Community sales directors probably notice the difference in the sales cycle between an assisted living resident and an independent living resident. The former is shorter compared to the latter – 70 days versus 120 days. What do you think are the factors affecting the buyer’s journey?
Traditional advertising, such as print ads, TV commercials, billboards and radio ads, still plays an important role in spreading awareness for a product like the independent living community you’re promoting. But would you believe that inbound marketing for senior living can be a more effective advertising tactic?
Importance of Inbound Marketing for Senior Living
Inbound marketing uses information in the form of blog posts, e-books or videos to show prospective clients the value of a product or service. If used in a proper way, it can help shorten the senior living sales cycle.
What can senior living sales representatives do to make inbound marketing work to their advantage? Here are three essentials to consider before planning your strategy:
1.) Know your Target Prospects
You have to understand who your prospects are before you can create effective marketing strategies to win them. Oftentimes, an independent living prospect has not decided yet if he/she wants to move to senior housing. Perhaps it is an option, that’s why he/she took a look at your community.
If a prospect has an urgent need for skilled nursing, the senior living sales cycle will most likely be shortened. The move to assisted living is welcomed without hesitation. But for others who are not faced with the same urgency and still prefer to maintain their living conditions, the transition to senior living is going to take more time. The change in both location and life stage is not so welcome.
So, the challenge for inbound marketers is coming up with ways to sell to your prospect the idea of senior living?
*Knowing your target personas is critical for effective content marketing. The example above is one that Hubspot uses often called "Marketing Mary." The more info you have about your target prospects the better you can tailor your content to them.
2.) Provide Content that Answers Your Prospect's Questions
According to Pew Research Center about 60% of seniors who are 65 years old or older access the internet. So, it is likely that they would be looking for information online before they visit a senior living community or decide to move into one.
As a senior housing provider, your goal is to provide answers to questions they might be asking about senior living in general and how your community can meet their needs. You and your marketing team should brainstorm topics your prospects might be searching for and create helpful content about them. Use formats that would be most interesting to them – perhaps blogs and videos would be appropriate.
By making useful content available online, you’re not only reaching out to seniors. You’re also marketing to the adult children of seniors who are not internet-savvy. Sometimes, the adult children are the ones who are searching online on behalf of their parents. If an article on your website could convince them about how favorable senior living communities are, the parent who reads a print-out of the article could be convinced as well.
In case they finally decide to look for a senior housing, do you think your community will be on the top of their list? That’s for sure because you have provided them with good resources. You have just won a lead with your inbound marketing.
"47% of buyers view at least 3–5 pieces of content before they contact a sales representative"
3.) Nurture your Prospects
Once your targeted prospects have opened up to you, seize the opportunity to keep the conversation going. It would be good to have some type of lead capture form on your website offering more free information in the form of a newsletter or downloadable e-book.
This line of communication can be used to nurture your relationship with your prospects. Let them get to know you more and the services you offer. Then, invite them to visit your senior living community and personally give them a tour when they are ready.
Keeping in touch strengthens your relationship with your prospects. This is important in helping your leads to make a decision. If they do so in such a short time that you don’t actually expect, you could say that you have effectively executed an inbound marketing technique that shortened the senior living sales cycle. You and your marketing team definitely deserve a pat on the back.