7 Nursing Home Marketing Ideas for Your Facility
As a leader in healthcare, it’s often up to you to generate ideas that promote the growth of your facility. If you want to learn how to increase admissions in nursing homes, the first step is to spread the word about your offerings through a strategic marketing plan.
How can you use nursing home marketing to reach your intended audience? We’ll discuss the importance of having a healthcare marketing strategy and share ideas about how to market a skilled nursing facility (SNF) to help you reach potential residents and their families. You’ll find that these ideas are easily adaptable to a variety of healthcare organizations, including assisted living facilities (ALFs).
Why Is Healthcare Marketing Important?
When considering the importance of marketing in long-term care organizations, reflect on the following question: Is your message reaching the clients you hope to serve? While you may be able to count on word-of-mouth recommendations for some new admissions, it may not be enough to build a sustainable business model that reliably brings in enough residents.
Healthcare marketing allows you to communicate your message to the specific groups of people who will benefit most from the services you provide. Keep in mind that the target market for nursing homes is not just the potential residents of your facility, but also their families. It’s important to develop a strategic plan that gives your facility a competitive edge and attracts the clients you’re looking for.
Marketing Ideas for Nursing Homes
As you develop your nursing home marketing strategy, work with your team to clarify your goals. Consider promoting your awards and recognitions, any unique services you offer, and what sets you apart from your competitors. Then, work on your brand design to create cohesive visual elements. Once you’ve created a clear brand identity, use the following ideas as a reference as you formulate your marketing plan.
1. Create a Referral Program
One way to encourage more business through word-of-mouth recommendations is to start a referral program for existing clients and families. You can offer incentives such as discounts, free perks, or other rewards for referring new patients. This can be an extremely effective tool, as new clients are more apt to trust the opinions of those they personally know.
2. Optimize Your Website
People are likely to search for your facility online as they explore their options, so it’s important that you have a quality website design that sets you up for success. Make a great first impression by using consistent branding, highlighting your distinctions, and appealing to your audience’s values.
In addition to eye-catching visuals and compelling ideas, make sure that your website has clear navigation, prompt page speed, and encourages visitors to take further action through calls to action (CTAs). You might want users to fill out forms, complete surveys, or schedule tours, depending on your marketing goals.
3. Send Email Newsletters
Newsletters can be a great nursing home marketing strategy to maintain consistent communication with your audience. Begin by defining the goals of your newsletter — what will you share? What format will you use? What message do you plan to get across? Then, compile a list of email addresses that you’ll send the newsletters to and develop a realistic plan for how frequently you’ll send them out.
4. Connect Through Social Media
Another way to build positive connections and maintain open lines of communication is to engage on social media. The first step is to consider the platforms that your target audience will most likely use. For targeted local ads, Facebook would be a good choice. Or, to develop a presence in the healthcare industry, you might consider focusing on LinkedIn.
Whichever platform you choose, the goal is to open the door for real connections, increase awareness of your brand, generate more traffic to your online sites, and build credibility. The good news is that this marketing strategy is cost effective, as most social media accounts are free.
5. Manage Your Online Reviews
Another important component of nursing home marketing is to cultivate credibility through online review management. Potential clients will take into account the reviews they find in their online research as they choose a nursing home for themselves or a loved one.
It’s key to respond to reviews, especially negative ones, to protect your reputation. Thank positive reviewers, flag inappropriate or spam reviews, and acknowledge and provide next steps for dissatisfied responses. If you’re tight on time, focus your efforts on your Google Business profile or invest in a review management tool. Also, it’s a good idea to identify especially favorable reviews so you can highlight them on your company website.
6. Highlight Newsworthy Moments
Fresh happenings at your facility — like hiring staff, opening new buildings, or launching services for the first time — are great opportunities to generate positive buzz. Of all marketing ideas for nursing homes, sending out a healthcare press release to news organizations can be especially effective at reaching your local community. These press releases can spread the word about your facility’s offerings and provide the news outlet with relevant content.
7. Utilize In-Person Events
Choosing a nursing home is a big choice for new residents and their families, so it’s important that you help develop trust within the local community. In-person events should complement your online marketing plan and serve as a way to foster these positive relationships.
There are a number of nursing home marketing events that you could incorporate into your plan, ranging from attending health fairs and community events to hosting open houses and tours of your facility. The point of these events is to build trust with potential clients as they ask questions and consider whether they would entrust their care, or the care of their loved one, to you.
Level Up Your Marketing Game and More
Now that you have some useful nursing home marketing ideas to work with, you might be interested in learning more about how to manage a healthcare facility effectively. We’re here to help — the IntelyCare newsletter is full of free healthcare facility tips, shared right to your inbox.