When the pandemic hit, senior living communities found themselves in a difficult position. Most CCRCs usually depend on in-person events to attract prospective residents for campus tours. When lockdowns and social distancing became the norm, in-person events suddenly disappeared as a marketing tool for senior living communities. Now, the vaccine roll out is enabling CCRCs to return to something close to normal. Or is it?
It goes without saying that the vaccine roll out is the right thing at the right time for businesses across the country. The sheer number of vaccinated Americans put a serious dent in new COVID cases. Although there may be tiny periodic spikes in the summer and fall, it seems likely that the U.S. has indeed turned a corner on the pandemic. This has implications on post-COVID marketing in general and senior living marketing in particular.
Most seniors are vaccinated, and more younger adults are getting vaccinated each day. Consequently, the prospects for well-attended in-person events look brighter. Therefore, everything will be back to normal soon, right? Well, not really. The pandemic forced many social and institutional changes. While some of these changes were inevitable, COVID helped speed up the process.
For Some Senior Living Communities, the Vaccine Roll Out Couldn’t Come Soon Enough
Before the pandemic, not all senior living communities were embracing digital marketing. Many relied heavily on such traditional marketing approaches like brochure requests and, as already mentioned, in-person events. Of course, there were always the lead aggregators that could be used to compensate for shortfalls in move-in rates.
Many senior living communities struggled to meet consensus goals before March of 2020. Then, the pandemic hit. In-person events vanished and many seniors hesitated to make a move as deaths soared among seniors. One thing became clear: failing to fully integrate digital marketing was coming back to haunt a number of senior living communities. Move-in rates fell for such communities. Other communities more invested in digital marketing adjusted easier to the new circumstances.
The vaccine roll out could not have come soon enough for many CCRCs and assisted living centers. With in-person events basically eliminated, many communities were suddenly left without one of their prime drivers for move-ins.
What Does Senior Living Post-COVID Marketing Look Like?
As senior living communities prepare to meet the brave new world known as post-COVID, what should be the marketing priorities going forward?
- Video content is a must. It’s worth noting that a slim majority of people actually prefer video content over written content. When the pandemic came along, it focused even greater attention on video content. Such shareable assets can be essential for social media. Things like videos of resident testimonials can be extremely powerful for boosting move-in rates. Take advantage of this incredible asset.
- Local SEO ranking matters—and you can own it yourself. With few seniors willing to travel during the pandemic, local SEO became ever more important. Too few senior living communities are trying to dominate local SEO rankings. Instead, lead aggregators dominate senior living SEO campaigns so that they can basically sell leads to communities at a premium. Communities can use digital marketing to create their own success in the rankings. The vaccine roll out is an excellent time to commit to taking back your own local SEO results.
- Don’t assume virtual meetings will disappear. When video proved a practical alternative to in-person meetings, a problem was quickly solved. In a post-COVID world, video meetings won’t go away. Seniors, and especially their adult children. got used to such meetings. While in-person events are coming back, senior living communities need to realize that virtual meetings with prospective residents won’t go away. For seniors with limited mobility, virtual consultations actually make the whole decision process easier.
The Vaccine Roll Out Was Step One. It’s Time to Take Step Two.
Digital marketing’s vital role in senior living marketing success became obvious as a result of the pandemic. As we move toward a post-COVID world, it will continue to remain essential. Contact Dreamscape Marketing today at 888.307.7304 and let’s discuss your senior living community’s post-COVID marketing plan.