Remain Viable: Stay Ahead of the Curve and Shift Your Senior Living Marketing Message

 

In 2018, many senior housing communities will serve the Silent Generation demographic.

But that’s not going to last forever.

According to CNBC, there are 10,000 Baby Boomers who retire each day.

And as MarketWatch explains, these Boomers have an average of $263,000 in their contribution plans…even though they think they’ll need $658,000 for retirement.

As Jess Stonefield recently wrote for McKnight’s Senior Living…

In the past, many have focused on the overall lack of senior housing to be the major crisis facing our nation. I’d argue, however, that the crisis isn’t just a lack of housing; it’s a lack of housing that our aging population actually can afford.

Financially strapped Boomers plus an oversaturated market seem to call for senior living marketing messages that emphasize your excellent care, beautiful buildings, and vibrant activities.

After all, how else can you convince Boomers to spend their limited retirement funds at your community, right?

Wrong.

We’ve Entered a New Era. Bad Food and Bingo Simply Won’t Do.

If you want to remain viable in the next 5–10 years, it’s time to starting thinking about a shift in your marketing message.  

Gone are the days of talking about finding a place to call home.

Bingo and similar activities are not as attractive as they once were.

With a younger mindset than previous generations, Boomers are seeking a lifestyle that fits their needs and desires.

They want culture. They desire to be part of a vibrant community where they can continue to thrive and enjoy life, not simply live.

Think bistros. Think movie theatres. Think cutting-edge fitness gyms.

This shift in demographic means you must eventually shift your marketing message. And this means the last thing you want to do is…

  • Position your brand as one step away from a nursing home.
  • Focus on factors that have little to do with the lifestyle benefits your communities offer.
  • Create predictable, stale marketing messages that undermine your operation’s value.  

If you want to stack the odds in your favor for future revenue growth, you’ll need to take a radically different approach to your senior living marketing.

Good (and Bad) Examples of Senior Living Marketing

When it comes to evaluating your current marketing message, making a judgment call might be a challenge.

After all, your focus is hitting quarterly goals, growing occupancy, or shoring up inefficiencies…you’re no marketing expert.

However, looking at some good—and bad—examples of senior living marketing can help you see what works…or what doesn’t…when it comes to how you position your brand.

For an example, check out this example…

Webpage from Assisted living facility

The first impression is a striking one.

The rich colors of the high-definition image convey an upscale restaurant, and the hook “Exceptional Senior Living Communities” evokes privilege, luxury, and a lush atmosphere.

The senior living marketing message is clear—this operation isn’t a hospital-like institution; it’s an inviting community.

In contrast, check out this senior living website…

Webpage from Assisted living facility

Or this one…

Webpage from Assisted living facility

Think for a moment of the first impressions these web pages create…

  • The negative consequences of aging.
  • Physical deterioration that requires caregiving.
  • A retirement that’s confined.

Between the unappealing pictures and the textbook-style web design, the marketing vibe is unmistakable: these are places where seniors go when they begin to decline.

It’s hardly a message for someone who still sees himself or herself as youthful.

Shifting Your Senior Living Marketing Language

The demographic shift from the Silent Generation to the Baby Boomers hasn’t fully occurred yet.

And that’s why now is the time to shift your marketing message.

Here are 3 tips to help you get started…

#1. Always keep your target audience member in mind.

If you’re a Bild client, and you’ve used our proprietary systems to drive occupancy, then you know it’s critical that your teams listen to prospects and their needs.

Your senior living marketing should be no different.

Rule of thumb—stop talking about how great your buildings are and start talking about how you’ll transform the lives of your target audience.

This web page is a great example of keeping the focus on the resident and what he or she will gain.

Webpage from Assisted living facility#2. Choose your photos carefully.

Your photos say a lot about your community, so evaluate whether they’re communicating age or an active lifestyle.

For an example of what you shouldn’t do, take a look at this home page for a senior living operation.

A photo like this provides little incentive for a Baby Boomer to move to this community.

#3. Keep the customer journey in mind.

As you shift your message, remember that great copy and stunning photos aren’t the only ingredients in success.

You’ll also want to consider the journey your prospects will take—the user experience (UX) your marketing creates.

It’s important to evaluate everything from how large your font is to how convenient it is to schedule a tour.

Look at how this community makes it easy for prospects to quickly find information that’s tailored around their individual situations.

Webpage from Assisted living facility

Don’t let your senior living marketing undermine your operation’s value and viability in the years to come.

It’s time to innovate and create the new standard.

It’s time to shift your marketing message so you attract Baby Boomers and set your operation up for future success.

Have a hunch your marketing message needs help?

Request your website copy conversion analysis, and place a finger on where your site needs improvement.

 

 

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caregiver taking elderly gentleman's pulsenotebook with charts for business planning