We all know that personal engagement is a key ingredient for effective lead generation in the senior living space. The connectivity of your content and how it resonates with your prospects’ needs and life circumstances is a priority whether your target audience is older Americans, adult children or senior living referral sources.
But what factors are most important in creating a successful social engagement strategy in senior living today, and what specific communication tools and techniques have proven effective for building personal engagement?
Sean Ochester, Executive Vice President of Digital & Integrated Strategy for Sage Age Strategies says, “Creating a relationship with your prospects takes time, effort and a clear understanding of their buyer personas to identify shared goals and values, to build the trust, communication and authentic emotional connection required to really make it work.
“The good news is that when senior living communities follow a basic template of best practices espoused by Sage Age, they can improve prospect engagement, increase sales and drive revenue.”
Engagement Marketing is About Connecting with People
“Successful engagement marketing is based on some simple but highly important parameters. First, engagement marketing should be focused on the span of relevant activities your senior living prospects experience. In other words, your messages should directly address those challenging experiences in their lives that you can make tangible improvements in. Research results demonstrate that these types of contextual content experiences engage and convert prospects better.
“Second, your engagement activities and messaging should be continuous and consistent over time. A single targeted message does not constitute an effective engagement strategy. Think long term. For example, consider the Flywheel effect made famous by author Jim Collins in his business best-seller, Good to Great.
“Third, always have a specific goal or outcome in mind. What action do you want your prospect to take? Is it attending an upcoming memory care seminar for at-home caregivers on ‘Coping with Challenging Behaviors’ for those taking care of loved ones with Alzheimer’s? Or is it attending an open house for your new assisted living residence by those exploring assistive residential options?
“Finally, make sure your engagement strategy is everywhere your prospects are. That is, make sure your messages can reach them whether they are opening their mail, sitting at their computer or using a mobile device. Today’s multi-channel marketing options enable you to “touch” your prospects in many different ways through many different media.”
5 Tools for Effective Engagement Marketing
When creating an effective prospect engagement strategy, you’ll want to consider the following five key tools:
1. Blogs – Blogging is a very important part of an effective engagement strategy. “The State of Inbound 2014-2015: HubSpot’s Sixth Annual Report of Inbound Marketing and Sales Trends,” noted that companies that blog are 13 times more likely to generate a positive marketing ROI.
Blogging enables you to demonstrate your expertise as a thought leader in senior living and provides readers with an opportunity to both comment on and share your content. Blogging is ideal for targeting your content to topics that respond directly to your prospects’ primary problems, concerns and needs.
Blogs engage your prospective customers by providing the answers to their questions, solutions to their problems and other valuable information that is pertinent to their decision-making process. Effectively done, blogs can provide your consumers with compelling reasons for making contact with you and ultimately choosing your community.
2. Social Networking – As noted by “TOP DIGITAL MARKETING TRENDS IN 2018,” we are seeing a great increase today in the promotion of things over social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. Most companies are using these social media channels for promoting their websites, products, services and events. Regardless of what social media channel you use, be sure that your content includes appropriate social sharing tools as well as commenting tools.
3. Email Campaigns – Although not the “shiny new thing,” email marketing continues to be a very important marketing tool for senior living providers – especially when it is part of a fully integrated marketing strategy. According to the Direct Marketing Association, for every $1 spent on email marketing, $44.25 is the average return on investment.
4. Webcasts – Webcasts can also be a valuable part of an engagement marketing strategy. Webcasts enable you to speak directly on topics of high interest and relevance to your target consumers while also providing them with the opportunity to participate in the discussion and to ask questions.
Webcasting allows you to harness the power of video and PowerPoint slides for maximum engagement and also enables consumers to access the information both Live and On Demand on desktop, laptop and mobile devices. Time and location are no longer important.
5. Digital Engagement Techniques – Digital marketing enables you to match buyer behaviors and interests with messages about your programs and services in a real-time manner. Some examples of effective digital engagement techniques include:
Remarketing is a digital technology-driven innovation that increases the accuracy and frequency of targeted brand messages that go only to prospects interested in your senior living services.
Unlike those unwanted and annoying pop-up ads that appear on your computer that you have no interest in, remarketing uses “personal interest” coding technology to send a packaged set of messages to people who are in the market for your services. Specifically, remarketing engages individuals who have shown an interest in senior living services by visiting your website or searching for senior housing in your area.
Native advertising places content in an online publication that resembles the publication's editorial content in form and function, but is paid for by an advertiser and intended to promote a product or service.
The word “native” in this case refers to the coherence of your content with the other content that appears in the particular media format such as an online magazine. Native ads blend into the surrounding content in such a seamless manner that readers may not even spot them as a form of marketing – whether it be an advertorial, instant content, search advertising, recommended content or sponsored listings form of native advertising. Their purpose is to put the right information in front of the viewer when they actually need it.
Customer Engagement Marketing at Work
Sage Age works successfully with many client-partners throughout the country to create cost-effective engagement marketing strategies that produce measurable results.
As one example, Lions Gate, a Continuing Care Retirement Community in Voorhees, NJ, recently shared a topic on their social media. The initial post was:
As adult's age, the risk of falls increases significantly and can be life-threatening. Learn how to keep yourself or an aging loved one safe by learning effective #FallPrevention strategies. http://bit.ly/2m4ZGnZ #SeniorSafety
The social post took visitors to a blog on Preventing Falls to Reduce the Risks of Injury. In a short period of time, the post and blog achieved 187 likes, 95 shares, and 3 comments.
Maximize Your Senior Living Prospect Engagement Today Using Results-Based Expertise
Social engagement tools used as part of an integrated marketing strategy have proven effective in improving your ability to reach your audience in ways that are timely, relevant and influential. If you are seeking to optimize your marketing budget for maximum customer engagement, lead generation and ROI, the professionals at Sage Age Strategies can work with your in-house team to achieve results.
We currently work with many senior living client-partners across the nation to provide specialized engagement marketing expertise in several areas including Blogging, Ghost Writing, Social Media Strategy and Implementation, Marketing Automation and Digital Marketing Solutions.
Sage Age Strategies: Leaders in Engagement Marketing and Lead Generation
At Sage Age Strategies, our marketing team excels in the latest senior living best practices that increase quality lead generation and grow your occupancy. If you need assistance in any areas of integrated growth strategy to improve your results, we invite you to contact us today to learn more.
Sage Age Strategies is a multiple-award-winning, strategic growth, marketing and consulting organization that operates exclusively in the unique senior living industry. For more information, please call or email Adrienne Mansfield Straub at 570-601-1720 ext.100 / firstname.lastname@example.org.