Home care agencies all around North America have revamped their sales and marketing strategies to fit the post-pandemic home care landscape—are you behind? Be the first to know about the latest 2022 trends.
Home care agencies are doing better than they have been for the last 4 years.
Agencies experienced a 7.3% client increase on average last year, surpassing the mere 2.3% growth seen in 2020. Client growth hasn’t been this high since before 2018.
Which begs the question: What are they doing differently?
We’ve surveyed over 760 home care providers, representing over 1,461 locations, to find out exactly what is and isn’t working in home care marketing and bring you industry secrets you can’t find anywhere else.
Jump on these top 3 sales and marketing trends from the 2022 HCP Benchmarking Report to make this your best year yet, too.
Trend #1: What People Are Saying About Your Agency Directly Affects Your Revenue
From what your caregivers say about working for your agency at the end of the day to the reputation you have among your clients’ friends—their opinions are generating over 35% of your total income.
In fact, word of mouth and client referrals rank as the number one marketing source for 2021, according to the 2022 HCP Benchmarking Report. In response to this, home care providers across North America have made it their second highest priority to strengthen their relationships with referral sources.
Strengthening your relationships with your caregivers and clients will turn this goal into your reality.
How to hop on this trend:
Your reputation is very similar to your company culture: it will be created either way, so you might as well be intentional about it. Be the agency people compete to receive care from and work for by intentionally crafting your relationship with both your caregivers and clients.
Strengthen your relationship with your caregivers:
- Offer career advancement opportunities to show caregivers a future with your agency.
- Implement training that allows caregivers to specialize in their interests to show that your agency invests in employees’ skill development.
- Build a culture that recognizes employees in their professional love language.
- Create weekly touchpoints to check-in on how your caregivers are doing, handle any concerns, and discuss their goals. This can be done by members of your office staff or through a mentorship program.
- Track their satisfaction regularly to identify your blind spots and deliver what your caregivers really want from you.
Strengthen your relationship with your clients:
- Implement a client referral program to make the process easier and incentivize your clients to refer friends in need of home care.
- Listen to your clients’ concerns and act on their suggestions to deliver what clients really need from your agency.
- Ensure your clients stay updated on any changes in their caregivers’ schedules. Communicate issues in a timely manner to keep clients in the loop and show them you’re aware of their needs.
- Share your agency’s wins by letting your clients know when you win a Best of Home Care Award or reach certain agency milestones. Show them their value by thanking them for their contributions and letting them know the success of your agency wouldn’t be possible without their support.
Just like a solid handshake, your agency’s reputation speaks even before you do—and most of it is happening online. As 88% of all consumers read reviews about local businesses before committing, manage your online reviews by keeping track of what people are saying about you online.
Now that we’ve explored how to improve your agency’s handshake, it’s time to refine your digital footprint.
Trend #2: Home Care Agencies are Upping Their Technology Game
Following closely behind word of mouth and client referrals, internet awareness ranks as the next most successful marketing source for home care agencies.
Although Indeed remains the top caregiver recruitment source, it also brings the highest turnover rate and the second highest acquisition cost.
As a result, home care providers are harnessing down on specifically improving their: SEO, Google AdWords, pay-per-click, and online job postings.
Learn from the experts themselves how you can take your digital marketing skills from beginner to intermediate in a few simple steps.
How to hop on this trend:
The key is to make specific improvements that work for your agency’s needs—which means you’re going to need data.
Know what to start and stop doing in your digital marketing efforts by tracking your cost per hire and customer acquisition cost for each source. Gathering this data will help you know which source is paying off and, therefore, where to spend your digital marketing energy.
In the Report, Marissa Snook, President and CEO of corecubed outlined a few tweaks you can make to your digital marketing strategy to align your efforts with the latest trends on the market:
- Google is phasing out cookies in 2022: In an effort to increase online privacy, users will now need to be enticed to opt in to being “tracked.” Offer something of value in exchange for visitors to agree to give you their name and email address, such as a discount on services, a free downloadable resource, or your newsletter. Utilize your list of opt-in contacts in multiple ways, such as old-school mailers, emails, and PPC ads.
