Marketing a care home
Communicating a friendly and welcoming brand image to potential residents is essential if you want to keep your beds filled
While you need to nail the essentials (your business plan, costs and profit etc.), your efforts will be fruitless if people don’t know about your offering.
Basically, if you want to have full beds then you need to invest a decent amount in marketing your care home. There’s plenty of competition so a full digital strategy is essential.
Below we look at naming your care home, and the best approaches for care home marketing.
Care home names
Care home names are an essential part of the message you are trying to project to potential customers so come up with a good name and register it as soon as possible.
It might sound obvious, but a quick search of the UK’s major providers shows a high frequency of words like care and nursing home in the title of retirement home names.
Other good nursing home names include house, home, and lodge, giving the impression of a welcoming and homely environment rather than something austere or clinical.
Communicating your brand image is essential when trying to build your reputation with a local community.
It may be worth considering seeing if you can get a Start Up Loan (external partner site, link opens in a new tab) to help you with financing, and mentoring to start this business idea. You'll also need to think about registering your business, either as a sole trader or as a company - if a company, then Smarta Formations (external partner site, link opens in a new tab) are an organisation that can help you set up.
Allocating an appropriate proportion of your funds to nursing home marketing ideas is a tricky art, especially when you feel profits could be better invested into other areas.
In an increasingly digital world, even care homes have to make the most of their online presence.
Deciding on who you will target with your marketing is the most important part of developing your strategy. In some cases, you will be advertising to the clients who will actually take up residence in your home; in others, you will tailor your approach to their children.
For example: If you specialise in looking after residents who have conditions that impair their brain function such as dementia, it would be foolish to target your advertising at them. You need to target the decision maker; the family member who is responsible for choosing where their mum, dad, or grandparent will spend their autumn years. They want to know they are making the best decision for their loved one and you have to express that in your marketing material.
- Why does your home give the best care?
- Why are you better than the care home down the road?
- How are you going to cater for the particular needs of their mother?
Of course, with an ageing population, you could be marketing to adults in their 60s who are looking for care for parents in their 90s.
“You can now find everything about a Care Home on the internet so a good CQC rating is very important!”, urges White.
And the best way to ensure that: “Providing excellent service so that service user’s relatives will recommend your home and leave good reviews”, of course.
“Social media and a good website are going to be paramount in the future”, continues White “as local authorities are no longer going to be funding as many people as they did before.”
This means that the care home owner should “target private clients, as well as keeping good relationships with local social services and the NHS.”
While its residents are unlikely to be the most tech savvy consumers, even the care home sector hasn’t been able to avoid the unstoppable sweep of digitisation.
In response to growing dissatisfaction with the quality and cost of care, a host of apps and services that help the elderly to remain in their homes for longer have been developed in recent years.
Services such as Vida and Elder technologies are transforming home care, providing personalised in-home care for clients and matching customers with live-in care professionals that have the relevant skills and experience to meet their needs.
It’s clear that the idea of living independently for longer holds a lot of appeal for the ageing, and any service that can improve the chances of that should be celebrated. Yet in some cases, living independently can also mean living in isolation; from companionship; from help; from support.
Going into a care home doesn’t mean residents have to give up full independence – it just means having a support structure in place in case they need it.
Because of the increasing prevalence of these apps, it’s important to reflect the independent qualities of living at your care home in your marketing material. Show potential residents how you can improve their quality of life over staying in their own homes.
Running a care home is a lot about the staff you have and the service they provide. In our next article, you’ll find out the key to hiring experienced and diligent staff and the care home software that might help you manage your teams.
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