Marketing Strategies to Improve Senior Living Occupancy
The senior living industry has seen significant changes over the past couple of years.
The COVID-19 pandemic, staffing shortages, and the hesitancy among older adults to enter senior living communities have negatively affected senior living occupancy.
According to Senior Housing News, senior living communities experienced significant declines in occupancy through 2020 and 2021. Occupancy rates for independent living communities were 81.8% and only 75.5% for assisted living communities.
The good news is the rapidly aging U.S. population is fueling the need for senior living options. In addition, Baby boomers are retiring at record numbers, and this active community is looking for high-quality senior care options.
With more than 10,000 baby boomers turning 65 each day through the early 2030s, senior living owners cannot afford to overlook this massive group in their marketing efforts.
Today’s seniors are health-conscious, tech-savvy, and social. Those that choose to live in senior living communities are selective and aware they have choices.
If you’re the owner or manager of a senior living community, now is the time to update outdated or nonexistent marketing strategies.
Whether you manage an assisted living, independent, or retirement community, these marketing strategies will help you build your brand, improve your senior living occupancy rates, and delight your residents and their family members.
Identify Your Target Audience
Identifying your target audience or ideal customer is the first step in any marketing strategy. Put simply, your target audience is the group of people who will benefit the most from your product or service.
Your ideal customer visits your website or tours your community and feels like you’ve answered all of their questions on finding the perfect senior living community for themselves or their loved one.
There are several simple ways to identify your ideal customer.
- Ask your sales team about common questions, concerns, and objections from prospects.
- Current residents are an invaluable source of information on what’s unique about your community, in addition to what they feel could improve.
- Staff and caregivers can provide information on frequent questions, requests, and complaints.
- Read social media posts and reviews concerning your community.
Every encounter you have with a resident or family member is a learning opportunity toward identifying and understanding your target audience.
Type of Senior Living Community
Senior living communities are not created equal. Resident needs, services offered, and amenities vary; therefore, you need to create customized marketing strategies to reach your ideal audience.
Suppose you own an independent, active, or retirement community. Your website and marketing materials should feature beautiful images of residents enjoying social events, classes, and upscale amenities such as pools, fitness centers, and gorgeous outdoor living spaces.
Assisted living owners should market to family members looking for senior living options for loved ones who want to remain independent but need help with activities of daily ADLs care.
Every piece of marketing you create should provide information, answer a question, or solve a problem for your target audience. Your goal is to show them why your senior living community is their best option.
Senior Living Marketing Strategies
Creating a marketing strategy can be intimidating, but the importance can’t be overstated.
Your senior living marketing strategy has to do more than generate leads to increase occupancy rates. You have to implement innovative marketing strategies that help you stand out from your growing competition.
Your marketing strategy should be engaging, informative, diversified, and targeted to customers who benefit from your services.
If you don’t have an in-house marketing team, consider hiring a marketing agency specializing in senior living.
Full-service marketing agencies, like Solinity Marketing, are experts who can help you create a robust marketing plan for your senior living community.
Below are a few powerful marketing strategies to build your brand and improve occupancy rates in your senior living community.
Your website is your senior living community’s most powerful and effective marketing asset.
When seniors or their families search for senior living communities, they almost always start with online research. Your website represents the first impression they’ll have of your community.
Therefore, you want to ensure your website is optimized (anything that helps your site get noticed by search engines) so your target audience can quickly and easily find your site.
Once potential customers find your site, you want to give them a great user experience by giving them everything they need to choose your senior living community.
When potential residents visit your site, make sure your website:
- Is easy to navigate and downloads quickly
- Has valuable and informative content
- Includes high-quality images of your senior living community
- Looks great on mobile devices
- Includes testimonials from current residents
Your website is the foundation of your marketing strategy! If you don’t have the knowledge or time to create a website. You should consider hiring a professional marketing agency to create a customized site for your senior living community.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software
CRM software is a system for managing and building your relationships with customers.
As a senior living owner, you’ll receive leads from multiple sources (referrals, website, walk-ins, phone calls, and email). Building long-term relationships are important in senior living.
Every lead you receive is a potential resident in your senior living community. Therefore, every lead should be categorized, monitored, and tracked.
You’ll need a system to help you nurture and manage leads throughout the sales cycle to convert them into customers.
Below are just a few benefits of Customer relationship management software:
- A CRM can automate customer information in addition to tracking their sales journey.
- Automates and centralizes customer data
- More efficient lead and follow up management
- Analyzes and provides insight into leads
- Creates standardized reports and dashboards
You may have heard of some of the more widely-known CRM software programs like HubSpot & Zoho, but there are a variety of other programs available at many different price points. Make sure to do research in order to find the one that will work best for your team and your unique business needs.
Content is one of the most important and effective marketing strategies for any business.
Creating high-quality content takes expertise and time. A full-service marketing agency is perfect for senior living owners who understand the importance of content marketing but don't have the time, knowledge, or writing skills to create content consistently.
