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Here’s a blog post paraphrased from a great article written September of 2017 by the folks at Plante Moran, an international senior living consulting firm.
Senior housing marketers, facility owners and managers: making immediate improvements to your multichannel marketing could bolster both interest in your community and your occupancy rates. Only by taking a targeted approach will your community be able to connect meaningfully with potential residents at each stage of the sales funnel: awareness, interest, decision, and action. Synchronizing tactics provides potential residents with a positive, consistent message about the benefits of your community.
Here are some proven marketing tactics that consistently help senior living communities improve occupancy:
#1. Ensure your website is up to par with the competition.
Is your website easy to navigate, even for someone who’s not tech-savvy? Can you type your web address manually without struggling? Does your website load quickly? Are you using high-quality images of your available units, landscaping, amenities, and dining spaces? Is your website mobile-friendly? Your community’s first impression often happens online. You must invest time and energy to make it inviting, with easy navigation, fast and mobile access, and engaging content.
#2. Consistently track the ROI of every marketing initiative.
Each audience is going to respond to marketing initiatives differently. While some may find that printed ads work best to draw in seniors and their families, others may conclude that hosting on-site events or “open houses” are the best way to create interest. Careful attribution is essential to make sure you’re investing your valuable promotional dollars only on tactics with high returns.
#3. Be aware of what’s being said about your community online.
While getting negative reviews can be difficult and damaging to your brand, it is important you have a member of your team respond to concerns posted online as soon as possible. You want to show people that management at your community is willing to make things right when they go wrong. Sometimes, a great response to a bad review means more to potential residents and their families than the bad review itself.
#4. Google AdWords helps you stay visible in web searches.
Google AdWords is a customizable, efficient platform used by millions of businesses to get their organizations noticed online. Chances are, your competitors are already using it. Stay at the top of Google search results — and top-of-mind for those who are looking for a new place to live — by considering an investment into this service.
#5. Use your current residents as “brand ambassadors.”
Do you have current residents who love living in your community? Those seniors — and their families — may be willing to become “brand ambassadors” to promote your community. Consider starting a “resident referral program” that asks residents to refer their friends. You can use that connection to let potential residents know that because their friend loves living there, so would they.