A digital marketing strategy is an essential tool for any care home business and will support with reaching your commercial marketing goals:
- Helping you to consider your relationships with your target audience(s). Creating a comprehensive strategic approach will require you to consider what your customers want, what your USP is, how you compete with local peers, and how to explain your offer in a way that families understand. Doing so will help reveal new opportunities to engage the communities in which you operate.
- Enabling you to define, measure and increase ROI. Once your objectives are structured, you can tick off your goals more frequently, whilst making fewer mistakes. With a well-shaped plan, you will be able to detect weaknesses, predict problems and quickly react – all of which will help drive greater ROI on your digital communications spend.
- Providing real analytic data. The comprehensive data you gather from your chosen online channels will help to identify what works well for your business, any differences between your homes, and what is preventing you from reaching your goals.
When it comes to creating a digital marketing strategy, you should consider the following:
- Evaluate your current online presence. Even if you have done very little so far, you need to understand what your existing online presence has already accomplished and how best to build on this.
- Research and set your goals. It’s important you define your goals from the get-go. You must ask yourself what it is that you hope to achieve with your digital marketing strategy, and what is realistic with the competition you face and within your budget and timeframe.
- Identify your target audience(s). It’s crucial to develop your business’ ‘buyer persona’ – an overview of your ideal customer, including data about their likely preferences, actions on your website, and normal consumer habits. Remember, digital marketing can also work for recruitment, but it will require a different approach with different messages.
- Optimise lead generation by:
- Making sure your website is easy to navigate (user experience) and contains regularly refreshed relevant information that search platforms (i.e. Google) can recognise.
- Launching a digital advertising campaign using the channels and key terms that will reach your ideal customer. This could be via social media adverts, advertising on the Google network, or even just online newspaper advertising.
- Using ‘organic’ social media content (i.e. your own, non-paid-for posts) to reach new audiences and the communities you serve on Facebook, LinkedIn, and on other platforms.
- Analyse Results. Always refer back to your established goals to ensure you are on track to meet them. Consider where there is room for improvement in the customer journey, for example, are people clicking your content but very quickly leaving your website? If so, is your web content engaging enough? Is it easy for a customer to understand the journey through to making an enquiry?
- Could an expert help? Like many things in life, you can do a lot of this yourself, but an expert that does it daily can help elevate your results or help you overcome specific challenges. Consider whether some target advice might elevate your results.
Lucy Somers is Digital Deputy Leader at PLMR, a full-service media, political and digital communications agency specialising in the social care sector. If you would like to discuss your organisations digital marketing needs, please contact Lucy.Somers@plmr.co.uk.