How Does Your CQC Rating Affect Your Care Home’s Marketing?

It’ll probably come as no surprise to hear that generally speaking, the better your CQC rating, the more successful your marketing campaigns will be and typically, the more enquiries you’ll generate as a result. But here at Marketing for Care Homes, we’ve drilled down to find out the real numbers and see quite how big a difference your CQC rating makes.

Let’s start by having a look at some care home statistics:

• There are more than 10,000 care homes in the UK
• Only 4% of care homes across England have the CQC’s top rating of ‘Outstanding
• 79% of care homes in England are rated as being ‘Good’ by the CQC
• 16% of England’s care homes have a ‘Requires Improvement’ CQC rating
• 1% of all care homes in England are found to be ‘Inadequate’ by the CQC

Our ‘Outstanding’ experiment

One of our Berkshire-based clients opened in 2016 and earned Top 20 carehome.co.uk awards in 2017, 2018 and 2019. A recent CQC inspection saw them go from having a ‘Good’ CQC rating to achieving ‘Outstanding’ in all five areas, a rating that only 21 care homes in England had achieved by the end of 2019.

Having had ‘Good’ ratings until now at this specific home, we thought it was the ideal opportunity to compare marketing results between a campaign with a ‘Good’ rating and a campaign with an ‘Outstanding’ rating, with no other contributing factors changing at all.

If there was ever a time to tell the world about how fantastic a home’s care really is, this was it, so we took the opportunity to cover every single base, from banners outside the home and a graphic and news article for their website to press releases and digital ads – these included Facebook and Google Ads. And that’s what we’re going to focus on now, Google Ads.

The results are in

As you’d expect, the results were higher in the ‘Outstanding’ campaign than in the previous ‘Good’ campaign, but by how much?

From research we’ve conducted based on our own clients’ campaign results, things don’t change drastically between a home rated ‘Good’ and a home rated ‘Requires improvement’, especially when it’s clear that the home still has good reviews regardless of the CQC rating. But going up to ‘Outstanding’ really does make a noticeable difference.

Prospective residents and their family members can have complete confidence in an ‘Outstanding’ home – they can move in without having to worry whether the care is good enough, whether there’s enough going on to give residents meaningful occupation, if residents enjoy a healthy, balanced diet, if they’re safe, the list goes on.

Our winter campaign when the home had a ‘Good’ CQC rating had a click-through rate of 1.71% – and we’d generally expect between 1 and 2% – but our next campaign was ‘Outstanding’. The click-through rate for this jumped up to a staggering 5.84%, which is a 341% increase. That led to 6 conversions for the modest payment of £84.03. It goes to show the difference having that top CQC rating can have on your care home’s digital marketing results.

Make your marketing more effective

The best way to make your marketing more effective is of course by improving your CQC rating, but as this can’t happen overnight, get in touch with Marketing for Care Homes to implement a few changes now that can have a significant impact on your enquiries sooner rather than later. With compelling copy, original artwork and all the other tricks we have up our sleeve here as care industry marketing specialists, working with us can lead to measurable results for your digital performance in as soon as a month.

Make your money go further when it comes to marketing by having something good to shout about, something tempting to click on, and if your CQC rating is ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’, it really makes a difference showing that to the world. Going back to the statistics we mentioned at the start, with 4% of care homes having an ‘Outstanding’ rating, there’s still so much for the 79% of homes that are ‘Good’ to play for. 79% equates to over 8,000 care homes, which is a lot of competitors you can blow out of the water with your next digital campaign.

Whether you’ve just gone from ‘Good’ to ‘Requires Improvement’ and need to give business a boost or if your home is ‘Outstanding’ and you haven’t told the world about it, now is the time. Although there is an obvious correlation between a care home’s CQC rating and digital performance, we can advise you regardless of your CQC rating and make your marketing matter.

Get in touch with the team at Marketing for Care Homes today to find out how we can help your home stand out to prospective residents in a saturated and competitive market.


Building a new care home: Creative hoarding ideas

The majority of our clients have built or are planning to build a new care facility, many are planning multiple sites as we speak. If you haven’t done it before, the prospect of telling the world all about what you’re doing can be a daunting one.

