Despite the fact that 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 - are used to finding their information about products and services ONLINE. Even the seniors themselves are turning to the internet for their own research. A Pew Research Center study found that as much as 59% of seniors ages 65 and older use the Internet, and 71% of those use it every day.
When well over half of all seniors go online on a regular basis, 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 actively 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 budget towards digital marketing to remain competitive. Use the following tips to get started with digital marketing for assisted living communities:
1. Allocate More Budget Towards Digital
The senior living industry is slower moving than most. Despite that fact its undeniable that online marketing with become 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. At NextWave we realize that change doesn't happen overnight. We urge our clients to not abandon their old methods completely but to use a mix of both traditional and digital marketing. By allocating more budget towards digital communities can slowly adjust to marketing online and achieve deliberate, measurable business goals.
Inbound Leads are 1/3rd the cost of Traditional Marketing!
2. Try Pay-per-Click (Especially When Launching New Locations)
Pay-per-click (PPC) ads provide an affordable, effective way to market your company online immediately. Google will put your ad in front of the people who are most likely to gain value from it (which Google determines based on their previous search histories), and you only have to pay for the ad when someone clicks on it. It generates online traffic to your website for a minimal cost, which in turn increases the likelihood that your website will show up first when someone searches on Google for assisted living facilities in your area. It's a win-win situation.
This is perfect for starting a new location. When senior living communities launch in a new area they need new residents asap. By creating a website or simply a landing page for the new community they can start to collect contact info from potential new residents by using landing pages and PPC for senior living.
*Example of a Landing Page to Capture Information. Use Landing pages (along with paid advertising) to drive initial leads to your new locations.
3. Sign Up with Online Directories
An assisted living directory, such as Caring.com or SeniorLiving.org, 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 clearly directs viewers to your contact information and website. You also want to make sure that when you type your facility's name into Google, your phone number and office hours are the first thing you see - and that they're written EXACTLY the same as they are on your website. This is called optimizing for "NAP" (Name, Address, Phone Number)
"50% of local searches do not occur on search engines, but on directories and apps."
4. Use Video
A Wyzowl study found that 79% of consumers would rather watch a video to learn about a product than read about it. That number may realistically be a little lower for your target audience, but the fact remains that video is becoming a huge part of marketing, and it's going to stay that way. Make sure that your website's homepage includes a short video. It can be a brief testimony from current residents, a virtual walk-through of your facility, or an eye-opening skit about the dangers of the elderly living alone. Whatever it is, it will garner interest and keep people on your website.
*Testimonial Videos of Happy Residents always increases your website conversion rates
5. Provide Information Your Web Visitors Find Useful
Some viewers won't come to your website specifically to find out about sending their loved ones to your facility. They might be researching their options, or merely have a few questions about a decision they know they'll have to make one day. You can post content about how to know when assisted living is right for your loved one, talking to your parents about making the move, agreeing on the move with siblings, common concerns about living in an assisted living facility, and anything else you can think of that your target market could possibly want to know about. This content can come in the form of blog posts, downloadable ebooks, video, or new pages on your website. Even if they aren't quite looking for a facility for their mom or dad yet, they are more likely to check out your facility when the time comes if you had the answers they were looking for. This type of content marketing for assisted living is at the backbone of many of our inbound marketing programs at NextWave.
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. Contact us at NextWave Care to learn more about how to develop a strong online presence and start filling your communities using online marketing.