Digital marketing in the senior care space has quickly become an absolute necessity for the modern senior care facility. It really doesn’t matter if you are a well know care facility banking on the name recognition of a brand, an independent care home or a geriatric care manager who helps place individuals in your local city…marketing your services online should be a well defined expense for long term success.
Cater Your Message
Remember that most of the searching that happens for senior living is done by the children of elderly parents, which means most searchers are probably hovering between 30-50 years of age. So remember to cater your message towards them.
Try to understand how the child of an elderly parent thinks with regard to long term care and the day to day aspects they might not be considering. According to Care.com‘s, “72% of people would consider having their parent(s) or aging loved one(s) live with them as a long-term senior care option. In-home care is one of the top three options people think their loved ones would prefer.” They also found that “42% believe that the most important thing for their parent(s) or aging loved one(s) is their independence, followed by their health (23%) and overall comfort (23%). However, 31% of respondents don’t know what the senior in their life would actually prefer. This may be why 51% believe that their aging loved ones should take the lead on long-term senior care planning.”
Marketing Senior Living
We’ve gone through and put together some of the most successful marketing strategies currently being used by all types of senior care services. Some are structured as traditional campaigns that have strict budgets and benchmarks and others are considered best practices that all facilities should consider as part of their long term marketing expense.
1) Google Adwords
- COST: Moderate
- ROI: 8 of 10
There is no more efficient way to get in front of searchers in the senior care space than by using Google Adwords. In a few minutes you can not only get yourself a free google account, but also get your facility at the top of page 1 search results. Assuming you have a well designed website all ready to go, all you need to do is pinpoint your ad to your site.
Create a free google business account and proceed to google adwords.
Take your time to create a pinpoint accurate campaign for your facility. Most searchers are in your area and base their choice on geography alone, so making sure you are accurately displayed in your city is imperative.
The most important part of your google ad creation is location targeting. You want to be certain your ad displays only to those in the area you service. It makes no sense for your facility in Miami, FL displays out-of-state and is clicked by someone in Northern Ohio. This action will make sure that you not only get closer to warm leads, but also keep your costs down and most effective.
2) Placement Agencies
- COST: Very High
- ROI: 7 of 10
Once you are in their network, they list your property as a “partner”. They spend their ad dollars to drive traffic online to anyone looking for care in your city. They list a generic phone number (see image below) that goes through their call centers and to one of their “advisors”. These advisors then proceed to recommend local options in the searchers city that might fit what they need.
It really is an efficient way to get a foot hold in the space without having to work too much with any DIY marketing plan….but there are conditions.
Essentially, these agencies function as a middle man to your business and because they are so large and spend hundreds of thousands in advertising online they are able to back up their claims with a steady stream of leads to your facility. The biggest drawback is their cost. They usually require a fee for the lead and over 120% of the cost of the first months rent of your new resident. These costs can add up especially with the amount of turnover a typical facility might have, so please keep this in mind when deciding how to budget for this particular strategy.
3) Business Map & Directory Listings
- COST: Very Low
- ROI: 7 of 10
One of the easiest ways to promote your business is a way that most businesses don’t really think about…map and directory listings.
Google maps will automatically get you first page placement for free by just registering your physical business with them. You would be surprised with how many local businesses fail to do this simple step.
The process is quite simple. Register with google maps and send them all your pertinent business info, specifically address and contact information. You can also send them your website address. Once they get your info they send out a physical postcard to the address you provided. Respond with Google that you received the card and boom your on google maps. Now whenever anyone searches for “Assisted Living” within your immediate location, they will see your business name pop up on their maps, page 1.
The other avenue that businesses fail to work with are business directories. There are a number of them, but not really that many in the senior care space. Most placement agencies will pose as “directories” but hide the direct contact information of businesses so that they can control the lead generation business model they have built.
A free and clear directory such as SeniorCareHelper.com will list your business, top to bottom, without ever asking for any kickback, listing fee or royalty. This has a two-fold benefit. You are able to get a strong backlink from a respected independent industry resource and your information gets directly in front of thousands of searchers with no middle man.
All you need to do is visit their 10 minute registration form, fill it out and submit and within a few days you are good to go.
Sometimes there are added benefits to directories, like the option of being featured exclusively on a specific city page, but those have extra minimal fees to consider.