When it comes to choosing what platforms to leverage in order to reach senior living audiences, you may have skipped over YouTube assuming that this particular platform is aimed at younger audiences. However, this is actually not true. You may want to give YouTube another look as it turns out YouTube videos are an excellent way to reach older audiences. The following are just a few of the reasons why you should incorporate YouTube videos into your senior living content marketing strategy:
1. Seniors Use YouTube Frequently
The idea that YouTube is for younger generations is a misconception that simply isn’t true. In fact, YouTube is the number one video platform of choice for the Baby Boomer generation. According to YouTube’s Trends Dashboard, more than 60 million Baby Boomers over the age of 55 view content on YouTube every month. In fact, four times as many Baby Boomers visit YouTube than people under the age of 18. This means that creating YouTube videos is actually an excellent way to reach your target demographics.
2. Seniors Are Social
By 2013, there were already 39 million people 65 and older that were using Facebook, Twitter, and Skype. At the time, this made them the fastest growing age demographic for these social channels. Considering the fact that there are more senior citizens than ever, incorporating social into your content marketing strategy is a must–and YouTube is a social platform. When you create YouTube videos, you can post them to Facebook, after all. Seniors can then comment, like, and share your YouTube videos, helping to increase brand awareness amongst their social circles, which are likely to be filled with family members as well as friends in the senior citizen age range.
3. Seniors Prefer Visual Storytelling
The best way to reach senior citizens is through the use of visual storytelling (according to multiple studies on the subject). There’s no more effective way to tell a story in a visual manner than through video. For example, you could use video to tell the story of a resident and their journey to find a home at your senior living facility. By making a resident the main character in your video, you would make your content more relatable to your audience.
4. YouTube Videos Allow Pre-Roll Ads
Pre-roll ads have become quite common on YouTube videos. They are the 5 to 30-second spots that run before the video and that usually can’t be skipped until 5 seconds in. While they can be a real annoyance for a lot of viewers, they can actually be very effective if they are relevant to your video content. This is especially true if you already have video content available on your site.
You can create effective pre-roll ads by cutting short 15 or 30-second spots out of existing video testimonials or video tours of your senior living facility. This way, when someone watches one of your YouTube videos (especially those that are instructional or informative and not promotional), your pre-roll ads will showcase your senior living facility so that they know who you are.
5. YouTube Videos Can Drive Traffic
YouTube isn’t just a platform to host videos. It can be used to help drive viewers to your website for more information. Curate your YouTube page so that you have a lot of YouTube videos audiences can go through, but make sure that it’s obvious that it’s your senior living facility’s page and include a link from your YouTube channel to your website. You should also add links to your video descriptions and clickable links embedded within the videos themselves towards the end. Doing so can help drive a significant amount of traffic to your website.
YouTube videos can be extremely effective at reaching a senior living audience, which is why you should incorporate YouTube into your content marketing strategy. It’s also worth mentioning that YouTube is owned by Google, which means that properly optimized YouTube videos can help to boost your SEO as well, thereby increasing your page rankings and helping to drive more organic traffic to your YouTube channel as well as your main website.
One of the main reasons why marketing a senior living community is so challenging is because it’s easy to fall into the trap of advertising to seniors in a stereotypical way. In fact, a recent survey of 400 seniors aged 70 or over revealed that 60 percent of respondents felt that most advertisements used stereotypes to represent seniors. Keeping that in mind, the following are a few advertising ideas to help you avoid senior living stereotypes:
Don’t Be Pushy Or Preachy
A lot of ads that target seniors tend to be on the condescending side. You’ll want to try and position yourself as an authority on the subject, but you won’t want to do so in a way that you’re telling your audience you know better than they do. This will come off as pushy or preachy, which is a tone you should avoid. Be factual and informative in an honest and respectful manner.
