Senior Living: 6 Staggering Statistics That Support Investing in Your Digital Marketing Strategy
It’s true (and exciting) that occupancy rates are starting to rebound for many senior living communities. But, that doesn’t mean it’s time to take your foot off the marketing gas pedal. In order to achieve pre-pandemic profitability and beyond, senior living operators need to invest significantly more resources in their digital marketing funnel for the foreseeable future.
Need help securing the additional marketing budget from the powers that be? These 6 staggering stats are just the ammunition you need to justify boosting your community’s online marketing strategy.
Prospects Aren’t Opening Your Emails
Staggering Stat #1: 40% of consumers have at least 50 unread emails in their inbox (Source: Sinch)
Email inboxes are more cluttered than ever. In 2020, a Sinch survey found that 40% of consumers admitted to having at least 50 unread emails in their inbox. So, how do you cut through the clutter and motivate prospects to give your emails that coveted click? Your best bet is to always send quality email content written by a professional copywriter who specializes in high-converting emails.
While it may be tempting to handle writing marketing emails in-house, you run a much higher risk of ending up in the unread pile if you miss the mark — which puts you right back at zero.
Here’s how outsourcing your email content earns you more bang for your buck:
- Clickworthy subject lines – a SuperOffice survey found that 33% of people open an email based on the subject line – after all, it is the first thing people see when an email arrives. Experienced copywriters know all the tricks and tactics to pique interest in a way that makes prospects want to know more.
- Clear concise email copy – once they’ve got your prospects’ attention, skilled email writers know they’ve got mere seconds to keep it, so they write concisely, delivering only the most critical information.
- Compelling call-to-actions – finally, copywriters ask your prospects to take the next step in a way that makes them want to connect with your community.
If you haven’t seen the ROI you hoped for on your email marketing efforts, it may be time to connect with a professional who can help get your emails the clicks they deserve.
Prospects Are Ignoring Your Out-of-Date Reviews
Staggering Stat #2: 73% of people disregard online reviews that are older than three months to a year old (Source: BrightLocal)
You already know the value that online reviews add for prospects making a decision about whether your senior living community is a good fit. In fact, three out of four shoppers aged 55 and older now turn to reviews before making a purchase. What you probably don’t know, however, is that a BrightLocal study found that 73% of people disregard online reviews that are older than three months to a year old. That means your digital marketing funnel needs to include an effective strategy for continuously capturing fresh online reviews.
The good news is you don’t have to spend a ton of time manually campaigning for new online reviews. You can leverage the power of marketing automation to encourage and make it easier for residents to leave a review.
How to Keep Your Reviews Current
Take a close look at your facility’s customer journey map to identify all of the organic interactions where residents are most likely to feel good about visiting or living in your community. Then, set up automated workflows that email prospects and residents directly after those interactions.
4 Times You Should Ask for Reviews
- After an in-person tour
- After move-in
- After key service interactions with staff
- On a resident’s anniversary in your community
Make sure that your strategy also includes a process for promptly responding when reviews are posted to your various review sites. Prospects don’t just pay attention to the reviews people leave, they also look at how your community responds.
Prospects Want More Videos About Your Community
Staggering Stat #3: 73% of people prefer video to learn about a product or service (Source: Google)
With 73% of people (including seniors) saying they prefer to watch a video to learn about a product or service, it is essential to include video marketing in the mix of your digital marketing funnel.
Videos are an incredibly versatile marketing tool that senior living communities can use at the top, middle, and bottom of the marketing funnel. Best of all, not all videos have to be a major production. With a modest investment in a camera, tripod, microphone, and lighting kit, you could create hours of engaging content that will help bring your community to life for prospects. Beyond the must-have virtual tour video, here are a few ideas for creating engaging videos at every stage in your marketing funnel.
Top of the Funnel
- Introductory Videos: Increase prospect awareness with a “Day in the Life” video that goes a step deeper than the typical virtual tour.
- Social Media Videos: Engage prospects on all your social platforms with short-form videos that feature captions so they can enjoy the content without sound.
Middle of the Funnel
- Customer Story Videos: Help prospects understand why other seniors choose your senior living community.
- Educational Videos: Answer key questions that come up during the decision-making process.
Bottom of the Funnel
- Onboarding Videos: Greet new residents with a “Welcome” video and follow up with a fun “Meet the Staff” video.
- How-to Tutorials: Help residents understand and take advantage of all the features and amenities your community has to offer.
Don’t forget to include videos that speak directly to the adult children of your prospective residents as they often play an important role in the decision-making process.
Prospects Are Searching…But Can’t Find Your Community
Staggering Stat #4: 75% of prospects use search engines to explore senior living options (Source: Google)
If you’re struggling to hit your online marketing goals when it comes to booking tours, chances are good that your community is not ranking as highly as it could in local search results. Of course, there are several DIY strategies you can employ to try to nudge your way up the list, but if your competitors have an SEO expert on their team, you will likely be outgunned.
It’s worth the extra investment to engage a pro to help optimize your lead generation strategy with a more sophisticated SEO approach. Why exactly? SEO trends are constantly changing, making it hard for many well-intentioned senior living operators to keep up.
A trend that continues to be worth watching for senior living operators is location-based mobile queries, also known as “near me” searches. Google says these searches have grown more than 250% since 2019 — even among seniors. To ensure your community is at the top of the search list, make room in your marketing funnel strategy for:
- Creating unique content
- Optimizing for targeted keywords
- Building quality inbound links
- Modernizing your user experience on mobile and desktop
Prospects Want a Quick Response
Staggering Stat #5: Online leads are nine times more likely to convert when you respond within five minutes (Source: InsideSales.com)
How long does it take your senior living community to respond to online queries? If it takes more than five minutes, you’re missing out on a major opportunity to schedule prospects for a tour — and ultimately snag them as residents.
With so many amazing marketing automation tools available, there’s really no excuse for letting good leads go unnurtured. Some of the essential automation tools you should be taking advantage of include:
- Autoresponder Emails
- Online Tour Scheduling
- Automated Appointment Reminders
- Follow-Up Surveys
Remember, prospects have lots of options when it comes to senior living. Don’t give them a reason to exclude your community by being slow to respond when they reach out.
Prospects Want Social Proof
Staggering Stat #6: 45% of seniors aged 65 and older use at least one social media platform (Source: Pew Research Center)
Your future residents are increasingly flocking to social media. Pew Research Center reports that in the last decade the number of seniors on social media has quadrupled from 10% in 2010 to 45% in 2021. What’s more, their adult children are already heavy social media users, with 81% of those aged 30 to 49 regularly using social media.
Investing in an authentic and engaging social media strategy isn’t just a smart move for the top of your marketing funnel, where the focus is on building awareness, it adds tremendous value to the middle and bottom stages of the funnel — where prospects move to consideration and decision.
You don’t have to tackle all of the platforms at once. Stick to the ones your audience uses most. For seniors, the most popular platforms right now are Facebook (50%) and YouTube (49%). To reach their adult children, Instagram and TikTok are your best bets.
Focus your strategy on showcasing what makes your community special and desirable as well as on building your online reputation as a safe, vibrant place where seniors thrive.
We know we have covered a lot of “marketing” ground here, and given you tons of ammunition by arming you with these six staggering stats. The next step is to assemble the right team to help you execute a winning strategy.
Strategize With Smart Girl Digital
You’ve built an amazing senior living community. Let us help you get the word out locally and boost your occupancy rates. Contact us now for a FREE Digital Discovery Call to learn how we can help double the number of tours you book online and increase your online inquiries by 3 times. Click below to book now!