Pregnancy centers offer top-quality care and support for women all over the United States, but sometimes marketing takes a backseat. It’s easy to let marketing slip in the hustle of serving women or concerns over costs, but an effective strategy makes an enormous difference in attracting and engaging more clients and donors.
In this FREE guide, we will assess your center’s marketing strategy, focusing on five key areas: Social Media, Google Presence, Search Engine Optimization, Community Outreach, and Cohesive Branding. At the end, we include a checklist to help you go through each category and check off the items you excel in. Any boxes left unchecked will indicate where you need to focus to improve your center’s marketing strategy.
Let’s begin by taking a look at different marketing tactics. Most apply to most of your centers, but it’s good to assess fully which of these will be the most effective for you in reaching abortion- determined women.
It goes without saying, social media has become one of the nation’s top forms of communication and connection—especially during COVID-19 isolation. According to Pew Research Center, about 7 in 10 Americans connect with each other on social media. The younger generations are even heavier users with 45% of teens aged 13-17 saying they are on social media “almost constantly” and 44% saying they use it “several times a day.” With widespread adoption and use, it’s vital for center’s to have a social media presence. This is an accelerator of word of mouth.
For the first step in building a strong social media strategy, ensure all your business details are correct including your location, hours, and contact information. Be sure to designate a staff member in charge of checking and answering client or donor messages. You should be ready to quickly answer all questions from “Can I schedule an appointment?” to “Do you take baby clothes?”
What does a successful social media presence look like?
It’s one thing to have a pregnancy center account, but it’s another thing to have a successful social media presence. To have a successful social media presence, clients and/or donors need to know about it, connect with it, and interact with it. The draw for these users to interact with your account comes from posting high-quality and relevant content, regularly. For client social media, we target and engage with Generation Z by producing videos, fun graphics, and inspiration – in addition to service-related posts. For donor social media, we highlight pro-life topics, Bible verses, and mission-related posts. At the heart of social media lies growing your client and donor base, building awareness and engaging with them to develop a supportive community.
CENTER PRESENCE ON GOOGLE
The search for answers often begins on Google. In fact, Google owns 85.86% of the global market share for online search. To literally be on “the map” your center needs to have a Google My Business profile. It’s critical to ensure correct details on here as well because most clients will use it as a primary reference. Other important features of a profile include posting updates to help drive traffic to your website, advertising on Google Adwords, and answering positive and negative reviews.
Why should I monitor my center’s Google reviews?
Answering reviews has become especially crucial in the culture war of pregnancy center versus abortion clinic. Pro-choice activists will sometimes post fake reviews as part of a pregnancy center smear campaign. It’s important to be able to report these to Google to get them removed, and respond noting this person has never been a client, and refute false claims. We advise centers to build an arsenal of positive reviews from satisfied clients to improve your credibility, and make a better case for Google to remove the fake ones. Make sure to ask happy clients to write a review.. Acknowledge any positive reviews on Google to show you are engaged, responsive, and thankful for the feedback.
If you do receive a legitimate negative review, which happens to even the best of centers, it’s important to do “damage control” and respond in a compassionate and understanding manner. Ask to discuss it further so it doesn’t happen again. Talking with this person could uncover areas of improvement.
Monitoring Google reviews will help build and protect your credibility, and relieve any potential client concerns.
SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION (SEO)
While the term Search Engine Optimization (SEO) sounds intimidating, it’s actually pretty straightforward. SEO’s goal is to increase your ranking, web traffic, and conversions, meaning the times users complete a call to action. There are many SEO activities you can do on your website and Google My Business to improve your page ranking, or position in Google search results.
What are easy ways to improve Search Engine Optimization?
When thinking about SEO, we must remember Google’s goal to deliver accurate, relevant, and credible search results to users. To accomplish this, Google has an algorithm in place designed to look for up-to-date and quality content (videos, images, text length) that correlate with search terms or keywords. So, how do you improve SEO? Keep your website updated, and publish relevant and quality content with keywords your target will search.
Regularly publishing relevant blog posts answering frequently asked and searched questions by abortion-minded women is one of the most powerful SEO tools in your center’s toolbox. The topics of these posts can range from “How much does an abortion cost?” to “How does an ultrasound work?” These blog posts increase your center’s credibility and page rank, and will drive more search traffic to your website.
In addition to the basics, you can also optimize the backend of your website’s content to include your strategic keywords in your headlines, add hyperlinks to credible sources, and make sure to update meta and alt tags. Instead of diving too deep into the details, be sure to search our free SEO resources on our website to learn more.
Many pregnancy centers shine when it comes to community outreach, especially with many donors coming from local churches. But are you only known in the pro-life community, or do abortion-minded women in your area know about you too? Community outreach must aim to improve both donor and client awareness. Your client demographics can serve as an obvious indicator of your level of community awareness. If only women in their twenties schedule appointments, your awareness among teens could be low.
To improve community awareness, you must become involved in the community. Connect with local organizations, high schools, universities, local businesses, and churches. Host events or fundraisers, and try old school print advertising if you see an opportunity, such as a popular message board in a community center. Assess your community outreach strategy and see if you need improvement. Yes, community involvement might have fallen drastically during COVID-19, but getting creative by trying a mailer or even a billboard could help.
Remember, the best form of advertising will always be word of mouth. The better the client experience, the greater the chance of spreading your center’s name to friends and contacts.
Cohesive branding means having a consistent logo, look and feel, and brand voice across every aspect of your center’s marketing, from social media posts, brochures, business cards, your website and your in-center experience. Retail companies do this very well, making sure their apps, stores, and promotional magazines fit together perfectly. Of course, pregnancy centers differ in the fact they generally have client-facing branding and donor-facing branding. In this case, the voice does change because the target segment changes. Therefore, look at each separately and make sure each has cohesive branding throughout, even if the voices and imagery differ. No matter if you speak to donors or clients, both will always appreciate a beautifully-crafted, relevant website and corresponding marketing materials. It builds your center’s credibility and professionalism while helping clients feel more comfortable making appointments and donors feel more comfortable donating to your ministry.
Who does your center work with?
Since pregnancy center staff’s expertise lies in caring and serving women, many centers decide to outsource their marketing efforts to a partner, like Choose Life Marketing. We market for pregnancy centers in all fifty states, in addition to Ireland, Taiwan, Australia, and Canada. We are experts in pregnancy center best practices, and how to best reach and communicate with your clients and donors. If you are interested in working with us to help improve any area of your center’s marketing strategy, please contact us today.
Give us a call at 573-445-9295, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit our website at chooselifemarketing.com to learn more about how we can help!