When I ran my elder care business, it was at a time that aging care at home was in its infancy. The numbers of people needing care were just starting to swell as life expectancy was starting to increase. The visual of hearts and homes were mainly in cross stitched grandmother made heirlooms, and those and rocking chairs symbolized care at home. Today, most home care agencies use some form of hearts and homes in their logos and visuals. However, we continue to strive to find ways to interest folks visually, and to bring some humor into an industry that really needs it at times.
Several years ago, we had a client whose business name was Care at Home, and his business provided mainly pediatric care. The first visual I had when he said “Care at Home” was a carrot home ala Beatrix Potter and the old children’s books illustrations. I thought it would be memorable and a way to showcase that the care was for children. In the process we developed a visual that I love. Even today, when I hear someone say “We provide care at home”, I think of Carrot Home. It still brings a smile to my face.
Granted that visual and the relationship to home care is a stretch, but, it is something that I think we should take advantage of more often, and that is humor in our daily lives. Running a home care agency is really one of the most difficult things I have done, but also, by far the most rewarding. We certainly get rewards from our clients’ successes, and we love partnering with and sharing the successes. However, occasionally we get the opportunity to really be creative and to add in some of our humor and perspective. It is those times that I love the most. In this holiday season we focus on being thankful and appreciative for those with whom we work, for whom we serve, and to whom we hold thanks and respect.
My wish for you who do not work with corecubed is that you will explore the incredible depth of talent we bring to the aging care space, and give us a chance in 2016 to partner with you to tell your story in a way that garners interest: verbally and visually and in multiple channels.
Happiest of holidays to you. Merry Christmas and very Happy New Year. Blessings in whatever form you will receive them most gratefully are sent your way.
Let’s make 2016 the very best yet. Now, when you hear, “I provide care at home”, I challenge you NOT to think of Carrot Home and get a smile on your face.
As we close out 2015 and start looking ahead at 2016, what is your plan for making your marketing more in line with what works in today’s marketplace?
First, let me help you understand the importance of digital in the entire equation. In a word, “imperative”. It is, in fact, the most important part of your equation. That is not to say that branding, messaging, and targeting are not important, but all of those need to take place within a digital environment.
The user and searcher for home care services are going through a journey. That journey (if not one that needs immediate help) starts usually well before the need is acute. The home care marketer has to understand a) the journey and its possibilities and b) how to be where the searcher is looking as they start on and complete that journey.
The accompanying marketing strategy must evolve from more of a universal perspective, not just a digital or social one, and quantifying the marketing you are doing is one key to success.
Depending on the size of the agency, the model of care provided, and the budget, the path to success will vary. But that path must always be connected back to the brand, and extend the brand awareness. And be heavily reliant on the digital component.
If you think you can simply copy your marketing strategy and budget and do the same thing you did in 2015 for 2016—think again. As technology evolves, things are changing. If you want to continue reaching prospective customers and referral sources, you need to know what works, follow the trends, and stay ahead of the game when it comes to connecting with people in their journey searching for care through your digital marketing efforts.
If Content Was King in 2015, It Will Be Emperor in 2016
Google makes changes, some minor, and some major, about 500-600 times a year. Keeping up with what works right now (which is what you want – a searcher to find you TODAY, when that searcher is looking) is a task for the experts. Contact us at corecubed if you really want results from aging care marketing strategy and implementation. Your content has to be planned, executed regularly, measured for results and then changed as needed. That means content FOR the website, blogs, and all social media posts. They need to all work in tandem toward one goal: having the searcher find you when the need presents.
Content Must Be Optimized Across Channels and Remain Consistent to the Brand.
The search is getting more specialized and specific. Optimizing for the searcher seems to be moving more into overall customer experience across all channels. “Marketing” will become everybody’s job. (Attend corecubed’s January webcast “New Year’s Resolution: Make Marketing a Total Team Effort”) The smart company will leverage all internal resources to be social, to collaborate and to participate in marketing online and offline. Each and every person in the company needs to think about how they can participate in creating and adding relevant content and also engage in social media.
The focus is not just on SEO or just on social. The idea for 2016 is to create a consistent experience where you know (through data) that your audience is active. Analyzing data allows you to make smarter marketing decisions, stay relevant, and use the resources and talent at your disposal. The newly created content that is relevant to your searcher’s needs can “live” on each of your marketing channels. Created and placed in the right format, you can then better scale your efforts so your organization can make quicker actions that reap more results.
Should you be active on each and every possible marketing channel? Not necessarily, but where you are active, it is important to create a consistent experience.
Go Mobile or Go Home
Have you heard us speak of micro-marketing moments? With access to devices 24/7/365 and minds that want answers, users and searcher are accessing information at many times each and every day from many locations. Your website should be responsive to each and every possible device, and contacting you should be easy and you should be responsive. A “bird in the hand” is someone who finds you and reaches out. Designing for the mobile user facilitates that.
Seem too much for you to tackle while you are also trying to run a business, meet and greet important referral sources, and keep up with all the legislative and regulatory changes being thrown at you? Well, I have a simple answer to winning at home care marketing in 2016: partner with the aging care marketing experts at corecubed, and let us do the work. You focus on operations and relationships. It is a winning combination, and we have decades of success stories to prove just that. Is it too soon to wish you the best marketing ever in 2016? You know how to make that happen.