Large home care corporate franchisors across the U.S., and Canada have some common issues regarding internet marketing and content provisioning for a large number of franchise owners.
Having worked with hundreds of brands both big and small in the home care market, we see similar themes and faulty techniques for content provisioning, social media, and search engine optimization.
Let’s face it, content management a branding and control issue that is super important to protect, but at the end of the day does very little for the franchisee on Main St. who is trying to generate leads in their local area.
Your brand may be the greatest thing since sliced bread, but if your franchise owners’ phones aren’t ringing, they fail.
What Are the Local Home Care Franchise Lead Generation Options?
- Family / Friend Referrals
- Professional Referrals
- General Brand Awareness Locally/ Nationally
- In-Person Networking
- Website and Internet Marketing
Believe it or not, when a home care franchise owner has a well executed LOCAL LOCAL LOCAL content marketing plan and a search engine optimized website, they can potentially receive up to 50% of their leads from their online marketing efforts.
The bad news is that for every home care franchise owner who NEVER touches their website, or has a non-existent, or poorly executed content strategy, they can potentially be MISSING 50% of their business.
We see this every day. Why? Several Reasons.
Corporate franchisors have developed a business model over the last 10-20-30 years that are based on in-person networking, operations, training of personnel, and excellent customer service. This is still top priority and should be.
However, the times they are a changin’.
The way people FIND a local home care agency has changed- and consumers are finding solutions to their elder care problems by searching for a local provider on the internet. They might be on their smart phone, tablet, PC, or Mac. When an adult child of an aging parent needs care for their loved one, they more commonly turn to Google than to anyone else.
That’s why local, unique content is the way to win.
Here are the ways home care franchisors are currently trying to win the online game.
- Doing nothing. Very common. A website for the local franchisee is slapped up, and no one ever touches it. Nada. Nothing. A brochure. The site does nothing. This is the most deflating observation, but it exists.
- Doing nothing but giving the franchisee the option to “do something” to their own site. Training, videos, and webinars are provided. That’s like telling a person who has very little knowledge of the internet to create their own website from scratch, while simultaneously trying to start a business and wearing every hat. Nothing. Will. Ever. Happen.
- Doing SOMETHING, but doing it incorrectly. We see the same exact article posted on EVERY franchise owners’ websites, sometimes over 250 times. This will do absolutely nothing for the local franchise owner. Google views this as duplicate content and will only index the first iteration. Changing the title, or some keywords won’t help. Every article has to be 75-100% unique.
Why does any of this happen (or NOT happen, as the case maybe)?
- Because buying 250 unique articles every week is darn expensive.
- Because there is no one to manage the process.
- Because there is no one who is skilled at buying bulk professional content at a reduced rate.
- Because it’s a pain in the butt.
Actually, it might be because no one at the corporate level really knows or understands online marketing and the “experts” whispering in their ears are trying to sell them a bill of goods that really doesn’t fit.
We see this happening over and over and over again. Website developers that have no interest in the end game for the local franchise owner make their pitch, win the business, build the website, and after all of the money is spent, it’s a static disaster.
So what is the RIGHT way for a national home care franchisor to help their local franchisees?
- Every franchise owner should have the ability to make changes to their own website. Not the branding, but certainly the content. Search engine optimization for each specific franchise owner should be possible. (No they won’t do it themselves, but it should be an option.)
- Every franchise owner should have access to a WordPress website or blog where they can post 100% unique content every week.
- Every franchise owner should have social media set up, and all content that hits the blog or website should have an RSS FEED that can be accessed by Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google Plus at a minimum.
- Every franchise owner should receive a unique home care, elder care, senior care article every single week.
- Every franchise owner should be able to hire a third party to post their content and SEO their website if they won’t do it themselves. They WON’T do it themselves. That’s the crux of the issue. There is no time and very little skill set.
There are 2 options that solve the content and SEO dilemma.
- Hire one person internally to manage all websites, content, and SEO for every franchise owner. Actually, you might need two people to get it done right. We have 8 people on our team…but home care franchisors can do it with two. (Trained properly) Factor in the W-2 costs, benefits, etc. That a big chunk of change before the content is ever purchased.
- Hire a third party who knows and understands the home care market, SEO, and branding security. Hire a group that understands how to purchase and manage hundreds of articles per month, professionally written, at a discounted rate. Hire a third party who understands local SEO for home care agencies. (This is the winning decision) Your franchisees win. You win.
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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