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7 Proven Ways to Market Your Senior Living Community

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It’s no secret that marketing and specific sales tactics will increase occupancy levels within senior living communities. However, even if you have 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. Marketing and sales are the two primary areas that need to stand in the spotlight to increase interest in your community.

“But aren’t those 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 crush your goals and get improved senior living community occupancy this year.

Create a Marketing Plan

Chances are, you’ve already created and are following your marketing calendar and budget for the year. But if you haven’t made your marketing calendar, now is the time. A marketing calendar is your road map for what your senior living community will do to share your vision, brand, and community with the world. It will also spell out your goals, what platforms and marketing strategies you’ll use to get there, and what budget you have to work within. While out of the gate, you might be inclined to devise an all-encompassing plan for the year. It is easier if you break it down into smaller bites and make plans every quarter. Gather your team and consider the main components of your yearly marketing plan and budget:

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 where and when they need it. Create a list of needed items, topics, and frequently asked questions, and plan blogs, social posts, emails, and newsletters around those main content pillars.

Materials. Create senior living marketing materials that are tailored to your target audience. This could include brochures, flyers, postcards, or direct mail. Your marketing materials should be informative and persuasive, highlighting your community’s unique features and benefits.

Platforms. Where will you market your organization? On social media? In person at events? Through webinars? On your website? Now consider whether you are already active in these spaces or where you need to increase your presence.

Goals. Your senior living marketing calendar must include specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound goals to be effective. For instance, you may want to increase your community’s brand awareness by 10% within six months. Or convert 20% of leads into new residents by the end of the year. Your goals will depend on your community, but the options are endless.

Build Trust in Your Brand

Your community’s brand is the collection of elements that make up the company – your name, logo, slogan, visuals, and most importantly, your reputation and how people feel about you. A strong brand can help with customer acquisition, build loyalty, and help differentiate you from the competition. Building a brand that highlights trust is critical. As probably the most vital part of connecting with prospects, the more you develop trust, the quicker prospects will engage with you. But how do you get there?

Be authentic. People are clever and will see through something phony. Forget the fluff. To gain trust, you need to be clear and concise. Focus on things prospects will view as a benefit and advantage to them.

Be relatable. Choosing a senior living community is a huge decision and transition. And it doesn’t just involve their feedback. It 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. Not only will it help establish trust, but it’s also one of the key ways to market successfully to the senior market.

Educate. With so many misconceptions about senior living communities, use your platform to highlight how the industry 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.

Things Not to Say

Don’t make these common mistakes – they can turn a warm prospect ice cold. Get your free download right now and communicate better with your prospects. 

Update Your Website Presence

Your website is your online home, where prospective residents, their families, and other businesses and job seekers will look to get to know you. Make sure it’s professional, organized, well-designed, and informative. It’s a great place to highlight all the essential information potential residents need, such as your amenities, services, pricing, and contact information. Plus, it’s the ideal place to connect and draw in more qualified leads. What else goes into a great senior living website?

Mobile-friendly. More and more people are using their phones and tablets to search the internet, so make sure your website is designed to view on any product and that it maintains all the necessary functionality.

High-quality images and videos. The first impression matters! Make your website visually appealing with personalized, heartfelt images that are high-quality and relevant to your audience.

Content. Didn’t we just discuss this? If you highlighted your content pillars in your marketing plan, you already have an outline to work from on what to cover and how to write it. Make sure copy is clear, concise, and break up your content into headings and subheadings to make it easier to read.

Optimize. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) makes your website easier for search engines to find, so more visitors can find you online. Keywords, high-quality content, and backlinks are ways to improve your SEO.

Get Active on Social Media

Let’s be honest. If you are not active on social media by now, you should be. While some may think that seniors are not technologically adept, their online presence is growing exponentially. They are more connected to the internet than ever. In fact, 73% of people 50 and over report using social media.

Know your audience. With that in mind, you need to use the power of social media to capture your audience’s attention. And remember, this may not always be the seniors themselves. Their caregivers, children, and friends 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 transitioning to a senior living community.

Transparency. 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.

Communicate. 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.

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

Connect Face-to-Face

There’s nothing that promotes confidence more than meeting with someone in person. Prospective residents need to get to know you, what your community offers, and what the process of joining your community looks like. And there’s no better solution than in-person events.

Live events. Lunch or dinner seminars motivate your prospects to attend your discussion and give you a unique opportunity to win them over. In-person events allow prospects to ask questions, feel involved, and learn more about your community. There’s nothing more successful in converting prospects than face-to-face discussions when they are done correctly.

Webinars. Not all prospects will want or be able to attend an in-person event. So make it simple for them to get the next best thing. With a webinar, you allow your prospects to communicate face-to-face without asking them to leave the comfort of their homes. Even better? When you record a webinar once, prospects can find it and watch it any time during the day or night. And that means with your ongoing webinar, you’ll be educating and connecting with interested prospects 24/7 with no additional work on your part.

Combine solutions. But really, why just pick one solution? Your prospects aren’t all in one location, and neither should your marketing efforts. Your marketing calendar should include hybrid options and multichannel marketing solutions that work in tandem to connect your community with more prospects.

What are the Best Marketing Solutions?

As a senior living community, what are the best marketing solutions to attract qualified prospects? Download our full solutions guide to see what LeadingResponse offers and how we can grow your occupancy. 

Nurture Your Sales Leads

Who enjoys cold calling? No one! 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 and convert more 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.

Provide relevant content. Who is your audience? What does your audience want to know? What are their questions? This circles back to the high-quality content we touched on before. Give the prospects the information they need to solve their problems. Consider “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.

Stay in touch. Sometimes prospects aren’t ready to commit immediately and need more time to consider their options. These warm leads shouldn’t be neglected. Reach out to them regularly with new offers, additional information, or a free consultation.

Personalize. Unsurprisingly, when you personalize messages to the recipient, you get a better response. Use their name or preferred name, address their specific needs, and let them know you’ve taken the time to learn about them. This is another place where AI in marketing comes into play, as it makes it easier than ever to personalize your approach.

Get Online Reviews

Did you know a shocking 93% of consumers read online reviews before purchasing? The secret is out, then. Positive reviews can lead to more engagements with your prospects, which can convert to sales. Positive word-of-mouth messages are a critical component of your marketing strategy. Why?

  • 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.”

Invest in CRM Systems and Marketing Automation

Make technological advancements part of your marketing plan. Why? Because it helps you work smarter, not harder. This technology can help pinpoint the best leads, help with analyzing data, and can help you save time and money in the long run.

Increase efficiency. These technologies can streamline your workflow and take over repetitive tasks. Automate more tasks and spend more time connecting with prospective residents.

Analyze data. Whether determining the most promising lead or the next step in a marketing campaign, CRM and marketing automation make it simple and straightforward. By analyzing data for you, it takes the guesswork out of the workflow.

Integrate AI. AI is no longer creeping into marketing – it dove in headfirst. A CRM or marketing automation program will utilize the same power of AI to help make better decisions, facilitate tasks, and personalize your approach.

The Bottom Line

No matter the marketing strategy or how you utilize your marketing calendar, remember never to push prospects to where you want them to be. You have to always meet them where they are. 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.

LeadingResponse has the experience and marketing solutions to connect you with more qualified and motivated prospective residents when you need to increase occupancy in your senior living community. Contact our team for a FREE consultation for a personalized marketing campaign schedule to help you fill your community.

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