The prospects for retirement community marketing have never been better. Baby boomers are retiring in record numbers—10,000 turn 65 each day. This trend will continue for the next dozen years or so. Unlike any generation before them, baby boomers are the ideal residents for an independent lifestyle retirement community. Your competitors probably know this. But does your community?
Remember that your marketing has to reach more than just the boomers. Members of Generation X (those born in the 70s) are looking for retirement options for their boomer parents who have recently retired or are just beginning to experience minor health problems. If they are the decision makers, your website must speak to them as well.
Boomers and Gen Xers often share a desire to be as active as possible in retirement. That means both age groups tend to be very receptive to the idea of a CCRC or life plan community. In addition, both age groups are very active online. The implications for retirement community marketing are clear: the web is the focal point for your marketing messaging for both audiences.
Boomers: They’re Definitely Online
Every month, about 77% of Baby Boomers are online. Nearly half of them are doing so on smartphones and tablets. It certainly crushes the stereotype of senior being wary of new technology, doesn’t it?
All of this online activity means they using the web for news and information… just like every other age group. It also means that the web is how they will research retirement living facilities. It’s an enormous decision, and they want to make a well-informed choice. Adult children are obviously concerned about their parents’ well-being as well, so they’re also doing plenty of research.
For retirement community marketing to succeed, seniors and adult children landing on your community’s website must be able to accomplish the following:
- Easily find what they’re looking for
- Sense that you have experience
- Feel that you take good care of residents
The Essentials of Retirement Community Marketing
Do you market correctly to your target audience? Are you doing it better than your competitors? Let’s consider these key areas of concentration:
Your Website: Is It Helping Or Hurting You?
Your website is the foundation of your marketing strategy. Is it serving you correctly? Make sure the following qualities describe your website:
- Downloads quickly: Nothing kills a website faster than if it loads slowly. It’s not only inconvenient for web users, but also can adversely affect your Google ranking. Google considers a slow-loading site to be a negative experience for viewers. Therefore, they may lower your ranking because of it.
- Well-built on the back-end: A poorly constructed website tends to become get worse overtime, littered with coding errors, duplicate pages, dead links and other things Google doesn’t want to see.
- Great navigation: Can seniors and adult children move through your website with ease? Can they find what they want easily? If not, your website could be doing you more harm than good.
- Mobile-friendly: Is your website optimized for viewing on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets? If not, you will lose prospective residents to competitors very quickly.
Content: Will It Make Google Happy?
The days of keyword stuffing (and getting away with it) are over. Keywords are still necessary but so are dozens of other things, including quality, original content. Google wants to see pages that give viewers what they are looking for. If you offer them thin content or content more or less pulled directly from other sites, Google isn’t going to reward you in the rankings. Your retirement community marketing may focus on a well-designed website. However, if the content isn’t up to par, a good design can’t save you.
For example, a 200-word blog is pointless because Google wants to see nothing less than 300 words on any blog. In general, longer content is favored. However, that is by no means a guarantee of success. Sure, a 3,000-word blog may satisfy Google in terms of its length. But if it’s padded and tedious, you’re not accomplishing anything. Readers may leave such a page quickly… and Google will notice that too!
Tone: Is It Relevant to Your Target Audience?
Are you writing about what seniors or their adult children are searching for? The subject matter usually incorporates your keywords. However, are those keywords important to your target audience?
For example, if adult children are searching for talking points about how to sell their parents on the idea of a retirement community, will they find them on your website? If a senior has concerns about Medicare Part D, do any of your pages or blogs discuss it? Maybe you’ve blogged about it several times. Perhaps you’re hosting a seminar that will discuss that very subject soon. When you can connect with your audience on that level, you’re getting somewhere.
Remember that your website (and your social media) should never come across an an opportunity to toot your own horn. By just saying, “We’re great,” you aren’t accomplishing the goal at all. Through your retirement community marketing, you need to address the concerns of prospective residents and their families.
Seniors have very logical fears about their independence and their health. When you take away that fear by discussing these issues honestly and directly, you form a relationship. Hopefully, that relationship turns into a conversion. If they don’t form that relationship with you, they will with a competitor.
Take Your Retirement Community Marketing From Good to Great
The competition for residents among retirement communities is intense. Your community’s digital marketing efforts will help determine whether your apartments are occupied or empty. Without question, your website is the focal point for baby boomers and their children seeking more information about your community. Is it doing the job? Or does it need an overhaul?
Dreamscape Marketing has designed, built and maintained websites for literally hundreds of healthcare clients. We’ve also created more than 50,000 pages of quality original content. As a Premier Google Partner, we know what it takes to get your website a higher Google ranking than it has today.