As we enter the second half of 2021, the senior living industry is starting to recover from the effects of COVID-19. The past 15 months saw occupancy plummet as restrictions were put in place to prevent the spread of the virus.
How does the industry bounce back from what Senior Housing News calls “the worst year the sector has ever endured”? By employing multi-touch marketing.
Community owners and operators must adapt their value propositions to reflect the impact of the pandemic on our society. Before COVID, amenities were key selling points. Now, providing seniors with a safe environment and caring staff is the primary message, and should be reflected in your approach.
What hasn’t changed? The most effective marketing will include multiple channels and touchpoints. And today’s audience is future residents and younger adult family members – groups with different communication styles.
Why Multi-Touch Marketing?
“Aside from an acute need, such as memory care, there is a long purchase cycle when someone decides they need to relocate to a senior living community, and when they actually move in,” says Kye Duncan, executive vice president of activation for LeadingResponse.
Valerie Whitman, vice president of senior living at LeadingResponse and a 15-plus year industry veteran, says this period might range from nine months to 22 months. It’s one reason multi-touch marketing is critical to boosting occupancy.
“People in the industry understand it’s all about brand awareness and recognition,” she says. “Adult children and seniors are different generations, and want information in different ways.”
A future resident or adult child may do a Google search, read a magazine article, visit a senior living website, get a direct mail piece from a local community, view an ad on TV, or see an insert in their newspaper.
As Duncan explains, “the prospect sees ads and researches communities. All these touch points can be measured and tracked.”
How Multi-Touch Marketing Works
There are several ways LeadingResponse partners with senior living marketers to engage their ideal consumer audience.
Take our VisitorConnect solution, for example. It identifies the IP addresses of those who browse a senior living website but do not leave contact information. Our proprietary demographic match back program qualifies prospects. If they meet the criteria, LeadingResponse will send them a mailer within 48 to 72 hours of their website visit, with your community’s message and branding.
We can also re-target on Facebook prospects who visited a senior living website.
The ultimate goal is to engage these individuals sufficiently to where they register to attend a virtual or in-person educational seminar hosted by the community, followed by booking a one-on-one appointment or community visit.
Value of Multi-Touch Marketing
Here’s something LeadingResponse offers that our competitors do not – volumes of responder and demographic data. We use it to target specific people who meet the criteria of your senior living community.
Virtual programs such as webinars and workshops are conducted in real-time, and all campaigns are measurable by response rate, cost per lead, cost per tour, and move-ins. Demographic details are also included on campaign responder prospects. This provides the sales team with insight into who these prospects are before connecting with them.
Employing multi-touch marketing to attract future residents and family members isn’t common in the senior living industry, Whitman says. But offering podcasts, webinars and video testimonials are ways to stand out from other providers.
YouTube is the second most searched platform. Therefore, having recent relevant content there is critical. This will not only attract viewers, but also help with website search engine optimization (SEO).
When doing research online, Whitman notes, the son of a future resident may focus on cost and what’s on the community website. However, a daughter may look for information about its health and safety track record. She might also visit a site like Glassdoor, which lists jobs and posts reviews by company employees. She’ll want to see if staff members enjoy working there.
LeadingResponse knows generational marketing
To increase occupancy in the post-COVID era, it’s critical to market equally to seniors and their adult children. In order to do this effectively, you need to use a wide array of channels and formats.
Don’t forget to factor in the industry’s protracted sales cycle. It varies by the type of senior living provider, according to Enquire, a CRM, marketing automation platform and contact center for senior living, post-acute and healthcare organizations.
LeadingResponse has extensive senior living marketing experience. Is boosting move-ins and improving cost-per-acquisition at your senior living community a top priority? If so, get in touch with us to find out how our multi-touch marketing solutions and campaigns can help you reach your goals.