These DIY tools help connect with customers
by Steve Selbst

The explosive of growth of social media platforms, coupled with the ease of use of today’s technology, creates a terrific opportunity for home medical equipment companies (HME) to market their products and services at very low cost. It also allows for a broad reach into target markets and new customers. In the past, to market online effectively meant hiring a plethora of unintegrated technology companies to assist you. For example, to optimize your visibility on the internet, you would use an internet marketing company to help with keyword research and creating ad campaigns, then optimizing them for both the Google Ads and Microsoft Advertising platforms. You may also have required the services of a social media marketing expert and a public relations company to get your messages out for maximum impact. Here are five ways that you can use today’s people-based technology to market your products and services to increase your customer base and revenue.

1. Migrate your website to Wordpress.

There are many business reasons for doing so. Once built, you can optimize Wordpress sites for search engines including Google, Yahoo and Bing by using plugins, many of which are free. Search engine optimization (SEO) plugins will help you create unique page titles and use focused keywords to get your site indexed on search engines. Once you deploy this approach, you may find that you can reduce or even eliminate pay-per-click ad spending, since SEO optimization enables better ranking on search engines. A Wordpress-based site also allows you to create your own landing pages without assistance. What does this mean exactly? It means that your customers can find your site quickly without a large online ad spend. It also eliminates the need for a company to manage the ads for you. This approach alone could save thousands of dollars a month and increase revenue.

2. Use list-based marketing.

For roughly $100 per month, you can use an online list-based marketing service to create customer prospect lists and campaigns. Many of these services charge a nominal fee for up to 10,000 managed contacts that you control. There are also marketing companies that create and send email blasts for you, if you prefer. Many of these companies are also list providers, which means that they can target specific customers. For example, if your HME company wants to target orthopedic and neurology practices with five physicians or more in California and Arizona, you can do that with list-based marketing. You can also build your own lists of customer prospects.

3. Offer free and helpful advice to your customers.

This approach can take many routes. For example, you can place a “free white paper” link on a page on your website and point customers to that page when you run ads. This page might provide useful tips about how to use your products. For example, a CPAP/BiBAP distributor could offer a free white paper about how to ensure the proper fit of CPAP masks. When a customer clicks on the link to the free white paper, you would then display a short form for them to complete similar to the one pictured here.
webinar formData capture form
Another benefit of having a website built in Wordpress is that you can quickly design forms to capture the information that is most relevant to you. You can also write articles and publish them on your own website or in industry journals. Establishing yourself and your company as authorities in your area of concentration lends immediate credibility and establishes interest in your business.

4. Leverage social media.

LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook are ubiquitous. Every time you write an article, publish a white paper, offer free advice, etc., you can use these platforms to get the word out. It is important to determine if you are B2B (a business selling to other businesses), B2C (a business selling to consumers) or both. This will help you properly target your customers and determine the best social media platforms to do so. For example, if you are selling an orthopedic boot that is an alternative to diabetic foot ulcer surgeries, it may be helpful to do B2B marketing to orthopedists and B2C to customers seeking solutions for diabetic foot ulcers. Joining targeted orthopedic groups on LinkedIn and using Facebook ads may be helpful in this scenario. Once you belong to relevant LinkedIn groups, you can post information and participate in group discussions. Some LinkedIn groups have 10,000-plus members; as a result, for no cost, you now have a potential marketing reach to thousands of customers by simply deploying the proper combination of social media platforms.

5. Create webinars targeted to your customers.

This is a technique that makes use of several of the approaches described above. Choose a topic of general interest to your target market, such as “What can a homecare professional do to assist me to live a fuller and happier life?” Next, advertise the webinar to assisted living facilities and to individuals over a certain age in specific locations using the B2B, B2C and list-based marketing approaches described above. Create an attractive landing page on your website for these customers to register for the session. Use social media to advertise the webinar. Lastly, deliver the webinar and follow up with the customers who registered to determine how you can assist them further. You can manage the marketing efforts that are key to attracting your customers. In the past, it might have been cost prohibitive or technically difficult to take this on yourself. Today, there is little cost, other than labor, to do so, and the technology is often manageable for business owners and personnel to handle on their own.

Steve Selbst is a national expert in payer contracting and online marketing for providers including home health and DME/HME companies. He is the CEO and co-owner of Healthcents Inc., the largest firm in the country for negotiating and analyzing payer contracts. Selbst can be reached at (800) 497-4970 or at; visit