Senior marketing has changed with the advent of the internet. 4 in 10 seniors now own a smartphone. This is more than double the amount owned by seniors in 2013, and only 11% of Americans do not use the internet. Times are changing, but with the right online marketing, you can make a big impact. Check out the 7 ideas below to get started.
Update your website
When people land on your website, what do you want them to do? Identify the most important information, and share it prominently. This means having clear calls to action and using important keywords to help people find you in search engines. Also, make it clear where and how to contact your community. If they can’t contact you from your website, chances are high you won’t hear from an interested resident.
Start a marketing initiative
Assisted living marketing plans provide structure. Without a plan on how you’re selling assisted living, you won’t be able to track your return on investment (ROI). Tracking ROI helps you see where your efforts are working, as well as where your senior living marketing needs improvement. Here are a few marketing initiatives you can put in place:
- Brand ambassadors: A fun way to get residents involved in your marketing initiatives is identifying brand ambassadors. A testimonial video on a website is a powerful way for seniors to see people like them talk about what it’s like to live in your community. Online reviews are another big part of the equation. Actively ask your residents to post online reviews.
- Resident referral program: Residents are the most authentic referral sources for assisted living facilities. Word of mouth provides social proof and is still one of the most trusted forms of marketing. Create a resident referral program, and let your residents speak for you.
- Traditional marketing: To reach baby boomers, mix in traditional methods into your digital marketing. Baby boomers are still big users of traditional marketing channels, despite recent changes in internet use. Pamphlets, advertisements and radio are still effective ways of selling assisted living.
Build relationships with social media and blog subscriptions
78% of people trust other people on social media more than advertising, so it’s important to be able to connect to people online and hear what they have to say. Consider that it takes 6 to 8 interactions for your audience to warm up to you, much like making a friend in real life. Engage prospective customers by connecting on an emotional level, and you will create conversation and encourage participation.
Manage your reputation
It’s vital that you manage your reputation online. Keep in mind that 81% of people will do extensive research for expensive or lifelong purchases, and that retirement living falls into both of those categories. 90% of people also read reviews at least occasionally, so responding to these reviews is key. Most of the time, residents just want to be heard and are looking for a response. Star rating is equally as important on Google. When searching for your community, what star ratings do you have on other websites? When star ratings drop to a 3, residents are less likely to even look at your community’s website.
Take advantage of Google Adwords
Google Adwords lets you target ideal residents using relevant keywords and the basics of search engine optimization (SEO). People are literally telling you what they want to buy by typing out words around your products and services. If you live in Texas, for example, commonly searched phrases include “best assisted living community in Texas” or “best senior living in Texas.” Adding these keywords to your page can help prospective residents find your website.
Update your entire staff on sales strategies
The most successful entrepreneurs and business owners believe success starts from within. Encourage participation and creativity by including your entire staff on sales strategies. A few ways to get staff involved in senior marketing sales are:
- Host formal training for each member of staff: Include all staff members in trainings to build a culture of service and positivity. This will make an impact on your residents and prospective members, too.
- Listen to prospective residents and their needs: Sales requires trust, especially when dealing with seniors and prospective residents. Going the extra mile will make a difference as well because residents appreciate seeing their suggestions put in place.
- Get out and talk to people: You could set up a booth at a local event, create focus groups or even collaborate with partners to market your community.
- Know if the prospective sale is in the Awareness stage, Deliberation stage, or Decision stage: Adult children of seniors will begin to search for senior care in the awareness stage. This is when they’ll turn to sources like Google. In the deliberation stage, they’ll gather information. Finally, the decision stage is where they’ll make an informed choice. Knowing which stage each prospective resident is in will help you tailor your sales approach.
Use a CRM to track leads
It can be easy to say you’ll follow up with a lead. But what happens when the reality of day-to-day responsibilities get in the way? To make your senior housing sales more efficient, use a customer-relationship management system (also known as a CRM). A CRM makes it easy to keep up with prospects and grow your senior care marketing. Sherpa CRM is a popular one that communities are using today. Retirement Living will share exclusive leads with your community which means they will not share leads with other competitors.
Senior living marketing experts like Roche Associates can help you reach your audience.