We’re all now used to seeing the brightly coloured construction hoardings adorned with new brands and photographs – usually stock, let’s face it – smiling their messages back at us, next to a website address and a ‘prices-from’ sticker. This is all well and good, and builders need to sell the properties as quickly as possible, preferably before they’re finished. When building a care home, it’s not quite as simple as that, is it?

We know that people are much less likely to make a commitment before seeing the finished article, and show suites, while helpful, rarely persuade a larger number of potential clients to sign on the dotted line either. People’s need for care is often at much shorter notice too. With all these things combined, then, it got us to thinking what is the point of the hoarding on a care home building site and how can we use the space better?

In some cases, where a building is near a main thoroughfare like this one, with lots of footfall or traffic, it’s important to get people’s attention and not just blend into the background. In the case of traffic, the faster it is, the shorter the message should be. If it’s on a busy street with lots of pedestrians it makes sense to engage people on a more detailed level, either with smaller blocks of text separate from the main message, or leaflets in a weatherproof box, or something interactive – even as simple as a viewing pane to the larger site. Anything to engage with passers by so that they know what is happening at your site. We all know the importance of word of mouth when it comes to marketing a care home, and this is where it starts.

It was with great excitement, then, that we visited a client’s site in Bristol recently and were able to look at different options, seeing as the site has a pedestrian front, a roadside front and a front which backs onto other businesses and car parks – three sets of people with a different amount of time to look at your message.

To tie in with our client’s plan to bring the art world into the new care home, we set to work on ideas, enlisting the help of local artist and screen printer Josh Hughes-Games at 16 Tonne Press in Bristol’s Old Market. Together with local mural painter, Zoe Power they created a design for the hoarding to surround the entire site, using different levels of detail for the different facing sections.

The piece began this week here and we’ll continue to update you as it progresses. It draws on Bristol’s strong visual history, grabs people’s attention and makes the link between the rich local art scene and the proposed use of art as therapy within the new home.

To follow this project and find out more, bookmark us, or follow us on Linked In for all news and tips from Marketing For Care Homes. If you have a project like this that you’d like help with, get in touch with us here.


Stock Photography For Care Homes - 3 Reasons to Stop Using It Today

The marketing world has most certainly changed more in the past few years than it did in the previous few decades – with multiple components to consider in modern marketing, covering all types of media, what do you consider the most important factors when it comes to creating a marketing strategy?

At Marketing for Care Homes, we’d put original photography down as one of the top critical considerations and that’s what we’re focusing on here.

There is a time and a place for stock imagery, which if you've done even the smallest amount of marketing in your time, you'll be familiar with.  Stock imagery for care businesses becomes problematic though, when there is an over-reliance on it as the main source of pictures for a business.  The reasons for this are many, but here are the big three:

  1. There are not enough photographs to go around - There is a very limited pool of stock photos for care homes and we see the same actors appear time and time again.  It may not matter to many people as it saves money, it means not having to bother getting consent forms signed and it means that the quality f the photos is pretty much guaranteed to be of a certain standard.  But imagine your competitor down the road has used the same image.  Not only does it now lose its appeal, but when that competitor receives a poor CQC rating, what does that do for your standing?  A lot of the buying public don't know about stock libraries and so could easily be forgiven for thinking that your company is linked to your poor-performing competitor.
  2. There are even fewer actors to go around - We have a top ten in the office of stock photography actors who appear the most photographs!  Sometimes they will be a resident, sometimes they will be a patient in a hospital, playing tennis, or even a member of staff.  This is one we see a lot - sometimes even on the same website of a care home.  It goes without saying why this is not a good look for your care home.
  3. The Actors and situations are rarely believable - Actors hired for stock photography often follow a certain formula.  They will likely be pristinely turned out, have excessively whitened teeth and perfectly tanned skin - in short, not like the average care home resident in the UK who, like our population, come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, colours and the rest..  It is good practice in any business but particularly when your brand is involved with people and their dearest loved ones, that you show the reality of life.  Showing the differences between people and how people live connects people to your brand.  When they see themselves or a loved one who looks like them or their loved one, they will immediately feel connected.  When they see a stock image of a perfected view of a person, they won't - it's simple. Look at the strides the beauty industry has made in recent years on this front.  It was only very recently that the fashion world's portrayal - particularly of women -  was one dimensional to say the least.

