Private Duty Marketing with Online Resources
Reach Boomer daughters and sons
your key decision-makers
Private duty marketing is entirely different from marketing a home health or hospice agency. So says Stephen Tweed, Senior Consultant at Leading Home Care, a national consulting firm for the private duty industry. The private duty branch of Home Health agencies often lose money because they do not understand the entrepreneural mindset. Their expertise is in the Medicare paradigm, but private duty is entirely different.
Experienced marketers in private duty know that it is the family members—the Boomer daughters and sons—who often make the decision about which company to hire.
According to the AARP, family caregivers turn to the Internet for answers, before they turn to the doctor or their friends.
Meet them where they are going: online!
With branded, online educational resources you increase your visibility on the Internet and connect with families who don't even know what a private duty service is. Plus, you can use the materials for networking with your professional referrers. They will love the practical, bookmarkable information available at their fingertips any time of night or day.
Expand your reach with an integrated marketing campaign:
"Concerned about the safety of an aging parent? We can help.
Go to www.KeepMomAtHome.org/[yourcommunity]."
The Internet offers countless opportunities to increase your visibility: from e-newsletters and online directories, to search engine strategies, and reciprocal linking campaigns.
Keep your warm leads engaged. Now every caller can be offered a free subscription to your e-newsletter for family caregivers. Once a month, your brand appears in their inbox, positioning you as THE local expert on family caregiving. We make it easy by offering web-based information on key elder care topics.
These online resources will also be attractive to the professionals who refer to you. According to Stephen Tweed, it is the skilled nursing facilities, geriatric care managers and elder law attorneys who tend to refer the clients with the highest average revenue per week. Build brand loyalty by offering them useful, online resources they will bookmark and use again and again. They can even use your branded materials as on-demand patient education and referral information. Every page they print and hand to a client has your name and logo on it.
You receive an area exclusive.
None of your local competitors can license this service.
Below are some private duty marketing ideas for using our brandable Web resources to promote your service:
To elder care professionals
- Give them a brochure about your web resources for families. Suggest that social workers include it in discharge packets, or that attorneys leave it out in the waiting room. (Your referrers are much more willing to universally hand out a brochure about an educational resource for family caregivers than they are to pass along a commercial brochure directly advertising your services.) Ask about the trifold brochure we can brand for you.
- Pass out flyers about the e-newsletter. With rotating content, your sales staff now has fresh new resources to highlight and share every month. Check out a sample newsletter flyer.
- Provide a table of contents. If you have licensed the expanded networking resources, give local skilled nursing facilities and geriatric care managers 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.)
- "Bookmark this page." Highlight key reference pages, such as the Community Programs directory and the Links for Families page. Point out the archive of past issues of the e-newsletter.
- Speak at gatherings of professionals. Professional groups (e.g., a networking group of long term care professionals, the local chapter of geriatric care managers, a monthly networking meeting of area clergy) are always looking for presenters. As long as you focus on the resources available in your community, and steer clear of directly marketing your private duty service, 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
- Offer every caller a free subscription. Train your receptionist to offer a free subscription to every daughter or son who calls inquiring about your service. Even if they don't hire you immediately, you will be able to put your brand in their inbox on a monthly basis, building brand loyalty and positive association as THE local expert in family caregiving.
- 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 e-newsletter, the archives, the Links for Families page and the community programs directory. 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 go to a community gathering, health fair or other event, circulate a clipboard so family caregivers can sign up to subscribe. It's free!
To the media
Find the reporter on the senior beat. These are busy professionals, but you have something to offer that is more than private duty 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-newsletter. 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 us if you can't find what they are after.) If you make it clear that you are the local 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 KeepMomAtHome.org, suggest that any article about family caregiving end with a notation: For more information on services in our community, go to www.KeepMomAtHome.org/[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: "I'm worried it's not safe for Mom to keep living alone. She wants to stay at home. 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 KeepMomAtHome.org/[yourcommunity]. Our online directory 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 KeepMomAtHome.org/[yourcommunity]."
Using paid advertising
Take advantage of the non-commercial web address and promotional campaign:
"Concerned about the safety of an aging parent? We can help.
Go to KeepMomAtHome.org/[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. IF you are a non-profit organization, it's worth it to ask if there is a discount. 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.
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, and for non-profits, to your volunteers, the Board, and even your donors. You can express excitement to these stakeholders about your new e-newsletter 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-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 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.
- Tweet about e-newsletter topics. Twitter is all about what's new. Every month you can include tweets on the topics we cover for you in the e-newsletter. Include links to your e-newsletter page using http://bit.ly and you're set to Twitter on! ;-)