Assisted living marketing is a tough nut to crack for many reasons. We’ve worked with quite a few of these facilities across many states, and present you with the top mistakes we’ve seen made:
1) Not having your messages segmented for your audiences.
The top thing people get wrong is how to talk to their prospects. Segmenting is the process of splitting your customer base into groups that have different information needs.
Of course, in assisted living, you’ve got two main targets:
- The children of potential residents.
- The spouse of potential residents.
While they may seem obvious to you, their concerns are really quite different.
Whether we like it or not, a certain societal stigma exists toward putting a loved one in a home and knowing how to put your prospects at ease is incredibly important in the early stages.
The concerns of the children of your residents are in 2 main areas:
First, they want to know the staff will treat their loved one with kindness. There are many ways to insure this, but an especially good one is to let them see your staff in action during a tour or activity. Naturally, your staff should be very well behaved during these events, and you should do training for your staff. An excellent staff is something people can feel quickly.
Second, they want to know about the daily life at your center. Many have a stereotype about assisted living as a place where residents sit and watch tv and take their meds all day. While surely some residents might live this way no matter what, it’s important to have activities available to create a strong sense of community. Weekly outings to events, scheduled nature walks, dance nights; the possibilities are endless.
Usually you’re going to be talking with the spouse who is in a position as caregiver, but they are struggling to keep up with either increased needs or their own health declines. These people want to know that your staff can care for their needs individually (!!!) and promptly.
They also are concerned with friends. Many have lived in the same neighborhood for decades and need to be reassured that making friends will be easy as a future resident.
2) Not Utilizing Social Media to their Full Extent
Social media are incredible tools in today’s world. The average person spends 1-2 hours per day on Facebook alone!
Posting content to your center’s Facebook page is incredibly important, and should be done at least twice per week. If you don’t have time to do it, assign it to a staff member. Facebook allows you to schedule posts in advance, so with some planning they can get everything in a month in advance.
The second part of Facebook marketing is the paid advertising platform. Understandably, many centers are skeptical and want to stick with organic posts, which is a mistake. Facebook’s tools are honestly the most efficient tools both in cost and in volume to find your prospects. You can target the two groups above easily, and you can get leads for new residents much cheaper than most other platforms. If you want to read a case study about how using Facebook Ads cut the cost per lead in half for a center, you can find it here.
3) Not Tracking Channels
Here’s a bold statement: With the technology easily accessible to most centers, when you have a new resident come in, you should know exactly where they came from! I know, it might sound impossible, but it is certainly attainable for anyone. The following are methods and techniques to keep track of this information.
First, using a CRM (customer relationship manager) is important. There are fantastic free options out there. We recommend (and use) HubSpot’s CRM. You’ll be able to see the journey of each new customer and can mark where they came from.
Second, you can use Call Tracking software. In a nutshell, you pay a monthly fee and get a bunch of local phone numbers. For example, let’s you have one for your website, one for AdWords, one for a billboard, one for Senior Adviser, and one for brochures. When a customer calls one of these, their call is forwarded and rings your normal office phone. But the software keeps track of the call (and some can record it) and then you can figure out where your good leads and new residents come from. The best thing is, they can keep calling that same number but it won’t count, because it only counts them as a new call the first time they call.
One we recommend and use is What Converts. Another that is highly rated is CallRail.
A third way to track on your online advertising efforts is to make sure you set up conversion tracking. This is free, and the instructions vary depending on the platform. You can set up full conversion tracking on AdWords, Facebook Ads, and even LinkedIn.
Using a combination of these three options will help you know where your strategy is “leaking” money and help you to plug any holes.
These are three mistakes we commonly see and help solve on a constant basis. Have any other thoughts about assisted living marketing? We’d love to see them here!