After a tumultuous 2020, senior living communities enter the new year eager for renewed marketing solutions. Even with residents at the front of the line for vaccines, we won’t see the pandemic resolve overnight. Plus, new technology, cultural upheaval, and changing demographics all have left their impact on the senior living industry.
We can’t simply rewind the marketing playbook to our 2019 strategies. The previous focus on live events and promoting amenities must evolve in order to regain lost momentum and the trust of our audience. With the right tools and strategies, your marketing team can deliver a positive result in 2021 by following these strategies.
No Looking Back
The pandemic brought the question of our senior living community identity to the forefront. In the past, senior living communities focused on leisure offerings and amenities while distancing their lifestyle from health care as their primary marketing messages. The pandemic has highlighted increased consumer demand for health care within the senior living sphere. To stay competitive, our marketing efforts need to highlight health and wellness as strongly as they do the community amenities. The consumer demands comfort and high-quality health care, including on-site care and telehealth options.
While the pandemic uprooted senior living marketing strategies, other factors were already driving change. The resident population is transitioning from the Greatest Generation to Baby Boomers. Boomers are more tech savvy and have different expectations for care than previous generations. We believe this is the year to invest in diversifying your marketing toolkit in order to reach your audience across multiple platforms.
2021 Marketing Message Goals
With occupancy rates down and a lack of consumer confidence in the senior living sector, now is also the time to develop fresh senior living messages to tackle the perceived challenges keeping your audience from moving into your community. While much of the current messaging centers on a response to the pandemic, we believe there are other issues that deserve attention with tailored marketing content.
- Vaccine Messaging: Senior living residents are skeptical about the vaccine. But the vaccine is crucial if we hope to reduce deaths and protect residents and staff from the risks of COVID-19.
- Health and Wellness: Decreased consumer confidence is one of the reasons for reduced occupancy rates in 2020. Communicating your community’s safety plans and how you prioritize health and wellness can build confidence for prospective residents and their families.
- Levels of Care: The pandemic has impacted skilled nursing care residents and independent living residents in very different ways. Public perception is based on news coverage, which often fails to differentiate between these two care levels. Take this opportunity to educate your audience.
- Technology Innovation: Baby boomer consumers and their adult children expect technological solutions to be incorporated into daily life. Don’t be afraid to show how you’re innovating by implementing smart home systems, wearables, improved space planning, and virtual communication.
- Diversity and Cultural Sensitivity: Racial tensions have dominated 2020, and brought fresh awareness to the disparities across many industries, including senior living. If you haven’t already addressed this issue, consider taking a two-fold approach with communications to address diversity in leadership and cultural sensitivity for residents.
The Right Marketing Tools for 2021
To restore trust and deal with the challenges, Sabal Group believes incorporating strong storytelling as the basis of a content strategy leveraged across all of your touchpoints is the key to success. Omnichannel marketing builds cohesion between each platform where your target audience is consuming content. Tailored content and consistent communication are the secret weapons for achieving effective marketing.
Authentic storytelling, whether it’s in the form of blogs, videos, social media posts, printed materials, TV ads or email newsletters, can drive leads when it reaches the right audience. Data empowers marketers to build curated lists and craft messages specific to each target audience. When properly executed, the right data maximizes your marketing budget and improves your return on investment.
Next Level Marketing
Sabal Group partners with senior living communities to help them achieve their goals. If you’d like to learn more about how to harness the power of your data in order to succeed, we hope you’ll reach out to us. We’d love the chance to discuss how we can help you and your team make 2021 an epic year!