Home Health Marketing with Online Resources
Show you are the leader in care transitions
Home health care is uniquely situated to establish itself as the go-to provider to reduce hospital readmissions. With branded, online educational resources you demonstrate your deep understanding of the need to support family caregivers so they can:
- Accurately adjust to the new medication schedule.
- Identify when problems are brewing, and know what to do and who to call in order to avoid an emergency room visit.
- Actively engage as part of the health care team, confidently communicating with professionals in the medical system.
These online resources will build credibility among the professionals who refer to you. Whether you are seeking membership in an ACO, or looking for a contract to handle readmissions, your online educational resources demonstrate your commitment to engaging families and reducing readmissions.
Doctors, discharge planners and other health personnel can use your branded materials as on-demand patient education and referral information. They bond to you as you make their lives easier. Plus, every page they print and hand to a client has your name and logo on it, helping to get your brand out and recognized in the community.
You receive an area exclusive.
None of your local competitors can license this service.
Below are some home health marketing ideas for using our brandable Web resources to promote your service:
- To health care professionals
- To the community
- To the media
- Using paid advertising
- Using the Internet itself
To health care professionals
- Create a family caregiver packet for discharge planners. Give them a brochure about your web resources for families. (Your referrers are much more willing to hand out a brochure about an educational resource for family caregivers than they are to pass along a commercial brochure advertising your home health services.) Include with it your newsletter article about Making the Transition from Hospital to Home. You can also include a copy of the latest issue of your newsletter for family caregivers. You make their lives easier with targeted materials designed to help them reduce readmissions. Moreover, every month, you have a reason to stop by and replenish their supplies.
- Provide a table of contents. If you have licensed the e-library, give physician office staff the downloadable Table of Contents and show them how to use the website as on-demand education and referral information. (Every page they print and pass along will have your name and logo on it.) Some physician liaisons have even been able to bring in a lunch and tour the doctor and staff through the site.
- Speak at gatherings of professionals. The local Medical Society may be quite willing for you to give a presentation on local resources for family caregivers. Other professional groups are also looking for presenters (e.g., a networking group of long term care professionals, the local chapter of geriatric care managers). As long as you focus on the resources available in your community, and steer clear of directly marketing your home health services, a talk using your educational website as the show-and-tell vehicle can be very attractive. (Plus, you can pass around a sign-up sheet so attendees can subscribe to your e-newsletter.) Ask about a PowerPoint presentation we can brand for you.
- Write an article for their local newsletter. Many elder care professionals have a quarterly publication for members. Just as the education director is often scrambling for a speaker for the monthly meeting, the editor is likely on the lookout for pertinent materials written by others. Give them a call and see if you can help them complete their next issue.
To the community
- Public presentations on local resources for family caregivers. With your area exclusive, you can position yourselves as THE local experts in family caregiving. Give attendees a PowerPoint tour of your online resources, showing them the newsletter, the archive of past issues, the Tips and Tools for Family Caregivers and the directory of community programs. Even groups unrelated to elder care will welcome your talk for the personal enrichment of their members, especially if a large portion of their membership is middle-aged (e.g. American Association of University Women). Ask about a PowerPoint presentation we can brand for you.
- Pass around a sign-up sheet for your monthly e-newsletter. Any time you do community blood pressure checks, go to a health fair or senior center event, circulate a clipboard so family caregivers can sign up to subscribe. It’s free!
- Partner with other organizations also targeting family caregivers. For example, assisted living facilities are glad to put on a “Family Caregiver Night” where you could present about your local resources for families, using your website as the “tour guide.” Other possibilities include brown bag lunches at large employers, and presentations at church groups supporting family caregivers.
To the media
Find the reporter on the senior beat. These are busy professionals, but you have something to offer that is more than home health marketing. Your online resources will make their lives easier and provide a robust resource for their readers. Give them a tour of the site, in particular:
- Submit a Press Release about the launch of your e-library. November is an especially fortuitous month for sending in a release as it is National Family Caregiver Month.
- Offer to help them find statistics if they need some for a story. (Feel free to call me if you can’t find what they are after.) If you make it clear that you are the expert in family caregiving, the reporter will start turning to you for attributions on a wide variety of elder care stories.
- Show the reporter your online directory of community programs. Since this is not your company website, but an educational offering at elderpages.com, suggest that any article about family caregiving end with a notation: For more information on services in our community, go to www.elderpages.com/[yourcommunity].
- Use your e-newsletter for story ideas you can feed to the media. While you cannot directly give the text of your e-newsletter stories to a newspaper to print—there are copyright issues as their paper may circulate outside your contracted territory—you can use the topics and cited resources to help reporters focus on a story of topical interest.
