While traditional media advertising — such as television and radio — has been essential in helping the Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania-based agency rise through the ranks, the future is social, according to Senior Vice President of Global Operations Dave Ritterling.
“Geotargeting, Hulu, Youtube,” Ritterling told Home Health Care News. “Those really are the next extension for all of us [home care providers]. We need to be where the people are, and they’re on phones.”
Ritterling shared those insights with HHCN at Visiting Angels’ annual conference last week in Nashville, Tennessee, where he said the importance of social media and emerging technologies took center stage.
“The days of the Yellow Pages are over,” Ritterling said. “What people are doing is using social media. I think we’re just going to see that trend really go quickly.”
The prominence of online advertising is nothing new.
Specifically, the average person seeking senior care online is a woman between 50 and 70, according to third-party market research compiled from more than 4,500 respondents and used by Caring.com. Most often, that person is the care recipient’s adult child (39%) or spouse (29%).
Lately, Visiting Angels has been researching new — and better ways — to capture those audiences.
“A lot of our strategies have been with cable, but now that cable’s changing, we’re going to a lot more digital sources,” Ritterling said. “We’re on NPR now, which is unique for us. We’re finding new areas where listenership trends are happening.”
Beyond bringing in new clients, social media has also been hailed as a way to recruit caregivers, as retention is at an all-time low and demand for services is at an all-time high.
“It has become table stakes — an effective multi-channel marketing effort,” Hireology CEO Adam Robinson previously told HHCN. “Recruiting via social media certainly includes potential applicants that read your post, click on a link and apply to a job, but equally important is brand building. Word of mouth is heavily influenced by a company’s online employment brand.”
Medicare Advantage play
Beyond digital advertising, another area of interest for Visiting Angels is Medicare Advantage (MA), Ritterling said.
“The more we think we know, the more we find out we don’t know,” Ritterling said. “I think there’s a lot more work to be done in that area for us to get our arms around it and figure out how we’re going to approach that. We see it as an opportunity but as we learn more and more, we’ll engage that more.”
While Ritterling declined to go into specifics, he said Visiting Angels is “looking at, developing and discussing” MA partnerships.
“We’ve got our feelers out,” Ritterling said. “We’ve got such a great experienced director group, many of which have lots of experience in that area. We’re working with them and sort of helping them chart the way as we approach this.”