Senior Living Marketing: Get More Videos from Your Team

Elder man in interacting with clinical caregiver recording a video. How to use videos in senior living marketing.

Nothing can transform senior living marketing from meh to WOW faster than video. It’s among our top recommendations to our clients, yet the hardest one for them to embrace.

Listen, we get it. Video marketing can sound intimidating. And a decade ago, it was. But today’s smartphones shoot excellent video, and editing apps simplify splicing and dicing.

The best part? You likely already have someone on your marketing team who can take on editing videos. Or you could task an intern with the role. Gen Z knows a thing or two (or a hundred) about shooting compelling videos. And all they need is their phone. (If neither option is viable, we can help, provided you get good raw footage—more on this below.)

Empower people in your community to shoot raw footage.

The key to getting more videos is empowering existing team members within your community to take more videos. We’re not just talking about the senior living marketing and sales teams, either. The activities department, dining services, and even admin folks can all be tasked with taking videos.

Let them know all they need to do is shoot the raw footage and that your team will handle the rest. Easy-peasy!

Make it simple for people to share their footage with the marketing team.

You need an easy way for people to transfer the raw footage from their phones to a place where your marketing team can access it. Many options exist. If you’re unsure, go with Dropbox.

Here’s what you do:

  • Each month, set up a community Dropbox folder for the current month. You’ll have one main Dropbox folder. Within it, you’ll create a new folder each month. Turn off permissions for the other months’ folders as you go along.
  • Create a shareable link to the current month’s folder. Make sure the setting says that anyone with access to the link can edit.
  • Email the Dropbox link to the staff (or the folks you’ve empowered to be on your video team). Alert them that this month’s folder is awaiting their awesome uploads.

In your email, always include a link to instructions on how to download the Dropbox app to their phone and how to upload videos from their phone to Dropbox. We recommend creating an unlisted YouTube video that only people in your organization can view, demonstrating how to do this on iPhones and Androids.

If people have trouble transferring the raw footage to Dropbox, invite them to stop by the marketing team’s office for help.

In the email, you’ll also want to remind people about the types of video footage you’re looking for.

  • Sweet moments between residents
  • Video testimonials from residents and their families during move-in day
  • Shots of the grounds (flower garden, after a snowstorm, a rainbow)
  • Snippets from activities and events
  • “Day in the life” videos of residents and employees
  • Holiday-specific montages (like the activities department decorating for Christmas or the Fourth of July)

You should also provide reminders about video etiquette and resident privacy.

The more specific your suggestions are, the better. For example, if your community is hosting a Kentucky Derby party, ask for footage of all the fabulous hats people are wearing and capture people toasting with their mint juleps.

Now, you might be thinking, “Yeah, this sounds great. And people will likely have good intentions. But what if it doesn’t result in anything?”

That brings us to our next tip—the magic formula for getting people to participate.

Offer incentives for the best footage.

Think of it this way: If you invested in professional video shoots, you’d spend thousands of dollars.

Your monthly incentive program will cost considerably less. Invest $150 per month to use as an incentive. Give $100 to the person who provides the best footage and $50 to the runner-up. (If you can up the ante, even better. The bigger the incentive, the better the footage—and you’ll likely have more options.)

Promote last month’s winner in the email you send out during the current month.

Don’t just send the email only once. Send it at the beginning of the month, the middle, and towards the end with a “last chance to enter this month’s raw video footage contest.”

At the end of the year, you could hold a community-wide contest where people vote on who recorded the best footage used in a video—and the winner gets a substantial prize, like a $100 bonus.

Assign one or two people on your team to edit video footage and create the final videos.

By running all the footage through your marketing department, you’ll have quality control measures to ensure the content is appropriate and on brand. (Bottom line: You don’t have to use all footage that comes in, either.)

This work doesn’t have to be a heavy lift, either. Video editing can happen through a simple phone app like InShot. We recommend upgrading to InShot Pro because it has more features. It costs less than $5 per month. (Or if you want to install editing software on a desktop, that could work, too. But honestly, being able to do everything on a phone makes it easy and fun.)

Remember, people don’t want overly-produced videos—they want authentic videos, especially on TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube shorts. The goal is to make sure the video is engaging and reflects well on your community.

You can easily create any branded visual assets you need in Canva, like thumbnails.

Don’t forget to share your videos in places other than social media—blog posts, relevant web pages, and emails are excellent places to pop in a video.

But when you do post on social media, give a shout-out to the person who captured the raw footage and remember to tag them. They might share the video with their followers, which means more exposure for your community.

It takes time to build momentum. Don’t give up.

Once word gets out about the incentives and people begin seeing their footage online, you’ll be surprised at how eager people will be to participate and share the video snippets they capture.

And again, if you need assistance editing any of the raw footage that comes in, our team can help.