Senior Living Marketing: 5 Ways to Boost Occupancy in Your Assisted Living Facility from the Experts At High Level Marketing
There's no doubt the pandemic spurred many operational changes within your assisted living facility. And if you were one of the lucky ones, you were able to leverage your website and social media to maintain communication with prospects through virtual tours, virtual consultations, and digital referral programs. The truth is, if your assisted living facility has been slow to adapt and still relies heavily on doctor and hospital referrals to meet your occupancy quota, you're missing a huge market segment.
FACT: Compared to a year ago, internet advertising generated 106% more inquiries for independent living, 54% more inquiries for assisted living/memory care communities, and 27% more inquiries for life plan communities, according to Oct. 2020 data from Enquire.
Now is the time to invest in your digital marketing foundation. With more people turning to Google to look for a trusted senior living facility, it is crucial your website, paid ad, GMB listing, Facebook page, or blog article is at the top of search results.
You already know the senior living industry is competitive. As senior living marketing experts, we help assisted living facilities break through the digital noise and attract more clients with fast and highly optimized websites, engaging social media marketing, and compelling paid search campaigns.
5 Must-Have Assets to Build Your Digital Marketing Foundation and Meet Your Occupancy Goals
#1: Fast, Highly Optimized Website
To succeed online, start with a professionally designed and developed website. It's no longer good enough to have a website that's simply an online brochure.
Today's websites need to be fast, responsive, and visually compelling. They need to tell your brand's story, and they need to provide answers to the questions people have when it comes to choosing an assisted living facility. At its core, your website needs original, relevant content that addresses concerns, demonstrates compassion, and guides the family member down a path to decision.
Ideally, your website will include professional quality photography to showcase your facility, caregivers, and quality of life. Many assisted living facility websites offer virtual tours and live chat apps to engage visitors and facilitate communication. Of course, your website will need a robust about page and contact page with a map to your location, and we recommend a lead form to invite email inquiries after hours.
Choosing a web design company that can ensure performance will be critical to your online success. After all, almost all of your online marketing will link to your website. Not to mention, anyone considering your assisted living facility will visit your website to learn more about your facility.
To give our clients the best chance at reaching the top of search results, we build websites on our own MYCE platform. MYCE stands for Manage Your Content Easily. It's a high-speed, high-performing CMS made for SEO and Google optimization but designed to make our websites easy to edit, restore, and update.
#2: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Strategy
SEO (search engine optimization) is the process of improving your website to increase visibility for people searching online for your services. Search engine optimization aims to send the right signals to search engines, like Google, positioning your assisted living facility as the best choice to recommend to the user. Get it right, and Google will reward your facility with the coveted top positions in search results.
There are, of course, some on-page SEO tactics you can perform yourself, like creating original content, internal link building, and writing blogs. Other SEO strategies like SEO analysis, keyword research and keyword strategies, meta and content optimization, directory listings, GMB optimization, reputation management, and content marketing are best left to SEO experts like the ones at High Level Marketing.
#3: Pay-Per-Click Advertising
Pay-per-click advertising, or PPC, is a marketing tactic where businesses pay search engines and social media sites for ad placements. These ads work on a pay-per-click (PPC) basis, so you only have to pay when someone clicks on the ad.
Paid search ads are the most popular PPC campaigns. PPC ads appear at the very top and the very bottom of the search results pages. Google marks paid ads with the word "Ad" to the left of the URL.
Other forms of PPC ads include display advertising, social media advertising, retargeting PPC advertising, to name a few.
Facebook ads appear in the right-hand column on Facebook. One advantage to social media PPC is your ad will only be shown to people who have made specific search queries. Knowing people start their search for an assisted living facility online makes Facebook ads a great (and often less expensive) PPC option for assisted living facilities.
As a leading senior living marketing agency, High Level Marketing can help you generate quality leads using Google Ads and Facebook Ads. By targeting ads to the right people, using such parameters as age, location, and interests, our paid search experts will increase the visibility of your business and drive more traffic to your website with engaging social media ads.
#4: Content Marketing & Social Media
According to Statista, 82% of the United States have a social networking profile. Many assisted living facilities turn to social media to reach this consumer market and round out their digital footprint. When it comes to building a social media presence, most assisted living facilities rely on Facebook and Twitter to reach their target audience.
Although High Level Marketing has an experienced social media team, we typically recommend senior living communities set up and build their social media outreach in-house. The main reason is personalization. Facebook and Twitter are designed to engage people with interesting posts. The best person to post about your facility is someone who understands your target client, can promote your facility from mission to events, and can actively engage people daily.
Ideal posts include photos of the happy people living in your facility, video testimonials, and facility tours. All it takes is a smartphone. Of course, it's all about timing, so it's important to create a posting schedule that will keep your followers and prospective leads engaged. At High Level Marketing, we can advise and support your strategy with a content marketing strategy to help drive traffic to your website. Our content marketing services include blogging and guest blogging, email campaigns, video and website content development.
#5: Reputation Management
Your facility's online reputation will be a determining factor for people searching for senior living or assisted living facilities in their area. Fact is, 93% of consumers say online reviews influence their decisions. 87% of customers won't consider patronizing a business that has low ratings.
Social proof is one of the most powerful ways to influence a potential client's decision. After all, people trust people. The more positive reviews you have on Google, Facebook, and other platforms, the more consideration will be given to your facility.
Where do you start? Both Facebook and Google reviews show up in your GMB listing, so collecting reviews on either platform would be good. Google reviews will have a bit more impact in terms of search engine optimization and first impressions, so we typically recommend Google reviews be your first choice.
Ideally, you'll want most of the reviews from resident family members, talking about their experience, the care, and the accommodations. We also recommend staff and caregivers leave reviews speaking to what they love about working for your facility or speak to the quality of life they are proud to provide.
To help our clients collect more positive reviews, High Level Marketing has a review platform. It works by emailing a quick survey to your mailing list that asks how likely they are to recommend your facility. Those who would highly recommend your facility are then asked to leave a review—those who don't are asked to contact you directly. We've found this method to be effective in building Google reviews and helpful in uncovering areas of improvement.
Of course, no assisted living facility is perfect, and some people are just inclined to leave a negative review no matter what. The best course of action is to reply with a sincere effort to make things right. Often, earning trust is as much about positive reviews as to how you handle difficult situations.
High Level Marketing has been a leader in digital marketing for over ten years. Our Healthcare and Senior Living clients are some of the top-performing businesses in their markets. When you're ready to partner with an internet advertising agency that can take your business to the next level, give us a call (888) 717-4249.