Wait for the laughter when mixing the words “senior living” and “digital” in the same sentence. Technology avoidance commonly comes with old age, but when it comes to choosing a senior-living community, the adult children (primarily daughters) are making decisions for their parents. A recent study by Care.com found adult children of prospective residents were involved in their parents’ transition into senior living 73% of the time. The move to a more digitally-focused, targeted marketing plan will allow senior living facilities the put their message in front of the decision-maker/influencer.
Aside from the obvious benefits of being in front of the right audience, digital marketing is easily measurable. Data allow us to track the activity of our digital campaigns and optimize them along the way to yield the best results possible. Mobile technology allows for messaging to follow the user wherever they go, and it’s cost-effective.
Here are a few basic digital marketing tactics to entertain when introducing your senior living marketing into the digital world:
Paid and Organic Social Media
User algorithms have made social media a pay-for-play arena for businesses. To ensure social posts are seen by a greater percentage of eyes, a few dollars to share that message can go a long way. But once you add to your tribe, you must feed those social beings with organic content as well. Social media is your digital storefront, and a way for prospective residents and their families to get to know your team, amenities, residents, activities, etc.
Outside of the written word – what are you doing online to engage with your audiences? The possibilities are nearly endless with content marketing. Think outside of the box, shoot video of a fun resident event, or maybe a video testimonial from an internal evangelist. Image-rich content can go much further than the written word. Consider how your team can add value to a consumer’s decision-making process. Use content as an opportunity to educate the inquiring consumer.
Search Engine Marketing
Some adult children may live out of town or even in another state. Searching the internet for senior living facilities should be easy and accurate. Smart Search Engine Marketing can provide top placement when decision makers are seeking information online. It’s not enough to say “build it and they will come”, you have to sell the tickets and make sure people know how to find the box office.
More and more, traditional means of listening to music and gathering information are shifting to online platforms that deliver audio, video and digital banner advertising to consumers on the go. This is a highly-targeted platform that can be very effective at reaching a somewhat-captive audience. Record a spot with your value propositions and a few key messages and bam, you’ve got an online radio ad.
Like internet radio, an increasing number of “cord-cutters” or “over-the-top” viewers are watching television, movies and videos online via a streaming service such as Hulu or Netflix. With increased viewership comes the opportunity to advertise on those channels and reach a highly-targeted audience.
Developing a marketing strategy with the correct mix of digital elements to reach the younger demographic influencing the decision, without forgetting about traditional tactics that appeal to the older end-user is vital. The fact that digital is easily measurable, cost-effective and able to be optimized along the way is a great benefit to any business, but especially a senior living community with a pulse on the marketplace.