Sales and marketing in senior living require a special touch from your team. While the framework of a modern digital marketing strategy still applies, there’s nuance to senior living campaigns if you want to move the occupancy needle.
Building on our previous insights on putting assisted living marketing training into action, I now want to discuss five tips to use during your training. With this collection of best practices from senior living industry experts, you can ensure your sales and marketing team develops the habits to drive leads and move-ins time and time again.
Personal Connections are Rocket Fuel for Lead Generation
Pools and other amenities are nice and always welcomed by a prospect and their adult children, but they don’t have the positive impact on move-ins that many think. Throughout your marketing and sales training, emphasize that it’s not the buildings and manicured grounds that truly stand out to a prospect but, instead, the staff and residents inside those buildings.
When leading your discovery training, it’s crucial that your team gets to know the prospective resident and their loved ones. Between the initial inquiry, follow-ups, and home visits, your team has an incredible opportunity to learn their personal history, what they’re looking forward to – and fearing – about the next chapter of their life.
If you use that information to build relationships and strong personal connections, you’ll see the positive impact on your occupancy rates. For example, if your team wants to touch-base with a potential resident, try sending them a personalized OneDay video, perhaps introducing a staff member or current resident that has a lot in common with the prospect. When you ingrain the importance of such personalized communication throughout training, it becomes second nature for your team.
(Analytic) Numbers Don't Lie
Some people just aren’t comfortable with numbers, and that’s okay. But analytics are essential to your marketing success. Without them, there’s no way to track your ROI, see what’s working, and where you’re falling short. However, the good news is that it doesn’t require an undergrad’s calculus textbook to efficiently and effectively track your marketing analytics.
It’s important to sit down with your team during training and walk them through the different features and functions in your analytics platforms. Fortunately, whether that entails your CRM, Google Analytics, or some other platform, most of today’s analytics programs are straightforward and intuitive.
Try to demystify these tools during your training, show your team that analytics aren’t as complex as they might think, and use that training to ensure your team is tracking ROI for each of your marketing initiatives.
Keep Your Digital House in Order
Your website is equal parts billboard and library. It must accomplish multiple things at once, engaging the viewer with text and visuals while also providing them with the information they’re looking for. If your website falls short on either front, chances are the viewer will move onto the next community – your competition – until they find that mix of engagement and information that hits the sweet spot.
In recent years, the total percentage of leads stemming from websites has been steadily rising across most industries and organizations, senior communities included. That’s a trend we don’t expect to slow down anytime soon. Therefore, your team must make it a habit to continually revisit your website, looking for any design elements and data points that need updating.
Given the impact of video storytelling, especially compared to other content formats, focusing on the importance of your website and ways video can maximize its lead generating abilities are both crucial during team training. Remind them that testimonials drive 62% more revenue for businesses, meaning something like a OneDay video testimonial from a new resident combines the powers of video and social proof into a potent lead generating tool.
Once again, this is a key habit to develop during both initial and ongoing marketing training. Your website isn’t a set-it-and-forget-it digital asset, and requires frequent attention to maximize its impact, particularly the visual elements you use. Going back to my video testimonial example, a rotation of OneDay videos on your homepage can transform your residents into brand ambassadors and your website into a lead generation machine.
Don't Forget Your Social Media Presence
Social media is usually a top priority for senior living marketing teams – and for good reason. Research shows that 46% of seniors are active on Facebook. Likewise, for messaging geared toward a prospect's family members, LinkedIn can be a valuable communication channel. During your training, you should spend sufficient time reviewing your social media channels and any platforms you use to manage them to make certain your team is comfortable with them.
As a best practice, while social media certainly provides benefits in direct communication with your target audience, it’s also a powerful tool in promoting website content like blogs, e-books, and videos. Assuming you’ve taken my previous point about your website’s importance to heart, social media can become another key lead generation tool when used in conjunction with your website.
Maintain an Active, Sparkling Online Reputation
It’s critical that, from the get-go, your marketing team becomes accustomed to actively monitoring and managing your online reputation.
85% of consumers now trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations from family and friends. What does that mean for your marketing team? It means monitoring your online reputation should be an everyday task, another crucial habit to develop during your training.
Your social media channels, online forums like Reddit, and the many other pools of customer reviews across the digital landscape all require daily attention. The goal is to continually engage the audience, address any issues, and strive to paint your retirement community in the most favorable light possible. I understand that this process can be time-consuming, so it might be helpful to train your team on social listening tools to automate the process.
The habits your marketing and sales teams develop in training have a direct and significant impact on your occupancy rates. Use these tips during your training, emphasize tools like OneDay videos to drive ROI, and you’ll have a team that continuously gives your senior living community a competitive edge.