OppGenetixOppGenetix
  1. »
  2. Channel Insights
  3. »
  4. How to Market Senior...
A senior citizen's adult daughter shows her the website of a senior living community on her smart phone.

by OppGen

More than 10,000 baby boomers will hit retirement age every day until 2030, which means there’s going to be a huge demand in senior living and retirement communities.

But you can’t assume that the prospective residents who live in your community are going to pack up and move out of their homes and into your senior living community.

You need to create a marketing plan that encompasses both digital and traditional marketing strategies.

 

Digital marketing for senior living communities

Don’t assume that baby boomers aren’t online — in fact, most of them are using the internet. According to a 2019 Pew Research survey, nearly 85% of baby boomers in the United States use the internet.

This means you should be considering a digital marketing strategy to reach baby boomers — and one for their adult children as well, who may be looking at a place for their parents to live where they have access to senior care services that they themselves cannot offer.

 

Have an accessible website

Just as your senior community offers accessible amenities for residents with chronic health issues that tend to come with age, your community’s website should also be accessible for everyone who uses it.

This means your site should be easy to navigate. Most websites have a navigation bar with the following items (which may or may not include dropdown menus that have links to other relevant pages):

  • Home page: the page prospects will first see when they go to your website
  • Amenities: this page should contain information about the features your community offers, including the size of living areas, special types of senior care (i.e., assisted living services), community activities, types of foods served, etc.
  • Locations (if there are multiple different community locations)
  • Blog: this page should bring prospects to your blog posts 
  • About: this page should give prospects some information about your staff members (i.e., their areas of expertise, experience, special training or education, a little background information about their interests, and contact information for each staff member as needed)
  • Contact: this page should include your community’s address, phone number, and email address, as well as an information submission form

You don’t need all the bells and whistles to have a good website — these basic pages are more than enough. The goal is to get prospects to reach out to you and get more information about your senior living community.

From a branding and design standpoint, the website should reflect the experience you want your residents to have while they live at your senior living community, so make sure it depicts what your senior community living is like as accurately as possible. If there’s anything on there that doesn’t match up with your community (or vice versa), that disconnect will make people turn away.

Another good reason to have an accessible website is for SEO purposes. SEO, or search engine optimization, is a strategy that can help improve your website’s organic (that is, unpaid) ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs) for certain keywords.

A site that’s easy for people to navigate is one that’s easy for search engine bots to crawl — and that’s something that will be considered when search engines like Google or Bing place your website on the SERPs.

To improve your website’s SERPs position, you’ll also want a website that works well on all devices: mobile, tablet, desktop. And don’t think that baby boomers are only using desktop computers — over half of baby boomers own tablets, and almost 70% of them own smartphones

Plus, having a responsive website that runs smoothly and quickly on all devices makes it that much easier to reach your audience, regardless of the devices they’re using.

 

Create a blog

On-page SEO is part of a solid SEO strategy As the name implies, on-page SEO involves the actual content on each website page. While pages should be created with certain keywords and phrases in mind, your content should also be thorough and discuss topics that are relevant to your senior living community.

A blog is one of the best ways to do that. By creating and sharing content on a regular basis, search engine bots will pick up on the best content available and make sure those pages are the ones seen before the rest on SERPs.

 

Utilize paid search and social ads 

Because baby boomers — and their adult children — are plugged into the internet, it makes sense to advertise to them there. Paid search ads and paid social ads are two fantastic avenues.

Compared to traditional advertising models, these digital advertising options allow for more audience targeting options, which helps bring high-quality leads to your community.

Paid search ads are advertisements found on search engines. They can be text-only search ads that look similar to organic search results and are found at the top and bottom of SERPs, or display ads, which appear on websites as images, like banner ads.

Paid social ads are found on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. When users sign up to use these platforms, they have to give certain information such as their age, location, and other demographic information that can then be used for ad targeting purposes.

Facebook’s ad targeting tools in particular offer many granular options when it comes to finding your prospective residents. You can target by age, location, interests, behavior, and more, all of which can help get the attention of these residents and their family members.

 

Run virtual tours

With COVID-19, many senior living communities are not able to host open house events or give tours in-person for interested prospects. To counter this problem, several of them have started giving virtual tours instead.

Even once COVID-19 is not a concern, it’s very likely that people will continue to use virtual tours for their ease and overall convenience. That said, it’s a very good idea to keep utilizing these virtual tours, and if you haven’t done so already, it’s time to start adapting to this change.

 

Manage your reputation

Like it or not, ratings are very important when people are trying to make final decisions when selecting a service. Creating listings on Google My Business, Bing Places for Business, and Facebook gives residents and their families many places to review your senior living community. The more five-star reviews, the better! But keep in mind it’s not realistic to always receive five-star reviews. 

Chances are, you will receive negative reviews from time to time. When this happens, be sure to respond to the dissatisfied reviewers. It may not sound logical, but replying to negative reviews and trying to improve the areas they felt were lacking can make a positive difference for all parties involved. Do what you can to improve the situation by offering some sort of incentive.

 

Traditional marketing for senior living communities

Though digital marketing is growing more common, it still doesn’t hurt to utilize traditional marketing channels, as long as you’re reaching those prospective residents and their families.

 

Offer tours and open house events to prospective residents

When COVID-19 cases begin to drop and it’s considered safe to re-open your community to the public, be sure to offer tours to prospective residents. Let them see what could be their future home for years to come by offering tours.

Another option that’s worth considering is an open house event. If you have multiple openings, hosting an open house event is a great way to drive up interest. Prospects can mingle with future neighbors, get to know the staff, and get a feel for whether or not your senior living community is the right place for them.

With open house events, it’s also a good idea to make sure it’s open for the adult children of your prospective residents as well. Depending on the reasons they’re seeking out senior living communities, especially if it’s due to their parents’ health issues, they want to make sure their parents are going to receive the best possible care. Getting a feel for the community as well as the staff can put them at ease, now that they know that Mom and Dad are going to be in good hands.

 

Ask current residents to become resident ambassadors

If you have current residents who love everything about your senior living community, ask them if they would like to become resident ambassadors. A resident ambassador can give tours of their living areas, sit down with prospects at a meal and talk about events, and just about everything they can expect from your senior living community.

Another idea is to start a referral program for residents to refer their friends and family, and reward these referring residents accordingly, perhaps with a month of discounted rent, special meal vouchers, and other types of rewards.

 

Formally train your sales team

Make sure that your sales team is all on the same page by teaching them the best sales practices, etiquette, and more. A bad experience or misstep from a member of your sales team can lose sales and push leads away. The information sales teams share should be the same across the board, and providing formal training opportunities can help.

 

Contact us

For more information about how to market senior living communities, contact OppGen today.

OppGen Team
About OppGen Team
A senior citizen's adult daughter shows her the website of a senior living community on her smart phone.
How to Market Senior Living Communities