Back in 1989, Andre Agassi uttered a memorable line for a camera commercial. The phrase, “Image is everything,” would follow him and become a cornerstone of American culture. Image is indeed everything in our social media-focused lives. Check your phone. How many selfies are there? We’re all about our image. How we look. How it looks to others. It’s as true for Gen Xers as it is for Boomers. And yet, when we look at the images senior living communities use to represent their community, how many are smiling couples living an outrageously active lifestyle? But is it real?

Connect with Me

How to connect with a prospective, aka unknown audience is always a challenge. You begin by looking at who you already connect with like your current, known audience. What are they doing on a daily basis? How do they define their lifestyle? What photos are on their smartphones? Take a look at your social feeds with shots of community-wide events. What are the participants doing? 

Chances are your social media event photos don’t look a lot like the website or marketing photos. Instagram and Facebook posts have shots of a clump of staff or residents sitting at tables. A July 4th barbecue? Seated residents and empty plates or chefs serving. A trip down memory lane with a concert? Wide-angle shot of musicians onstage or the audience seated in the theater. Where are the photos of residents during a yoga class or the photography club snapping shots of pretty flowers? Is there a shuffleboard contest or bingo game in progress? Or are there architectural shots of empty spaces showcasing the furniture? See a disconnect?

My Home, My Choice

The future of senior living is only going to get more complicated as the Me generation heads toward their 80s. They’re a complicated bunch. For example, only 37% are married couples over the age of 65. The definition of family is changing. Having children is no longer confined to those in their 20s and 30s. Robert DeNiro welcomed his 7th child when he was 79 years old. Solo aging is now a thing. In fact, the number of seniors living in single households is projected to exceed 17 million by 2038.

We’re already seeing a shift in culture that prizes the individual over the group. Remember the pandemic and the vocal minority rejecting the vaccines? Unruly passenger incidents have skyrocketed over the past few years. And every senior living expert already knows that seniors (alone or married) prefer to age in place, assuming they’ll have the necessary help they might need and the financial wherewithal to afford it. The American cult of individualism is going stronger than ever. And that will have a direct impact on senior living. Are your choices of images mirroring this shift in our culture?

Striking the Right Note

Converting leads into residents starts with the first image someone sees. How are you navigating the new norms as our culture grapples with angry individuals asserting their rights. The future is more complicated than the past. Something as basic as marketing images will require new approaches as old stereotypes fall by the wayside. 

If you’d like to discuss how your marketing campaigns can break new ground, make the time to chat with Maribeth and the Sabal team. Striking the right note in images is just as vital as reaching out to the right audience. Call us today!