Promoting your platform is essential for a successful implementation and ongoing adoption and usage. Sharing your social care platform with the community empowers staff, community partners, and people looking for help to search and connect to resources both on their own and on behalf of others.
Marketing & Promotion Recommendations
For successful, ongoing site traction, we recommend the following actions:
- Identify a marketing lead
- Develop the look, feel and experience of your site through platform branding
- Reach your staff and community with a multi-site approach
- Develop an initial marketing strategy
- Develop an ongoing promotional strategy
The marketing lead will support internal and external messaging and branding efforts and create campaigns for both initial launch and ongoing promotion of your platform. Depending on the size of your organization, there may be a dedicated marketing lead or the marketing lead can be a person who fills multiple roles. The marketing lead can expect to be involved in the project for about 1 hour a week during implementation and then at least 2 hours per quarter thereafter for ongoing promotion.
Read the Key Roles article to learn more about other key project team roles!
Develop the look, feel and experience of your site through platform branding
The most successful social care implementations introduce your platform to your users and make a strong first impression. These are the branding customizations we recommend:
- Site Title: A unique and recognizable platform name to express your vision for your social care network, and help users find their way to your site.
- Custom URL: Make it easy for people to find your platform and improve search engine optimization (SEO).
- Custom Landing Page: A custom landing page creates a unique search experience for users from the start.
- Tailored Homepage: A branded homepage is the starting point for a user to begin searching for social care resources. The homepage should convey what people can gain from using the platform and is also a good place to share your mission and reasons for creating the platform.
For more information on Branding, including technical aspects and examples please access the Branding Your Platform articles.
For professional and enterprise customers, our standard practice is to create two sites as a part of your implementation. This benefits your organization in several ways:
It is important to not lose sight of the audience for each site when developing marketing and ongoing promotion campaigns. For more information on the benefits of a multi-site approach, please access the Multi-Site Approach to Address Social Needs article.
Marketing and Promotion Best Practices and Considerations
During the development of your platform, the Marketing Lead should develop an initial marketing campaign and ongoing promotional plan. Plans should be developed for both the staff and community-facing sites to appeal to different audience needs and interests.
Initial Site Marketing
Initial site marketing campaigns introduce your platform to your staff and community members and are a great way to share your vision and goals for the platform, ensure people have the right tools to navigate the site, and celebrate the launch! Here are some best practices for an initial site marketing plan:
- Add a link to your community platform (or a simple search box) on your organization's website and other existing materials
- Create materials to promote to site that target your community’s needs and preferences
- Equip staff who regularly interact with the community with information to promote the community site
- Develop a plan to launch the site to internal staff
- Add a link to your staff platform where your users will need it (internal SharePoints, browser bookmarks, etc.)
- Create training materials for staff
- Ensure that staff can promote both the staff and community-facing sites
- Incorporate site promotion into existing outreach processes and materials (team meetings, internal newsletters, etc.)
Ongoing Site Promotion
It is not uncommon for site activity on both the community and staff sites to dip after initial site launch. For this reason, it’s important to develop ongoing site promotional campaigns for both your community and staff sites. Here are a few considerations for ongoing site promotion campaigns:
Marketing Refresh Campaign
- Utilize different channels to promote staff usage to existing users
- Promote the stie site to new groups and teams
- Continue to promote the site to your community
- Continue to incorporate site promotion into existing outreach processes and materials
Increase Site Usage
- Work with staff for more targeted site usage (example: increasing connections or referrals)
- Encourage teams to regularly review site activity
- Ensure that staff can promote both sites
- Track usage by group or team and share with leadership
Here are a few questions to ask yourself to help develop how you can message your sites to your staff and community:
- How do you want to position the site in your community?
- How do we nurture and encourage site usage by staff and community members?
- What are the benefits of the site for staff? For the community?
- Are there certain populations, service areas or sub-groups you want to target? Examples:
- Service Area: Geography, accessibility
- Service Demographics: Age, ethnicity, comfort with tech
- Language: Primary, secondary languages spoken in your service area
- Diversity: Anyone can need social care support at any time
- Current Outreach Process: Incorporate site promotion into existing outreach processes and materials
This section includes marketing and promotional examples from across our customers:
- New patient / new member onboarding materials
- Share your platform URL on utility bills
- Include links to your site on patient discharge instructions or after-visit summaries
- Include links to search boxes in your patient / member portal
- Distribute promotional materials at the DMV, restaurants (or other community hotspots!)
- Partner with and train local librarians on the platform so they can help people navigate
- Run a text message campaign to encourage usage and promote self-navigation
- Conduct social media campaigns
- Partner with COVID-19 testing sites to share handouts when people are getting tested
- Promote the platforms on your waiting room or lobby screens
Digital Access Examples
- Social media
- Your websites (search boxes or direct URLs)
- Slides for waiting room / lobby TVs
- Email signatures
- Short videos (example: Emergency Resource Toolkit- SEU Cares)
- Newsletters (example: Health, social services a click away, in pioneering program)
Handouts and Display Examples
- Community-facing posters
- Staff-facing posters
- Front desk signs
- Door hangs
Include QR codes in your printed materials!
Consider adding QR codes to your flyers, signs, postcards, banners, or other printed materials. QRs are a great way to enable users to quickly and easily access your site. There are many websites where you can create free, customizable QR codes (example: https://www.qr-code-generator.com/).