5 Signs You Must Pivot Your Senior Living Marketing Strategy

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Nothing is more frustrating than spending precious budget and time devising and deploying your digital marketing strategy, only to experience “meh” results.

But the analytics don’t lie. If the results aren’t there, you must react. Here’s how.

5 signs you need to pivot your senior living marketing strategy

Sign #1: Most of your website traffic isn’t coming from organic search

70 to 75 percent of your website traffic should come from organic search.

Why? Well, leads from organic search have self-identified that they’re interested in (or need) senior living. (In other words, they want to hear what you have to say.) Plus, organic search traffic is free.

Running pay-per-click ads can be an effective marketing strategy, but the cost-per-lead can be expensive. For example, the cost per lead for memory care often costs $400 or more. Paid search traffic should be part of the mix, but the bulk of your website traffic should come from organic search.

⮚      WHAT TO DOPerforming a website audit is a smart first step. The audit can provide a solid overview of what’s working and what isn’t, allowing you to prioritize what to fix first.

Sign #2: You have tons of leads, but they’re not converting

Not all leads are created equal. Having tons of leads isn’t necessarily better than having a smaller number of targeted leads that are much more likely to convert.

⮚      WHAT TO DO: In this case, performing an SEO audit can be an excellent place to start. Doubling down on SEO efforts, targeting keyword phrases, and paying attention to local SEO (including the all-important “near me” searches) can be a fantastic way to increase targeted traffic. Note: You might see overall traffic numbers go down. Don’t panic. As long as conversions go up, you’re on the right track.

Sign #3: You have plenty of targeted traffic and leads, but conversions still aren’t where they should be.

Usually this indicates an issue with how you’re handling leads. Remember, not all leads should be treated the same way. Most often, the culprit is poorly executed or non-existent lead scoring, meaning ALL leads are immediately served to the sales team.

Remember, people enter your website at different points in their journey. Some are at the very top of the funnel, seeking education. They might not make a decision for 18 to 24 months (this is especially true for independent living). If you serve those leads to the sales team, they won’t convert no matter what you offer because they’re simply not ready.

⮚      WHAT TO DO: Revisit how you score and segment leads. That’s the first step. Then, you’ll want to create long-term nurturing campaigns for the marketing-qualified leads (MQLs). The goal is to nurture MQLs as they make their way down the sales funnel and help them convert into sales-qualified leads when they say they’re ready.

Sign #4: You have excellent conversions-to-tour but not tour-to-deposit

It’s easy to think this is a sales problem. After all, marketing has done its part by delivering qualified traffic that converts into tours. So, what gives?

A few things could be going on:

  • The marketing messages don’t match reality on the ground. You need to market the community that exists, not the one you and your team wished existed.
  • The personas you’re targeting don’t reflect the people who live in the community. While personas are fictional representations of ideal residents, the work that goes into developing them should be based on real people, a.k.a. happy residents who love your community. You might be attracting the personas that you made up based on hunches instead of focusing on accurate personas based on actual residents.
  • You don’t have a post-tour communication plan. You might think this task is on sales and that marketing did its job by delivering the leads. But why not work together? Marketing can create an automated email nurturing cadence to complement the ongoing sales outreach and follow-up.

Marketing and sales alignment is critical; there should be an overlap between the two. The sooner both sides see and accept this fact, the better.

⮚      WHAT TO DO: Audit your messaging, personas, AND post-tour communications. Does anything feel like a bait-and-switch? Are post-tour prospects left hanging and wondering what to do next? Are the people you’re attracting to tours the complete opposite of the types of folks who thrive in your community?

Sign #5: You know many things aren’t working, but you’re overwhelmed, feeling tons of pressure from the bosses, and don’t know what to do first

We hear this one a lot. The C-suite is asking marketing teams to do more with less budget, and then it gets annoyed when you’re not delivering leads to sales. Or maybe the sales team is being cranky and unhelpful. Or perhaps you’ve been tasked with managing marketing, even though your specialty is more on the sales end.

⮚      WHAT TO DO NEXT: Consider working with an outside marketing agency specializing in senior living. The right agency can help you identify the issues, create a plan for addressing them, and help you achieve the results you (and the bosses) want. Here’s what to look for in a senior living marketing agency, including common traps to avoid. Hint: We can help. Our specialty is creating senior living marketing strategies that get quantifiable results.

Pivoting your senior living marketing strategy isn’t a sign of failure

Your marketing strategy should be dynamic and responsive to data-driven insights. Recognizing the signs that a pivot is necessary and taking proactive steps can help you compete better and achieve the desired results.

And if you need help doing any of the above, give us a shout.