Marketing and promoting your practice is a crucial next step once you’ve developed your brand and the website to go with it. The advent of social media made it easier for people to take marketing and promotion into their own hands, but also made it harder to stand out among your competitors.
Digital marketing provides practitioners with the ability to get their message out directly to potential clients. Even the simplest digital marketing tools can make a difference as far as your visibility is concerned, and getting started doesn’t have to be an overwhelming prospect.
Here are a few of the tools and platforms you’ll want to use as you market your practice online. You don’t have to use all of them—nor do you have to use them all at once. Start at your own pace with those that feel natural to you.
Google isn’t just a search engine: business owners can use several tools within the Google ecosystem to help them promote themselves. Google My Business allows you to maintain a free directory listing on Google that helps new families find you when they search for terms related to care management. This service is designed to promote nearby businesses for search users, which in turn gives you an opportunity to create a robust listing for your operation.
Google My Business isn’t as customizable as a personal website might be, but it has its own benefits. First, you’ll reach families where they already are. Most prospective clients look for care managers through search engines like Google, which means you’ll have a better chance of finding them if you set up a Google My Business page.
Reviews are another outstanding feature within Google My Business. We’ll cover the benefits of online reviews later in this guide, but Google reviews are a tremendous asset for generating new clients. With a Google My Business account, you can easily manage and highlight reviews of your work.
Social media platforms are some of the most dominant marketing and promotional tools around. These platforms allow you to create a presence for your business that speaks directly to prospective and current families within your portfolio. Better still, some platforms can even make it easier for you to build a presence than through a website (although having one is still crucial).
Social media business pages can be a quick way to begin to build your brand online. Later when you create your website, they’ll work together to provide a more complete picture of your business and reputation online. These pages can be a quick way to begin to build your brand online.
Google isn’t the only tech giant that offers a free page for businesses listings. Facebook also offers a tool for business owners to manage and promote themselves on the platform, called Facebook for Business. By setting up a Facebook for Business account, you can build out a robust profile for your practice that includes your location, information about you, photos, family testimonials, and more. You can also post photos and updates on your business page just like you would with a personal Facebook account.
A Facebook business listing can be a great tool for communicating with present and prospective families—particularly if you participate in Facebook groups. Answering questions and participating in conversations within groups about elder care can avail you to essentially free advertising, all while you help answer questions for families in need. Like Google, Facebook also has a review feature for business pages. This gives families another avenue to provide public testimonials about you.
LinkedIn is a social networking site designed with professional and career services in mind. The platform may be best known for its job postings, but it also functions well as a portal for care managers to set up a page for their own practice. When you set up a LinkedIn profile for yourself or your business, you can interact with other care professionals at the click of a button. This includes doctors, elder law attorneys, financial advisors, placement specialists, and others who serve as important partners for you and your families.
There are two kinds of profiles available to you: a personal profile (focused on your individual career history and interests) or a business profile (dedicated solely to your current business practice). A personal profile can be great for networking and showing off your own personal experience, and a business page can be a great tool to highlight your current business more specifically.
If you’ve ever searched for a hot new restaurant, the nearest bike repair shop, or anything in between, you’ve likely seen or used Yelp to help you narrow down your options. Yelp provides reviews written by users themselves, creating a network of trustworthy evaluations of businesses in locations across the country.
As with Google My Business, business owners are also able to create their own profile on Yelp. Doing so allows you to enter more information about your business, reply to reviewer comments, and put your best foot forward on the platform. Yelp business accounts are free to open and manage, and can act as another great place for you to build your exposure for new clientele.
Posting on social media, updating your site, and keeping your Google My Business page current are all examples of what professionals call “organic marketing.” Organic marketing has become increasingly hard for businesses and individuals to obtain, however. This is particularly true for businesses that are new to the internet, or for those who have not done much to maintain their existing web presence. Now, having at least a modest advertising budget and strategy is a must for those who want to see quick results.
Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Yelp all offer advertising opportunities for your business in addition to their free marketing tools. For some, these free pages are enough to get started and attract new families. But for other practitioners, particularly those in more competitive locations, spending a bit of money on digital advertising can help you stand out among other providers.
Thankfully, you don’t need to be an advertising maven to get started with compelling ads. Here’s what you need to know to get started.
Google offers several advertising options, which range from paid search result listings to full-on video ads. If you’re just starting out, focus on paid search result listings. Odds are you’ve noticed these while browsing before: they’re the results that sometimes show up at the top of search with the word “Ad” affixed to the title in bold letters.
Put simply, these ads appear when someone types in a search term that relates to the product or service the advertiser offers. These can include generic terms relating to a business, or it can even include the names of competitors. So when someone searches for a term that relates to your business, you can pay to have your result show up at (or near) the top of the search results.
Getting started with Google Ads is relatively easy. You can start small with only one or two ads through the platform’s guided interface, or you can get deep into details of how and when your ads appear. You can set your own budget, how long you want ads to run, and where you want them to appear, among many other customizations.
Social Media Advertising for Care Managers
Social media offers another compelling opportunity to reach new families where they already spend time online. Every major social media network offers advertising tools for businesses that can help broaden their reach, show up in front of new audiences, and more.
There are several common social media ad categories:
Each of these ad categories has its own advantages and disadvantages. Awareness can be great for getting exposure in front of an audience of prospective clients, consideration can get them closer to you, and conversion can make it easier for them to get in touch. Running campaigns that include some balance of these three kinds of ads can help you find the right balance; ultimately, you’ll want people to convert and reach out to you though. Be sure that your ads are creating leads, as that is the imperative.
Digital marketing and advertising may feel like a completely foreign endeavor; and, for most care managers, it is. A lack of familiarity with marketing online doesn’t have to be an intimidating factor, however. It’s never been easier for small business owners to market themselves through commonly used social media platforms and search engines. Each offers guided tools to walk you through the process of building a digital home for your business on their sites, and provides straightforward tools to help you dip your toes into advertising as well.