Although an estimated 10,000 Baby Boomers retire every day in our country, assisted living communities often have had a tough time maintaining good occupancy rates. Your primary target market – the adult children of seniors – is used to finding their information about products and services Online. Even the seniors themselves are turning to the internet for their research.
When well over half of all seniors go online regularly, you better have a marketing plan in place to accommodate them. And online marketing isn’t just about having a website; you have to be active in updating your website with useful content, pictures, and video to properly educate your potential residents about your community.
While print advertising can still be effective, you must start allocating more budgets towards digital marketing to remain competitive.
How to Create a Marketing Plan for Assisted Living Community
Explore your competition: Discover who they are what services they offer, their pricing models, their positioning and brand image and market reputation. Calculate their strengths and weaknesses.
Consider your unique selling proposition: Now that you’ve analyzed your competition, ask yourself what makes your senior living facility distinct. Outline how your community differs from others in the area.
Develop your mission statement: Even if you have an existing mission statement for your business, take a look at it and consider revising it, if needed. Does it reflect your goals? Does it speak to what your senior care facility does as well as how and why you do those things?
Use the following tips to get started with an online way out for assisted living communities:
Step 1: Allocate More Budget Towards Digital
The Senior Living Digital Marketing is relaxed moving than most. Despite that fact, it’s undeniable that online marketing with becoming more and more important in the years to come. However many senior living companies still stick with many of the traditional marketing methods that they’ve used the past 20-30 years and are slow to change.
Step 2: Manage Your Reputation
You must manage your reputation online. Note that 81% of people will do extensive research for expensive purchases or life, and retirement living falls into both of those categories. 90% of people also read reviews at least occasionally, so responding to these reviews is the key.
Most of the time, residents just want to be heard and are looking for a response. Star rating is equally as important on Google. When searching for your community, what star ratings do you have on other websites? When star ratings drop to a 3, residents are less likely to even look at your community’s website. Retirement Living can help you manage online reviews.
Step 3: Sign Up with Online Directories
Marketing Assisted Living Facilities can bring valuable traffic to your website and valuable customers to your doors as well. Set up a page that showcases the best aspects of your facility, includes a few high-quality pictures, and directs viewers to your contact information and website.
Step 4: Use Your Current Residents as Ambassadors
Your current residents who love their lives in your community are your best sales tools. Approach them about being brand ambassadors. Your brand ambassadors can give tours of their living spaces, host prospects at meals, talk about community events and provide testimonials. Start a recommendation program, and request residents to refer their friends. This will help foster a sense of community that will benefit both your brand and your residents.
Step 5: Be Open and Transparent About Your Community
When a resident moves into a new community — particularly if they’re no longer safe in their current homes and losing their independence — they have many considerations to weigh and questions to ask.
Don’t hold back any information. Provide transparency and full disclosure. Your honesty will help them feel comfortable with the thought of moving to your senior living community. And that honesty may also impact their final decision.
Step 6: Create a New Marketing Brochure
Freshen up your marketing materials by designing a brochure that speaks to the needs of today’s seniors. Highlight activities and events, amenities and services and anything that sets you apart from your competition. Add testimonials, profiles, and quotes from current residents to add a personal touch. And include photos that show seniors living and engaging in your community.
Be aware of the language you’re using to describe your facility. Consider doing away with the word “facility” altogether, as it can sound a bit cold and impersonal. Use “community” instead. As opposed to “units,” call them “apartments.” Language like this is more friendly and warm and doesn’t evoke bleak images of sterile hospitals.
Step 7: Use Facebook Ads
Market your facility via Facebook ads and through other social media channels. You can spread your blog posts and other content marketing materials through them, and you can post ads or pay to promote posts that are performing well to reach an even broader audience.
Step 8: Host Events for Assisted Living Community
Foster a sense of community for both your current residents and prospects by hosting events catered to both. Holiday parties and other occasions are great ways to earn the trust of potential residents and their families and showcase the culture and sense of unity your community has to offer.
Step 9: Be Accessible
Let Assisted Living Community know that you’re available to answer questions and will update them as the project progresses. Besides, provide as much information as possible related to the project on its website in particular. That way, seniors and their families can explore the facilities 24/7. Include a contact form, phone number and email address on your website so they can reach out to you if they want additional information.
The digital age is in full swing, and your assisted living facility can make the most of it by integrating a full-scale online marketing campaign. You can also expand their reach by advertising events and inviting the larger community in your area. Other ideas of marketable events include health lectures, themed luncheons, and financial planning sessions.
Jean Nesian, founder and CEO at Genexod Technologies that develops the art Resident Care Management(CRM) product for senior and residential care facilities to improve staff efficiency.