Digital marketing has leveled the playing field between large Senior Living providers and the small- to mid-sized operators they compete with.
If you’re small- to mid-sized this is great news and means that technology-driven marketing techniques put you on par with the big boys!
While digital marketing makes it easier to compete, too many small- to mid-sized operators fail to implement digital marketing strategies.
This is unfortunate, and here’s why…
As a senior care provider, you’re dealing with three demographics: the Silent Generation, Baby Boomers, and, more and more, Generation X, who are assisting their Boomer parents with difficult and often emotional decisions.
Your buyers, who are searching for senior care solutions for themselves, their parents, or loved ones, are going to fall into one of these segments.
One study on generational online content habits demonstrates why the company with the best digital marketing strategy has the edge when it comes to the online research of Baby Boomers and Generation X.
When you look at these statistics pulled from the study, think about how they apply to your current sales strategy for your senior care community:
- More than 25% of Baby Boomers consume over 20 hours of online content per week.
- More than 20% of those in Generation X consume over 20 hours of online content per week.
- Blogs are the preferred non-video content type for both Baby Boomers and Generation X.
- Both generations use Facebook more than any other platform to share content.
And don’t be so quick to label members of the Silent Generation as outmoded.
Check out these statistics as you’re thinking about your digital marketing strategy:
- In 2015, approximately 10% of Facebook users came from the Silent Generation.
- A study conducted from 2012-2014 showed that at least 9% of the Silent Generation is surfing the web while watching television.
- In 2015, 16% of the Silent Generation owned a tablet, smartphone, and computer.
These statistics show a significant chunk of your audience spends nearly one day a week online, and that, most likely, your audience has a pretty strong preference for blogs over reviews, eBooks, white papers, and more.
These numbers also inform you that a sizable portion of your older audience is browsing the web while they watch the tube.
If you’re not running a well-written, frequently updated blog that’s part of a larger digital marketing strategy, you’re forfeiting several avenues to communicate your company’s value.
Your audience IS searching online for solutions for their mom, dad, or loved one.
But you can’t count on them finding the solution they’re seeking in your senior care community if you aren’t using digital marketing to attract and educate.
Below are three commitments your company needs to make if you want to compete in the marketplace, boost your sales, and grow your business.
Commit to having an online presence.
I’m not referring to simply having a website. You can be online without truly establishing an online presence.
Think of a business in your city that has a vacant building.
The actual storefront is there, but there’s no life inside. In the same way, mid-sized operators can host a website for their Senior Living communities without having an online “building” that’s busy.
Begin to allocate time, energy, and a good slice of your operation’s budget toward regularly updating your blog, creating a lead magnet (a free checklist or PDF that offers valuable info in exchange for a lead’s email), being active on social media, and keeping your web pages up to date.
Let the digital world know your online storefront is open for business!
Begin integrating information from your sales team into your digital marketing strategy.
Ask your sales team to share the most common objections, questions, and concerns they hear from prospects, and work to incorporate these themes into your content.
Commit to consistently creating content.
If you want to drive Senior Living sales, you need to stop thinking of content creation as a way to keep up with the latest trends or something you do when you feel like it or have time.
Digital marketing thrives on unique and engaging content. And content creation is a way to provide social proof that drives move-ins. It’s a way to give your buyers the information they need to sign that lease.
To attract adult children eager to learn about the unique solutions you provide residents, you’ll need to produce content that answers their pressing questions.
But it’s not enough to generate any old content. Your content must be delivered on a platform your audience prefers.
Since Baby Boomers and Generation X prefer to read blogs over other types of non-video content, it would be wise to consistently publish quality, educational articles that explain how to research senior care options or that address concerns such as quality care.
(And since Facebook is pretty powerful for all three generations, you’ll want to promote and boost your posts through that social media platform.)
Commit to sales training.
Digital marketing is one of the best and most effective ways to attract new leads to your Senior Living community. But at the end of the day, it is a means to an end.
Your digital marketing won’t do you much good if you can’t engage your leads once your digital marketing efforts pull them into the top of your funnel.
Let’s say the daughter of a potential resident reads one of your educational blog posts.
Perhaps she opts in for more information, and after a few informative emails you send, she decides to call your senior care community and inquire about a tour.
But when her call is answered, she receives poor service from a member of your sales team.
In this example, the digital marketing strategy worked to nurture the lead to the point of action, but the salesperson dropped the ball and provided an experience not congruent with the top-of-the-funnel messaging.
This happens more often than not, and when a qualified and eager lead slips through the cracks, it’s typically due to a lack of proper sales training and the sales team understanding what the marketing department is doing to attract the lead in the first place.
With expert-level sales training, your sales team will learn to respond effectively to the leads coming through your digital marketing funnel.
Because proper sales training is so important, I highly recommend you see it as an integral part of your digital marketing initiatives.
If you’re interested in training your staff to understand how to convert leads your digital marketing strategy produces, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or text 813-390-3349 with your name and number, and I’ll help you start the process.