Focus On The Individual, Not The Demographic
One of the biggest offenses in senior stereotyping is to use actors that fit the general demographic of your audience and have them do something mundane, like smiling while they drink a glass of wine and stare out into the distance. How is your audience supposed to relate to an image like this? On the other hand, you also don’t want to depict a senior struggling to live on their own, such as someone being helped into bed because they are too feeble to function by themselves.
Instead of trying to represent an entire demographic by the extreme ends of the spectrum, focus on the individual. What does your target audience actually want and need out of a senior living community? Highlight purposeful activities, such as actively participating in the world and continuing to pursue their passions.
Show Don’t Tell
Having someone speaking to the audience about the benefits of moving into your living community is a tired trope. It’s something that most seniors expect from a pamphlet. Showing is much more effective than telling. A great example of a senior living community that did this focused on showing the day-to-day lives of its residents as they dined, exercised, played pool, painted, and more — all without any dialogue whatsoever. Like they always say, an image is worth a thousand words.
Entertain Your Audience
It seems like many advertisers forget that seniors still like to be entertained and that they have a great sense of humor. You don’t need to be deadly serious when marketing towards seniors. Try to entertain them and appeal to their sense of humor — you’ll find that they’ll be much more engaged as a result.
Many senior living communities fail to market to a senior audience effectively because they fall into the trap of using advertising ideas that rely on senior stereotypes. Seniors recognize these stereotypes and do not appreciate them, which means that you will have difficulty generating interest in your community. Use these advertising ideas to help avoid stereotyping seniors in your marketing efforts.
For more information, contact:
Debbie Szwast, 630-627-5200
LOMBARD, IL., July 25, 2018 – Stevens & Tate Marketing has been selected for the first time to present at the 5thannual LeadingAge Illinois Private Duty Symposium. Internet Director Nicole Wagner will be presenting her insights on online marketing techniques. The symposium is being held on September 12thin Tinley Park, IL.
LeadingAge Illinois is one of the largest and most respected associations of providers serving Illinois older adults, and is the state chapter of the significant national organization. LeadingAge Illinois serves more than 500 providers including home and community based services (HCBS), senior housing, continuing care retirement communities (CCRC), assisted living, supportive living and skilled nursing/rehabilitation centers. Wagner will be presenting her ideas and insights on Wednesday, September 12th, from 12:15 p.m. – 2:25 p.m., with a session titled “Attract, Convert, Close, & Delight Your Prospects with Inbound Marketing.”
Wagner will explain how social media encourages people to share and compare their experiences. She will explain how to draw potential residents to your website and convert them into qualified sales leads. This session will use a combination of presentation slides, hands-on worksheets, case studies, and a Q&A discussion in order to address using content to strengthen your brand in the eyes of your prospects and to describe how to nurture your prospect through the buyers’ journey.
The Private Duty Symposium is the result of a partnership between Home Care Association of America, Illinois HomeCare & Hospice Council, and LeadingAge Illinois. In its 5thyear, the Private Duty Symposium brings together experts and thought leaders in the home care industry to inform, inspire and enlighten attendees.
Stevens & Tate Marketing (https://www.stevens-tate.com)is a full service advertising agency offering Internet advertising; award-winning, on-strategy creative; integrated message development; and cost-effective media planning and execution. Stevens & Tate creates focused, targeted solutions for its clients within senior living, healthcare, pharmaceutical, homebuilding, CPG and food, grocery and retail, travel and tourism, and business-to-business industries.
Nicole Wagner, Internet Marketing Director at Stevens & Tate Marketing (www.stevens-tate.com), leads an enthusiastic team in strategic planning, web development, social media and search engine marketing, as well as Internet and mobile marketing. She can be reached directly by calling (630) 627-5200 or via email at email@example.com.
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SUMMARY: Nicole Wagner of Stevens & Tate Marketing will be presenting at the LeadingAge Illinois Private Duty Symposium in Tinley Park, IL on September 12th.
