Are you wondering what type of marketing strategy is best for hospice agency? If YES, here are 20 best hospice marketing ideas. Indeed, hospice remains one of the most valuable health services in the United States.
Taking care of individuals in their last days tends to require a strong will, a sincere heart, and good knowledge of modern medicine. Generally, in healthcare marketing, there are numerous regulations and various markets to consider.
As a medical establishment offering hospice services, you will have to focus your strategy and messaging to ensure your brand is top-of-mind when people need your care. You will also be expected to prove your trustworthiness and perfection, especially to patients’ relatives. Marketing for hospice is not so easy primarily because the industry is an extremely specific subset of healthcare.
Note that one primary difference hospice care presents is that depending on repeat patients is not possible because most of your patients are coming through the door in their final days of life. However, that level of relationship with a loved one can provide a complex referral web from caregivers, at-home nurses and aides, and family members.
It is also very necessary to state that in hospice, every prospective customer comes with an entirely different but unique circumstance. Note that everyone comes with a deeply personal and individual experience and story. With each prospect, there can be numerous parties to consider in the decision-making process.
The care your organization offers and the strength you represent are vital to each of your patients and their loved ones. Every person put on hospice will be terminally ill, and just like it was stated above, it entails that eventually, they will seize to be your clients at some point.
What are the Best Hospice Marketing ideas?
There are a few practical ways to continually market hospice services so that there are always patients that need to be catered for, and these ways include;
Health conventions are a wonderful marketing idea for hospice businesses primarily because someone in the audience will find hospice services to be a better alternative compared to hospital care. Note that by stating the benefits that hospice provides and offering concrete advice, you can easily boost leads through health conventions.
As a hospice business, you can align with local newspapers and television stations to sponsor a slipper drive. This is more or less a community event where local residents can donate slippers to hospice patients. Note that this serves as an advertising platform because of its ability to create name recognition for your hospice. Ensure to inculcate door prizes, light catered food or drinks, and live music to make the event festive and grow attendance.
Content marketing via blogging is indeed another good way to set your hospice business website up for success. It’s a very important part of any marketing plan. Note that without a blog, you’re missing out on crucial avenues for education, which also entails more community outreach and referrals.
Have it in mind that having a blog makes you a credible source of priceless hospice related information. It will also differentiate you from your competitors in your area, and also ensure that you become an authority on the services you offer. Few ideas for blog topics may include:
- When Is It Time to Discuss Hospice Care?
- The Difference Between Hospice and Palliative Care
- When Hospice Care May be Right For You
Diversify Your Service Lines
A good number of hospice organizations that began primarily as hospice providers have expanded and diversified their service offerings. Coupled with palliative care, most of them are leveraging their healthcare skills to offer other services including home health, transitional care, and private pay nursing.
Some are even eager to establish or join a community with accommodations for the needs of healthy, active seniors to assisted living to skilled nursing to hospice care, so residents can “age in place” for a considerable length of time.
Use a Hospice Sales Team
Even though people working in hospice tend to be altruistic, the hospice industry is hyper-competitive. You should consider putting up a sales team to help grow your referral potential, perform a detailed assessment, and also have a plan. Other things to consider include;
- Review the sales team members activities and referral sources
- Educate sales staff to focus on ‘where the money is’
- Establish a work-back plan for each member of the sales team
- Show your math
Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving your website so search engines like Google can easily show your service in search results. Have it in mind that it lets your potential patients’ loved ones look up high-value keywords like “hospice care in [your city]” and find you immediately.
They can locate your website, learn more about hospice care, know more about your establishment, and decide if they want to contact you. However, in this marketing strategy, it is imperative that you present your hospice organization online in a respectable, professional, and dignified way. No one wants to enroll their loved ones in an organization that doesn’t look like it actually cares.
Hire a Hospice Marketing Agency
This is one marketing option you have to consider, especially if you do not have previous experience in this industry. Note that by hiring an experienced hospice marketing agency, you get much more than just marketing expertise.
Have it in mind that you get uninterrupted access to an entire team of professionals including social media professionals, web design experts, search engine optimization professionals, and graphic designers. Also note that a well known hospice marketing agency can offer a vast range of services for your business, such as content marketing, social media marketing, email marketing, website design, and help with SEO.
Use Fundraising to Further Your Cause
Although this will surely depend on the type of terminal illness your hospice cares for, but you can leverage a fundraiser for the cause that matters to your facility. For instance, if you manage a hospice for patients with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, hold a fundraiser that sponsors the Alzheimer’s Association.
You can also partner with local newspapers and TV stations to make the best of this marketing strategy. Ensure to get families involved, and send out a news release at the conclusion of the fundraiser announcing the money you have raised for your cause.
Visit Elderly Homes
Although this might sound unrealistic, but visiting a target audience is easy with elderly homes. Note that as people get older, their chances of requiring your services also grow. Owing to that, elderly patients and their families can be met to offer a better alternative to hospital care.