Content not only helps Google find and rank your website, but quality content is also what converts prospects into customers. Customers don’t want to be bombarded with irritating popups and useless information.
They want informative, high-quality, relevant, and engaging content. If you don’t make an effort to create content that resonates with your customers, they will not waste time on your website.
If you want to increase occupancy in your senior living community, you have to tell prospects why you’re a better choice than your competitors.
Every piece of content you create should:
- Provide helpful information, solve problems or answer the questions of customers
- Be well written and void of factual, spelling, and grammatical errors
- Include keywords that are relevant to your business
- Include high-quality, relevant images
- Be tailored to the interests of your prospects
Great content establishes you as a senior living expert, builds trust, and converts prospects into residents.
If a picture is worth a thousand words. A video is worth a million!
Video marketing is using videos to promote and market your product or service. Videos are an extremely effective marketing tool that increases engagement on social media channels, educates customers, and makes you stand out among your competitors.
If you’re not using video marketing to promote your senior living community, you’re overlooking a powerful marketing medium.
According to a Wyzowl 2022 video marketing survey, 92% of business owners value video as an essential part of their marketing strategy, 81% of marketers say video has helped them directly increase sales, and 88% of people say a brands’ video convinced them to buy a product or service.
Here are a few video ideas that are sure to help you improve senior living occupancy:
- A virtual tour of your community
- Question and answer sessions featuring your director, head nurse, or activities director
- Testimonials from residents
- A welcome video for new residents and families
- Follow up videos from sales reps to leads
- Videos of residents enjoying events and amenities in your senior living community
Email is the most effective form of communication within a business. I’m sure you use email to communicate with team members, residents, families, and vendors.
But are you using email as part of your marketing strategy?
Email marketing uses personalized mass emails to inform and convince leads to take specific actions, like entering their contact information, setting up a tour of your senior living community, or asking for more details.
Email marketing keeps the lines of communication open with potential customers by frequently providing them with valuable information.
Before you email a lead, you must ensure the owner gives you permission to send an email. For instance, they entered their email address on a form on your website.
Email marketing is one of the best ways to engage and convert prospects when done correctly.
Return on Investment (ROI) Tracking
Return on Investment measures profit or loss generated on your marketing campaign efforts.
A positive ROI means a campaign makes more money than was spent, and a negative ROI implies the opposite.
Measuring ROI is critical in marketing to determine the success of your campaign. Therefore, you want to make sure you’re investing your money in the most profitable marketing tools.
Tracking your marketing tells you where your leads are coming from and which marketing tools convert the most leads.
This invaluable information can help you know where to put your marketing dollars for future campaigns, as well as which ones are ineffective.
There are two significant benefits of having a blog- Google loves content!
And your potential customers are looking for information and answers to questions that will help them find the perfect senior living community.
One of the ways Google and other search engines rank websites is by crawling the internet to look for the most informative content. Blogging is one of the best ways to get your site noticed on Google.
Not only does blogging drive website traffic and promote your senior living community, but it also helps you connect and engage with potential customers.
You should create blog content at least once a week. Content should consist of topics specific to your target audience's interests.
Blogging is a powerful marketing strategy with many benefits:
- Blog content can be shared on other social media networks-Twitter, Facebook
- It helps convert traffic into leads
- Informative content builds trust and establishes you as an expert
- Builds confidence and converts visitors into customers
- Great way to communicate with and inform current customers
There’s a good chance your current and future customers are active on social media. The latest social media statistics show more than 4.62 billion social media users worldwide.
Social media is not just for socializing; social media is a powerful marketing asset for businesses.
According to a Hubspot marketing report, 82% of marketers post content across various social medial channels. And 73% of businesses believe that social media has been “somewhat effective” or “very effective” for their business.
Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are among the most popular social media platforms. Each platform has unique features and users. Make sure you utilize the platform that appeals to your target audience.
For example, Facebook is the preferred social media platform among adults age 65 and older, making Facebook a no-brainer for senior living owners. Therefore, every piece of content you create should be posted to your Facebook business page.
In addition, current followers can share your content, giving you the incredible opportunity to reach more people quickly. In addition, community updates, events, and industry news make perfect content for social media platforms.
You’re on Your Way to Improved Senior Living Occupancy
Choosing a senior living community is emotional, stressful, time-consuming, and overwhelming for seniors and their families.
You can facilitate the process by giving them all the information they need to find the perfect senior living community.
An effective marketing strategy will identify the people who need your services, lead them to your site or community, and show them why you're a better choice than your competitors.
Running a senior living community is complicated. Creating a marketing strategy is just one more responsibility.
Marketing doesn’t have to be complicated. Hiring a senior living marketing agency is a wise investment. For more information or to set up a free evaluation, enter your contact information, and a Solinity marketing expert will reach out.
Reimagine your senior living community with a solid marketing strategy, improved occupancy, and long-term happy residents!