COVID-19 has upended marketing for everyone. As the weeks pass while we stay home, you might find yourself humming the haunting lyric from 1776, “Is anybody there? Does anybody care? Does anybody see what I see?” If you know the musical, you know this is John Adams’ moment. His lament becomes determination to press forward with a vision of what the future can be. And you know how that ends!
Right now, in the quiet moments, you can be forgiven for wondering if anyone is listening to you. I get that because I have those same moments, doubts, and questions. But I believe the right messages, on the right platform, are vital during these difficult weeks. It is possible to turn adversity into an advantage that differentiates you.
If you find yourself consuming more media as you spend more time indoors, you’re probably seeing an uptick in messaging from brands big and small about our shared journey. Why? Because smart brands know they have a captive audience craving quality content. They’ve taken this opportunity to speak out in new and different ways that connect with their audience. One such message that caught my eye was a Facebook TV ad.
For the first time in 2020, Facebook created a Superbowl ad promoting its groups feature. The central message was that there’s a group for everyone, whether you’re a kazoo player or parent of a teenager. On April 1st, Facebook launched a new ad with the message that “We’re never lost if we can find each other.” The ad directs viewers to its COVID-19 support page, where anyone can request or offer help.
Like Facebook, you should have a YouTube channel. Not sure why? It’s the second-largest search engine in the world. It has more adult American users than Facebook.
Find What Matters
What’s your mission? No matter what challenges you’re facing right now, your mission remains the same. But it’s time to pivot to new ways of sharing it. For those in senior living, your marketing up until now may have focused on promoting the advantages of your community, enriching experiences, upscale amenities, and a caring staff. But those attributes are less relevant right now. Why not follow the advice in Dear Evan Hansen? The anthem You Will Be Found asks if you’ve ever felt forgotten, lost, or lonely. But the song’s message is that there are people around you, you will be found, you will not be forgotten, and you are not alone. And isn’t that what your audience wants to hear?
Analyze your data about where your audience looks for information about senior living. Identify the best-performing platforms where your messages are read, shared, and liked. Then translate your mission into a message that your audience will find a home, a community, a shared sense of purpose when they join your senior living community. If you don’t have a best-performing platform, the data will encourage you to re-think your current social strategy. And if you don’t have any data, it’s time for a crash course in analytics.
From CEO to delivery workers, the daily impact of COVID-19 is felt by everyone. While the experts weigh in on how best to flatten the curve, average Americans aren’t content to stay home. Why? Because we crave human interaction.
Video is the best way to provide that person-to-person experience instead of just another upbeat social media post or blog article about 10 ways to stay entertained during a pandemic. Whether you produce it on your iPhone or rely on a professional, video lets you put a human face on your brand. Create one to reassure families, offer virtual tours, or give residents a platform to perform. But don’t just shoot it, post it, and forget it. With a modest budget, you can promote it on social platforms to get it in front of a wider audience. Invest in an innovative ad campaign on Google to drive traffic that otherwise might never visit your website. Then create the next one.
One New Thing
From photos of hotels with room lights creating a heart to home videos of citizens applauding healthcare workers, we’re all craving positive visual messages. Now is not the time to rely on traditional messaging on the usual channels. For the next two months as a short-term experiment, try creating innovative messages on the channels you know and at least one new one. Whether you’re a fan of email blasts or direct mail, change it up by offering information on virtual tours of museums near you, your best homemade recipes, or ways to alleviate loneliness. If you’ve never considered Pinterest, set up an account, and then reach out to your residents and ask them to share their favorite pins and boards.
No matter what you’re doing in terms of marketing right now, please know you’re not alone. We’re all facing the same challenges. And when you need someone to talk to, I’m here for you. Ask me anything. Together, we can find the best solution for you.