The COVID pandemic has impacted consumer behavior and marketing approaches in unprecedented ways. Social distancing and fewer face-to-face interactions have resulted in modern-day marketing in long term care facilities shifting from traditional, costly advertising like newspaper ads and TV commercials to cost-effective digital marketing campaigns like email marketing, social media advertising, and Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
To generate long term care leads, marketers must use a targeted approach that appeals to seniors and the adult children who are often the decision-makers. Facilities, then, should highlight:
- services offered
- comfort level provided for residents
- personalized care to manage chronic illnesses or injuries
- meeting the CMS’ regulations and compliance.
Big success stories are every in long term care marketing. Recently, Moorings Park Communities in Florida, adapted their marketing strategies to include more digital marketing and now receives 60 percent of their marketing leads from this approach. Tom Mann, the vice president of sales and marketing, went on the LTC Heroes podcast to share his marketing insights in long term care:
Commenting on the shift toward digital marketing, Mann explained why he created a specific marketing position, the MQL specialist, who focuses solely on converting leads and passing them onto sales. “This has proved to be a very valuable tool because it saves sales counselors from wasting their time and sorting through the good and bad digital leads,” he said.
Why You’re Not Getting Senior Care Leads
Senior care leads are now more valued than ever, but some long term care marketers are missing out on them by committing these common mistakes:
- Stereotypes in advertising: Even though seniors are elderly, many are still active or young at heart. Therefore, if facilities depict seniors as gray and feeble in their marketing campaigns, they risk offending seniors who will instead look at alternative facilities that use targeted marketing approaches that are more appealing.
- Focus placed on census rather than the resident: When seniors feel that the facility is more concerned with increasing census numbers than it is the well-being of their residents, they will naturally lose interest. Facilities should instead strive to convey that they provide exceptional senior living care and use innovative ideas to achieve their goals. Mann said of his team at Moorings Park Communities, “Our goal is to be the Tesla of senior living, to create things that other communities can then try to replicate and bring to their own residents.”
- Poor communication: Even though residents in a long term care facility are considered “customers,” they still want to be treated with dignity and respect. Therefore, long term care marketers need to directly address the concerns of seniors and assure them they can provide the kind of care that exceeds expectations.
- Underestimating digital marketing: In today’s modern world, visibility, newsworthiness, and reliability are three essential qualities that can improve a facility’s long term care leads and allow them to stay competitive. Therefore, facilities must adapt to modern-day marketing strategies by exploring various digital channels, like websites, social media, and blogs so the facility can increase interaction and provide more opportunities to reach their target market about its services.
Long term care marketers should pay attention to their strategy and update their approach in order to increase their long term care leads. Failure to do so will result in facilities losing potential residents to their competitors and damaging the facility’s reputation in the eyes of their target audience, who will come to believe that the facility is incapable of providing the care, services, or living environment they desire.
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8 Proven Senior Care Marketing Strategies
As mentioned above, common senior care marketing mistakes include depicting stereotypical views and underestimating the power of digital marketing. If facilities want to improve their long term care leads, they can adopt the following strategies:
1. Understand Your Target Audience
Any effective marketing starts with understanding the target audience. This means understanding what seniors and their families are looking for in a long term care facility by conducting in-depth market research to understand their target audience’s needs and how to generate LTC leads.
2. Eliminate Fear
Many adult children have reservations—feelings of guilt, a sense of abandonment, or fear—about how their elderly parents will react when moving to a long term care facility. This is especially heightened if it is the first time a senior has been in a long term care facility.
To alleviate this fear, facilities can create virtual tours with detailed, downloadable reports on their inspections, safety records, and survey results on their website and social media platforms. This way, seniors and their adult children can assess whether the facility meets their needs while navigating these fears with a better understanding of the quality of care.
3. Show Value
An effective way to improve senior care leads is to highlight differentiating factors that make the facility stand out. For Mann, that means “delivering environments that people enjoy so that they can enjoy the finer things in life, but also have the best medical care while aging successfully.”
Some facilities showcase their value and get senior care leads by focusing on culinary dining experiences, while others emphasize that they offer WiFi in all rooms. This is particularly appealing even among seniors who increasingly use modern technology like smartphones and tablets to keep in touch with their family and friends. Furthermore, studies show that between 2012 and 2021, there was a 48 percent increase in seniors (65 years and older) using smartphones and 40 percent increase in seniors using tablet computers.
4. Reach Out Via Email
Facilities that send out a monthly email newsletter to their customer base provide the perfect opportunity to reach out to the approved senior network and their families, informing them of what is happening in the facility and the industry as a whole.
5. Get Testimonials
One of the best marketing strategies to improve long term care leads is to encourage current residents to provide testimonials about how good the facility or the caregivers are. These can be posted on the facility website and social media platforms, providing valuable feedback that may encourage potential seniors to visit the premises and enroll as residents.
6. Create a Positive First Impression
Successful long term care facilities provide not only clinical care but also professional hospitality by creating an inviting and comfortable environment. Visually appealing entrance areas, clean corridors, outdoor amenities, and showrooms that highlight the facility’s best features help to make a good first impression when potential residents and their facilities watch virtual tours or visit the facility.
7. Organize Interactive Events
Long term care marketers can make the most of modern-day technology by organizing interactive events where families can interact with their loved ones. This not only improves morale at the facility but also provides the perfect opportunity to promote the facility in local media as well as their website and social media platforms.
8. Implement Intuitive Long Term Care Software
The rise in modern-day technology has also led to improvements in technology, most notably long term care software. When facilities implement efficient long term care software systems, they experience improvements in workflow efficiency, enhanced quality of care, and more accurate documentation. This is why marketers should highlight the innovative nursing home software and how it impacts resident care.
How To Increase Long Term Care Leads
Studies show that effective marketing strategies are most successful when marketers know their target audience, how to reach them, and how to communicate with them. Therefore, when looking to get long term care leads, marketers should apply modern marketing techniques like social media, virtual tours, and keeping prospects informed about the facility’s activities to show their organization in the best possible light.
While it is important to stay on top of the latest trends in digital marketing, marketers should not rush to find answers. Mann recommends that facilities look at their director-level team and not try to “rush to put out all the fires.” Instead, the team needs “to give themselves strategic time to think and figure out how to coordinate” their marketing strategies with proper execution. It is by achieving this balance that marketing departments will see the leads begin to come in.