[WEBINAR] Senior Living Lead Generation During COVID-19

Even during a pandemic, we marketing and sales professionals must continue to connect and engage with our prospects, both existing and new. Learn what senior living lead generation options are available to continue your work towards those 2020 marketing and sales goals!

Senior Living Lead Generation During COVID

Here’s what you’ll learn: 

  • Engaging with prospects in the absence of tours and events
  • Alternative lead gen strategies
  • What prospects need from you during this pandemic
  • Maintaining and increasing your brand awareness
  • Best CTAs that are not tour or event focused
Crisis Communication Tips for Senior Living Communities

Crisis Communication Tips for Senior Living Communities

EDITOR’S NOTE REGARDING CRISIS COMMUNICATION: Like everyone else around the globe, we’re struggling with this new reality due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Heartbreaking stories of loss and grief and a world economy inching towards recession are just some of the things keeping us up at night.

As a senior living marketing agency, we’ve been thinking about all our clients as they face these unprecedented times. It’s hard to see past this pandemic since we’re only in the early stages, but at some point, we know we’ll begin to adjust to this “new normal.” The articles we’ll be providing during this time are designed to help senior living sales and marketing teams when they’re ready to move forward.

Crisis Communication: Appropriate Messages during COVID-19

The messages your senior living community puts out during a crisis matters. You’ll need to halt salesy messaging like “Schedule a Tour” or “Join Us for Lunch” and focus on complete transparency. Yes, transparency should always be the foundational element of your sales and marketing messaging, but let’s face it: in normal times, messaging doesn’t always sound like that, does it?

But we’re not living in normal times. So things NEED to shift to 100% transparency.

The crisis communication messages you should be sharing:

Community-wide/General

Your leadership’s clear and direct response to COVID-19. You should have a call-out in the header area of your website with a clear link to your community’s full response. This response should include basics, like how your community is addressing the outbreak, visiting hours, important phone numbers, and how you’ll be delivering updates. Check out this blog post for more tips.

The various ways your community is supporting residents, staff, and their families. Social media is an excellent way to share real-time images of your community’s social distancing efforts, cleanliness efforts, and modified activities in the Age of COVID-19. People crave reassurance during this time. Visual images can go a long way in helping. (This goes without saying, but under no circumstances should you “stage” any photos. Be real. Be authentic.)

Unvarnished truths. No sugarcoating is allowed. Don’t try to convince people that they’re better off in a community when all credible news reports are constantly reminding us about social distancing. Instead, talk about how your community is helping everyone stay safe and adjust to new realities. At the same time, you can and should absolutely share solid truths. For example, if your community is indeed fully stocked with food, cleaning supplies, and medical supplies, that’s a reassuring message that people will want to hear.

Safe, actionable things that family members can do to support their loved ones. This is likely going to be one of the biggest things you need to focus on—the feeling of helplessness that so many family members are going to have when it comes to being able to connect with their loved ones. Some ideas:

Marketing and Sales: Changes to Messaging

 Update the messaging in paid advertising. Paid campaigns will need to have different calls-to-action for the time being. Again, halt the “schedule a tour” messages and focus on “virtual experience” items. See this previous blog post for ideas regarding that.

Pause lead nurturing OR update it to reflect the current situation. If you let your automated lead nurturing simply continue “as is” during this pandemic, your community will come across as out of touch and incredibly insensitive. So pause all campaigns OR update every email with a simple disclaimer at the top about COVID-19 (in italics, in a different font—something to make it clear there are humans behind these emails). Double check subject lines and revise any that are too cute/clever.

Review any scheduled social media posts. If you schedule out your social media posts, take a moment to review everything that’s scheduled and pause, delete, and revise, as needed. Remove any posts that are too self-promotional. Make sure you’re sharing a good mix of COVID-19 related messages (see first section above).Be mindful about third-party posts that you share. ONLY share from credible organizations like the CDC or your local department of public health.

Consider shifting some digital marketing dollars to more traditional direct mail efforts. Direct mail might have a better chance to stand out since more people are at home right now. Reminder that we have a turnkey solution for your direct mail efforts: SMARTbrand (including a basic free plan).

Update email signatures. Your marketing and sales teams should update email signatures with a link regarding your community’s response to COVID-19 and provide a way to “virtually” meet, like a link to an online scheduler.

With COVID-19, things are changing hourly, and recommendations will change.

What we recommend now could change tomorrow or a week from now. If you need help with your crisis communication plan and messaging, call us. We’ve worked in senior living communities for decades and know what it’s like during times of chaos. Let’s chat soon.

Tips for Creating Virtual Sales Experiences in Senior Living

Senior Living Sales Strategies During COVID: Create Virtual Experiences

EDITOR’S NOTE: Like everyone else around the globe, we’re struggling with this new reality due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Heartbreaking stories of loss and grief and a world economy inching towards recession are just some of the things keeping us up at night. As a senior living marketing agency, we’ve been thinking about all our clients as they face these unprecedented times. It’s hard to see past this pandemic since we’re only in the early stages, but at some point, we know we’ll begin to adjust to this “new normal.” The articles we’ll be providing during this time are designed to give senior living sales strategies and marketing tips that can help. 

Senior Living Sales Strategies: Think Virtual & Interactive  Experiences

The current “no touch” reality due to COVID-19 will require creative approaches for senior living sales teams. Several states have suspended move-ins and on-site visits. As a result, occupancy rates can only go down until these restrictions are lifted.

