Senior living is a major growth area in the health care sector that is poised to continue growing into 2017. Strong growth has led to more competition in the sector, especially as amenities and offerings at facilities become more luxurious in order to adapt to the changing tastes of consumers
In such a competitive market, a strong digital and lead management strategy is essential in order to consistently attract new consumers to your facility.
Who Are You Really Targeting?
The first step of any successful marketing campaign us to understand the audience you are trying to target. For marketing to senior living communities, that provides an interesting challenge.
An obvious target is the actual resident who will eventually move into a facility. However, this consumer is just one part of your target audience segment. Imagination’s 2014 Senior Research Study revealed that adult children often play a heavy role in researching living options for their senior parents. Medical or other professional referrers may also get involved. By only targeting potential residents, you are limiting yourself to a smaller audience.
Start with the Website
If you think your potential customers are not online due to their age, think again. Three quarters of baby boomers used search engines to find information on senior living, according to an October 2014 survey by Google.
Also of note is the language used by these users when searching for senior living facilities. The Google survey found that when baby boomers research senior living for themselves, they tend to look for independent living and community/lifestyle features. But when researching communities for a loved one, they enter search queries like “skilled nursing” and “assisted living communities.” They’re also interested in medical services and care types.
For ideal targeting, your website should be able to speak to both audiences. Having separate sections for “Yourself” and “Loved Ones” is an easy way to provide clear information to a user and ensure you are tailoring your content to their intent.
Also, when developing website content, use on-the-ground experiences to inform the information provided to the consumer. Think of the questions you receive most often from residents and their families. Do many families ask about financing options? Are a lot of people confused about the levels of care? Use these questions from your current and potential residents to fuel the content on your website and ensure you answer questions.
Keep Everything Up to Date – and Then Some
A well-optimized website is an excellent marketing tool, but only so if it is well-maintained and current. If your website features outdated photos, poorly written content, and unhelpful information, the emotions formed there will trickle into the feelings about the community.
In order to portray yourself as an active community, you need to be your own best publicist. Daily events, no matter how small, can be spun into a blog article, a social media post, a video on your website, a newsletter item … the list goes on and on. Having a strong amount of online content for potential visitors to browse is a must. If they can’t find you, they will ignore you.
In addition, you can use social media and others to promote activities and amenities that may not neatly fit into the sales pitch of normal website content. Providing a well-rounded view of all aspects of your community increase the potential for users to become interested and contact your community.
Review Your Process
So, at this point you have a well-written website and active social media accounts providing fun and uplifting photos of your community. Inquiries are flowing in to your office … now what? In order for any marketing program to be effective, there needs to be a process in place to measure effectiveness.
Evaluate the contact points for your website. Is it easy to call or email? Once someone contacts your facility, how does the process continue? Is there a determined follow up time, automatic subscription to a newsletter, or invitation for a tour?
The increase in contact channels is great for facility operators because it allows more avenues for potential consumers to contact your facility. It is also a curse because it also allows for more ways to overlook target consumers. Carefully evaluate each contact channel and ensure a plan is in place for its monitoring and response. A consumer as already made the first step by contacting you – it is up to the facility to take it from there.
Partner with Blue Sky Marketing for your Marketing Needs
The team at Blue Sky Marketing are digital marketing experts who can help potential clients evolve their marketing programs to reach desired goals and outcomes.