- Create a radio or TV public service announcement (PSA). The FCC requires your local stations to broadcast information about community events and resources periodically throughout the day. Choose a station with your target demographics (Boomer daughters and sons) and consider asking the administration to produce something like the following:
Middle-aged Adult Daughter: Dad is pretty weak since he went to the hospital. He wants to stay at home, but I’m not sure we can give him all he needs. I’m sure there are services to help. I just don’t know where to find them.
Professional Representative: If you’re concerned about an aging parent, we can help. Go to ElderPages.com/[yourcommunity]. Our e-library for family caregivers has articles to assist you as you care for your frail loved ones. Our online directory of community programs is available 24/7. Plus, we have a free, monthly e-newsletter for family caregivers. Helping an aging parent is rewarding, but it can also be hard work. You don’t have to do it alone. Go to ElderPages.com/[yourcommunity].
Using paid advertising
Take advantage of the non-commercial web address and promotional campaign:
“Looking for elder care resources? We can help.
Go to elderpages.com/[yourcommunity].”
Ideas for marketing home health via paid advertising include:
- Advertising on the side of a bus. Nearly 2/3 of family caregivers are employed, meaning they likely spend time in traffic going to and from work. Exterior bus advertising is inexpensive and serves as a moving billboard visible to anyone driving in a car. A picture of a middle-aged daughter with her older mother will capture the attention of your target audience. Many outdoor advertisers will give price-breaks to non-profits.
- Banner ads on newspaper sites. If the demographics of your local newspaper’s website include Boomer daughters and sons, you might consider online advertising as a means to drive traffic to your educational resources.
- Radio “Caregiver Challenge” In conjunction with a local radio station, host a weekly contest asking listeners to go to your website and find the answer to a question. The first listener to call in with the correct answer will win a $25 gift card to [you decide the appropriate merchant]. Local radio personalities will know how to chat up a listener. You might also plan to be on the phone to verify that the caller has the right answer. In addition to increasing your visibility, this is an excellent collaborative opportunity for a local business to donate the gift card and get some publicity of their own.
- Be a regular talk radio guest. Local talk radio shows are always looking for knowledgeable guests. Find a station with a health show or a senior show and offer to be the “Family Caregiver Hour” once a month. Prepare your themes from the e-library, and refer listeners often to your articles and online newsletter.
Using the Internet itself
- A monthly e-newsletter is a fantastic way to put your brand in front of prospective customers on a regular basis. You can grow your list using many of the ideas noted above. And with an e-marketing account at Constant Contact, you can also take advantage of the “viral” nature of the Internet by asking subscribers to forward email information about your online resources. If you don’t have an e-newsletter with an e-marketing account, talk to us about setting one up for you. We make it easy!
- Start with your “internal stakeholders.” Take advantage of the “viral” nature of the Internet by asking your internal stakeholders (people with a vested interest in your success) to pass on information about your online resources. For instance, an email from a respected leader in your organization can go out to employees, volunteers, the Board, and even your donors. You can express excitement to these stakeholders about your new e-library for families and your online Community Programs directory. Ask them to forward the email announcement to friends and colleagues they think would find it useful. People dedicated to your mission will see the benefit of sharing your resources with their community
- Put links on your company website. Link often to your e-library and e-newsletter. One benefit of such incoming links is that you will receive a higher “credibility score” from the search engines, giving you a lift in search engine results.
- Put links in the signature of all employee emails. Imagine a link that says “Check out our resources for family caregivers“. Every time an employee corresponds with a client, a referrer, or any other professional or community member, they will promote your home health service via your free online offerings.
- Consider a reciprocal linking campaign. If you have licensed the Community Programs directory, you are set up to leverage this feature on 4 fronts: First, call businesses listed in the directory and let them know they have been included. This establishes goodwill and may even result in an extended conversation about networking opportunities. Second, ask if you can bring brochures about your e-library that they can pass out to their customers. (They are much more willing to pass along information about an educational resource than they are about your commercial services.) Third, ask if they will put a link to your online resources on their website. As a rule of thumb, 25% of people get to a website from a link on another site. With a link on a colleagues’ site, you increase your Web visibility. Fourth, you will gain “credibility points” on Google, so your pages will rise closer to the top in a search engine result. (In-coming links are interpreted by search engines as a cyberspace word-of-mouth recommendation. The more links TO your page, the more the search engines value your content.)
- Do an e-mail trade. Very likely there are businesses in your area that are not competitors but do also target family caregivers. Offer to send an email announcement about an upcoming event of theirs, or to put information about it in your e-newsletter, in exchange for them putting an announcement about your offerings in an email message or e-newsletter to their clientele.
- Talk about your online resources on your Facebook page. For those who are on social networking sites, adding links on Facebook is a great way to get folks who are already Internet savvy to partake in your other Web resources.