However, ensure to stress the fact that the ill patient will be able to be treated at their home and will be much more comfortable as a result. In addition, consider doing a presentation or handing out fliers at these facilities.
Sponsor a Family’s Hospital Meal
According to reports, a good number of patients switch to a hospice after receiving long-term care in a hospital. Owing to that, you can easily put your name out there by sponsoring a meal for needy families who have terminally ill family members in the hospital.
Have it in mind that some family members are skeptical about leaving their loved one’s bedside, so sponsoring a meal for those families goes a long way. To sponsor a meal, simply talk to the hospital directly for individualized options, ranging from catered foods at the patient’s bedside to special menus available at an additional cost.
Mergers, Acquisitions, and Affiliations
In recent times, some hospice organizations are beginning to find strength in numbers – especially among not-for-profit providers. Although a good number of organizations find it very challenging to let go of the hospice brand name that has served their respective communities for years or more, however, one good way to analyze the degree of brand equity is to do statistically significant research among the target audiences.
As providers offer a true continuum of care, it’s easier to hone relationships with patients and families earlier in the continuum and refer downstream to a service line with the same trusted brand name.
Email Marketing For Your Hospice Services
According to experts, for every dollar you spend on email it has consistently produced anywhere from a $40-$44 return. Owing to that, when putting together your marketing plan, an email strategy should be an utmost priority. Note that it creates an opportunity to reach future patients and their loved ones. Email marketing also serves as a way to connect, educate, and help your community feel involved in the care you are offering. Here are when it may be ideal to send an email as a hospice provider:
- When someone has reached out for more information about your Advanced Care services for a loved one.
- When you are introducing any new additions to your facility or services you provide.
- When sharing information regarding your support groups or other facility events.
- After you receive a referral.
Content marketing is the process of establishing unique, helpful, and relevant information and posting it to your website. “Content” is an encompassing term that refers to anything someone sees on your site. That includes text, images, videos, interactives, animations, and more. Note that with this strategy, you can make educational materials that explicitly show how your organization works and why you’re the best choice for hospice care.
Note that you can talk about how long you have worked in hospice, the experience of your team, or how you have been trusted in your community for years. In addition, you can boost that content for search engines to make it show up in Google’s results.
You can also make downloadable guides that talk about hospice options, how to understand when someone needs hospice care, and removing the taboo around conversations about death. Note that doing so helps build trust with potential clients as they see that you’re a reliable authority in hospice.
Network with Doctors
Always remember that when a patient has been diagnosed as terminally ill, they must have gotten this diagnosis from a medical professional. Note that you can align with local doctors to serve as a lucrative base for referrals. Easy going doctors will provide referrals for free and will more or less be happy that their patients can rest peacefully at home. While a good percentage of doctors will ask for a referral fee which will usually be provided as a way to cajole a doctor into offering referrals your way.
Note that when you recruit medical interns to work at your hospice, you also expose your brand to local colleges and universities, and this entails bringing your hospice top-of-mind to locals within the community.
Have it in mind that a lot of medical students including discharge planners will accept full-time positions at local hospitals upon graduation. A reliable understanding and an established relationship with hospital staff members bring about greater leads and patient referrals.
Market in Elderly Publications
In the United States, there are so many magazines and periodicals that are mainly for the elderly. Note that it is never too early for a person to inquire about hospice care even when they are currently healthy. You can leverage these publications, or even use an ad to implant a seed in the reader’s mind that could develop into a future client. Advertising using publications is often ideal with hospice as the normal client base is not as computer savvy as younger generations.
Offer Cheaper Alternatives to Hospital Care
Have it in mind that marketing hospice as a cheaper alternative to hospital care is a wonderful approach to generate leads. Note that clients and their families do not want to bother about insurance covering their medical bills and since hospice is cheaper, it is only ideal to promote the fact.
Remember Past Client’s Families
This is indeed a marketing effort that most people in the hospice business tend to forget. By remembering your past clients, it is also possible to remind families about the genuine service you offered. Note that this can easily be done immediately after a patient passes with a simple condolence card or it can be done months later.
Classifieds and Yellow Pages
Note that no one likes to be stressed, especially family members who must have done everything possible to care for their loved ones. Have it in mind that Local classified ads, as well as the yellow pages, offer advertisement spots. Also remember to add your listing to online classifieds as well as directories. According to experts, these are two wonderful outlets that can be used to further boost exposure and marketing efforts.
Under a very good arrangement, a few present clients may allow you to mount a sign in their yard advertising your services. Note that this is ideally achieved with a small discount, but it is not always a necessity. If a neighborhood is always busy, this can help to grow sales dramatically. Surrounding neighbors will also be more prone and agreeable to leveraging your services since this is a form of referral that was seen right in their front yard.
Always note that the use of trust-building and value-driven content, well articulated marketing ideas, and persistent monitoring of results is the answer to rising above competitors in the hospice market. Leverage those concepts mentioned above and you’ll be on your way to becoming the go-to hospice in your local region.