Marketing isn’t on top of every home care provider’s list of priorities list, particularly during the current climate.
But Tobi Alli-Usman, the founder of home care marketing agency, Smooth Digital, has come up with five reasons why marketing is important to grow your business.
Following a discussion with Alli-Usman in a recent webinar, home care software supplier Birdie shares these reasons HCI’s audience.
To replay the full webinar, click here.
Reason #1 – the way we find information is changing
Before COVID-19, most businesses were investing a lot in the more traditional styles of marketing. These included things like leaflets, magazines, billboards, notice boards at your local GP etc.
The reason they were doing this is because previously, that’s where the eyeballs were.
The Telegraph recently reported that we now spend 24 hours a week on our mobile phones. That’s equivalent to a whole day a week on our phones. This stat excludes laptops, iPads, Siri, Alexa, Cortana. And this was before COVID-19.
So we now know where the attention is – and it’s important we shift our marketing focus to where the attention is.
Now, post COVID, people have developed new habits. People are more heavily reliant on the internet, and on their social networks.
And today, it’s really important that you’re aligning your marketing with how users are behaving now.
Some people’s marketing plans previously included a lot of community engagement. With social distancing, some people may be reluctant to engage the way they used to.
So now is a great time to make the switch.
The people who are searching, the sons and daughters, are now making huge changes too. They‘re communicating via Skype, Zoom, WhatsApp – and you need to make sure that you’re keeping up to date.
Reason #2 – the way we make decisions is evolving
Tobi makes a great analogy during the webinar. He explains: “Traditionally, people would flick through the yellow pages and find the services they needed.
“They’d make a couple of calls and if they weren’t happy with the response, they’d flick through and make a few more calls.
He adds: “Nowadays, people are using the same methods but with Google. The difference is that you no longer have a say in what they find – they’re making decisions without your involvement.”
So it’s important that your website (and your marketing) is putting your best foot forward.
Reason #3 – people are searching for stories
A great question was asked during the webinar: “How can smaller independent providers compete with the large corporate providers who dominate SEO?”
It’s an interesting question and one we hear from our partner agencies a lot. Here’s what Tobi had to say:
“In day to day life different people make different choices about what they buy, and their reasons for doing so, for example different people like different brands. This is the same for home care.
“Not everybody wants to use a larger provider. Every single company is different and by putting your best foot forward, you’ll attract the right clients for you.”
Some people make the mistake of looking at bigger companies and copying what they do – in the hope of achieving their same success. But in the long run, you are not that company. You should be looking to differentiate yourselves and tell your own story.
Some people, before they start a home care company, might have experience in health care, or they may be a family run business. By highlighting this and putting this in front of people you can really sell your story.”
Reason #4 – marketing can help you build trust
We know that as a home care business, trust is key. Building trust spans everything from an up to date website to keeping your Facebook and social media pages active. By building your online presence through marketing, you’ll help your potential audience to build a picture of your business, which leads them to trust you.
Tobi mentions a few key ways to do this in the webinar. These include:
- Adding your CQC rating into your page
- Including testimonials from families and clients
- Third-party testimonials (i.e. from a directory like homecare.co.uk)
- Pictures of the team
- Awards and achievements
- Celebrating your carers
The idea is to help people to feel engaged with your company, and to build a complete picture of a business they can trust.
Reason #5 – marketing can help you save money
Marketing does require that you spend a little bit of money. Tobi mentions that one of the best ways to bring people to your business is through Google Adwords – helping you to capture an audience when they’re looking for services that you offer. But, the ways in which marketing can save you money lie mostly in being able to track your results and make changes accordingly.
Traditional advertising methods, like adverts in a local paper, cost your business money. And it’s very difficult to quantify the results they bring.
By tracking your marketing results using Google Analytics, you can see where your traffic is coming from.
Tobi mentions a great example in the webinar: often home care agencies will invest in things like home care directories. You can check if these are working for you, you can see whether they have driven any traffic to your website.
If the answer is no, you can axe your budget for that channel – saving you money.
You may also notice traffic from unlikely sources, which give you the intel into what you should be doing, what you should stop doing and what you should do more of.
If you’re not confident with Google Analytics, you can get in touch with Smooth Digital and they’ll set you up with access to a reporting suite, that shows you which sources have driven traffic to your website – and most importantly, which sources resulted in a call to your business.
From there you can even replay the calls and hear how your staff are handling enquiries. With this layer of transparency, you can see whether it’s your marketing that isn’t working or if your staff need additional training to help you convert more customers. You can also see which keywords are performing well for your business – and crucially, which ones are driving calls and leads. If you want more information about that, you can get in touch with Tobi through the Smooth Digital Website.