CCRC marketing determines how successful your community will be. It has a strong influence on whether you maintain full occupancy or whether you constantly struggle with trying to fill empty apartments. This point was brought home to us recently when we noticed a large CCRC feature seniors prominently playing board games in their marketing materials. This would be a great thing to show seniors doing… if this was 1995.
Some communities are well positioned to market to a whole new type of senior citizen using a new age branding strategy. Others, however, are holding onto traditional CCRC marketing techniques that won’t help them navigate the new frontier of senior retirement marketing.
If the recession of 2008 showed CCRCs nothing else it demonstrated the need to maintain high occupancy levels. There’s no way that will happen without a strong CCRC marketing plan in place to attract the new wave of seniors who are hitting retirement age. One thing is certain, these seniors aren’t going to be impressed by images of seniors playing board games. Like a lot of traditional marketing techniques, board games aren’t going to resonate with the younger baby boomers in their retirement years.
Can You Attract the New Generation of Seniors?
Nothing strikes fear in the hearts of seniors quite so much like the idea of being locked away in an “old folks home.” In the past, it was easy to connect that phrase with some CCRCs. Now, CCRCs are built with the express intent of not appearing institutional. The emphasis is always on creating the most residential environment possible. Keep in mind that CCRCs have the toughest imaginable clients to please: baby boomers.
How are seniors changing? A recent study discussed the transformation. It concluded that the new breed of seniors is more intelligent, better informed and more highly engaged than seniors in the past. They are more physically and mentally active than seniors their age were just a decade ago. This has profound indications for how CCRC marketing and SEO campaigns must evolve to accommodate them.
What’s the Future of Senior Living & CCRC Communities?
By 2028, even the youngest baby boomers will have reached retirement age. Then, they’ll be closely followed by the oldest Generation X individuals. How CCRC marketing can appeal to these individuals will be significantly different than how it handled the task in the past.
Among the areas that CCRC marketing should take into consideration include:
A senior today isn’t so quick to shy away from new technology as some senior living marketers believe. These days, you’ll see plenty of seniors on their smartphones accessing the internet and social media. Surprised? You shouldn’t be.
If you think about it, no one understands the dangers of isolation more than seniors. Consequently, they are stretching to embrace things like social media because it provides opportunities for socialization. With families spread out across the country, social media can bring seniors closer to their children and grandchildren and they cherish that opportunity.
With this in mind, does your CCRC marketing include a social media presence? Does it include a dynamic website with abundant original content that complements your social media? Many CCRCs can’t answer “yes” to these questions. Consequently, they will struggle to compete with CCRCs that have leveraged the latest trends for their own benefit.
If you have a smaller community, that may actually be an advantage to your CCRC marketing these days. Although large communities are still getting built, many seniors are beginning to favor more intimate “boutique-style” communities that seem homier and are therefore less overwhelming. Seniors aren’t looking for an apartment complex for seniors. They are looking for a complete package that offers a healthy lifestyle, or at least the promise of a healthy lifestyle.
If your community has simple things like walking trails, you’d be wise to feature them in your marketing and digital media materials. The idea of staying active is powerful for seniors. If they see that they can do that at your CCRC, you’re that much closer to a move-in.
If your community has something like an indoor pool, it would be very smart to promote it aggressively. For example, it should feature prominently in your website photography. And remember that candid snapshots of residents in the pool won’t do it justice. A professional photographer can use carefully controlled lighting to make your residents look their very best. If you’re promoting a healthy, independent lifestyle, your digitla media will do the job better than anything you can say.
Dining is another important component of your marketing materials. The younger crop of seniors are quite comfortable with casual dining. Consequently, they are less interested in dressing up and heading down to a formal dining room. That’s why you may to highlight a bistro or cafe that offers light fare in a more casual setting. Your content should discuss things like vegetarian and low cholesterol options as well. Younger seniors care about this stuff. If you don’t, some other CCRC will.
Is Your CCRC Marketing Prepared For the Future?
Your website and social media are part of a CCRC marketing plan that should be emphasizing how housing and lifestyles are connected. After all, you aren’t marketing a glorified hotel for seniors. You’re marketing a lifestyle choice. You’re also marketing peace of mind not only for residents but also for their adult children. This should be reflected in innovative digital marketing.
Dreamscape Marketing has created hundreds of websites for our healthcare clients, and more than 50,000 pages of content. As a Premier Google Partner, we can leverage our extensive SEO knowledge to enhance your website’s effectiveness and search ranking. Call us today at 877-958-9180 or email us at [email protected]. Let’s take your CCRC marketing to the next level.