Three care home marketing trends for 2020
The first tech-literate generation is ageing, and we’re beginning to see the impact on the care sector. From finding and comparing care homes online to reviewing care services, tech is on the rise.
With this in mind, here are my three marketing trends to make sure your care homes are winning and converting online in 2020!
Trend one: more people will be searching online for care
This isn’t a controversial one. 79% of consumers who book a visit with a nursing home search online beforehand and more people each year are looking online to find and research care homes. In 2020, the online presence of your care homes is more important than ever.
Having a weak online presence is failing before you start. You are leaving the door open for your competitors to be found by people looking for care homes in your area, while people struggle to find you at all!
My tip for 2020
Make sure all relevant information about your care homes is easy to find online, by:
- Optimising your website’s SEO to ensure that you’re appearing high up in search results. For simple things you can do to improve the SEO of your website I recommend: AH Refs On-Page SEO: An Actionable Guide.
- Answering your most commonly asked questions online. This helps users understand if your home is suitable before they call and will increase the quality of your enquiries.
- Taking advantage of online services like Care Sourcer, which allow you to customise an online profile to attract leads who wouldn’t normally find your home. Spread the online presence of your care homes as wide as possible.
- Creating social media profiles for each of your homes (prioritise Facebook, it’s the largest social media for the care-seeking demographic. For recruitment, prioritise LinkedIn).
Bonus tip: make a list of questions you are asked on the phone, if you notice a question is asked very often, answer it on your website, social media and other profiles. This creates useful, informational content for users and can make you more confident that you are a good match for anyone that calls.
Trend two: phone enquiries will be your most important channel
How consumers look for care homes is changing, but how they interact with care homes is not. In 2020, make sure your care homes are easy to call and make sure the caller experience is as frictionless as possible.
Of the 79% of consumers who said they searched online before booking a visit with a nursing home, 100% said they booked a visit over the phone! You can have a great online presence, but if your care homes aren’t easy to contact directly, you’re leaving people at the door.
My tip for 2020
Make it as easy as possible to call your care homes by:
- Having a clear call to action near the top on your webpage informing users to call your home for more information. By doing this, you are telling users ‘this is the next action you should take to further your enquiry‘.
- Ensuring your phone number is easily visible on each page. If you can, make this number clickable for mobile users to make contacting you even easier.
- Showing a direct telephone number for each care home. People expect to contact the care home directly when you have a phone number on the home’s page, so sending them to a switchboard can cause confusion.
Bonus tip: A phone call is a consumer’s first experience with the staff in your care home, this is an opportunity to show how caring you are. Ensure phone calls are frictionless and empathetic to the caller’s situation to earn trust early on.
Trend three: Facebook will become increasingly important
I’m not suggesting Facebook is a great acquisition channel for care homes today, but it will be one day. When that day comes you will want to have a fleshed out business Facebook profile with lots of content and interaction, so best to start now.
Users 65+ are the fastest growing group on Facebook. So, if you take one thing from this article – make a Facebook page for your care homes (and use it well).
Your Facebook profile is online proof that your care homes do what you say they do. If you offer day trips, share pictures of residents enjoying a trip. Does your home have great communal facilities? Post a video of residents spending time together in these spaces. Not only are you providing a more personal look into life inside your homes to potential clients, but you are creating content that the loved ones of current residents can enjoy, share and interact with.
My tip for 2020
Make and maintain a Facebook page for each of your care homes by;
- Posting content that people can relate to and share with friends. Showcase the personality of residents and your staff. Don’t be afraid to have fun!
- Using media as much as possible in your Facebook posts. Posts with photos get 53% more likes, 104% more comments and 84% more clicks than text posts
- Adding your telephone enquiry number to your Facebook profile. This allows users to call you online via Facebook’s ‘call’ button. By doing this you make it as frictionless as possible for people viewing your Facebook profile to get in touch!
- Using other channels, such as your website, to drive people to your Facebook page where you can post content related to the home and its residents.
Bonus tip: 85% of Facebook users watch videos without sound, so try to include subtitles where possible. Services like YouTube’s Closed Captioning make this very simple.
How people search for and find care homes is evolving and so must how we market them. Keep one step ahead of this change by optimising the online footprint and performance of your care homes, making it easy to call each of your care homes online and using Facebook to prove that your care homes do what you say they do.
Not only will this help you in 2020, it puts in place the foundations of care home marketing in a tech world that you will benefit from for years to come.
If you’d like to hear more from me, you can find me on LinkedIn.
Thomas Forsyth, Marketing Officer