How to Build Trust and Win More New Resident Leads

Incorporating trust signals for senior living searchers into your community marketing helps build connections with prospective residents.

Every relationship worth having, personal and professional, is built on mutual trust. Your spouse, a childhood best friend, the woman you buy insurance from, or even the man who sells you the last home you’ll ever live in, all these relationships share a need for trust.

How Important is Trust in Senior Living?

In a word, very. Eighty-one percent of consumers today say they need to trust a company before they‘ll consider a purchase.1 Another 66% say that transparency is one of the most attractive qualities of a brand.2 People want to do business with reliable and honest organizations. And do you blame them?

Building trust is critically important for the senior living industry as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve. About half of all baby boomers doubt senior living communities’ ability to keep residents safe from threats like COVID-19.3 And with the growing need for vaccine boosters to keep emerging variants at bay, their opinions aren’t likely to change soon.

So how do you combat the negative influence of a worldwide pandemic on people’s perceptions? How do you gain seniors’ trust in the wake of this disaster? You can start be demonstrating your integrity, resources, and compassion for your clients by making trust-building a critical piece of your marketing strategy.

Top Inbound Trust Signals for Senior Living

One way to establish a foundation of integrity is investing in trust signals—specifically inbound trust signals. Inbound trust signals are factors that either directly or indirectly prove your honesty through inbound marketing channels.

What does that mean? Well, when leads engage with your various inbound marketing assets, they’re consistently shown content that reinforces your trustworthiness. Those are trust signals. The more trustworthy your leads find your message, the more likely they are to convert.

Here are a few ways you can incorporate inbound trust signals in your digital marketing strategy to build better relationships and close more leads.

1. Google Tools

Google is the gold standard for consumer trust. More than 67% of Americans believe Google is trustworthy, which is considerably higher than other comparable platforms.4 And they provide several helpful, usually free, digital marketing tools. These tools include

  • Business Profile: Formerly known as Google My Business, Business Profile is a great way to capture more leads. Studies show that 64% of consumers use Google’s Business Profile to get contact information for businesses.5 An added bonus? Claiming and maintaining your Business Profile boosts your SEO.
  • Google Maps: Most businesses, including senior living communities, are listed on Google Maps. When users browse a specific geographic area, they often use map listings as a resource to find contact information, so make sure your listing is up to date. Studies show that consumers discover 26% of U.S. businesses through Google Map views.6
  • Knowledge Panel: Knowledge panels provide a snapshot of essential information at the top of a Google search engine results page. Although most helpful in researching topics or events, communities like yours can also claim relevant knowledge panels from Google.
  • Featured Snippets: These are similar to the knowledge panel, although they usually answer a specific question queried by the user. Think, “Is there a senior living community near me?” Featured snippets also include video content, and when they do, they’re an even stronger trust signal.

2. Reviews and Testimonials

Nine out of ten people look at reviews before making a purchasing decision.7 And they’re certainly reading testimonials before selecting a senior living community. Here are a few sites where you should definitely work on collecting reviews:

  • Google Reviews: By far the most popular platform for business reviews. Three out of five consumers consult Google reviews before making a purchasing decision.8 Monitor your testimonials on Google Reviews and respond to as many as possible for an added boost in customer trust!
  • Facebook: Facebook is another great place to feature reviews of your senior living community. About 54% of consumers check out Facebook reviews before buying!9
  • Senior Living Review Sites: Websites designed specifically for reviews and testimonials about senior living communities. Claim your profile and make sure you keep your information up to date.

Now for what always feels like the hard part—getting people to leave reviews. A great way to start a conversation about testimonials is to encourage reviews whenever a resident or their family compliments your community. Include links to your preferred review sites in your email signature, website, and monthly newsletters to make leaving reviews even easier. And don’t forget to use social media to remind your followers to leave reviews, too.

The key here is consistency. Make review requests a part of your routine and they won’t feel like such a tough ask. Keep the process simple! Provide direct links whenever possible to increase the chances residents will click and review.

Responding to your reviews, both positive and negative, is just about as important as asking for them in the first place. Studies show that businesses that don’t reply earn about 9% less revenue than companies that do.10 Businesses that reply at least 25% of the time enjoy up to 35% more revenue.

3. Blogging

In addition to improving SEO for your target senior living keywords, blogs are a powerful inbound marketing tool that have the potential to build a great deal of trust with your residents and their families.

Effective blog articles offer helpful advice or useful information about topics that interest your target market. These articles don’t have to be about senior living. In fact, most of them shouldn’t be. Instead, write about activities that your residents find interesting or that provide answers to commonly asked questions.

Only well-written blogs work as effective trust signals. About one in four people say poor writing quality destroys a blog’s credibility.11 Take your time and put the work in up-front so your articles successfully build trust.

But don’t just write articles for your website. Guest posting is a great way to build the authority and credibility of your senior living community., AARP, Third Age, and even Suddenly Senior are all popular sites for seniors where an interesting and engaging sponsored post from you might be welcome.

4. Social Media

A leading inbound trust generator is social media. We’re living in a time where your new resident leads and their families not only expect you to have a social media presence but actively engage with your community on that medium.

For senior living communities, the most popular social media platform is Facebook. Americans over 65 comprise the fastest-growing demographic on Facebook.12 Keep a close watch on your social media accounts. Leads and residents interacting on your pages expect quick response times and a high degree of engagement. Unfortunately, you can’t simply schedule posts and watch the leads line up. Instead, take a consistent, calculated effort to get the most out of your social media assets.

Keep your content fresh and vary the types of posts that you share through your social media. Include content like event invites, poll questions, recent blogs posts, employee profiles, and especially video content like virtual tours to help your prospective residents and their families get to know your community.

Users click through video posts almost 30% of the time.13 Make sure your videos are two to five minutes long and include captions that are ten words or less to maximize click-throughs.

5. Traditional Media

Traditional media is powerful, and when you earn coverage, you also gain considerable trust. Getting coverage starts with writing press releases to share news and events. Breaking ground on a new addition? Hosting a charity event? Is a WW2 veteran turning 100? Write positive, newsworthy press releases about happenings in your community, and send them out regularly.

After sending the press release, make pitch calls to local media outlets to encourage coverage and offer tours and live interviews. Unless you’re in a huge media market, most local TV stations are receptive to this kind of outreach.

When your spot airs, share! Include media clips on your website, newsletter, and social media pages. Of course, securing coverage is only half the battle. For your content to work as a trust signal you need as many people as possible seeing your posts.

6. Community Engagement

Hosting and participating in community events is helpful on several fronts. But we’re concerned with trust. Your involvement in community events not only shows new resident leads you care, but also that you’re worthy of their trust. Whether you’re hosting your own event or joining forces with a local partner, getting involved in your local community is essential for building trust.

Engaging the community comes in many forms. For example, you could sponsor a local team, set up a booth at the county fair, participate in a senior expo, or host a seasonal festival for locals to enjoy with your community members. The types of events you join, sponsor, or host should be unique to your community because they send a message about what you and your residents value.

Not sure whether your marketing strategy is actively building trust with your prospective residents and their families? Our team of senior living digital marketing experts can help. Contact Dreamscape today at 888.307.7304 to schedule a strategy session.


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