Reasons To Invest In Authentic, Original Photography For Your Care Home

Whether it is of residents and their families, staff, or events and activities at your care home, taking the time and investing properly in a portfolio of images will reap its own rewards in the long term.  Yes there will be issues.  People pass away and staff and managers will leave - not always in the ideal fashion - and so you need to be ready to deal with these situations. We would recommend one photoshoot a year to showcase what is happening in your care home right now. On average, a shoot costs around 0.04% of annual revenue.  It helps to encourage enquiries, showcase your home's unique personality and ultimately, fill empty beds.

Key Benefits To Using Original Photography For Your Care Home

  • Showing real staff humanises your brand and lets you inject your own character and personality
  • It offers real, authentic insight into your business and makes your brand more trustworthy
  • Original photography is much more eye-catching than stock imagery
  • Original photography offers incredibly good value for money when you compare marketing results with stock imagery
  • Photography has the power to carry your online content forward and make your campaigns recognisable.

There’s a time and a place for stock imagery – it’s ideal if you need to get up and running quickly but only as 'placeholder' content. If you have a new-build care home business, for example, that doesn’t yet lend itself to be the subject of an expensive photo shoot.  Using stock imagery on a long-term basis, however, will have a negative impact on your marketing.

Is A Photoshoot The Right Thing For Your Business?
If your website and other marketing collateral is littered with stock imagery then quite simply, the answer is yes. If your business doesn’t stand out from your competitors, if your personality doesn’t shine through and if you’re not getting the kind of enquiries you would like and need, professional photography can most certainly make a difference.


Cost-Effective New Care Home Site Hoardings

The majority of our clients have built or are planning to build a new care facility, many are planning multiple sites as we speak. If you haven’t done it before, the prospect of telling the world all about what you’re doing can be a daunting one.

We’re all now used to seeing the brightly coloured construction hoardings adorned with new brands and photographs – usually stock, let’s face it – smiling their messages back at us, next to a website address and a ‘prices-from’ sticker. This is all well and good, and builders need to sell the properties as quickly as possible, preferably before they’re finished. When building a care home, it’s not quite as simple as that, is it?

We know that people are much less likely to make a commitment before seeing the finished article, and show suites, while helpful, rarely persuade a larger number of potential clients to sign on the dotted line either. People’s need for care is often at much shorter notice too. With all these things combined, then, it got us to thinking what is the point of the hoarding on a care home building site and how can we use the space better?

In some cases, where a building is near a main thoroughfare like this one, with lots of footfall or traffic, it’s important to get people’s attention and not just blend into the background. In the case of traffic, the faster it is, the shorter the message should be. If it’s on a busy street with lots of pedestrians it makes sense to engage people on a more detailed level, either with smaller blocks of text separate from the main message, or leaflets in a weatherproof box, or something interactive – even as simple as a viewing pane to the larger site. Anything to engage with passers by so that they know what is happening at your site. We all know the importance of word of mouth when it comes to marketing a care home, and this is where it starts.

It was with great excitement, then, that we visited a client’s site in Bristol recently and were able to look at different options, seeing as the site has a pedestrian front, a roadside front and a front which backs onto other businesses and car parks – three sets of people with a different amount of time to look at your message.

To tie in with our client’s plan to bring the art world into the new care home, we set to work on ideas, enlisting the help of local artist and screen printer Josh Hughes-Games at 16 Tonne Press in Bristol’s Old Market. Together with local mural painter, Zoe Power they created a design for the hoarding to surround the entire site, using different levels of detail for the different facing sections.

The piece began this week here and we’ll continue to update you as it progresses. It draws on Bristol’s strong visual history, grabs people’s attention and makes the link between the rich local art scene and the proposed use of art as therapy within the new home.

To follow this project and find out more, bookmark us, or follow us on Linked In for all news and tips from Marketing For Care Homes. If you have a project like this that you’d like help with, get in touch with us here.


The importance of authentic imagery in digital marketing

We recently added a case study to the Marketing for Care Homes website all about the importance of authentic imagery in digital marketing, as when it comes to care, genuine, honest photography is one of the main ingredients if you're whipping up a recipe for success. Of course, there is a time and a place to use stock imagery, and we cover this in the case study too. Check it out here.

