As we adjust to the “new normal”, what marketing strategies does your care home need to implement to ensure it’s prepared for future public health emergencies (PHEs)?

The outbreak of Covid-19 has changed the way we live our lives. From social distancing to personal protective equipment (PPE), the “new normal” is slowly but surely preparing us all for public health emergencies in a global world. However, this presents an array of problems for care homes, especially when it comes to marketing. People are paying closer attention to the smaller details before choosing a care home for their loved ones, making it harder to fill beds.

The key is to learn from the Covid-19 outbreak and to adjust your care home’s marketing strategy now to prepare for future PHEs. Best post-Covid-19 marketing strategies for care homes.

1. Tell your lockdown story

As a care home, you need to be transparent and open. With the latest ONS figures revealing that Covid-19 played a part in 20,000 care home deaths during the outbreak, the care home sector is very much under the microscope at the moment. Families who are looking to put their parents and grandparents into care homes in the coming months want to see your story and how your care home is tackling the situation. This includes:

• Telling stories – use your words to write compelling stories on social media about your patient and staff experiences during the lockdown. For example, post about special birthdays and themed parties you threw. People want to see that the residents are being treated well.

• Using real photography – using real photography goes hand in hand with telling stories. When someone uses their phone to visit your website or social media pages, they don’t want to see stock imagery.

In this current climate, it’s not safe to host open days. So, you must bring your brand story alive with real photography of the environment and residents. Get this right and you’ll convey your home’s personality and the quality of care on offer.

2. Show how things have changed

Communication is a critical marketing strategy for care homes. Your first priority is to ensure the safety of your residents, staff and visitors. To put minds at ease, your marketing needs to reflect this by offering constant updates on the changes that you’re making. Implementing new working processes and conducting regular staff training are major parts of PHE protection. But if you’re not telling families about the measures that you’re taking, it could put them off your care home. One of the easiest ways to communicate these key messages is to include a Covid-19 FAQ section on the homepage of your website which takes them to a dedicated landing page. The FAQ page should include all the training you’re conducting and include answers to common questions.

Here are a few care home FAQ examples to include:

  • What is the visiting policy at your care home?
  • How can you ensure that your staff are safe to look after residents?
  • What measures have you put in place to protect new residents coming into the home? Once you’ve set this up, you can send the link via an email newsletter and social media.

3. Embrace digital

It’s essential that your care home is present in the digital world. More people are spending time on their mobile devices and using social media to research things. You must tap into this audience and showcase all the wonderful things that you’re doing to adapt to the new normal.

This includes:

  • Videos – show the safety precautions you’ve put into place and film precious uplifting moments of everyone enjoying themselves. Despite the circumstances, people still want to see smiling faces and positive measures. Again, this helps tell your story.
  • Virtual video tours – to protect the wellbeing of your residents and staff, you need to offer virtual video tours. It’ll save you a lot of time and let potential prospects know that you’re taking PHEs seriously.
  • Paid ads – if your social media channels or website isn’t generating the engagement or traffic you need, consider investing in pay-per-click (PPC) and Facebook Ad campaigns. Both tools will help you build your audience and increase enquiries which will put you in a stronger position as we adapt to everyday life amid a PHE.

Suggested article: ‘Facebook for care homes: Three good reasons you should be using it’

The main thing to remember is to be proactive and clear with your messaging. Every week things are changing, and the world is getting more accustomed to the safety precautions required during a public health emergency. As a care home, it’s vital to show families that you’re prepared for the new normal and are in a strong position to look after their loved ones. Sure, you might already have training and safety measures in place, but the outside world doesn’t necessarily know that.

Embrace the digital world and tell your story – it will go a long way in helping you attract more enquiries and prepare for PHEs. For more advice on marketing your care home, contact our team at Marketing for Care Homes today.