Posted in on August 1, 2019

Digital Marketing in 2019: What’s Worked So Far?

One of the main benefits of digital marketing is the ability to reach leads at various stages of their journey. This includes the point at which they first become aware of a product (such as a senior living community) through a display ad, and when they make the decision to attend their first discovery event after being nurtured through email updates from the community.

Digital marketing plays a key role in nurturing prospects into leads and eventually residents. It is also supported by an integrated marketing approach — all the pieces of which work together to increase your brand’s visibility.

In this blog post, we’ll be focusing on digital marketing tactics that have worked so far in 2019. It’s important to note that our results were dependent on us taking a strategic integrated marketing approach. That is to say that some of these tactics may not yield the results you’re looking for when used in isolation.

Every Plan Should Include Paid Search Digital Marketing Tactics

Paid search ads have consistently worked well for our clients year over year. Our search campaigns focus on the intent of the searcher rather than selling the last one-bedroom apartment. This approach helps our campaigns perform at a low cost per inquiry (CPI), support prospects searching online who are unfamiliar with our clients and build their search engine results page presence.

As for key performance indicators (KPIs), we pay close attention to click-through rate (CTR) and conversion metrics. Using Wordstream’s CTR industry benchmarks allows us to understand how our digital initiatives are performing. We also use these benchmarks to optimize our keywords based on our clients’ industry performance. Conversions are optimized by using strong calls to action (CTAs) and placing forms in areas on landing pages where completion is most likely to occur. Through various trials, we’ve observed that offering a brochure that gives the prospect more information about your community yields the best results for conversion.

You can revisit this blog post to learn more about paid search best practices in the senior living industry.

Facebook Marketing Offers New Formats and Even Better Results

Facebook continues to be a strong platform for most advertisers. According to Hanapin Marketing’s The State of Paid Social, 91% of marketers are investing in Facebook.

The State of Paid Social 2019, Hanapin Marketing

Hanapin’s report also states that 24% of marketers believe single image ads are most effective. This is followed by video ads at 20% and lead form ads at 12%.

Although we’ve seen similar results to Hanapin’s, we’ve also seen great results using lead form ads. This format, which allows the prospect to complete a form within the platform rather than having to click through to a landing page, has had a significant impact on ROI as well. In the last year, video has worked well when paired with lead form ads for clients introducing a new community or product, with the cost per lead average being $15.

The lead form campaign is great for email sign ups, scheduling a tour or becoming a VIP. We still recommend the use of landing page forms if you’re offering eBrochures or whitepapers for your prospects to download.

Over the last few months, we’ve also tested the click-to-message ad format. So far, we’ve seen increased engagement, but haven’t been testing long enough to determine ROI. Click-to-message ads provide a way for prospects to message the business directly. Prospects can get  answers to their questions within minutes while simultaneously becoming a lead.

Our click-to-message ads use multiple CTAs to better address the prospect’s needs. Allowing for three separate CTAs helps to engage the user to complete at least one action. The CTAs that have yielded the best results so far are “speak to a sales counselor,” “join our email list” and “download a brochure.”

Check out our blog post on Facebook optimization tips for senior living to learn more.

Display Marketing: Is Sponsored Content the New Display Ad?

The short answer to the question above is no.

Sponsored content has an increasing presence in our marketing plans for one simple reason: prospects love to educate themselves. Sponsored content gets our clients in front of prospects. and gives them valuable information related to the community’s product offering.

We think of sponsored content like print ads and advertorials; They’re an awareness and support tactic for paid search or Facebook ads.

Although we’re increasing our focus on sponsored content, we have not abandoned display ads. And for good reason. Display ads act as a great way to build brand awareness by targeting interests and context. These ads also build remarketing lists to target users who may have engaged with the community previously.

What is Your Go-To Digital Marketing Tactic so Far In 2019?

We consistently test new tactics, formats and platforms to get the results needed to get leads through the door for our clients. However, we also are strategic with our testing. We move forward with top-performing tactics, while supplementing them with the new ones.

What digital marketing tactics have worked for your communities? Let us know by leaving a comment!

 Get More Insights with eNews

Sign up for eNews to keep up with the latest mature marketing insights, as well as the latest trends in the 55+ and senior living industries.

Subscribe to get the latest updates right to your inbox!