It’s Time to Get Serious About Digital Marketing in Senior Living
August 23, 2018 | Rick Whittington
Many senior care organizations are in a tough spot when it comes to digital marketing. They know they’re falling behind the times. They see their competitors with new websites, Facebook ads, and stellar reviews across online platforms like Yelp and Google.
But how do they find the time? As an operator you have too much else on your plate! As a marketing director you’re juggling tours, creating new brochures, and trying to keep your events calendar current. There’s no way you can dedicate that much time to digital marketing.
The thing is—someone should.
Digital is too important to neglect. Today, it’s where decision makers begin their research. It’s often the first impression anyone has of your organization. It’s where the vast majority of information is exchanged in the sales process.
So how should you manage your senior living organization’s digital efforts?
Invest in Digital Marketing
Organizations who invest in digital will win. We’ve seen this play out with many clients over the years. Those who take the time to invest in their digital presence, and consistently grow that digital presence with smart marketing strategies will outpace and ultimately beat their competitors.
A fatal flaw made by many communities is that they view digital as an afterthought. The term “digital marketing” should not be relegated to simply adding events to your website or promoting news on your Facebook page.
Digital marketing should be seen as a means to revenue growth. To more residents. To increased census. Because when done well, that’s exactly what digital marketing can deliver.
When viewed in that light, it’s easy to see why an increase in investment makes sense.
Senior care organizations need to invest capital in building their digital presence in order to see significant returns. While a properly designed website (not the one your “graphic designer” cousin made) can cost anywhere from $15,000-100,000, and ongoing digital marketing services can easily run in the range of thousands of dollars per month, the payback in clients and revenue can completely offset these costs.
The same holds true for the technologies needed to execute and measure results from your digital marketing strategies. Those tools can be costly; however, investing in the right systems now will prevent migration headaches when you need to shift platforms down the road. We think it’s wise to grow into a robust platform that may be a bit more than you need right now, rather than piecing together a patchwork mix of tools.
And with the right technologies in place, tracking your return on these investments can be measured and should be very positive.
Dedicate Staff to Digital Marketing
Senior care organizations also need to invest in staff. If you’re an operator and you’re running the digital marketing for your community, you’re in trouble. The saying “jack of all trades, master of none” certainly applies in this situation.
There is no way you’re realizing the full potential of your digital presence if you or an individual in your organization is not solely focused on digital efforts.
We recommend that organizations either:
- Hire a marketer who is solely dedicated to digital. If you’re large enough, this hire makes a lot of sense. The hire should be tasked not just with maintaining your social channels, but should be held accountable for digital lead generation. They should also partner with your sales team to support sales activities.
- Engage a competent digital marketing agency. Find an agency that is dedicated to getting to know your organization and focuses on developing and managing digital campaigns. Much like the hire recommendation, a good agency will want to be accountable for results. They’ll not only want to help you with execution, but they’ll take an active role in helping you grow your business. They won’t just build strategies to make your organization look good. They’ll think through the entire decision making process—from first impression through sales communications that drive move-ins.
Still on The Fence About Investing in Digital?
You’re not alone. Many companies in the industry are still behind the times when it comes to digital. But the reality is, many of those companies are starting to play catchup or bolster their foundational digital presence with increased investment.
Senior living specific CRM platforms are growing. And marketing and sales automation in senior living is also on the rise with more organizations investing in the right technologies to support growth.
If you’re ready to get serious about digital marketing, we’d love to help. If you want advice on how to move forward, schedule a call. We look forward to connecting with you.