by Stephen Tweed
All the data from our research and from the Private Duty Benchmarking Study by Home Care Pulse shows that the single most effective method for direct-to-consumer marketing of your home care business is your website. But that means you have to get traffic to your website.
While the search algorithms are constantly changing, one thing is certain today. The search engines like websites with lots of content and websites with lots of visitors looking at that content.
One of the easiest ways to add content to your website on a regular basis is by having a BLOG, or web log, on your site. Writing short articles on a regular basis that are of interest to your readers, and then promoting those article through social media, email newsletters, and personal emails to referral sources will increase your SEO – Search Engine Optimization – or search engine ranking.
Here are five tips to make your blogging easier and more effective
1. Be Clear About Your Readers
When writing for your blog, be very clear about who you are writing to. At Leading Home Care, we’re very clear about who we are writing to in every blog post we write. At Private Duty Today we’re writing for owners of private pay, non-medical home care companies and I know who you are. At Home Health Care Today we are writing for CEOs and senior leaders in home health agencies. At Caregiver Quality Today we’re writing for recruiters, human resource professionals, and employment mangers in home health, hospice, and private duty home care.
When writing for your own website there are two possible readers – the oldest daughter and your best referral source. Since we’re talking about consumer marketing, let’s focus on writing for the oldest daughter. Our research shows that 60% of inquiry calls coming in to your home care company are from the oldest daughter of the client. She’s between the ages of 45 and 65, is well educated, has high income or net worth, and is frustrated finding care for mom or dad.
2. Offer Valuable Information
When writing for your intended reader write about things that matter to them. Give sound advice on finding care for mom or dad. Offer facts and information about various chronic diseases and how home care can help. Suggest resources in your community to relieve the stress of being the primary family caregiver.
Don’t waste your time offering your favorite recipe, six steps to lose weight, or five ways to relax. Instead, offer ten questions to ask when selecting a home care company. Suggest six questions to ask about how a home care company recruits, selects, and trains their caregivers. List four questions to ask your doctor about in-home care for mom or dad.
3. Mix Wit with Wisdom
Constantly be looking for humorous stories, photos, or videos that help make your point. You want your blog to be interesting as well as informative, and anything that will make your readers smile will help. It’s even better if you can get them to laugh out loud.
Be cautious about using off color humor, or using someone else’s copyrighted photos or material. Always ask permission and provide a link to the source.
4. Tell Stories
Nothing captures the attention of the reader like a good story. You have dozens or maybe hundreds of stories about the oldest daughter, the challenges she faces, and how home care helps solve the problem and relieve her stress. Use real stories from your clients and their families. Get permission in writing to reprint a personal note from a daughter thanking you for helping her mom. Get permission to use photos or videos of real clients and family members talking about the challenges they faced and the help you provided.
Always look for stories that help show the value of home care, and the value of your company.
5. Use Content People Like to Share
You know you have a valuable blog post when your readers want to share what you wrote on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter. If you have a personal Facebook account, take some time to scroll through your timeline and see what your friends are posting. As I’ve examined this with my speaker friends around the world, my family, and my classmates that I keep in touch with, I’ve found three things people like to share:
- Humor, including humorous photos and video
- Valuable information and learning, including insights from industry experts
- Current events, including the latest trends and happenings in your local community
For example, take a look at the discussion group, Leading Home Care Network, and see the types of articles and blog posts people are sharing. This group is for owners, CEOs, and administrators of home health, hospice, and private duty home care. Look at what they are writing about and sharing. This discussion group has over 6,700 members and we get about 20 new requests per day. The group is a closed group and only open to people who are actively working in home care.
Here are some examples of websites with blogs that are driving traffic:
When you take the time and energy to learn to write good blog posts on a regular basis, and to promote those blog posts to your clients, fans, and referral sources, you’ll see your website visits increase and your search engine ranking improve. Then, you’ll hear your telephone ring more often with inquiries about your home care service.
The next step is to capture the caller … to convert that inquiry into a client.