In a time when assisted living communities across the country are experiencing a downturn in census, many are seeking new assisted living marketing strategies to attract new residents. According to Enquire Solutions’ most recent study, communities saw move-ins decrease 40% in July 2020 compared to 2019.
How can your assisted living community overcome census challenges with marketing and sales? First, it’s important to know where prospects are researching assisted living options. For most prospects, much of the search takes place online. It’s also important to engage with them in a variety of ways.
In this post, I’ll share 5 tips for assisted living marketing and how to improve your community’s census.
1. Optimize your website for Assisted Living Marketing
Your website should be designed to capture the attenion of adult children first. They’re the ones who are researching assisted living options for the seniors in their lives. Your website should serve as a virtual guide to your community, the services it offers and its unique selling propositions.
The design should be clean and simple. It should be easy for prospects to find basic information about your community and how they can get in contact with team members. Adding helpful bonus content, such as an eBrochure, is yet another key to having a website that speaks to the needs of prospects and their families. The better your website infrastructure, the better it will perform in search engines. As such, it will be visible to more prospects.
Looking back to the Social, Silver Surfers eBook we published in 2017, we can see what web users over 40 specified as their favorite online features. Unsurprisingly, easy navigation topped the list. People just want to be able to make it through your website and find what they’re looking for!
2. Use Digital Marketing
Once you’ve optimized your website, the next tip is to use digital marketing to increase traffic and new leads. By creating a strong online campaign with impactful calls-to-action, you’ll create greater awareness of your community. You’ll also develop a channel through which family members and prospective residents can inquire. When developing an assisted living marketing strategy for our clients, we always recommend they include paid search, display and paid social campaigns as part of their plans.
Digital marketing has been particularly effective during this time when we’ve seen marketing channels decreasing in terms of inquiries and leads received. Between March 2020 and today, we’ve seen a 64% increase in click throughs to websites from online initiatives. This tells us that people searching for assisted living are doing so online.
3. Create Informative and Entertaining Videos
Now, more than ever, videos are becoming an important component of assisted living marketing. Videos can be informative, like a virtual tour for example. They can also be entertaining and show off your community’s personality.
You can share your videoes via social media, eNewsletters, your website and even in your digital marketing campaigns. The best advice we can give for video marketing is to keep it simple; Not just in length but in the message as well. If needed, break your videos up into smaller segments and stick to one topic at a time.
4. Leverage Events
Outside of digital marketing, videos and your website, another great tip for assisted living marketing is to hold events. Showcasing your community through events is a great way to entice prospects to visit. Events offer a sneak peek into the type of lifestyle and services being offered.
There are two types of events that we partner with our clients to strategize and promote: lead generating events and conversion events. Lead generating events are more lifestyle-focused with little-to-no sales component. On the other hand, conversion events focus mainly on selling attendees on the features and benefits of your community. The goal is to convert attendees to sale. For more on getting the most out of your events, read what Allie Dongoski, Account Director at Creating Results, had to say in a past blog post.
5. Have a Stellar Sales and Admissions Team
Our last tip for assisted living marketing doesn’t have to do with marketing per se. Instead, it focuses on sales and admissions. If you’ve implemented an integrated marketing plan, built awareness and generated leads, but still haven’t improved census, we suggest looking at how your sales and admissions teams are performing.
A typical lead costs anywhere from $250-$1000 to generate through assisted living marketing. That money is wasted if, once they get through the door, they are not being nurtured properly and/or converted to a sale. Having a sound sales process is not only key to improving your census, but it will also make your marketing dollars go further. Here are some key points to consider as you’re assessing your sales and admissions team at your assisted living community:
- An assisted living sale takes anywhere from 3-18 months
- A typical conversion rate for assisted living is 9%
- The number of touchpoints (calls, emails, appointments) it takes for 1 move in for assisted living is between 7 and 15