It’s always a good idea to be looking ahead and the next year’s marketing trends. In senior living, we believe there are at least seven marketing trends that will affect the senior living industry. If you position yourself correctly in these trends, you’ll take three steps ahead of your competitors.
By the end of 2020, studies show that half of all searches will be voice-activated. Let that sink in for a moment. Today, more than ever, seniors and their adult children are using their phones and smart speakers voice services to learn about retirement community options. So, do you know what Siri or Alexa says about your community? Grab your phone and find out!
We’ll cover the best way to set up your community for success in a later blog post series.
More Advertising Restrictions
In 2019, Facebook changed its housing, employment, and credit ads policy to “prohibit unlawful discrimination.” We’ve found this new update to be challenging to work with simply because retirement communities have age restrictions in place. While you can reach out to Facebook for a special exemption to these policies, we don’t think it’s worth your time. And we thank there are better ways to advertise on Facebook by using an email list or targeting visitors that “like” or “follow” your Facebook page.
So keep an eye out for additional restrictions like these on other advertising platforms in 2021. There will most likely be updates or changes made to policies like these in the new year.
If you aren’t using automation tools to help your leads down the sales funnel, you’re losing money. Decide right now that 2021 will be the year that you begin to implement automation marketing tools like Hubspot or Mailchimp.
In case you aren’t convinced that automation tools work, here are a few numbers that should change your mind:
- 76% of marketing automation adopters see a positive return on investment within one year.
- 80% of marketers experience an uptick in leads because of automation.
- 77% of marketers see an increase in conversions due to automation.
You get the idea. Adopt and adapt to marketing automation tools because they work, they’ve never been easier to use, and they make you money.
Email Drip Campaigns
Email drip marketing or email marketing campaigns is one form of marketing automation. Here is the basic idea: (1) someone books an assisted living tour on your website, (2) their email address is added to an automated email campaign that sends useful information about your community’s assisted living, and (3) they become more and more connected to your community until they move-in.
There are three main benefits to using email drip campaigns to nurture relationships with your leads.
First, you can offer precise content to a precise segment of your audience. Think about how this would not work generically to understand why it works so well when your audience is segmented. Let’s say you buy a book from your local bookstore about how to grow better tomatoes at home. The next day, you receive an email from them about how their motorcycle books are now on sale. Do you think you would stay committed to their email list? Probably not. But if that bookstore sent information about how to improve your tomato garden’s mulch or a coupon for any book about gardening, you would most likely stay engaged with their content.
You can do the same thing with your senior living community. Segment your audience into categories like assisted living, independent living, short-term rehab, memory care, new leads, leads over a year old, cold leads, hot leads, leads who attended an event, and so on.
Longer, Richer Blog Posts
A short, 500-word blog post might be really easy for you to write, but it’s not doing much for your website. If you really want to improve your SEO, you don’t need to publish any blog posts that are less than 2,000 words. Instead, aim for your posts to be between 2,000–3,000 words long.
According to Hubspot’s data and studies, a blog post of around 2,500 words is the kind of blog post that works best at producing leads. However, Hubspot also recommends that if you covered the topic in 1,000 words or less, then it’s okay to post it — just know that it’s easier for longer blog posts to rank higher than for shorter posts. In theory, Google looks at a longer, richer post as having more probability of answering a user’s question than a shorter, thinner post.
Here is one example of a blog post idea that will get you to 2,000 words or more: 25 Ways Retirement Community Life Is Better than Being Alone At Home.
We’re seeing more and more senior living websites offer live chat to its users. Sometimes it’s a real person and other times it’s AI-powered. The bottom line is that if you’re not offering live chat, your competitors are or they’re going to offer it soon.
Senior Housing News reported that one community that implemented live chat had 50 new unique leads, 15 scheduled tours, and two move-ins. Is that some additional traffic you can use? Probably so.
We know how difficult it can be to think of new ways to generate leads and schedule more tours. But we’re telling that if you use live chat on your website, you will see more leads and more tours.
This is why — when users visit your website, they’re looking for information and answers. A live chat satisfies their needs faster than a typical contact form. And we all know that the communities who respond first and please their users first are more likely to continue the relationship with that senior or adult child.
Google’s SEO Algorithm Changes
Moz.com shows that Google updated it’s search algorithm at least 10 times in 2020. We can almost guarantee you that there will be additional changes in 2021. That’s why it’s a good idea to have an eye on what Google is doing. If you’re the first community to adapt to Google’s changes, guess what? They will like your website just a little bit more than your other retirement community competitors.