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Connecting with Family Caregivers to Connect with Seniors Online (Part 1 of 3)

This post is the first in a series of three that focus on family caregivers and how to connect with them online.

One of the most insightful things we’ve learned as an Internet marketing agency focused on mature consumers is the power of connecting with family caregivers to sell your products and services to seniors.

Family caregivers are the sons, daughters, nieces, nephews, friends and neighbors who help seniors live their lives more fully. The levels of care provided can vary significantly, from running a few errands to 24/7 Alzheimer’s supervision.

With over 43.5 million caregivers in the U.S., this audience segment represents a significant market for senior products and services, with the caregiver as the purchaser or as an influencer on a senior’s purchasing behavior. The Caregiver’s Advisory Panel (TCAP) discovered that 96% of caregivers influence decisions regarding the purchase of caregiving health products, and 79% of caregivers purchase all or nearly all of those products.

What Family Caregivers Care About

Providing care for a senior can be the most stressful, demanding role a person ever takes on. Some of the most common decisions and worries caregivers face include:

  • Where will Mom be safest and healthiest?
  • What does Dad want? According to study after study, about 90% of American seniors say they want to remain in their own homes for as long as possible.
  • How will we, as a family, communicate and make decisions?
  • How will we pay for care?
  • How will I take care of my own family?
  • How do I juggle the demands of caregiving and working full-time?
  • Why am I sick all the time? In a study by Home Instead Senior Care, 56% of the responding family caregivers said they were falling ill more frequently.

Connecting with Family Caregivers Online

When busy family caregivers need information, they turn to the Internet. Not only does it offer a plethora of information, it is also available 24/7 so caregivers can research when and where they want. Some of the most common online activities for family caregivers include:

  • Researching symptoms, illnesses, and chronic conditions related to both the senior they are caring for and themselves
  • Staying connected with friends and family via email and social media
  • Looking for solutions and trusted partners to provide them

To connect with family caregivers online:

  • Make sure you are positioning your brand as the trusted solution to meet their needs. (Watch for my next blog entry to learn more about becoming the trusted brand for family caregivers.)
  • Make sure family caregivers can find you when they are looking for answers:
    • Your company website needs to be easy to use, well optimized for search engines, and contain the helpful resources caregivers are looking for.
    • Invest in SEO and a strong content strategy. Make sure your brand appears when and where family caregivers are looking for information.
  • Invest in email. Email is the second most common online activity for older consumers (searching is first). And, by forwarding an email to someone else, the sender implicitly gives it a level of endorsement.
  • Leverage social media. When busy, hectic caregivers have time, they use technologies like Facebook to stay connected with friends and families in the most efficient manner. Social media is also the place where they are often searching for the support and advice they need as caregivers.

Together, these tactics will help you establish a strong and profitable relationship with these influential consumers.

For detailed information on the caregiver demographic, download our profile.