Through research and experience from working with home care companies, we have discovered the primary reason that home care & live in care agencies are unable to expand and grow their new client base with private paying customers. The reason is simpler than you would think! The lack of a clearly defined home care marketing plan greatly impacts the success of your marketing efforts.
Most home care companies have the aspirations to grow. However, we are finding that in most cases, ‘aspire’ is as far as a lot of business owners reach when it comes to growth. Now, don’t think we are making the growth process trivial. We have been in this very stage ourselves. When everyone is offering different advice to you, there are so many different products and services to choose, it can seem difficult to get through the process with a clear head.
Over the past 10 years, we have worked with and consulted various home care business owners. Through these different experiences, we have been able to see the struggle of business growth, first hand. The common denominator in all of these situations is ‘misdirection’ or ‘lack of clarity’ on how to properly engage their targeted audience of private home care clients.
All successful businesses follow an established strategy which is comprised of smaller, different systems allowing them to accomplish a bigger goal. Interestingly enough, from working directly with home care business owners and marketing managers, we found that there was no established system they could follow to help grow their business.
Look at it this way and use an airport as an example. Just imagine what pandemonium would break loose if an airport functioned without a clear strategy in place? The staff at the airport all depend on systems to ensure planes take off and land safely, are properly cleaned, serviced and inspected. If an airport operated without following these systems, there would be plane crashes all of the time!
In the business world… this very scenario is happening. Many companies are functioning without a clearly mapped out system for growth and they are crashing and burning instead of moving onward and upward.
We put a system together to give home care businesses a clear path to follow for business growth and we’re excited to introduce the AGGRESSIVE GROWTH BLUEPRINT. Our system for growth is built from an accrual of over ten years of experience from working with over 100 various clients.
The AGGRESSIVE GROWTH BLUEPRINT is a six-step system that is jargon-free. This home care marketing plan has facilitated the growth of domiciliary care businesses’ annual revenue from 50-100%.
You have the opportunity to download the blueprint at the end of this blog which your home care agency can follow and implement immediately. Using the blueprint, you can review your marketing activities and see their effects on your bottom line.
THE 6 STAGES OF AGGRESSIVE GROWTH
Home Care Marketing Plan
SET UP HIGH CONVERTING WEBSITES
The main focus of your home care marketing plan efforts is to get more people to visit your website. This activity is where our home care marketing plan strategy starts.
A major misconception about website design is that it only needs to look pleasing to the eye. However, to get more private customers for your carers to service, it is extremely important that your site is not only appealing but operates with the goal of acquiring new private clients.
There are many talented website designers who can create a beautifully designed site. We are not saying your site should not be attractive. The problem, however, rises when website appearance supersedes the website function.
Your website’s ‘visit to enquiry ratio’ will improve dramatically with some simple improvements to your layout. There are six major points that you should focus on when designing your landing page.
State Your USP Above The Fold
When a person is searching for a carer for themselves or a loved one and they come to your site, you need to hit them with your company’s USP – straight away and above the fold. The ‘fold’ on a page refers to anything a user can view without scrolling down.
3 Reasons Why The User Should Choose You
This area must be written from the viewpoint of the person searching for your services. They should easily show the benefits they will receive from choosing your at-home-carers above a competitor’s. The best way to present this information easily to a potential customer is to have three small images/icons, a title of the benefit and a small amount of text.
Remove The Ability To Leave And Encourage Action (CTA)
When someone lands on your landing page, you want to remove any options for them to navigate away from the page as this discourages conversions. Conversions typically would include a user calling your business or filling in a contact form. We recommend removing the navigation bar completely from your landing page. This way, users who come to your page have two options – convert or leave. You can then insert a really compelling call to action (CTA). For example, Call To Arrange A Free Assessment
Your Website Must Match Your Ad
When you are advertising your home care business on Google, the content on the landing page must match what is written in the advert. For example, if you are calling attention to a promotion or specific offering, this exact offering needs to be the first thing that the user sees when they click on your ad and reach your landing page. If not, the user will be confused, develop mistrust, and leave your site. (bounce: when a user leaves your page without looking any further).