No doubt, the last thing on most people’s minds is marketing or sales, but it’s important to keep initiatives going—in a thoughtful and compassionate way, of course. For the foreseeable future, tours, events, and perhaps even home visits will not be options, so here are some ideas for creating effective (and, bottom line, SAFE) sales experience for prospective residents.

Your New Front Door

People might not be able to physically enter your community, but that doesn’t mean you can’t provide them a glimpse inside.  Remember, your website has always served as your virtual front door. And, for the time being anyway, it is THE entry point into all that your community offers. Everything that people would usually come into the community to experience must be available on your website.

Here’s a quick list of must-haves to create an interactive experience:

  • Live Chat. Real human chat “hosts” should personally welcome website visitors, answer questions, provide information, and generate leads. Your human “hosts” can work from the safety of their own homes.
  • Video Conferencing. Meeting “face-to-face” in this new reality is possible, thanks to virtual conferencing options. Skype is free and widely accessible. Paid options like Zoom are budget-friendly.
  • Downloadable brochures (gate this with a form so you can gather contact information and follow up). Here is an example.
  • Video Tours. If you don’t have professional video tours, invest in a technology such as HeartLegacy and have the sales team create videos to highlight the community. Here is a sample.
  • Interactive Surveys such as Roobrik allow prospects to find their best senior housing and care option.
  • Floor Plans and Interactive Room Planners. Here is an example.
  • Testimonials to show the experience of living in the community. Check out these examples.
  • Links to Facebook to highlight all the positive stories within each community.
  • A Robust Resources Section. Think blogs, guides, videos, links to COVID-19 articles, and guidelines to show that you are well prepared, caring, and reassuring.

Taking these steps won’t be in vain, either. Since most searches for senior living begin online, creating a strong virtual experience for people is something that will help your community for the long term.

As always, we’re here to help with your marketing and senior living sales strategies during COVID.

If you need assistance making any of the above happen during this chaotic time, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

Battling COVID-19 Webinar

Senior Living Marketing Webinar: Battling COVID-19

We’ve gathered industry experts for this FREE senior living marketing webinar to give you the tools to effectively manage the COVID-19 pandemic in your senior living community. From resident and staff health, effective procedures for cleaning and disinfecting to managing crisis communication.

Here’s what you’ll learn: 

  • Strategies to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in senior living communities
  • Prevention, treatment of COVID-19
  • COVID-19 HR Policy
  • CDC Recommendations
  • Safety FAQs
  • When should you use standard precautions
  • Three types of transmission
  • Practicing good EVS procedures
  • Supporting staff, residents and families
  • Crisis Communication
  • Virtual sales tools
Special Edition: COVID-19 Communication Tips

Senior Living Marketing Crisis Communication Tips for COVID-19

The World Health Organization has officially used the term “pandemic” in relation to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Senior living communities are especially vulnerable to this disease, so what your community does next matters. These crisis communication tips will help.

Effective and pro-active communication with residents, families, referral sources, and prospects should be a high priority.  If you have a crisis communication policy, dust it off and start executing. If you don’t have something in place, follow these crisis communication tips ASAP.

Crisis Communication Tips: Be Open, Honest, & Transparent

Everyone wants reassurance that you have a plan in place to minimize risk and exposure to your residents and staff. Plan to communicate at least daily through a dedicated hotline number with a regularly updated recording. Or make a live central contact available to answer questions. Provide specifics on your protocols. In addition, reference the CDC recommendations for reducing risk and exposure to residents and staff.

Here are some links to include in your communication:

Crisis Communication Tips: Address the Most Pressing Concerns

Some of the most pressing questions include the following. Make sure you have answers:

  • Is my loved one safe right now? How will you ensure their safety throughout this crisis?
  • Will you close the community to visitors? If so, how will you provide resident status updates?
  • Are you stopping admissions, cancelling events and trips, serving residents on paper or delivering meals to apartments?
  • Do you have enough staff and supplies?
  • Are you increasing inventory of medical, food, and service supplies?
  • Have you increased your cleaning/ disinfecting protocols?
  • Are you retraining staff and hosting Town Hall meetings with residents?
  • What will you do if the virus is detected in the community?

People want to know what steps you’re taking to minimize risk. In addition, they expect regular communication about it.

Crisis Communication Tips: Use Every Communication Channel

You don’t know how or where people will go to access info. So, use all communication channels to deliver a consistent message.

Website. Put a banner on your website with a link to your prepared statement.

Email. Send emails, as needed, to all residents, family members, and responsible parties. First, outline your resident safety protocols. Second, reassure fearful and anxious family members. Finally, provide the various ways people can get regular updates.

Phone. Have a dedicated hotline to provide regular communication. This can be a central person available at the corporate level, recordings at the community level, or a call center. The more proactively you push out information, the fewer burdens there will be in managing incoming calls.

Live Chat. Provide your live chat partner with your crisis communication plan and FAQs so they can engage appropriately with website visitors.

Automated messaging technologies. Communication platforms, such as Voicefriend, automate notifications to residents, families, and staff via recorded phone messages, text, and email.

SMS. Do a bulk text notification to all residents, family members, and responsible parties. Include links to your updated notification channels, such as your hotline and website.

Prepare a media statement. If reporters contact your community, your department heads need to have a prepared statement that they can provide. Here is an example from Brookdale.

Example to follow: Brookdale has done a great job communicating their plan. They even created a COVID-19 Toolkit. Check it out here.

As always, if you need help creating or setting up any of these items, we can help you effectively sell and market your community during the pandemic