interviews and reports. To build your expertise and credibility while offering helpful information to help your customers navigate the world of home care, we highly recommend that you create these pieces of content and group them under a blog on your website.
And if you’re looking into updating your website per SEO best practices, supporting these with a regularly updated blog is essential. Blog posts are a critical aspect of SEO strategy by allowing you to target frequently searched keywords, such as “how to pick a home care agency”.
10. Participate in community events
Caregiving is a very personal business, and it’s highly location-based. This can be limiting when you’re trying to sell your services over a website, email or phone call. Instead, leverage these factors by supporting events in your local community like street festivals, park clean-ups or school fairs. At these events, your team will have the opportunity to meet local families who might need care, connect with other healthcare providers and boost your brand awareness.
11. Ask for reviews from current clients
Once you have your Google Business Profile set up, you might notice you now have a review section visible when people search for your company or look it up on maps. Most potential clients will read a company’s reviews before contacting them to get an idea of customer service, common complaints and highly recommended caregivers.
If you want to get more reviews, ask! Because it only takes a few minutes for your clients to leave one on your business profile, most happy families will be willing to do it. If you want to start a more targeted review campaign, you could sweeten the deal with a small incentive like a gift card or prize draw.
Worried about receiving negative reviews? Don’t miss this article from FirstVisit CEO Dan Bofoya on how to handle not-so-glowing home care agency reviews online.
12. Invest in paid digital advertising
Once you’re boosting your brand’s presence across more accessible channels, like social media, website and in-person events, consider investing in paid advertising.
Digital advertising channels are a great place to start because they allow you to start with a modest and specific budget. And even better, you can monitor exactly what you’re getting (e.g. clicks, impressions, etc) for your money through your ad accounts. If it’s your first foray into paid online advertising, you might want to hire a consultant for help or look into a low-cost online course, such as those offered through Udemy.
Here are some popular and accessible digital advertising channels:
- Google Ads search campaigns
- Google Display Network
- Facebook Ads
- Instagram Ads
- Local business community newsletters
- Industry publications
Putting your home care marketing plan into action
Many of our most successful home care agency customers have seen impressive results by implementing these home care marketing strategies in their businesses. However, it’s critical to remember that kicking off your home care marketing campaign is about quality, not quantity. You don’t need to do all 12 of these to grow your business, find new customers or lift your rates.
Think about what you’re already doing, what would feel authentic for your agency and what you’re comfortable taking on with your existing human and financial resources. And then? Make sure you’re tracking how it’s going so you can adjust accordingly.
Looking for other operational resources on how you can grow your home care agency without marketing? Don’t miss our free, downloadable templates that can help you run your business with simplicity and ease. Choose from several completely customizable templates for Scheduling, Invoicing, Logging & ADLs or Policies & Procedures to get started immediately.