According to the AARP, 52% of people who reach the age of 65 will need some level of long-term care in their lifetime. Typically, the individual seeking out long-term care is a family member of the desired resident. Relatives do not always live in the same state as their senior, and even if they do, they may seek out a nursing home closer to another relative who lives in another area or state. This makes it interesting when marketing your skilled nursing home facility.
Where do you focus your efforts? How do you reach your desired audience? How do you minimize wasted budget? The purpose of this article is to focus on the importance of a strategic marketing strategy to not waste budget countrywide, as well as provide some ideas on how to do so effectively.
Inbound marketing or digital outbound methods
Inbound marketing is showing your product or service to a customer that is actively seeking out your services. Inbound methods such as PPC or third-party listing sites for example, are excellent methods to minimize wasted budget. Someone seeking out a skilled nursing home facility in your area on google is a customer you want to see your ad 100% of the time. Someone searching on a third party website such as https://www.aplaceformom.com/ for a facility in your area is again your customer 100% of the time. Utilizing budget in these areas to make yourself visible to these searching customers ensures you are not wasting budget on someone who actually may not be interested.
Digital outbound methods involve marketing strategies that push your message out to a specifically targeted audience. They may not be seeking you out directly, but due to the wonderful digital world we live in, you can narrow your audience based on previous search history and other elements that would suggest they are your customer. To learn more about what digital outbound methods are available and how to properly utilize them, check out this article: “Grow your business without Outbound Marketing”.
The power of a strong website
Do not underestimate the power of a strong website that converts customers. Regardless of your marketing efforts, if you are driving traffic to a website that is outdated, difficult to use, or lacks the information people are seeking, you are wasting valuable dollars. Investing into a state-of-the-art website is the equivalent of investing into your top employee. Your website is the salesman that never sleeps, never takes a day off and never misrepresents your company.
People seeking out care for a loved one out of state likely will not have the luxury of visiting your facility in the early stages of their search for a nursing home. Build up your website and implement tracking methods (Such as google analytics) that can reveal customer data to you. This will not only help you see how customers are finding you but will help you to further improve your website user experience ongoing.
Reviews, reviews, reviews
I cannot stress enough the importance of building a database of real, positive reviews. Finding a nursing home for your parents, or another loved one, can be an emotional process. Family members want reassurance that their senior is in good hands and are well cared for. No one can spread that information better than your existing and previous residents and their family members.
As of January 2020, there are 3.8 billion social media users! This platform is powerful and continues to grow. When done properly, paid advertising platforms on social media can spread your brand and grow your business. Facebook is constantly working to streamline their audiences to allow for better ad targeting methods. This is one of the powerful digital outbound marketing strategies that we mentioned above.
When posting to social media, we recommend you post at least once a week and be very strategic with your content. Avoid all fear-based tactics! Strive to provide conversational content; FAQ’s, staff bios with photos, information on services provided and their benefits, fun information like diets for brain health, etc. Social media is also a great place to push out those excellent reviews. Building up your page following and consistently pushing out information can position you as the leader in your industry in your area.
You likely put a lot of effort and funds into the maintenance of your facilities. We all know the importance environment plays in the overall mental health for the elderly. Those seeking out a nursing home for a loved one want an environment that will not only keep their loved ones safe and make them feel at home, but they want their seniors to thrive and for their social relationships to develop and grow. Virtual tours of your property, suites, activity areas, etc. are an excellent way to show potential residents and their families everything you have to offer. A successful tour of your facility makes it very easy to convert a lead into a customer. The same holds true for a virtual tour. These should be highlighted on your website and in social media marketing strategies.
Whichever marketing strategy you utilize for your facility, be sure to implement proper tracking methods to measure their success. Simple things like call tracking numbers, A/B testing, and coded out email blasts that show you exactly how often and what level of interaction you achieved with each customer will help you refine your marketing strategy and save you a ton of money. Seeing what actually works and what doesn’t allow you to allocate funds in the appropriate areas.
In summary, build out custom marketing strategies that places your ads in front of the right people at the right time, take a deep look at the current effectiveness and user experience of your website, and give people the information they truly desire: reviews, tours, and reassurance that your facility is a perfect fit for their loved one.
Aubree Dugas is community relations manager for Camelot Senior Living.