If you're in need of fresh photography or if you're not sure what steps you need to take to get your business noticed, please do get in touch as we'd be more than happy to offer advice and help you get to where you want to be - and we can also provide you with a bespoke quotation.

Enquire about our first-class photography today.


Does your branding say anything about your care home?

Here at Marketing for Care Homes, our first ever project was for a client in the care industry and we’re proud to still be working with them to this day – along the way, we’ve been lucky enough to work with many other care clients as well as businesses in other fields. One big rebranding project we worked on last year for a family-run care home in Surrey is going full steam ahead again this year following a big change in the business.

Huntington House originally opened back in 1978 and it was a breath of fresh air to the care industry in the UK at the time. The person-centred business – now known as the Huntington & Langham Estate – is still pushing forward and carefully considering ground-breaking methodology to this day, perfectly pairing traditional values with modern medicine, care of the highest quality and a focus on the wellbeing of the people living there.

You can read all about what we did for the Huntington & Langham Estate for their 40th anniversary in 2018 right here in our case study, but we also wanted to update you on what’s been going on lately at this award-winning residential, nursing and dementia home in Surrey. What the team at the Huntington & Langham Estate are doing in Surrey may help to revolutionise the way we approach providing care for all those who require it in the UK going forward.

If you work in the care industry, you will probably have heard of the Butterfly Household Model of Care, which is a pioneering approach to dementia care. The Huntington & Langham Estate opened their dedicated, specialist dementia home in Hindhead – Langham Court – with the Butterfly Model in mind back in 2013. And the results speak for themselves.

Langham Court is rated as an ‘Outstanding’ home offering dementia care in Surrey by the Care Quality Commission. The home has also won all sorts of other fantastic awards for dementia care, which you can read about on their website – these include winning Best Manager and being a finalist for Best Activities at the National Dementia Care Awards 2018.

More recently, Dementia Care Matters has evolved to encapsulate more than just dementia care, and a new model called All Care Matters has been launched. The Huntington & Langham Estate is the first home in the country to adopt this ground-breaking approach to care and it has already had a noticeably positive impact on the way the home operates, and on the people living and working there. Set routines? Gone. Uniforms? Gone. This home really does feel like a home, not a hospital or a hotel, and it’s clear from the moment you walk through the front door that the people living there feel that way too.

There’s not a shadow of a doubt that the Huntington & Langham Estate is one of the best care homes in Surrey, offering expert residential, nursing and dementia care, set in 30 acres of stunning woodland.

For first-rate residential, respite, nursing, dementia and day care in Hindhead, Surrey, look no further than the award-winning, pioneering Huntington & Langham Estate. One look at their reviews on the leading review website in the UK for care homes will tell you everything you need to know: carehome.co.uk. For top residential, nursing, respite, dementia and day care in Surrey, look no further than the Huntington & Langham Estate in Hindhead.

If you like what we created for the Huntington & Langham Estate, why don’t you get in touch with the team at Marketing for Care Homes and find out what we can do for you?


It’s all change for CCH: Long-planned care home re-brand

Earlier this year, we were approached by a care home group with a difference, whose care centres on faith. Christadelphian Care Homes didn’t feel their existing branding represented them well anymore, with a white-on-blue logo featuring a home, hands and the Bible; they wanted the sentiment to remain but asked for us to inject some warmth and colour into a new, modern logo.

Christadelphian Care Homes

Although most Christadelphian Care Home residents come from within the Christadelphian community, the homes welcome people from all walks of life. The rebrand wasn’t about reaching a wider audience, it was about being versatile and contemporary, and uniting all eight UK-wide homes under one visually-connected output for both print and digital, getting rid of the lack of unity and mixed messages seen under the old branding.

With most residents learning of their local Christadelphian care home through their ecclesia, the business never saw the need to advertise. However, with an outdated brand and the potential need to increase awareness going forward, they asked Marketing for Care Homes to create a new brand, website and brochure, along with all the print and digital trimmings.

The task set by our client was to unite all Christadelphian Care Homes under one common language of care, using one set of visual guidelines and one set of text to describe the different aspects of care and what everyday life in a Christadelphian Care Home entails.

