2022 Marketing Guide to Attract and Convert More Residents

It’s no secret that marketing and specific sales tactics will drive occupancy levels up within senior living communities. However, even if you have specific initiatives in place, are they as effective as they could be? If the top question on your mind now is, “How can we increase occupancy,” then this marketing guide is for you. The two primary areas that need to stand in the spotlight to increase interest in your community include marketing and sales.

“But aren’t those one and the same?” you may be asking. Yes…and no. They are related. However, marketing attracts the interest of prospects. Sales is what happens once you get them in the door. You don’t want to separate these arenas too much, however. They have to be bolstered by consistency within your messaging, delivering positive information about your community.

So let’s take a quick peek at some avenues to success in this marketing guide that could lead to an improved occupancy status in 2022.

Creating a Marketing Guide and Budget Plan for 2022:

Are you stressing out on creating a marketing and budgeting plan for 2022? While easy to get all worked up about it, it’s not necessary to overthink it. While out of the gate, you might be inclined to come up with an all-encompassing plan for the year, it is easier if you break it down into smaller bites and make plans on a quarterly basis. Gather your team and consider the main components of your yearly marketing plan and budget:

Your content.

Yes, content is king. We’ve heard that over and over. But it is so true and much needed. People want it and search for it. Your role is to create the content they can find not only where they can find it but when they need it. Ensure your marketing guide outlines items ahead of time so you aren’t always running against the clock. Start the first of the year with your blogging calendar. Create a three-month plan with blog writing assignments that include SEO words and topics. The content for January should actually be created in December so you can hit the ground running when the New Year rushes in.

Social media (and we’ll look more into this in a bit).

Make sure your senior living community has an active social media presence. Think: Facebook and Instagram. Also, beef up that LinkedIn page to attract new employees.

Marketing automation.

Make marketing automation part of your 2022 marketing guide. You need to employ this technology to help you manage your marketing processes and all of your active campaigns across all platforms. This helps you streamline your work and measure the results with the goal of growing your revenue faster and more efficiently.

Social media, your website, and your overall online presence:

It’s almost 2022. If you are not active on social media by now, you should be. While some may think that seniors are not technologically adept, in reality, their online presence is growing exponentially. They are more connected to the internet than ever.

Bearing that in mind, you need to use the power of social media to capture the attention of your audience. (And remember, this may not always be the seniors themselves; their caregivers/children may also be looking for communities for your prospects.) Use your social media posts to educate, inform and assuage any fears or concerns people might have about making the transition to a senior living community.

When using social media, you advance your reputation through increased transparency. Prospects can get an insider’s peek at your communities and imagine themselves living there. Post photos, videos, a copy of your activities calendar, and more. Showcase how your community is different than others.

Be sure to include testimonials from current residents, as well. Those will always bolster your reputation and lend needed credibility. This is key to building relationships and establishing confidence about your community in your prospects.

When prospects engage with you on social media, respond immediately. This lets them know you care and that they can depend on you. Even if negative comments are posted (and it happens), respond to those with equal vigilance and speed.

It just takes even one post a week to build your online presence. Don’t overcomplicate it. Keep it simple, but once you get the hang of it, you can continue to expand your brand through any or all of the available online platforms and watch your community effectively reach its target audience with ease.

Sales Lead Nurturing:

Who enjoys cold calling? Anyone? Anyone? It certainly isn’t something to which most people look forward. Why pound the pavement for new prospects and leads when you can focus your energies on more efficient and effective strategies? If you want to generate some solid leads to your senior living community, try a few of these suggestions and watch a steady flow of prospects come knocking on your door.

Relevant content.

We have all heard that important and engaging content is what stimulates the appetite for more information and fuels interest. You could create a few downloadable guides to entice prospects. Consider topics such as “What Should I Look for in Senior Living Communities” or “Things to Consider Before Moving Into a Senior Living Community.” When you make the content relevant, it becomes more valuable to the people you want to attract. Make a series of specialized content you can spread out over the course of several weeks, offering touchpoints for prospects until they become qualified leads. Plus, consider taking a step back and thinking about what your audience is actually looking for, and whether you are providing it. The senior living market has changed, and sometimes people surprise us.

Pageviews.

A prospect has viewed your page! That’s great! Now what? If they didn’t fill out a request to obtain additional information or fill out a specific form on your page, there is still hope. With “cookies,” you can access this information and then create a workflow focused on lead nurturing to inspire them to perhaps request a tour of the community or at least talk to a representative.

Building Trust in Your Brand:

Building trust in your brand is just as important as building your brand itself. Trust is probably the most vital part of the equation when it comes to connecting with prospects. The more you build and establish that trust, the quicker prospects will engage with you. It is important, however, to handle the building of this trust in a strategic manner.

Be authentic.

People can see through the phony. This requires being concise (forget the fluff!), direct and clear. Focus on things that prospects will view as a benefit and advantage to them.

Be relatable.

This is a huge transition for seniors. After all, they are considering making a significant move in their lives. This decision also involves their family members and caregivers. Showcase testimonials and interviews of others who have been in their shoes so they can picture themselves enjoying the same experiences.

Educate.

With so many misconceptions out there about senior living communities, use your platform to highlight how the industry as a whole is improving for the better. Advise prospects on the latest advancements in the industry or how you are building more comfortable and safer living facilities for residents. Consider using webinars or live events to meet more prospects, as both have shown incredible results for communities for years.

Getting Reviews Online:

According to a 2013 Brightlocal Consumer Review Survey, 85% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses and 75% of consumers trust a business more after reading positive reviews.

The secret is out, then. Positive reviews can lead to more engagements with your prospects which in turn can convert to sales. Positive word-of-mouth messages are a critical component of your marketing strategy.

Why? Well…for a few simple yet highly-motivating reasons:

*They improve your visibility on Google.

*They provide you with instant feedback.

*It’s free advertising.

*It boosts your brand.

Online word-of-mouth is very powerful and is a necessary ingredient to your success. In fact, it may very well be the best social platform for your business. As viral marketing and social influence specialist Jonah Berger noted, “Advertising brings in customers, but word-of-mouth brings in the best customers.”

Bottom Line

No matter the strategy or how you utilize your marketing guide, remember to never push prospects to where you want them to be. You have to always meet them where they are. Your marketing efforts affect every aspect of your business. You must be consistent in your daily activities. Marketing is less about what you have to offer and more about the story you have to tell. A great marketing strategy can make it a real page-turner.