As new senior home care businesses pop up on a regular basis, staying relevant can feel overwhelming. Let’s face it—this market is becoming more competitive and saturated than ever. That means using an innovative marketing approach is critical to maintaining a steady stream of prospective clients, and turning them into paying customers.
But staying on top of the latest marketing trends is challenging. Digital outreach changes rapidly, making it difficult to conquer one marketing method (such as social media or blogging) before a more exciting idea hits the market. Since most senior home care marketing teams are small and spread thin, what’s one to do?
The good news is there is hope. With a little bit of guidance, some planning, and a commitment to stay on track during implementation, marketing a home care business using the shiny trends of 2019 is completely doable. Even better, each one offers an opportunity to create personal connections with potential clients and their families. Busting out lists of services and pricing guides will no longer be necessary as their hearts will be captured through authentic, and impressionable, marketing. Get ready to stand several steps above the rest (without spending a fortune) using these six value-driven marketing trends of 2019.
1. Recorded Video
Gone are the days of lugging a camcorder around while trying to shoot the perfect video. In 2019, recording a video looks significantly different. Using smartphones and tablets, videos can be done professionally or in a candid, approachable way. And most of the time, neither costs a dime.
By simply grabbing a mobile device and hitting that little red button, messages can be recorded that will authentically connect with the family of those needing home care services. Posting videos on social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram will help those searching for care truly understand what sets one business apart from another.
And let’s not forget about the power of YouTube. According to a survey published by Pew Research Center, 73% of Americans are using YouTube, either online or on their cell phones, making it the most popular social media platform in America. From learning a new skill to researching products and services, YouTube is helping companies enhance their connection with consumers, visually.
Tip: Incorporate video into your marketing strategy by recording client testimonials and client/caregiver interactions. Create a YouTube channel and post your videos weekly. Then, share on your other social media platforms.
2. Live Video Streaming
Another type of free video that’s gaining popularity in 2019 is live streaming. Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat offer users the ability to “go live” and share their messages with followers. There’s no option to re-record 15 times and edit every component of a video, but for senior home care businesses looking to give potential clients an inside look, this is a way to do it. There’s also a feature that allows viewers to chat in real time, drawing consumers in and keeping them engaged the entire video.
For those really looking to “wow” prospective families, giving them the opportunity to interact with the team online takes the feeling of connection up a notch. And since decisions are usually made through emotions, live streaming videos is the perfect way to make an audience feel valued and understood. The effectiveness of this marketing method is undeniable. Marketers are picking up on it, with 20% consistently live streaming videos last year and nearly a third jumping on board this year.
Tip: Commit to “going live” on your popular social media platforms weekly. Let your audience know ahead of time when this will be happening so they can be on your page. During live videos, be yourself and bring the enthusiasm, while providing relevant information that viewers will appreciate.
Artificial intelligence, here we come. The future is upon us as marketers are turning to chatbots to provide consumers with instantaneous feedback. These AI computer programs are designed to have conversations with potential consumers over the internet (no human necessary). It might sound a little like science fiction, but the use of chatbots for marketing is on the rise. According to a Business Insider survey, 80% of businesses are expected to be using chatbots as a key part of their marketing strategy by 2020. News flash—that’s next year.
So, what’s the value of using chatbots in the senior home care market? Today’s culture is fueled by a need for immediate gratification. If a consumer has a question, he’s not satisfied if the answer doesn’t arrive in an instant. The average person researching a product or service isn’t likely to wait for a customer service representative to respond to an email each time she has a question.
Because company websites are live day and night, consumers expect businesses to be available 24/7 to answer questions and can quickly become frustrated when they feel like their playing the waiting game. This is why Chatbots have become so popular. They provide immediate feedback that can be tailored to the specific needs of the individual. Compatible with both websites and social media pages, Chatbots make sense in the senior home care space as well.
Tip: Implementing a chatbot comes with a price tag, but it may be worth it if it means serving your prospective clients while you’re sleeping. Research a few companies and determine if this new direction is right for your company.
4. Personalized Content
Content has been around for ages, but in the last several years it has dominated marketing strategies. Content comes in so many forms (several of which are included in this article). Quantity used to reign supreme when discussing content—the more a business could produce, the better. Within the last few years, however, content strategies have shifted and quality is of utmost importance. After all, what’s the point in producing mass quantities of content if no one reads them?
Content that doesn’t provide significant value and hook consumers from the start, gets tossed. This means creating content (videos, blogs, emails, etc.) for the masses won’t cut it anymore. Instead, personalizing content to the different segments that make up an overall target market is imperative. Digital Marketing Institute says that 2019 brings a greater push towards building specialized content, and critically thinking about how to solve pain points when it comes to building a content calendar is key.
Tip: Take a look at your 2019 content marketing calendar. Are you segmenting your content to reach different audiences? If not, get to work, because spending some time doing so will quickly get more prospective clients on the phone and through the door. They’ll feel like your marketing is talking directly to them.
Email is a consistent yet evolving form of communication. It’s been a staple in the digital marketing world for years, and most businesses use email as a means to connect with their customers, send newsletters with important updates, and provide information about packages, promotions, events, and more.
While some believe email marketing is dying, it’s far from it. In fact, 90% of Americans prefer health care companies that communicate via email. Keeping this strategy as an integral part of a senior home care marketing toolkit is a no brainer, and won’t cut into the budget too significantly. There’s both an art and science to email marketing. Connecting often with valuable information is still important, but 2019 brings on a new focus—personalization. A recurring theme this year, personalization must not be overlooked (and goes beyond simply inserting a first name field).
Building relationships via email communications starts by ensuring what’s being sent is relevant to the recipient. And since every potential customer is different, segmenting an email list is another way to offer valuable, personalized content that solves a problem for its intended audience.
Tip: As you add to your email list try gathering as much information as possible so you can bucket prospects by needs. Then, tailor your emails to that specific group, always addressing the pain points they already gave you.
6. Voice Search
It’s a familiar voice that we hear almost daily. “Hey Alexa…” or “Hey Google…” are becoming increasingly common phrases within homes. Each year, the AI programs that control voice search on devices are improving in recognition and response accuracy. As a result, more people are choosing to use a voice search. According to the PWC Consumer Intelligence Series, 71% of consumers would rather use voice search than manually type in a search engine or call a customer care line. Voice search is easy and it allows for multitasking. It’s becoming especially popular among adults 50+, a generation often labeled as not being technologically savvy.
What does this mean for senior home care businesses? Online business content must be voice search compatible. Accomplishing this by maintaining a conversational tone throughout the content that’s produced, anticipating the questions a target market might be asking in a voice search, and answering those questions through the company’s website will help push a brand up in the search results.
Tip: Take a look at your current website and marketing materials. If a prospective client is using voice search, is your content likely to show up? Rework some of the pieces to make sure Alexa and Google are offering your content the next time senior home care is part of a search in your area.
Ready for one more tip? Don’t stop your marketing strategy once your clients have signed on the dotted line. Word of mouth and referrals haven’t lost their touch just yet. Delight your clients by continuing to use the methods above to, not only continue earning their trust, but encourage them to spread the word to their friends and family looking for personalized, connection-filled care.