Senior Living Marketing: 18 Tips to Automate Your Online and Offline Marketing Efforts

Published by Katie H on

Senior Living Marketing: 18 Tips to Automate Your Online and Offline Marketing Efforts

Senior Living Marketing Blog

No one can deny how important online marketing is for the senior living industry. Even if all you have is a minimal website and Google Business profile — that is a good starting point to be seen by those searching for senior housing options. 

The reality is, in 2022, existing without a digital footprint can limit your growth. This fact can often leave aging service providers who depend on traditional marketing feeling lost in the shuffle. 

For example, since COVID, senior living providers saw a 41% decrease in sales inquiries. (Enquire) No doubt that some of the decline came from a lack of in-person touchpoints. 

  • Do you rely on in-person meetings or consultations? 
  • What about hosting community tours or events?

Since senior living industry standards require offline communications, blending your online marketing with your offline sales process can feel daunting. Even more vexing is how to make digital marketing trends work alongside more traditional offline marketing methods.  

The problem can be complicated but there is no reason to choose online marketing over offline marketing (or vice versa). 

To create a cohesive senior living marketing strategy, blending your online and offline marketing efforts seamlessly creates an omnichannel marketing strategy that will propel your community forward in the digital age.

Table of Contents:

Online Marketing vs. Offline Marketing

When it comes to marketing for aging service providers, the first thing to note is that there’s no wrong way to do it. (Okay, okay… There are some wrong ways to do it.)

Mostly though, it’s important to remember that every community is unique. The goals of your community might be different, so your marketing strategy may vary in order to align with your goals. 

In aging services, that means focusing on generating leads to take a tour of your community. Here are a few other strategies for every stage of a smart marketing funnel.

Marketing Funnel Stages and Strategies

Top of the Funnel

Top of the funnel strategies focus on brand awareness. With online marketing, this means creating a website, promoting on social media, showcasing expertise through blog posts, and advertising online for better visibility. 

Offline, you can circulate press releases, advertise in print newspapers or industry-specific magazines, or create direct mail campaigns to promote your services.

Middle of the Funnel

When it comes to marketing funnels, the middle of the funnel is often the most robust and the most complex. 

That’s because the time it takes for a potential client or customer to move from awareness (top of the funnel) to action (bottom of the funnel) isn’t always a straightforward journey. The middle of the funnel — on or offline, focuses on nurturing.

Online tactics for lead nurturing include outreach in the form of newsletters and nurturing email campaigns. While offline tactics revolve around sales calls and in-person meetings.

Bottom of the Funnel

The bottom of the funnel is where the sale happens. Beyond that though, the strategies here present an opportunity to reach out after a purchase to create loyalty and that all-important brand advocacy. 

With online marketing, this can be achieved with a survey campaign and an ask for a complimentary review. Asking for reviews works offline as well. Plus, you can follow up with calls, cards, or thank you notes for a personal marketing touch.  

Overall, there are a number of ways to reach your target audience both on and offline. The key is knowing how to create harmony between them.

Create Connection During the Customer Journey

Creating harmony between your online and offline marketing efforts begins with understanding both your target audience and their potential customer journey.

Identify the Moments that Matter

What are the moments that matter in your customer journey? When you map them out, you can begin to connect the dots between the many pieces of your strategy.

Let’s take a senior living community, for example.

A senior living sales funnel is more complex than most industries. It is a sales funnel fraught with emotional decisions and consumer misconceptions. Plus the audience for senior living is a bit more traditional in their communications leaving community leaders, sales teams, and operators to rely on traditional marketing in addition to online marketing.

A smart senior living online sales funnel may have a customer journey that looks like this: 

  1. Potential family searches online for local options for mom. 
  2. They come across your community website where they find some basic information and decide they want more information.
  3. Usually, they’ll complete your “Contact Us” form or call the community directly.

In this scenario, receiving a “Contact Form” inquiry is a moment that matters. It’s there, in those moments, that you can determine where online marketing tactics make sense and where offline marketing is the most effective. 

Once a contact has been received you can:

  1. (Online) Send an automated email message to introduce your community, your sales contact, and let them know they can expect more in the coming days/weeks.
  2. (Online) Add the contact to a CRM so contact information can be seamless between your online and offline efforts. 
  3. (Offline) Reach out with a phone call to give the contact more information and invite them to tour your community. 
  4. (Offline) Send a brochure detailing what sets you apart from your competitors and again, inviting them to learn more about your community.
  5. (Online) Add the contact to a nurturing campaign if they’re not yet ready to move in — staying top-of-mind for as long as it takes to earn a resident. 
  6. (Offline) Mail a monthly or quarterly postcard about your community

See… Online and offline marketing can work together! Mapping out your customer journey can help with knowing what strategy to use and when.

Harness the Power of Personalization

When you prioritize personalized marketing, you create even more opportunities to blend marketing tactics. 

  • Monitor Your Messaging – You want any prospective customers who interact with you to have the best possible customer experience. One way to do that is by blending your messaging across platforms. 
    • Do routine checks for your brand messaging to ensure it’s in alignment with your marketing goals and speak to your audience’s needs. 
    • Don’t make offers on your website without being prepared to honor them in person or vice versa. 
  • Track Everything – Tracking allows you to map the movements of prospects and customers, step-by-step, to create a seamless customer experience. 
    • Do use call tracking to place prospective customers into your CRM when they reach out via phone. 
    • Don’t forget to create UTM codes and custom URLs to ensure you can identify the source of anyone who visits your website. 
  • Get Specific – When people think of personalization for marketing, they often think of emails. While emails can deliver a great customer experience, we want to dream a bit bigger. 
    • Do send clients or customers cards on their birthday or call to thank them after they’ve left a complimentary review.
    • Don’t miss out on using their buying behavior as a kick-off to a larger lead campaign. Your CRM can hold tons of information about customers — why not use it?

Select the Right Systems

The final piece of the puzzle when it comes to blending digital and traditional marketing is selecting the right system for the job.

Good systems are the glue that holds smart marketing strategies together. If the goal is blending your marketing efforts on and offline, your MarTech stack needs to reflect that.

In fact, none of what’s outlined above comes together without a robust group of systems working together to make it happen.  

There are many great solutions on the market. Overall, to execute a truly blended automated marketing strategy, we recommend these main systems:

  • A Website
  • A Marketing Automation Platform (MAP)
  • A Sales CRM
  • A Direct Mail System

Ideally, all of these systems integrate and work together seamlessly. But tools, like Zapier, are great if your current MarTech stack doesn’t directly connect. Zapier can help you create the connections between your systems (in most cases).

Keep in mind…You’ll want to look at your current client or customer database, any systems you already have and their functions, what’s on your smart marketing system wish list, and your overall marketing budget. 

Outlining these can help you make an informed decision about what marketing automation system will work best for your needs. 

In addition to a smart system, you’ll also need a smart marketing partner to help you put the pieces together.

Align Your Efforts with Smart Girl Digital

If you’re ready to create cohesive conversations from the inbox to the mailbox, the team at Smart Girl Digital has you covered! Contact us today for a FREE Digital Discovery Call and learn how we can help blend the best of your online and offline marketing tactics for a comprehensive digital marketing strategy. Click below to learn more!

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