Everyone has a loud voice these days. You can hear your competition loud and clear, sometimes day and night. So how does a senior living community pierce through all of that noise to communicate and engage prospective residents and their adult children? That’s where a dynamic, flexible, and highly-trained marketing team makes all of the difference.
It’s one thing to say you want a team on the cutting edge of digital marketing, and quite another to build one. So to help you transform your team into the competitive advantage you need to stay ahead of other communities, assisted living providers, and memory care facilities, I’m going to discuss some key best practices that will give you, your messaging, and your senior living sales team a critical edge.
First Things First: Make Your Marketing Turnover-Proof
Unfortunately, senior care has one of the highest employee turnover rates of any service industry. While there are ways to combat attrition through culture and engagement, it’s still something that communities must constantly take into account, including in your marketing strategies.
One of the best ways to combat the negative impact of attrition is to make your content as turnover-proof as possible. That means creating content that your team can quickly and easily update, even if that team is a bit of a revolving door. The last thing you want is to spend months working on a piece of marketing content – whether that’s an ebook, video, or even just a blog series – just to turn around and invest even more time updating it if you change logos or want to use different statistics.
Create Content That Resonates
Zooming further in on your content, it’s also important to communicate through formats that resonate most with your audience. For example, ebooks and white papers might suit an engineering company well, but won’t necessarily hit the target with senior living prospects.
That’s not to say that copy-driven content doesn’t have its place in a senior community’s marketing. But always keep in mind who you are speaking to and leverage everything that’s available. For instance, a personalized OneDay video that gives a prospect a look at what a typical day is like in your community will engage a prospect and family more than a one-page flyer or glossy brochure. And that's the type of difference that can drive move-ins and revenue.
Perfect Your Onboarding
The first 90 days a new hire spends in your community are critical. Not only are you providing them with information they will need to successfully handle their responsibilities, but you’re also immersing them in your culture. Therefore, it’s vital that you create a structure and timeline for your onboarding process to make it as efficient and effective as possible.
Research shows that when new hires participate in an organized, standardized onboarding process, they’re 58% more likely to remain with an employer for at least three years. Likewise, those same employees are also 50% more productive than those who do not participate in a structured onboarding system. That’s why it’s so important to give those initial three months the attention they deserve, for new marketing team members as well as any group in your community.
Also, make sure the material you provide during your onboarding is challenging but not overwhelming. As you proceed, pay mind to any obvious skill gaps in your new hire, especially if they’re replacing someone that was with your team for a fair amount of time.
For example, if they are strong with social media but need help on the website side of your marketing, invest the time and effort needed to shore up those skill gaps as much as possible. Otherwise, they might not ever fully ramp up and be as productive as you would like.
Training Shouldn’t Have an Endpoint
Given the constantly-evolving nature of digital marketing as well as the senior living industry itself, training doesn’t begin and end with your onboarding. A successful marketing team will be one filled with people that never stop learning and are always motivated to improve their skill sets.
Marketing certification programs – either from a third-party or through modules developed in-house – are a convenient way to provide that continual improvement in your team. To make the process more interesting, you can always incentivize participation with some sort of reward system or even gamification where employees compete against each other.
Use the Right Tools & Solutions
Lastly, as communities continue to warm to the idea that their “traditional” ways – both in marketing and daily operations – won’t necessarily be a good fit for the future of the industry, technology is beginning to take on more importance. From a marketing perspective, automated CRM platforms to streamline your sales process as well as cloud-based learning management systems (LMS) can keep your team engaged with prospects and the latest and greatest marketing and sales training programs.
As game-changing as many of these tools and solutions can be, however, I urge you to research thoroughly and effectively to find the best fits for your community and needs. Use well-respected sources for your due diligence, ask people in your professional network about what works for them, and take advantage of software trials and demo versions to ensure you’re getting what you both want and pay for.
Using OneDay as an example, we designed our video storytelling app for the specific needs of senior living providers. While there are other video tools on the market, using OneDay provides many advantages that other solutions can’t match, especially those that are more one-size-fits-all in nature.
That’s the type of solution that senior living communities should look for and rely on – those that understand the particular needs of the industry, its challenges, and are far more a partner than just a vendor. It’s how we look at our relationships with communities here at OneDay and, if you approach other solutions the same way, your marketing and sales team can always be a step ahead of the competition.