October 2, 2019
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How to attract more patients to your care home
There is an ever-growing need for social care in the UK, but it’s not always easy attracting new people to your care home.

According to government figures, there are around 5,500 care home providers in the UK operating 11,300 care homes for the elderly (80% of providers operate just one care home). The data tells us that the sector is worth nearly £16 billion each year, and has around 410,000 residents.
 
With so many vulnerable people, there is clearly a need for care homes, so why is it hard to attract residents to your home?
 

The challenges of attracting patients to your care home

Care, nursing and residential homes are designed to provide a safe, caring and homely environment for their residents. However, a common perception is that care homes are a last resort location for those with the greatest need.
 
As the owner of a care home, you want to change those perceptions, promoting your care home as a location where older people will want to live, make friends and get the most out of life.
 

Ways to market your care home

If you are looking to attract more people to your care home, you need a defined care home marketing plan. Here are five simple and practical steps you can take to stand out from the competition and help you market your care home like a pro.
 

1 Make the most of social media

Social media is one of the easiest ways for companies in all sectors to promote their products and services. And when it comes to promoting the provision of care for a loved one, social media platforms allow you to connect with your target audience.
 
The fastest-growing demographic on social media is 65-plus. A care home without an active social media presence is going to miss out on numerous opportunities.
 
But remember that different social media platforms will engage with different members of your audience.
 
·         Facebook: This is a great way to target friends and family of potential care home residents. Use it to get honest reviews and incentivise sales
·         Twitter: Can be used to get influencer attention through @mentions and help you join the conversation with #hashtags
·         Pinterest: This visual platform has the power to go viral. Upload pins based on information gaps
·         Instagram: Another visual channel, use interesting, engaging and authentic images and create brand heroes out of your current residents (with their permission, of course)
·         YouTube: 80% of viewers remember a video ad they’ve seen in the last 30 days. Use videos to tell your care home’s story and drive traffic to your site
·         LinkedIn: More B2B-focused so use it to connect with other businesses and as a way to reach out to influencers and care workers
 

2 Use compelling content to highlight your strengths

Whatever channel you choose to communicate with your target audience, you need to get the right message across. This means creating compelling content and imagery. You need to go further than just highlighting your areas of specialism, you must focus on the benefits your can offer your audience.
 
The kinds of benefits you might want to shine a light on include:
 
·         Professional staff on hand 24/7: This shows patients are in safe hands with round the clock care (and their loved ones get peace of mind, too).
·         Current resident numbers: Let new residents know there is a sense of community at your care home and know they won’t feel lonely.
·         Accommodation: Residents will want to know that as well as communal areas, they will have their own space and privacy when they need it. Promote the fact you have care home insurance that covers your residents’ effects, making sure their belongings are protected.
 
When creating your content, steer away from corporate copy and make it more conversational and friendly in tone. Write as if you are speaking with just one person.
 A care home worker helping a patient holding a stress ball

3 Build trust with your audience

When prospects trust you, they are more likely to buy from you. To build the trust of your audience you need to be available to them, answer their queries, be transparent and open about your strengths and weaknesses, show the value of your service, and maintain consistency.
 
According to a study by Concerto Marketing Group and Research Now, 83% of consumers would recommend others to a company that they trusted. Building trust with your target audience also helps boost brand advocacy and recommendations.
 

4 Encourage user recommendations and reviews

All businesses are affected by online reviews, so you need to keep an eye on online ratings for your residential home. Encouraging online reviews and recommendations are a great way to build your brand. Family members of potential residents will look at online reviews to influence their decision.
 
Care homes can boost customer advocacy by up to 25% when they reply to a review. By contrast, by not replying they can decrease advocacy by up to 50%. Be proactive about managing your reviews and ratings. Always offer a response to negative reviews, but don’t forget to respond to positive reviews as well.
 

5 Turning visitors into leads

A good care home website should do two things – give people information about what the residential home does and collect information from potential customers (aka leads).
 
The lead generation process generally starts when a visitor clicks a call to action (CTA). These CTAs might encourage visitors to subscribe for updates or complete an online form.
 
Visitors to your website will come from an email, social media, blog post or live chat, so make sure the web pages they land on are doing a good job to nurture their interest. Optimise and analyse each step of the lead generation process, personalise your CTAs and nurture your leads.
 

Get a quote for care home insurance

Your care, nursing or residential home is there to provide care and support for some of the most vulnerable members of society. At Insurance Choice, we arrange care home insurance policies that cover a wide range of homes, tailored to the specific needs of your business.
 
Arranging care home insurance through Insurance Choice means you can get cover for building and contents, malicious attack, malpractice, residents’ effects, business interruption and alternative accommodation.
 
We’ll do all the hard work so you can focus on what’s important – the care of your residents.