When it comes to digital marketing strategies for senior living, one of the most effective is blogging. And yet one of the biggest mistakes we see when a business—any business—undertakes a blogging initiative, is not having an overarching content strategy in place first.
So let’s discuss what it takes to create an effective blog on your senior living website.
As we mentioned above, you need to develop a strategy for your senior living blog. And not just the blogging itself, but the ongoing promotion and monitoring, too.
Questions to ask yourself and your team:
- How often will you blog?
- Will you have one writer or a content team working on blog posts?
- Who will be in charge of developing the blog editorial calendar?
- Who will be responsible for laying out the blog? Selecting images? Performing quality control?
- Who will do the keyword research?
- Who will monitor results?
- Who will promote the blog via social media channels?
- Who will be responsible for revisiting older blog content and revising or unpublishing? (More on this in a moment.)
Treat keyword research as a first step, not an afterthought.
Effective content marketing is part science, part art. The writers serve as the artists, crafting compelling copy that engages readers and satisfies whatever query sent them to the blog post in the first place. The science part involves doing the keyword research—and understanding what that research is telling you.
It’s not enough to simply plug a search term into a keyword tool, grab the phrases it spits out, and write content around it. You might have been able to get away with that a decade ago, but today, there’s too much competition. You need to dig deeper and work with the various features within the keyword tool.
Good keyword research tools, like SEMrush, provide deep insights into:
- Searchers’ intent. For example, someone searching on “how much do senior apartments cost” has a much different intent than someone who searches on a senior living community’s brand name plus the word “phone number.” The former is about education. The latter is about finding a specific piece of info that they likely need to use right away.
- Competitors’ keyword phrases. You need to know what your competitors are ranking for. From there, a good SEO tool can help you determine whether you stand a chance of outranking them—and what you might need to do to achieve that goal.
- The best keyword phrases to focus on if you want your blog posts to rank well. And guess what? The best phrases might not necessarily be phrases you’d choose. For example, if you operate a senior living community with assisted living in Naples, Florida, you might not like using the word “facility.” But guess what? The phrase “assisted living facilities in naples florida” is searched on 480 times A MONTH. You might need to rethink your stance on the term “facility,” given that’s what people are searching on.
Note: You shouldn’t necessarily task your writers with in-depth keyword research and analysis. While many writers know how to expertly weave keyword phrases into content, fewer understand how to do research or interpret results.
Invest in custom content.
Why bother having a blog and doing all the keyword research if you’re going to post boring, generic content? (Or worse—blogs posts that content mills churn out.)
While using content mills or cheap, inexperienced writers might cost less up front, you’ll ultimately be wasting money. How so? Well, the blog posts won’t deliver the results you’re looking for. In essence, you’ll be blogging simply to check off a box. And that’s not the sort of digital marketing strategies for senior living that we recommend.
Instead, invest in custom blog posts. And by custom, we mean content that people won’t be able to find anywhere else, like your competitors’ blogs.
Keep in mind that all senior living communities are essentially selling the same products: maintenance-free senior housing with various amenities. But the experience in your particular community? That’s unique. And that’s what you need to capitalize on.
For example, no one has your community’s chef, right? You can create a whole bunch of blog posts around your chef, the dining experience in your community, the most popular recipes, and the like.
Think this sort of content is irrelevant? Think again. Take a look at these search terms:
Off the top of our head, here are some quick-hitting titles that you could take advantage of using the above phrases:
- 10 Ways to Spot the Best Senior Living Dining Programs
- Best Senior Living Dining Programs: How to Evaluate (provide expert tips from your chef and dining room staff on what to look for—and red flags—and why they think yours is great)
- X Secrets of the Best Senior Living Dining Programs (you could interview your chef to get their take on the secrets)
- Senior Living Dining Menus: Our Approach to Holidays
- Senior Living Dining Menus: Our Approach to Special Diets
- Senior Living Dining Menus: Our Approach to Entrees
OK, you get the idea. All of the content above can help attract the people doing a search on that content . . . and by putting your own custom spin on it, you’ll make the content much more memorable, engaging, and effective.
Use other media within your blog posts.
Compelling senior living blog posts aren’t simply filled with words. They include other media as well, like real photos (not stock images), videos, gifs, charts, and so forth.
Going back to the above example . . . you might create a picture-based blog post around your senior living dining room, like the décor, how you match table partners, and any other special embellishments.
Repurpose content (constantly).
Content creation should never be done in a silo. For example, if you have a blog writer and a social media writer, they should work together—or, at the very least, be aware of what the other person is doing. Because the wonderful thing about a good piece of content is that you should be able to easily repurpose it across multiple channels.
For example, that blog post title: “10 Ways to Spot the Best Senior Living Dining Programs” could be turned into a guide that you offer as a download on the website page that talks about amenities. You could do a series of Facebook and Instagram posts where each post covers one of the 10 ways (this would give you 10 different social media posts from that one article). You could create a PPC campaign around the term “best senior living dining programs.” People would be directed to a landing page where they could download your guide. If they download, they’d be entered into an email nurturing program. You could create an infographic of the 10 ways and offer it as a download.
Bottom line: If you’re investing in awesome custom content, make sure you maximize that investment by repurposing the content.
Continually promote your blog posts.
If you’ve been doing any regular blogging, you’re probably good about promoting a blog post when it’s hot off the virtual presses. But what about those blog posts from three months ago—or three years? You need a system for continuously promoting your content. (Which is why the person in charge of your blog should collaborate with the folks in charge of your other channels, like social media platforms.)
Tackle underperforming, old, and outdated blog posts.
If a blog post isn’t getting the desired results—maybe it’s not getting enough eyeballs or people are quickly bouncing off your site—see if you can improve it.
Maybe you need to . . .
- Adjust the keyword phrase
- Reformat the blog for easier skimming
- Revise the content because it veered off course
- Rewrite the article completely because it was written poorly the first time around
Sometimes, of course, content simply becomes old, crusty, and outdated. Don’t be afraid to remove outdated content that’s no longer serving you. In fact, doing so can actually boost your site’s rankings. (Just make sure you follow best practices.)
Call us if you need help with your digital marketing strategies for senior living blogging.
Maintaining a compelling blog is a huge undertaking. If your staff is already stretched too thin, consider outsourcing this work to an agency like ours. We understand the senior living industry, SEO best practices, and how to create compelling blog posts. Let’s talk about your blogging needs!