The new brand

Synonymous with Christadelphian beliefs to get as close as possible to the faith and practice of the early Christian church, the new logo is a simple blend of the outlines of a Home and the Bible – this is because they offer care of the highest quality, ingrained with their beliefs and the word of God.

The Christadelphian faith is non-Trinitarian, yet the old CCH logo featured three components – home, hands and the Bible. As Christadelphian Care Homes offer high-quality care underpinned by the belief and faith in the word of the Bible, we deemed these components the two essential factors in our new logo and therefore, the decision was made not to include the hands featured in the former logo.

The main Christadelphian Care Home logo features a bright and fun colour scheme, with vibrant and cool colours being used together to create the confluence of two gradients. The Bible outline features fuchsia, orange and yellow tones to signify warmth and happiness, and this interlinks with the cooler outline of the home, which uses different shades of blue that relate to depth and stability. The contrast of warm and cool colours makes our new logo eye-catching and unique, enhancing its clean and simple design. We live in a world where we take colour for granted, but colour is all around us and should be embraced – additionally, it alludes to the colourful kind of life you can live in Christadelphian Care Homes.

On the road with a camera for company

To make sure the new website, brochure and collateral complemented the homes in the best possible light, we went on a UK-wide photography trip to capture the best angles of all eight buildings – it was a big job but was essential to show prospective residents where they might soon be living and capture the essence of what life’s like in each Christadelphian Care Home.

For non-Christadelphians considering care, we thought it was important to get across that not sharing the Christadelphian faith won’t make living in one of their homes any less fulfilling, exciting or happy, with high-quality care and a focus on wellbeing of paramount importance, enhanced by a varied, engaging programme of events and activities. And for Christadelphians, what could be better than high-quality care, complete with spiritual guidance?

We hope you like the new look we’ve given Christadelphian Care Homes – get in touch if you’d like us to transform your business too and create something colourful and contemporary.


Photography, Video and Drone shoot at Kent Care Home

Whenever we create a website, brochure, ad or any other digital or print media for our clients, chances are that we need high-quality, up-to-date photographs. If clients don’t already have these, we pay them a visit and get snapping! And we quite often film great-quality footage too, to create short videos that really make our clients stand out. This is exactly what we did a couple of months back for our client, St. Michael’s Care in Kent.

Having invested a substantial sum into the renovation of the care home, our client wanted to show prospective residents and their family members how great the home looks inside and out and how truly caring the staff are. It was also a great time to showcase the quality and choice of food served and the varied activities and entertainment put on to make life as fun and fulfilling as possible for every resident. Our last objective was to show prospective team members how great it is to work at St. Michael’s, highlighting the closeness of existing staff and the many benefits of being an employee in the home.

At Marketing for Care Homes, we wanted to help, so started by storyboarding the videos and making a list of who we needed to speak to and when. Time was short as we only had one day to get as much footage as possible – and it heavily depended on the weather.

With a photographer, videographer, director and assistant forming our crew for the day, we cracked on. Although we had a grey start, thankfully it brightened up and turned out to be beautifully sunny in Westgate-on-Sea. We decided to make the most of the dry weather and kicked things off on a golf course next to the home. We made the most of the opportunity to capture new video footage and stills and managed to get some great material to work with. With the drone flying high, we took some great shots with an aerial view, gliding up and over St. Michael’s, then down by the beach to document how beautiful and peaceful the area is.

It was great to have so much going on in the home to photograph and video; St. Michael’s holds regular parties for friends and family members to attend, completely free of charge, and residents absolutely love them. On the day of the shoot, there was a Caribbean-themed party going on, so we got some colourful photos capturing smiles all around. With the band playing, kids dancing and everybody smiling, we couldn’t have asked for a better day – there was even a pony with a multicoloured mane in attendance!

Although there was a lot of fun to be had down on the ground, a lot of the footage we used came from up in the air – striking landscapes provided the perfect backdrop for our videos, with staff and residents’ words bringing the home to life, telling the world why St. Michael’s is such a great place to live and to work. Watch the video for yourself right here. This is what our client had to say about it: ‘The video you created for us is perfect and made me feel quite emotions. I love it!’

If you would like something similar creating for your business, get in touch with the team at Marketing for Care Homes – we’d love the opportunity to bring your brand to life.