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When it comes to engaging with your audience on social media, you’ll want to consider implementing a video content strategy. This is because video is an excellent storytelling medium — and if it’s one thing that audiences can connect with, it’s good storytelling. Not to mention that roughly 72 percent of people would rather learn about a product or service from a video than from text. The following are four video marketing ideas that are particularly effective for senior living communities:
1. Share The Stories Of Your Staff
Getting your audience to engage with a video about a place is difficult, but if you highlight the people at that place, it becomes much easier. Putting a face to your senior living community will make it easier for potential residents and decision makers to relate to your video content (and therefore, your community) on a personal level.
Showcase the stories of some of the people that work at your senior living community and the relationships that they have built with the residents. You could also highlight the people that are in charge by showing why they decided to establish or run your senior living community.
2. Share The Stories Of Your Residents
As good as your reputation might be, you still have to work hard to build trust amongst your audience. Instead of shooting videos about how amazing your community is, consider allowing some of your residents to tell their stories instead. Make the resident or the decision maker a main character, explain what their needs or problems were and allow them to tell the audience why your community was the perfect solution. Not only can such storytelling be extremely effective at engaging the audience, but it works as a customer testimonial of sorts as well.
3. Shoot Documentary Videos And Behind-the-scenes Footage
Provide your audience with a peek into what it’s like to live at your senior living community by shooting documentary videos and behind-the-scenes footage. Video content like this makes audiences feel like they are getting an unstaged glimpse or even a tour of everyday life at your senior living community, which can make your community much more appealing to them.
4. Tell Fictional Stories
While using video to showcase your residents, staff, and management can help make it easier for audiences to connect to your community, don’t be afraid to tell fictional stories as well. Creating a fictional video, such as an animation, for example, allows you to get a little more creative with your video marketing ideas, which in turn can make your videos much more entertaining and engaging as a result.
Storytelling plays an important part in getting audiences to engage with your senior living community on a more personal level, and one of the most effective ways to tell your story is through the use of video content on social media. These are four video marketing ideas that will allow you to employ visual storytelling to engage your audience more successfully.
Marketing senior living communities can be a real challenge. You’re providing services for seniors; however, there are many people that are involved with the decision-making process, which means that one of the biggest challenges that you face is not only setting yourself apart from other senior living communities but fulfilling the needs of everyone in your audience. This is why how you market senior living communities is so important. Keeping this in mind, the following are a few tips for successfully marketing senior living communities:
1. Know Who Your Audience Is
Identifying your audience will help you target them more effectively when marketing senior living communities. However, this can be a bit tricky when it comes to marketing a senior living facility since there are several types of people you’ll want to target. Like previously mentioned, a lot of different people have a say when it comes to a senior moving into a senior living community, from the senior’s adult children to the medical professionals they work with.
Knowing who your audience is will be vital to your marketing efforts, especially when it comes to creating content. You have to write content for the person who is reading it, after all. If you try to cast too wide of a net by attempting to create content that appeals to everyone, odds are it will end up appealing to no one. To avoid this, you’ll want to create a buyer persona. Creating buyer personas will allow you to more effectively target the needs of your audience when marketing senior living communities.
Buyer personas represent your ideal customers and provide insight that you can use to target them. For example, a standard buyer persona will include a person’s age range, their income levels, their goals, their needs, their challenges, their preferred method of communication, and more. This information can be attained from existing customers, from online surveys and from social media. Because different types of people have a say in the decision-making process, you’ll want to create several buyer personas.
While you’ll want to market the services, amenities and activities that your community offers, one of the most important elements of a senior living community is the staff. Families who are looking to move their loved ones into a senior living community will want to make sure that the staff is not only competent but that they will build meaningful relationships with the residents.
Because of this, you’ll want to make sure that you highlight your staff as friendly and caring. Not only should you have a page on your site introducing visitors to your staff, but you should also create content highlighting their interactions with current residents. Video content is a great way to achieve this since it will help showcase their personalities as well as their connection to residents.
3. Promote Activity
One of the main things that both seniors and decision makers care about is that residents will be able to live a fulfilling life once they’ve transitioned into a senior living community. Seniors want to maintain as much independence as possible, which means that they want to be able to live an active and social life.
