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The senior living industry is experiencing a significant shift in demographics as the baby boomer generation continues to age. By 2030, all baby boomers will be at least 65 or older, which is known as the coming “gray tsunami.”
Naturally, the demand for senior living will continue to grow rapidly to accommodate this growing and aging demographic. To accommodate this surge, there are more senior living communities than ever before, creating competition among assisted living and memory care communities to fill up occupancy rates.
The NIC MAP Marketing Fundamentals Data report shows occupancy rates have continued to increase for the fifth consecutive quarter for independent living, assisted living, and memory care. Of these sectors, assisted living saw the highest occupancy gains.
If you’re a senior community looking to capitalize on the rising occupancy rates, continue reading this article to learn how to implement your marketing and lead generation strategies to attract new residents.
1. Build a powerful online presence for senior living communities
Having a powerful online presence means your senior living community is easy to find in a Google search and looks professional on the internet.
It starts with a great website (that’s mobile friendly!) that provides the necessary information people need to know about your community, such as amenities, costs, and culture.
Your website is the cornerstone of your lead generation, because everything else you’ll do, from writing blogs to creating paid ads, will direct visitors to your website to contact you for more information.
Examples of the necessary elements (websites, social media channels, etc) that you’ll need to optimize your online presence:
- Use search engine optimization (SEO) to use the right keywords and search phrases that caregivers are actively searching for online, e.g. “What are the symptoms of dementia?”
- Use social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.) to keep people up to date at events in your community
- Host events, such as educational webinars, to show off your community’s expertise and meet potential residents
- Encourage happy residents to write reviews online and respond positively to negative ones
- Write blogs every month about senior’s health, such as Alzheimer’s, dementia, and other ailments that typically affect aging seniors
2. Engage the community with senior living events
Hosting engaging community events, such as in-person events or live webinars, is necessary for promoting your community with potential residents and their families.
Since the COVID pandemic, online webinars have become increasingly popular for lead generation. For example, one senior living community hosts monthly events on senior health and brings in the nation’s leading experts to discuss topics on senior health.
Topic inspiration for in-person and live webinars:
- Educational seminars on managing chronic conditions or health insurance
- Healthy cooking demonstrations
- Open houses and tours
- Social events, like barbecues or happy hours
- Art classes
- Q&A sessions with medical experts
- At-home exercise classes
3. Harness the power of social media for senior living marketing
Social media is a powerful tool for reaching your target audience—usually, the oldest daughter of an aging loved one.
By using platforms such as Facebook, which is baby boomer’s favorite social media site, and Instagram and Twitter, you can create an established brand to improve your overall image and generate leads through social media.
Social media is used to improve your community’s image, using it to share photos and videos of your community for added social proof.
While your community’s website will be the main lead generator, many people will instinctively look to check out your social media profiles.
If they like what they see—smiling faces and a friendly community—they’ll be more inclined to reach out for more information or to schedule a tour.
4. Engaging with review sites for senior living communities
Remember how I mentioned people check social media to get a better feel for your community?
Your future residents will also check your community’s reviews online, checking out sites such as the following:
- Google Business: Register your community on Google to make it much easier to find in a Google search. You can add hours, location, contact information, Q&As, and more.
- Yelp: Claim your Yelp profile to add photos and update contact information, and also to respond to reviews to see how people might perceive your community online.
- Caring.com: Promote your community on Caring.com, where you can even buy advertisements to reach more of your target audience.
- SeniorAdvisor.com: This is another review site where users can leave reviews and ratings. You can also include amenities and pricing.
- A Place for Mom: This blog routinely writes educational blogs on senior living and health and can also generate leads for your community by providing reviews and ratings for your senior living community.
5. Start a referral program that incentivizes current residents and healthcare providers
Using your existing residents to promote your community is one of the smartest tactics to attract new residents. Happy and satisfied residents are more likely to share positive experiences with their friends and family, who will want their loved ones to move into the same community.
Be sure to add a referral program as part of your email marketing strategy and social media strategy to generate new leads and attract potential residents to your community.
Try implementing the following referral programs.
Resident referral program
This program rewards current residents who refer new friends to the community. Rewards can include cash rewards, gift cards, or special prizes in the community.
Family referral program
This referral rewards family members of current residents who refer new residents to the community, giving them cash rewards, and more.
Professional referral program
This referral rewards healthcare professionals, such as physicians, nurses, rehabilitation specialists, and more who refer new residents to the community.
By targeting healthcare professionals, you can use their credibility to really sell your community to people who may have never heard of you.
6. Attend senior living conferences to stay informed
Attending the top senior living conferences will help you stay informed with up-to-date industry trends, understand new laws, learn new marketing techniques, and network with other professionals.
Here are some of the top senior living conferences you should attend if you’re able to:
- Argentum Senior Living Executive Conference: This annual event brings senior living executives together to discuss current trends, best practices, and emerging issues.
- The Senior Care Marketing Sales Summit (SMASH): This senior living conference focuses on marketing and sales strategies and covers topics such as digital marketing, lead generation, and brand building.
- Senior Living 100 Conference: This conference is for senior living executives and offers sessions on marketing, branding, and innovation, and provides networking for the top senior living leaders in the nation.
7. Enhance your marketing with engaging virtual tours
Engaging virtual tours is an important aspect of senior living marketing, especially in the age of COVID-19.
At the very least, make sure your community has high-quality photos of floor plans, amenities, and common areas, such as dining halls and gyms.
Make sure your photos are prominently displayed on your website and marketing materials (emails, social media posts, etc.) to show visitors exactly what you have to offer.
If you’re looking to take virtual tours to the next level, there are technologies such as Matterport and other 3D scanning tools to create an immersive, interactive virtual tour that your visitors can click through to “walk around” the space virtually.
8. Master your marketing analytics for senior living communities
Before starting your marketing campaign, come up with some key goals and objectives, such as:
- Generating more leads
- Generating more phone calls
- Increasing traffic to the website
- Reducing bounce rate on the website (making sure people don’t leave your site immediately)
- Increasing time spent on the website
Once the goals have been set, choose the right analytics tools such as Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Facebook Ads Manager, etc., to routinely monitor your progress and make adjustments as needed.
Use the incoming data from campaigns to readjust targeting, ads, or blogs to find what works best and continue testing out how to optimize your campaign.
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Kaleidico — your partner in senior living marketing success
Kaleidico understands the unique challenges facing senior living communities when it comes to marketing and lead generation.
We offer a comprehensive range of marketing services to help you attract new residents, improve your occupancy rates, and stay ahead of your competition.
We specialize in website design and development, content marketing and blog writing, social media management, email marketing, and PPC advertising to create a powerful online presence and generate high-quality leads.