Develop Trust Through Customer Reviews And Accreditation
When potential customers see that other people like themselves have had good experiences with your business, they are more likely to want your care workers to tend to their loved ones. We understand reviews can be daunting as there are always going to be customers who find something wrong or seem to never be satisfied. If the majority of your reviews are positive, the user will see that, overall, you deliver great service. All reviews are important and should be responded to, even the negative ones.
Be sure to list the CQC rating of your business. Also, you should list any special certifications your office holds and, if possible, the awards your care business has earned.
Your Contact Details Must Be Clearly Visible
It sounds simple, but many businesses fail to clearly state their contact details. You should make your contact details easy to find and keep them visible at all times. Have your phone number listed at the upper right of your page, where users naturally look. If your page allows people to scroll down, ensure to repeat the number throughout the page so it is always visible.
As you improve your website to maximise conversions, be sure that you:
- Place USP above the fold
- Include 3 benefits of your home care business
- Eliminate or decrease the capability to navigate from your page
- Ensure your ads match your landing page
- Create trust by showcasing reviews, accreditations and certifications
- Your contact details must be visible and easy to see
After making these changes to your website, it will be set up for success and maximise the probability for conversions to occur.
ADD 24hr LIVE CHAT TO CAPTURE LEADS
Did you know that a typical landing page only has about a 3% rate of conversion? With the changes listed in Stage 1, you can increase this percentage.
Now, your page could have a 3-4% conversion rate. This still means that out of 100 people that visit your website, 96 of them are still leaving without taking action.
This is a high percentage of waste that can be and should be reduced.
We have found that there are three major reasons why 96% of your website’s visitors are not taking the next step and contacting your business.
- Think of your potential customer who is looking for a carer for their loved one. They tend to be the sons or daughters of the person requiring care. They most likely have a job and might search for your business during work hours. If they are in an office, they might not be in the position to call since they are using work time to fulfil a personal need or don’t want colleagues to overhear personal conversations.
- The whole process of sourcing the right care company can be daunting, with many things to consider. The information on your site doesn’t answer their questions right away and instead of searching to find it, they just leave. This might not be your fault, the answers might be there but in this time of instant gratification, some people want that instant answer.
- People are busy and might not have the ability to learn more about your company during work hours. Potential care workers might not have the opportunity to look for a new job while they are at their current job so they tend to look out of business hours. Interestingly, the number of people searching for private home care providers outside of regular business hours continues to grow, especially with the use of mobile search.
With the addition of 24 hour Live Chat, you can fill this void and enhance the user experience:
- People searching who can’t pick up the phone can now chat in a discreet way.
- A live chat agent is there to assist with initial questions a user might have.
- Office hours are no longer an obstacle. 24-hour chat provides the instant gratification at all hours of the night, any day of the week.
Adding Live Chat to your business has proven to increase your website’s conversion rate by up to 30%!
The first two reactive steps will help you towards maximising your home care marketing plan investment. Now, let’s shift our focus to proactively generating more traffic of relevant visitors to your website.
DRIVING TARGETED WEBSITE TRAFFIC
What we mean by targeted traffic is also referred to as ‘paid search’ using Google Adwords & Bing Ads.
We are going to assume that you are either doing Pay Per Click advertising internally or, you are outsourcing this to an agency. If this type of marketing isn’t something you are currently doing for your business, we would highly recommend that you start.
If you are using an agency, feel free to share this information with them as we want to ensure your campaigns are being optimised and performing at their best, resulting in enquiries for your business.
If your office is doing your own digital marketing, you should be focusing on three major elements of your campaign:
- Wastage Clicks
- Quality Score
- Converting Keywords
Let’s begin by looking at wastage clicks.
For example, you are the director of a domiciliary care provider looking to run a campaign to generate more private customer leads. If you bid on terms such as ‘dementia in uk’ you are likely to attract the type of person who is just doing general research and is less likely on ‘converting’ and setting an appointment for an assessment.
Whereas, if you only bid on terms that are really relevant, such as ‘dementia home care provider’, you are more likely to attract the type of people who will convert!
Another thing you should pay attention to is the Quality Score.