You’ll want to position your senior living community as a place where this is possible by highlighting and promoting different events and activities that your senior residents participate in. This can be done by writing blog posts about some of the daily or weekly activities that are available, posting pictures and videos of residents participating in various activities, or promoting upcoming events using social media.
4. Use Your Website As A Sales Tool
You should treat your website as a sales tool to help promote your community as a service. Publishing high-quality content that’s relevant to your target audience can help bring in traffic and will allow decision-makers (who are your customers) to educate themselves via the content you have provided. These are your leads, and you’ll want to use your website to capture your leads and nurture them through the buyer’s journey.
5. Spread The Word Using Social Media
A social media presence can be incredibly helpful for a number of reasons. First of all, you’ll put your community in a position to directly address concerns and answer questions that decision-makers may have about your community. This can go a long way in building relationships and trust. Secondly, it allows you to keep family members up to date with any news or events concerning your community. This shows your audience that you care about your community and are regularly engaged in improving the quality of life of your residents. Using social media in such a manner can help to build your reputation and spread awareness of your community as a result.
Marketing senior living communities is no easy task, but these tips will give you a good foundation on how to reach your target audience and to position your senior living community as a safe, comfortable and friendly place that will meet the needs of your residents and of those involved in the decision making process.
More and more seniors are becoming tech savvy, using smart phones and tablets to communicate with family and friends. They also use their smart devices to do their own research on where they want to live and how they want to do it. This is one reason why digital marketing tactics are critical for senior living marketing.
Digital Marketing Tactics for Senior Living Communities
Your website is one of your most important assets. It’s where consumers are going to find out more about your company. The place where you build trust. Where you show your leadership in the senior living industry. It’s where they can get more information about your community.
With your website in place, what digital marketing tactics should you employ?
Blogging offers you the opportunity to provide your audience with useful information while positioning you as a trusted expert. You can use your blog to provide useful information like how to downsize, how to stay healthy as you age, how to find the right senior community and how to find work as a senior. High-quality content keeps people coming back.
SEO (search engine optimization) works to get your community’s website found by the search engines. It is done with keyword placement, quality content, and a dynamic website. The more you have of all three, the better your SEO results will be.
Social media allows you to engage your audience. You can share tips, post links to new content, or share testimonials. Facebook offers a place to share as well as a place where potential residents can make queries or learn more about your community.
Email lead nurturing allows you to make your community more attractive to people who have expressed interest. You can share community events, resident highlights and interesting tidbits to show how involved and engaged the residents of your community are. That makes it more attractive to those considering moving in.
Online advertising positions your brand in front of anyone seeking information on senior living communities. In fact, as they search for that kind of information, your name pops up. It can give you highly qualified leads almost instantaneously.
These tactics will help you position your senior living community. You can grab the attention of seniors as well as their loved ones and care providers.
Experienced industry marketers have pointed out that marketing automation is the next generation of senior living marketing strategy. Without automation, senior living sales teams are missing opportunities to reach potential clients and key decision makers. And that affects your bottom line.
Marketing automation offers insights into the behaviors, interests, and needs of individual leads. That kind of information is critical when your sales team is trying to convert a lead into a move-in. If your sales team knows exactly what the lead wants, converting that person becomes much easier.
Why Automation Helps Increase Conversions:
You Can Personalize Your Communication
By tracking what your website visitors request about your property off your website, you can follow where that lead is at in their buying process. The more touch points you offer on your website, the more data you can obtain from your prospect. And that data makes it possible to market back to them on a personal level. This type of personalized communication makes a real difference in senior living marketing.
Move Your Prospects Through The Sales Process Faster
Helps seniors move through the sales process faster. Seniors, as well as their adult children, love to get timely responses to questions and content. Automation makes this easier by engaging interested seniors with relevant content and gauging their response. Quick engagement with high quality information will help the lead reach the decision point faster. And that is critical in senior living marketing these days.
