Baby Boomers, the second largest age group in America, are creating a growing demand for healthcare services. With approximately ten thousand seniors turning sixty-five years old every day, there is concern about the strain this will put on the government’s budget and the likelihood that younger generations will have to pay higher taxes to finance Social Security and Medicare.
Meanwhile, senior living communities are struggling to survive in the aftermath of the pandemic, a lack of government funding, and the worsening staffing crisis. Scholars predict that future housing trends will encourage independent living, allowing seniors to continue to live at home. Naturally, this will impact occupancy levels in senior living communities. Now more than ever there is a need to strengthen senior living communities by way of forward-thinking senior living marketing strategies and the latest technology, like long term care EHR.
6 Ways to Improve Assisted Living Marketing
Even though the Baby Boomer generation is living a healthier and more active lifestyle, it is only a matter of time before their attention turns toward long term care assistance. Seniors aged sixty-five and over tend to have multiple chronic health problems like diabetes, arthritis, and heart disease. Therefore, as they age, they will undoubtedly need more specific medical treatments.
Despite seniors recognizing the need for eventual long term care assistance, many are ill-prepared for the high associated costs. Seniors are also reluctant to move into senior living communities due to assumptions that all facilities have institutional environments and a lack of homely comforts. Furthermore, many find it difficult and confusing to research long term care options, because the system is somewhat fragmented and lacks transparency.
Of course, these unglamorous perceptions about long-term care are not necessarily accurate. Many misconceptions stem from preconceived notions about long term care facilities. While some believe that long term care facilities are depressing institutions where seniors are sent to die, others hear stories of elder abuse in nursing homes. Therefore, what is needed is a mass overhaul of perceptions in long term care, starting with assisted living marketing.
When seniors or their families begin researching long term care options, they usually start online. It may be surprising, but statistics show that four in ten seniors now own a smartphone with technology modernization. The increasing use of the internet is changing the landscape of senior living marketing, starting with online marketing strategies.
Below are six popular senior living marketing strategies facilities can adopt to improve their assisted living marketing reach while bolstering their online presence:
- Update the website – One of the most effective marketing strategies is to update the facility website. Being the first place a potential customer will see, the website will share the facility’s important information like the address and contact information, and its mission, values, and services. It is also essential to optimize a website using keywords and clear calls to action so that customers can find the facility in search engines.
- Use social media to build rapport – Social media is a fantastic way to “meet and interact” with potential customers on a personal level. According to Statista, in 2021, on average, people spend one hundred and forty-two minutes per day on social media. In addition to improving relationships, social media also encourages communication between influencers in long term care and assisted living communities. This provides mutual promotion via any blog content produced with inbound links connecting the facility website to external websites, thus increasing the number of eyes on it through Google, improving domain authority, and gaining higher search visibility.
- Start blogging – Most potential customers are looking for good, quality information about long term care. Blogging is a great place to share information, as every blog creates a new web page for the facility. The more blogs available, the more the facility will appear in search results in Google or elsewhere. To be most effective, each blog needs to include different topics and keywords. Further, there must be consistent content creation with at least one blog per week.
- Use current residents as brand ambassadors – Willing residents and their families can become brand ambassadors to promote the long term care facility. Having them record positive online video testimonials that can be shared on social media is a particularly effective assisted living marketing strategy that authentically shows value. Facilities can also consider a “resident referral program,” where residents refer their friends by providing excellent word of mouth and social proof about the facility.
- Start an email marketing campaign – Email marketing is a great way to engage with potential customers. It primarily focuses on building and nurturing ongoing relationships with individuals who have willingly given permission to receive emails. However, it is worth remembering that email subscribers still need to be treated respectfully. Therefore, provide an “opt-out” button at the bottom of the emails.
- Maximize a CRM to track leads – While it is important to follow up on potential leads, this is only possible if leads are tracked via a customer relationship management system (CRM). Most CRMs are designed to work seamlessly with a facility’s long term care software. Both systems work in unison to maximize assisted living marketing initiatives while providing relevant information to personalize follow-up calls with potential customers.
Contact us here if you would like to test drive our user-friendly long term care software.
Avoid Generic Senior Living Ads
When facilities turn their attention to creating senior living ads, it is important to avoid stereotypical ads that do not represent seniors. Seniors will recognize the lack of effort, and this will produce the opposite effect of generating interest. These useful advertising ideas can help to avoid senior stereotyping while creating engaging content to spark interest:
- Embrace modern technology – Facilities should incorporate modern technology into their senior living marketing strategies with visual storytelling flipbooks. Facilities can collect images of residents showing typical day-to-day activities and then compile them in a digital flipbook using digital tools before being shared on social media and other avenues. The end product is visually beautiful stories showing real-life experiences of residents. These flipbooks are inspiring, engaging, and educational, giving genuine insight into the quality of care in the facility.
- Focus on the individual – Another tactic a facility can use in their senior living marketing is to focus on the individual rather than the demographic. A common faux pas advertisers make is failing to capture their target audience, what they want, and what they need from a senior living community. Studies show that knowing the target audience and how to reach them will help facilities stay competitive in the market. Therefore, creating non-personal senior living ads with a mundane actor reading a book will not relate to seniors researching senior living communities. Instead, it is better to focus on creating more personalized senior living ads that focus on the individual by highlighting engaging activities like organized field trips to local museums and community service projects or continuing their passions in gardening or painting, or even learning new skills like a foreign language or woodworking classes. The possibilities are endless, and will certainly make an impact to spark interest.
- Entertain the audience – Advertisers tend to forget that despite their age, seniors still have a sense of humor and, like others, they just want to be entertained. Assisted living marketing does not need to be serious or highlight worrying ailments and the need for care. Instead, it is more effective for senior living ads to embrace humor with engaging content, thus making the facility more appealing and its residents more relatable.
- Be respectful – Even though the majority of senior living facility strategy focuses on being an industry authority, it is important to do so in a factual and informative way. If the senior living ads do not capture the “right voice,” they can come across as condescending or preachy. Seniors are no different from anyone else. They want to be treated with respect and honesty, so senior living ads must reflect that to have any chance of appealing and sparking interest.
The Importance of Senior Living Marketing
In senior living marketing, there is a fine line between attracting new residents or deterring them. The difficulty in senior living marketing is to show an engaging yet realistic representation of all that the facility has to offer and why it is a good choice for seniors. Successful assisted living marketing is a major step forward in increasing occupancy levels and establishing a prominent reputation within the senior living community.
It is important for facilities to understand that. While their end goal is to increase occupancy levels, the means to do so is to use effective marketing strategies that embrace both traditional methods and new digital tactics. The rise of modern technology will only continue, so it would be wise for facilities to implement digital marketing tactics into their senior living ads as soon as possible. This will give them the best chance of attracting new residents and projecting an accurate image of their organization.