As the number of baby boomers retiring increases, senior living communities compete more heavily than ever for residents. Consequently, facilities are enhancing their amenities in an attempt to appeal to the discriminating tastes of baby boomers. One thing is certain: senior living community marketing depends heavily on an internet presence to reach seniors or adult children who are the decision makers.
To be successful in a competitive market, CCRCs, life plan communities and assisted living facilities need a solid digital marketing strategy. Without one, competitors will always outpace your facility in the quest of new residents.
Is Your Senior Living Community Marketing Targeting the Right People?
To achieve your marketing objectives, you really have to get inside the heads of prospective residents. Effective senior living community marketing depends on it. The question is, are you targeting the people you’re supposed to?
You’ll obviously target seniors of a certain age and income. That’s just common sense. However, are you targeting adult children? In some cases, they may play only a minor role in their parent’s decision to move to a senior community. In other cases, the adult children are often the main decision makers.
Factor in professional referrers (senior centers, other retirement communities, etc.) and you have considerably more of a target audience than just the prospective residents themselves. The lesson seems obvious: a senior living community marketing “net” should probably be cast wider than it is right now.
Your Retirement Community and Your Website
It would be a mistake to view seniors as hesitant to be on the internet. While that impression may have been valid 10 or more years ago, it’s pretty far from the truth now. A recent Google survey found that 75% of baby boomers use search engines like Google to research information on senior living communities. The mental image of seniors confused about using computers or cruising the internet no longer makes any sense.
It’s also important to consider how your target audience finds (or doesn’t find) your senior living community’s website. Google’s survey indicated that baby boomers tend to do their own research and will search for terms like “independent living” and “community features” or “lifestyle features.” This is consistent with what most retirement counselors could confirm about seniors wanting to think about things like amenities rather than acknowledge their own potential health problems.
Communicating With Your Target Audience
Adult children are a lot more straightforward in their Google searches. Their parent probably had some health scare and they search for terms such as “skilled nursing” or “medical services.” They may be happy to tell their parent about the nice indoor pool a facility has but they aren’t searching for it initially.
Any senior living community marketing plan needs to communicate with both audiences effectively. For that reason, facility websites should consider having separate tabs for “seniors” and “loved ones.” This enables you to tailor your message more carefully than web pages meant for both audiences to read.
As you develop content for your website, always be sure to listen to what prospective residents are telling you. Do you get a lot of financial option questions? Is there confusion about what levels of care are available at your community? Are you attracting as many independent living residents as you’d like? To improve your website, you need to answer these questions.
Is Your Retirement Community Website Evolving?
A well-maintained website helps you. A static website seldom updated will definitely hurt you. For example, if your website’s latest information is that lunch-and-learn event you had four months ago, your website looks out of date. Thin or unhelpful content is another major concern. Not only can this hurt you with Google rankings, but it also doesn’t do what all marketing writing must do: motivate the reader to take action.
Social media is another area that can be used successfully in senior living community marketing if approached in the right manner. Marketing objectives tend to be softer with social media but that doesn’t mean that it can’t return dividends over time. Social media is an excellent way to build bridges between current residents and future residents. And, of course, social media works best when coordinated with the content of your website.
Can You Handle Your Website Yourself?
When you’re ready to take your digital marketing to the next level of success, Dreamscape Marketing can help. We’re designed, built and maintained hundreds of websites for our healthcare clients. In addition, we’re crafted more than 50,000 pages of original web content, all of which is carefully optimized for SEO ranking.