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Strategies & Tactics for Your 2020 Occupancy Marketing Plans

Published by Katie C on

It’s December. Your occupancy marketing plans are in full swing for the end of the year. You are focusing on hitting your year-end occupancy goals. You are making the most of your remaining 2019 budget, traffic, and end of the year event festivities. 

So…why in the world would you be thinking about your occupancy marketing plans for Q1 NEXT YEAR?

Well, for starters, a lot of the work with families that you are doing today will continue into next year. And much of what you want to do in Q1 will need to be planned in advance. Successful marketing starts with having a strong marketing plan in place. If you are committed to hitting your occupancy goals in 2020, having a strong occupancy marketing plan in place is critical.

Let’s take a look at what your marketing plan should include…

A marketing plan is made up of 3 parts:

  1. The Goal
  2. The Strategy
  3. The Tactics

The goal for any marketing plan is simply to illustrate what you want to achieve in any given timeframe. Identifying your goals using the S.M.A.R.T. method is a great way to gain clarity and specificity on how you and your team will define success.

How to Create Smart Goals

Example: We are going to increase traffic by 10% by March 31st.

The strategy of your marketing plan is the high-level path that clarifies how your company will reach its goals. Marketing strategies address both the overall marketing objective and explains how it will be achieved.

Example: “Our occupancy marketing plan strategy is to become a recognized resource for local families needing information on aging services. We will do this by providing relevant educational content and events for people in our area.”

The tactics of your marketing plans are the steps your team needs to take in order to execute the strategy. So, for the above strategy example, becoming a recognized resource for local families needing information on aging services by providing relevant educational content and events, tactics would include several online and offline marketing techniques. 

Choosing the topic for the educational content, a speaker or expert for the events, writing the copy, designing the flyer, setting up a landing page, sending out an email…and so on. These are all marketing tactics.

“Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.”

Chinese military strategist Sun Tzu

If you want to define your Q1 occupancy marketing plan in time for the new year, having clarity and vision on the goals, strategy, and tactics right now is key.

Jumpstart Your Marketing Plans

Now…let’s take a look at a few things you can do to jumpstart your marketing planning process. These steps can help whether you’re writing out a brand new marketing plan or adjusting a marketing plan that’s already in place.

First, start with your data. Look back at the past 12 months of marketing, what were your top sources of traffic? Where was your budget allocated? Have any new trends emerged?

Next, consider your occupancy needs. Going forward, what level of care needs an extra push or more attention? Who is your audience for that care level?

Finally, examine your resources. What do you have in place now that can help you get the job done? A fully integrated marketing plan that includes on-site, traditional, and digital promotions requires a cohesive team to help you coordinate and execute all of the tactics.

For many communities, there are certain tactics and strategies that can be automated or handled by an outsourced team. This allows your on-site teams to focus on those families who are visiting, touring, or ready to move-in.

Digital content strategies, paid search ads, automated emails, and reputation management can all be handled without overwhelming your internal marketing team.

For Q1 Occupancy Marketing Success

So…what should you be doing in Q1 to help your community reach their occupancy goals? For marketing success in the new year, consider focusing on some of the following online occupancy marketing strategies and tactics that you can use.

  • Strategy: automate your email follow up. This strategy will help save your team time and create efficiencies in your sales process. The best part? With today’s marketing automation platforms, automated follow-up emails can feel just as personal as any other email you send out. 
    • Tactic: Automated email workflows we recommend include thank you emails after all form completions on your website, a follow-up series for inquiries that you cannot reach, post-tour follow up messages, and post-move-in workflows. 
  • Strategy: increase raving fan reviews across major search platforms. Online reviews are the new word of mouth. Families are reading online reviews before they even pick up the phone to call you or visit the website. Make sure your community’s raving fans are sharing their voices.
    • Tactic: Ask for reviews regularly and at key moments that matter in your process. Make sure you are consistently asking for reviews on the search engines where other families are searching.

      (Need help with reviews? Grab our 7 Smart Steps to Double Your Google Reviews. We wrote this exclusively for senior living communities.)
  • Strategy: become a recognized resource for families through thoughtful and meaningful resources and events. This works so well to engage your community, your residents, and prospective families. By delivering educational information, you are not selling your community, you are giving families what they need to make a confident and informed decision.
    • Tactic: Turn those offline events, resources, and programs into online search engine magnets. The only way to beat those big third party websites who are dominating page 1 of Google is to keep your website updated with new, relevant, and helpful content. This content can be in many forms, but spend more time maximizing your offline expertise for online exposure.

As you focus on finishing this year strong, take some time to look ahead into the New Year. Put a marketing plan together that will help you reach your community’s occupancy goals. 

Remember:
“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

A goal without a plan is just a wish. Occupancy marketing plans for q1

If you have questions about strategies to optimize your performance next year, schedule a free call with the Smart Girl team.

We offer free 15-minute discovery calls with senior living communities that can help you and your team get a jumpstart on your marketing plans.

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