- Optimize your website for voice search and long-tail keywords: Voice search is picking up popularity, especially among the demographic of those looking for home care, so your SEO tactics will need to follow suit. Use keywords that are descriptive and targeted to mimic the way we speak. For example, you may search for “home care Chicago,” but when searching verbally through Siri or Alexa, you are more inclined to search a full sentence like, “I need home care for my mom with dementia in Dallas.”
- Forget mobile friendly, go mobile-first: It isn’t enough to have a mobile friendly version of your website anymore in 2022. Your mobile site should be cleaner, simpler, and have a shorter code for faster load times on a mobile device. Ensure your website’s most vital information is also front and center on your mobile website.
What about PPC and SEO? Snook cautions home care providers to stay the course as they embark on adding those tools to their digital marketing tool belt:
“In a nutshell, think of SEO as a marathon and PPC as a sprint. The mistake many home care agencies make is giving up on SEO after a brief trial run. Instant gratification should never be the goal of SEO.”
The best way to stay current on the latest digital marketing trends is to leave it to the experts! Corecubed is a Certified Google Partner with expertise in home care/home health care digital marketing who can take care of your digital footprint, so you can spend your time on our next trend:
Trend #3: Building a Solid Recruitment and Retention Program is On the Top of Every Owner’s To-Do List
Which brings us to our final (and arguably most pivotal) marketing trend of the year—battling the caregiver shortage.
With 11 million job openings in the U.S. right now, it’s no wonder 80% of agency owners view caregiver shortages and turnover as their number one threat. Unless you’re one of the lucky 3% of agency owners, 97% admit that the caregiver shortage has already negatively impacted their business.
While the average agency will need to hire about 81 caregivers in 2022, our research shows that 2/3 of your new hires will quit by the end of the year. This will cost your agency about $136,890 in turnover costs in just 12 months!
As a result, providers have named building a caregiver recruitment and retention program as their top priority this year.
Now’s your chance to get ahead of the game by breaking the cycle of caregiver turnover.
How to hop on this trend:
Any successful agency owner knows you can’t out-recruit poor retention—yet it’s still a fallacy most of us tend to fall back on.
In 2022, agency owners are refraining from reacting to caregiver shortages with recruitment and are instead implementing the necessary steps to proactively retain their caregivers.
You can break the cycle of caregiver turnover in 5 simple steps:
- Step #1: Prepare for success by defining your ideal candidate, developing your employer brand and deciding on total compensation.
- Step #2: Choose the right recruitment sources by learning how to navigate online job ads, job boards and social media, host virtual hiring events and in-person job fairs, work with a recruiter, and create a caregiver referral program.
- Step #3: Optimize your job postings to offer what candidates really want, go mobile-first not just mobile-friendly, create easier applications, choose between paid or free ads, and track your successes.
- Step #4: Put your caregivers first in the hiring process by speeding it up, asking the right interview questions, setting realistic expectations, and staying in closer contact from application to offer.
- Step #5: Onboard for retention by improving your post-accepted offer communication, understanding what gets your caregivers to show up their first day, and learning how to support your caregivers in their first 90-days where turnover rates are at their highest.
By following these tips, providers all over the nation will be asking you how you did it and waiting to see what you’ll do next.
Stay on Top of the Industry’s Hottest Trends
Look at you, trend-setter! You can shape the industry by being one of the first providers to hop on these latest sales and marketing strategies proven to drive results by hundreds of providers across the nation.
And there’s still more where this came from. Discover dozens more trends from the hundreds of data points in the newly released 2022 HCP Benchmarking Report.
Let us know what sales and marketing strategies have been working for your agency. You never know— you could be the next provider to shape the industry in home care’s most comprehensive national report.
About the Author
Julie Redd is a Content Marketing Specialist at Home Care Pulse with experience in public relations and marketing. She has a background in speechwriting for over a thousand presentations, directing a center of public speaking coaches, and increasing social media engagement through digital media strategy. She is passionate about influencing public opinion to give a voice to the most vulnerable and seeks to help tell the story behind home care communication.
To learn more about Home Care Pulse’s experience management, online training, and review management, visit HomeCarePulse.com.