Content marketing is a big deal these days. According to research by HubSpot, 82% of marketers now actively use content marketing to drive leads and sales. And in an online world, it’s become a vital medium through which you can reach your target audience at every stage of their customer journey.
For care homes, content marketing can help to build crucial trust with prospects – showing them you’re a business that cares and truly understands the needs of its residents.
Building that trust early in the customer journey is especially tricky, when prospects are largely invisible to you while they conduct their research online. How do you prove to someone you’ve never met that you’re the best fit for them and their family?
HubSpot’s research shows that 47% of prospects will consume between three and five pieces of content before they contact you for more information. Therefore, it’s so important that those content touchpoints deliver value for your prospect, in the form of educational, helpful information.
The benefits of content marketing for care homes
For residential care businesses, content marketing can help you achieve a number of goals, such as:
- Driving new leads and enquiries
- Improving search engine rankings for your website
- Boosting brand awareness
- Reassuring prospects around common concerns early in the buying journey
- Positioning your care home business as the leading expert on particular issues
So where do you start? First off, you need to understand the needs and challenges of your care home target audience. With this insight, you’ll be well-placed to create content that engages prospects and drives conversions.
Bonus tip: if you’re using call tracking software, you can mine your call data to understand what questions and concerns your prospects typically have. Use this data to develop digital marketing content that you can be certain will resonate with your target audience.
Here are five content marketing ideas for care homes that you can get started on right away.
1. Build a brilliant care home blog
Blogging is the original (and some would say the best) digital content format. It’s a great way to deliver bite-sized snippets of value for your prospects and customers. Whether you use a blog to keep residents’ families updated on life at the care home, or to create tips-based or how-to articles for new customers, your blog should be packed with useful information that website visitors can keep coming back to.
2. List your top tips in a listicle
One of the most popular forms of online article are listicles. They take a series of tips or key points and deliver them in an easy-to-read, numbered list format (a bit like the blog post you’re reading right now). For care homes, listicles such as ‘5 things to remember when searching for residential care’ or ‘10 ways you can help your loved one adjust to care home life’ would provide a great value-add for your prospects – while boosting your reputation as an expert in your field.
3. Explain a process with a how-to guide
A clear, concise and thoughtfully produced how-to guide can be an invaluable resource for a care home. Conduct some research and check your marketing analytics tools for common concerns and questions prospects have during their buying journey. Those nuggets of information will translate into great topics for how-to content. For example, you can use speech analytics in call tracking software to listen in on real-world conversations with customers. If your prospects are often asking about residential care fees and funding, why not create an in-depth how-to guide explaining everything they need to know?
4. Get visual with video
These days, if you aren’t creating video content for your brand, you’re falling behind. The old saying “show, don’t tell” should be front and centre in your mind when it comes to a care home content marketing strategy. Why? Because trust is built and earned when people can see exactly what you’re offering, with full transparency. If you’re going to invest a chunk of budget on content marketing, creating video content showcasing what’s great about your care home and the people who work there will be a win-win every time.
5. Cultivate confidence in your brand with customer success stories
Testimonials and reviews are extremely important for building trust in your brand. When customers tell you they’ve had a positive experience with your business, you should try to maximise the opportunity for marketing benefit. Telling the story (with permission, of course) – using your customers’ own words as much as possible – will help prospects see themselves in that positive position. It’s great for transparency too, because there’s nothing that engenders trust more than hearing the story straight from the customer.
With prospects spending more and more time researching online, having a digital content marketing strategy in place for your care home has never been more important. Whether prospects are conducting early stage research or making their final decision, the content you create and share will play a crucial role in building trust and credibility for your care home brand.