The process of marketing retirement communities has changed a lot in the 2000s. Unfortunately, not every senior living community knows it. As a result, many facilities suffer lower occupancy than they should.
Twenty years ago, marketing retirement communities meant reaching prospective residents in a well-established way. You used direct mail, ran print ads in the daily newspapers and—if you had the budget—TV ads during shows that seniors watched in large numbers like “Jeopardy” and “Wheel of Fortune.” The objective was simple. You wanted them to request a brochure. From there, you wanted to get them on a waiting list or into the office of your retirement counselor.
Properly implemented, the system worked. However, time has changed the entire process of marketing retirement communities.
The Brave New World of Marketing Retirement Communities
As the internet and social media evolved, the traditional marketing model of senior retirement communities changed dramatically. Any retirement facility relying mainly on direct mail and newspaper ads to generate phone calls is kidding itself. In an era when the numbers of seniors using the internet and social media is unprecedented, there’s simply no excuse for assuming that they’re only going to respond to the most traditional forms of advertising.
Websites are now the most important assets for acquiring leads. Marketing retirement communities depends on it. More than ever, people do virtually all of their research online. That applies not only to adult children who are the decision makers but also to seniors themselves. Any facility that views seniors as hesitant to use the internet or social media has a very outdated impression of how older people relate to technology.
Today, website traffic drives admissions, as does social media. However, just having a website doesn’t mean that it’s doing its job.
Can Your Website Compete?
Prospective residents have to be able to find your community’s website. That means when they do a Google search, your name needs to be high in the rankings. All too many senior living communities put up a website without realizing it isn’t SEO-ready. And if it isn’t SEO-ready, it isn’t doing its job.
SEO (search engine optimization) determines how websites rank in a Google search. Consequently, knowing how SEO works is crucial for success. Is your website SEO-ready? Is it mobile-friendly? Do you even know? These are the kinds of questions you need to think about. According to a recent survey, 61% of people will navigate away from websites that aren’t mobile friendly. Can you afford to lose that amount of traffic?
When choosing a web developer, you’re putting the future of your senior living community in their hands. Are they up to the task? Do they keep your website from being penalized by Google? Have you already been penalized by Google without knowing it? You need to be sure.
Marketing Retirement Communities – What It Takes
Marketing retirement communities has changed dramatically over the last 20 years. Digital marketing is where retirement community marketing is going. Does your community embrace the future of senior marketing or does it cling to the ghost of senior marketing past?
Dreamscape Marketing has built hundreds of websites and created more than 50,000 pages of content for our healthcare clients. In that time, we were honored to become a Premier Google Partner. In fact, nearly 20 Dreamscape Marketing associates are Google-certified (a rarity in the digital marketing field). The reality is that it takes this kind of in-depth knowledge of Google to create websites that rank well.
Ready to take your CCRC, life plan community or assisted living facility to the next level of success? Dreamscape Marketing can create a dynamic website that drives qualified leads to your sales department. Call 888.307.7304 or email us today at [email protected] and let’s discuss your options.