To put it simply, Google rewards ads that earn a high ranking quality score by displaying the ad more prominently for a lower cost.
There are many actions you can take to improve your quality score. You should pay close attention to:
- Ad relevance (how relevant the user finds your ad to their search)
- Landing page performance (including bounce rate)
Lastly, you will need to ensure that you measure the performance of the keywords in your campaign. Review your keywords users and see what users have actually searched for that led to a conversion (phone call or form submission). In short, the opposite of wasted clicks.
REMARKETING TO LEADS LOST
After taking action on the previous home care marketing plan stages, you are in a great position to attract leads. You should have a well-performing website and the addition of Live Chat helps to capture any additional leads that didn’t initially covert. Through targeted website traffic, you are receiving enquiries for your care services.
It’s impossible to create a perfect and profitable home care marketing strategy with zero waste. With all of your work and marketing efforts, there will still be people who come onto your site and leave with little to no engagement.
This is definitely frustrating and also provides you with a wonderful opportunity. These people have visited your website for a reason, they are looking for your services. As discussed in stage 3, these people that you are specifically trying to reach are exactly who you want to be in front of.
Do not allow these people, that you have spent time and money to reach, forget about your domiciliary care business!
Before we discuss remarketing, this is what our home care marketing plan model looks like:
You have driven traffic to your website with PPC (Pay Per Click). The person searching for your service then has the option to engage with your business by calling, submitting a form,
Next, we are going to talk about using Remarketing in your home care marketing plan.
Look at the concept of remarketing as a safety net that helps to re-capture those leads who have previously slipped through the cracks.
When customers are looking for private care for a loved one, there is normally more than one decision maker and different financial concerns involved in the process.
When the user is in this ‘consideration phase’ (for an estimated two days to two weeks); the person searching can be reminded of your business whilst they search the internet.
MONITORING AND OPTIMISING
The first 4 basics of this home care marketing plan, if applied as we recommend, will accomplish growth for your care-at-home company.
However, this spike in growth will quickly decline if you do not pay close attention to this stage of the Aggressive Growth Blueprint – Monitor and Optimise.
Sustainable and consistent growth with this home care marketing plan will only be achieved with an emphasis on this stage.
Our Smooth Analytics platform helps you to easily keep track of all enquiries (calls, emails & live chat leads) received from your advertising. As a minimum effort, you can use Google Analytics to track the email enquiries you receive from your website.
The figure below is an example that shows the difference you can make when you monitor and optimise each stage of the business cycle. By making a few adjustments and improvements to your efforts, you can make a major impact.
If you notice, both of the tables above are exactly the same except for one detail. The number of visits to a website that resulted in conversions can be increased by monitoring and optimisation.
To illustrate the importance of this stage, take a closer look at the numbers. Look at the variance between the revenue that can be generated from your marketing efforts by just focusing on what is working and continuously making improvements. This example is only an increase from 2% to 4% – and we think that you should be aiming for more!
It is a very important practice to keep records of all your figures so you can compare and contrast which of your marketing strategies are working and which ones are not. It is also important to note that what worked previously might not work in the future so you must adjust to your customer needs.
The final stage.
So, to quickly review:
- Your landing page is high performing
- You have added Live Chat to capture additional users
- You are using paid search to drive targeted traffic to your website
- You are Remarketing to any leads that did not take action
- You are continuously optimising your campaign
Now, you are in an incredible position to take on more business. You are now ready to increase your digital marketing spend to match your business’s ability to take on new clientele.
As every care-at-home business is different and staffing abilities can fluctuate, there are only so many customers you can support at one time. What we recommend is to go back to point 3 (Driving targeted website traffic) and slowly increasing the spend until you are comfortable with the level of enquiries that come through.
A good thing to note is that as you increase your targeting, you will also have to increase your remarketing budget to support this larger number and reduce the amount of waste. When you reach this point in your home care marketing plan efforts, your campaign will need additional optimisation so you can ensure the spend is going towards your keywords which are generating the highest possible return!
The final result is that you now have a home care marketing plan which is an aggressive growth machine which guarantees the growth of your domiciliary care business.