Is Professional Photography A Good Investment For Care Homes?
Professional photography is such a powerful resource for any business and one that will keep delivering business value over a long period of time.
While its use in marketing is well known, you shouldn’t ignore the difference it can make when it comes to recruitment, too.
In this article we outline the many uses of professional photography in print and digital, and why it’s such a good business investment.
First impressions last in business. Whether it’s through social media, a brochure, or your website, a photograph is often the first experience a care seeker will have of your care home. The media you produce represents your brand. Even if your care home has been given an outstanding rating, poor quality photos produced in-house can suggest a poor quality care home.
Perception is, more often than not, reality nowadays. It really makes sense to commission a suite of professional photographs and build a centralised resource for your business to be used by marketing, HR, PR & communications and beyond.
It will help you deliver brand consistency across all channels for years to come.
Although it might not be a consideration when you build your first website, using professional photography is a huge statement of intent and will set your website apart from its competitors. Professionally produced photos will highlight the unique features and benefits of your care home offering. And authentic photos of real residents are more likely to connect with care seekers, helping to create trust and a favourable impression.
Social media is one of the primary reasons to invest in a suite of professional photographs. With attention spans on social being so short, it’s important to make a good first impression in any social media post. Professional photography will help you do that. Social media has become part of business as usual (BAU) for many businesses who typically post at least once a day, sometimes more.
That’s a lot of pressure to find new interesting photos to accompany your posts. If you create a centralised resource of quality photos you’ll be able to use them again and again for BAU social media posts. This will help you achieve brand consistency and give you more time for planning and delivery of more strategic, targeted and engaging social media campaigns. Who doesn’t want to run more impactful social media campaigns?
EMAIL MARKETING & CRM
If you’re like most businesses nowadays you’ll have an established process for marketing to prospects and managing the relationships you have with your existing customers. Again, emails are another channel that needs thoughtful photography. The photos you send to prospects will more likely need to highlight the key features and benefits of your care home. Your unique selling points. While the ones you use to send to existing customers will more than likely be focused on residents, company values and culture. Having a wide range of subjects is something to make sure you build into any professional photography brief.
CARE HOME DIRECTORIES & REVIEW SITES
One of the first things new care home businesses do is to sign-up to the many care home directory and review sites there in the UK market.
Here are three of the best care home directory sites in the UK:
However, not all care home businesses optimise their listings to make sure they grab people’s attention. Adding accurate, helpful information, photos, videos and even virtual tours to profiles will all help to increase your visibility on the site and ensure you’re more likely to feature higher up in any search results.
GOOGLE BUSINESS PROFILE (FORMERLY KNOWN AS GOOGLE MY BUSINESS)
Another of the first steps any new care home business should do is a Google Business Profile.
If you haven’t already visit: https://www.google.com/intl/en_uk/business/ and add yours.
It’ll give you a bit of Google real estate long before your keyword rankings get to page one.
Your Business Profile will also appear in the lists for local searches like ‘care homes near me’.
It’ll also help you share key information about your care home business with friends and family of residents – and the general public.
Here’s a checklist to make sure your have an optimised Google Business Profile:
- Make sure you add your current location and your service areas.
- Add accurate and consistent contact information including your name, address and phone number. Try to keep these consistent across all your profiles and listings online.
- Add the correct URL of your website to strengthen the link between this profile, your brand name and your website
- Add an optimised business description and include unique selling points, a focus keyword and a mention of the local area you are targeting, or operating in.
- Add professional photos of your care home and its residents.
- Encourage your existing residents to give you a review and respond if necessary.
- Regularly publish posts showcasing offers or events.
- Keep all of your information up-to-date.
- Embed your Google Map on your contact page on your website – it’ll help Google associate your brand name with your website.
BROCHURES, FLYERS & LEAFLETS
Printed sales literature is still must-have marketing collateral. Whether it’s a brochure, flyer or leaflet, professional photography will help you to distinguish your brand from the competition. They’re also the dominant marketing currency at trade shows, as they provide prospects with something tangible to take home with them.
RESIDENT MAGAZINES & NEWSLETTERS
Providing newsletters and even in-house magazines for residents is becoming increasingly popular, especially among large care home groups.Good quality, genuine photographs that help to tell your brand story are essential for these types of publications.
ADVERTS/ADVERTORIALS IN MAGAZINES
It’s becoming increasingly common for care homes to advertise in magazines that are read by their key target demographics. The production values in magazines are extremely high, so whether it’s an advert or advertorial, you’ll need professional photography if you’re going to make a favourable impression.
We always spend time helping our clients plan for a photography shoot, in order for them to maximise the business value from each one.
It’s what we do. Get in touch and we’ll talk you through the whole process.