Allows You To Nurture Your Leads To A Close
It is more than likely your prospect is looking at more than one senior living community. A carefully crafted set of emails will help to keep your brand top of mind and educate your prospect on your unique selling points. This helps nurture the lead further down the sales funnel. As they reach the decision-making point, you can provided targeted information and the option of contacting a sales person to talk further.
Provides Critical Insights into Individual Leads
Marketing automation software can track what web pages a lead has the most interest in and which offers they signed up for. This information offers critical insights into what is of most interest to the lead. One lead might be interested in a small single bedroom apartment and the social programs. Another lead might be interested in a larger unit and what healthcare services are available. The sales team can use these details in making their pitches and converting a lead into a move-in.
The power of marketing automation is the ability to gather information and nurture leads through the sales process. Then, the sales team can leverage and gather information to convert the sales-qualified lead into a paying resident. Making this critical link between marketing and sales is why marketing automation is so critical in the senior living market today.
At the Senior Living Conference taking place September 26th and 27th, featured speakers Dan Gartlan and Nicole Wagner will share their senior living marketing expertise. President of Stevens & Tate Dan and Internet Marketing Director Nicole will hold a 90 minute, hands-on workshop where participants will learn how to use social media to communicate with their audience on a more personal level, as well as optimize their website to drive more qualified leads.
From this workshop, called “Attract, Convert, and Close Prospects Using Social Media Strategies and Website Conversion Techniques,” participants should be able to:
- Determine key marketing tactics to achieve overall business goals.
- Be able to create buyer personas for future residents and prospects.
- Understand the stages of the buyer’s journey and how to communicate to prospects through each stage.
- Walk away with defined steps to improve online presence in order to meet objectives.
Stevens & Tate was asked to share our expertise at the conference based on our extensive experience in the senior living marketing field – with proven success building brands and growing business.
The number of seniors continues to grow every year as the Baby Boomers are hitting their golden years. This demographic shift has put more emphasis on businesses serving older adults, including senior living facilities. Your business should know about senior living marketing to help present itself to potential clients.
Buyer personas can help you when it comes to senior living marketing.
What Buyer Personas Do You Need for Your Senior Living Business?
On the surface of it, the buyer persona for a senior living business seems obvious. The older adult. However, individual seniors have different needs. And senior living communities provide different levels of service depending on those needs.
Seniors who want to maintain their independence without the worry of home maintenance have different needs than seniors who have advanced medical needs which require 24-hour-nursing care. Facilities which offer different levels of care need to have personas for each level offered.
Another persona to consider is the spouse of an ailing senior. The spouse may no longer be able to handle the advancing medical needs of his or her partner. The healthy spouse’s concerns must be considered along with the needs of the ailing senior.
Adult children also play a significant role in many older adults’ lives. Seniors often need assistance with financial and living decisions. Effective marketing in the senior living industry must consider the needs and desires of these adult children.
How To Use Buyer Personas for Your Senior Living Business
Effective marketing to the senior living market means building trust. That is where you start leveraging your buyer personas. Here is how you do it:
- Create content that addresses each persona’s needs or questions. For example, do a series of blog posts addressing common questions asked by adult children looking for information on senior living options.
- Provide longer content which offers more detailed information. An eBook focused on helping adult children assist parents with housing decisions is an example of this. This is the point where you can gather their contact information.
- Send personalized emails. Once you have a contact’s name, it is important to address them in a personal way. If you have more information, like what level of care the adult child’s parent needs, you can focus the marketing even more.
- Use the persona’s personal communication preference to your advantage. One detail you should capture for each persona is the preferred method of communication. Many older adults know how to use email, but prefer phone calls.
- Remember to track each of your marketing efforts closely. Some of your senior living marketing efforts will not be successful. When you see something is not working, stop and move to the next.
Senior living marketing is more effective if you have detailed buyer personas in place. It helps you be more conscientious of the needs your clients have. That helps you build trust and makes your marketing speak in ways it did not before.