LTC Expert Publications is all about the online home care marketing right?
Well, yes and no. We understand completely that a majority of senior service / home care business is going to come from direct referral marketing. There is only a slim chance that online marketing alone will drive enough business to survive. Combining your offline marketing (in-person marketing) and your online marketing efforts is the only way to go in the senior care business.
Here are a bunch of ideas for BOTH online and offline marketing:
- Put URLs on everything. Suggestions include: weekly shoppers, classified ads, flyers, Yellow Pages, magazine ads, newsletters, local TV guides, coupons, billboards, hanging ads on doorknobs, company letterhead, business cards. If there’s paper involved, brand it and add a url.
- Put your brand and url on a couple of your t-shirt’s, gift a couple out to friends and family too.
- Brand and URL your everyday accessories. My suggestions are: Coffee Mugs, Phone Case, Pens, folders, notebooks, Water Bottles, Bags, caps, and anything and everything else you can think of.
- Sneaky Library – Bookmark Promotion. Create a branded bookmark with your URL. Then head over to the public library. Ask your local librarian if they can hand out a free bookmark with every book checked out. Or just sneak them into one or two random books now and again! (SELF-HELP SECTION, CAREGIVING..)
- Change your personal WiFi/Bluetooth names to your website URL. This is a simple, one-time change that will have a lasting impact. You never know who might be in the area and searching for a connection.
- Leave your business card everywhere you go. Restaurants, public bathrooms, coffee shops, public pay stations. Everywhere.
- Sneaky change the homepage tactic. If your comfortable doing so and are on a computer that’s not your own change homepage to your shop url.
- Create a Mobile Billboard – inexpensive and easy. Just place your large branded sticker design on the side of your vehicle
- Tell the story of your business to people you meet.
- Set up shop at your local market or craft fair and display your branded banner that includes your URL.
- Sponsor a local event.
- Hand out branded freebies to everyone.
- Be social and become a familiar face in your community. Join groups and clubs.
- Create a press release and send it to your local free newspapers and other free publications (put it on your website)
- Donate your products or services to a charity or charity events being held in your area.
- Partner with local bricks and mortar shops
- Create and mail a postcard to everyone on your Christmas list and everyone else you know. Be careful not to be spammy and make it fun not majorly sale pitchy.
- Increase conversation with friends and family about your business and your work.
- List your business in every local directory you can find. There are many that are free.
- Enlist the people who love you. Organize a dinner night for your friends and family to come to your office and see for themselves what you’ve been working on.
- Always put your URL on e-mail signatures–wherever potential visitors are likely to see it.
- If your employees wear uniforms, put your URL on them so every one of your customers sees a walking advertisement of your website.
- Be sure to include your web address in all press releases you send out to members of the media. By having it at their fingertips, they may be more likely to include it in articles they write about your company.
- Launch a sweepstakes that offers anyone who registers on your site or subscribes to e-newsletters within a certain time frame the chance to win a free gift.
- Send out a weekly e-mail newsletter to registered site members that offers tips and news related to your company or industry with links back to your site.
- Offer free content to other sites. It’s a win-win situation: The other site gets free articles to beef up their offerings and you get a link back to your site and the cachet of being an expert.
- Send a well-planned, customer-focused e-mail promotion to a targeted list of potential visitors and offer a credit toward the purchase of services. Spend time on your e-mail’s look and content: You want to offer value to customers and not have it appear to be spam.
- Get active in online discussion groups and chats and always include your URL in your signature. (Don’t do any hard selling, though. Most groups frown on such behavior and will think you’re spamming the group.)
- Not sure what your customers want? Try creating an online survey to get their crucial opinions on what kind of services they need most.
- Use other selling venues like online classified advertising sites to increase exposure to your site and products.
- Collaborate with complementary businesses
- Participate in local events and distribute marketing collateral
- Be a vendor at the local community fair. Make sure you have business cards, flyers and anything else that you can educate your prospects about your business.
- Use a #hashtag to drive them back to the Internet. Incorporate a compelling hashtag in your offline marketing efforts, along with a creative reason behind why people should take the time to use it in their online social communications. Use that hashtag on/in everything. Consumers will need to see it a few times before jumping on the bandwagon to use it.
- Print up some t-shirts and give them away
- Sometimes customers communicate in clusters. When one person purchases services, the others tend to follow. Mail t-shirts to random individuals who are using your services (adult children and seniors).
- Get in front of live audiences via speaking engagements
- Promote your complementary vendors and include your information.
- Get scientific and use emotional triggers. Piggyback on other newsworthy content. Create psychological triggers with your products that keep them in the forefront of customers’ minds and discussions. The sexiest products often are not talked about as much as products and logos that can be associated with psychological triggers that happen on a daily basis.
- Highlight a compelling or new service or product on TV (including public access) You could reach out to local media professionals, such as the programming manager at a TV or radio station. See if there’s a way you can get an interview or Q & A session scheduled. Try to make it timely and relevant.
- Attend or create local, MeetUps. Sponsor the food/drinks for attendees at your local MeetUp.
- A little press can be more effective as big press. Write articles about elder care for niche caregiving publications. Pitch news ideas to small and local press, which are more likely to pick up your stories versus trying to pitch to the big boys.
- Have a memorable URL. There are many ways to lure potential customers outside of the world wide web–all revolving around one crucial piece of information: your website’s URL. When people see your website’s URL out in the real world, they’re going to remember it.
- Pop-up shops are can provide great press and presence. Home care businesses can create pop-up shops by selling or offering products for arthritis (cooking utensils), easy on clothing (Silverts) and more. Get creative!
Micro Business Therapist™ and simplicity expert, A.Michelle Blakeley is the curator of the online magazine, Micro Business Therapy. She helps new and seasoned entrepreneurs focus on holistic and sustainable business practices for agile growth. Minding the gap between your personal and professional life™. Connect with her on Twitter at @simplicityinc
If you are looking for help with home care marketing, a home care website, home care content, or home care social media, fill out the form on this page or call us at 888-404-1513 to speak to George or Valerie.
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Valerie’s motto and favorite saying is: “Impact is not created by big budgets, impact is created by innovative marketing ideas!”
Valerie is a Registered Nurse and the author of three books, Aging Answers (2003), The Senior Solution (2007) and Priceless Caregiving (2009). Her adventure in internet marketing began as a self-promotion experiment and ended up becoming a full time marketing consulting business for the elder care market.
Valerie has appeared on national television (Today Show), has hosted her own local radio show, and has been interviewed for dozens of publications and radio shows across the country regarding her business and the business of elder care.
She fast became the foremost authority in driving sales via the internet, seminars, and e-mail for senior service providers and elder care entrepreneurs.While Valerie’s best known for her expertise in marketing, her students share that her biggest impact comes from her ability to make things happen quickly, even on a small budget.
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