The Intricacies of Marketing a Senior Care Franchise
How to generate leads with ethical and honest tactics
There’s this misconception in the world of franchising that in order to succeed, a person has to fight, claw and scratch their way to the top. Sure, a successful business career does require a level of grit, hard work and sometimes sacrifice that is unmatched by many other industries, especially when considering franchise lead generation, and even more so in an industry as robust and competitive as the senior care industry.
But, what’s easy to forget when marketing one of these senior care franchises, is the source of where the business comes from — human beings. Senior care is one of the most lucrative businesses in franchising, but it comes with intricacies that are beyond that of nearly every other concept in the country. Because of that, lead generation tactics — whether from a franchise or consumer perspective — must be well developed, morally responsible and most importantly, sympathetic to the needs these businesses are addressing.
Reputation and Referrals
One of the primary ways to spread awareness and boost brand recognition for a senior care franchise is through word-of-mouth advertising and a quality referral program. Not only are these methods inexpensive and often times free, but they offer reassurance to a brand’s reputation. There’s nothing that speaks to a brand’s overall quality more than a raving review from its customers. Rarely are brands with bad reputations and distorted marketing techniques getting the seal of approval from the people who’ve used their services.
While this tactic speaks more to how a franchise actually operates (a first-rate business model produces first-rate service), there are ways to utilize positive reviews to enhance the image of a business. If a client has nothing but good to say about a business, either to their friends, family or people within the business, there is a good chance that client is willing to share those thoughts on a bigger scale. As long as it is handled ethically and responsibly, it’s completely acceptable to ask for a testimonial to share on a website or business listing platform.
When asking for testimonials, ensure the person providing the review doesn’t feel pressured into doing so. Specifically in the senior care industry, be sure the situation is appropriate for this kind of request, and never push the issue if the individual is uninterested.
Social Media and Senior Care
On the surface these seem worlds apart, but in reality, a social media presence isn’t meant to attract the seniors who are being cared for, but the loved ones of those seniors. People use social media for a variety of reasons, and as these platforms continue to grow and evolve, the uses for them do the same.
For instance, in October, Facebook launched a new section called “Marketplace” after seeing its users interacting on the variety of “buy and sell” groups that already existed on the platform. Facebook Marketplace now acts as a “friendlier Craigslist,” where people can search for items they are in need .Facebook users consult friends, family, and sometimes even strangers when they’re searching for something. It’s not hard to find the posts…”ISO business that can provide XYZ service”, “looking for a new [enter product here]”.
By establishing a social media presence that offers value and insight to those searching, a brand can position itself as a leader in the industry. Facebook advertising is also a great, inexpensive way to connect with people who are looking for senior care services.
Language is Key
Despite the array of marketing avenues senior care companies can take, one rule holds true for each and every one — the language that’s used to generate leads must be sensitive to the industry. It's a fine line to walk when discussing a business that generates revenue and profits from the livelihood of human beings, so it is critical to tread that line lightly.
It’s easy — especially when considering the substantial growth of the senior care industry — to tout a company’s success and ability to compete in the market, but these dollars are directly related to people, not products, and should be considered as such.
Franchise marketing and lead generation in the senior care industry comes with a whole different set of sensitivities and subtleties, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a place to boast a company’s success. Especially if that success stems from an authentic mission and respectable business model.
Matthew Jonas is the president of TopFire Media, an award-winning integrated public relations and digital marketing agency specializing in franchise marketing and consumer branding. Together with the leaders of iFranchise Group and Franchise Dynamics, Jonas established TopFire Media to provide a strategic and synchronized method for digital marketing in the franchise industry. As a digital marketing strategist with more than a decade of in-depth experience in SEO and PPC, social media publishing, conversion based marketing, inbound marketing, sales management, and online lead generation, Jonas has built a career dedicated to delivering an integrated marketing approach that achieves client success and long-term relationships.