It’s that time of year when we ask our team members to gaze into their crystal balls and make senior living marketing predictions for 2024.
Here’s what everyone had to say . . .
Deborah Howard, CEO
“I think we’re going to see more movement towards emotionally resonant messaging. We’ve got to get away from “just the facts” messages of ’here’s another blog,’ ’here’s another guide,’ or ’here’s another ten reasons you should move into senior living.’
People buy emotionally, and then they support that decision intellectually. If all we’re doing is feeding prospects intellectual stuff, they’ll get stuck.
If senior living communities want to compete successfully in 2024 and beyond, they must include emotional messages in their content—and not just words, but in visuals, too.”
Andréa Catizone, President & COO
“Here are my 2024 marketing predictions for senior living:
- Increased Emphasis on Personalization: Tailoring content and advertising to individual preferences and behaviors can enhance user experiences and drive better engagement. By the way, that’s something AI doesn’t always do well.
- Rise of Video Content: Video continues to be an engaging channel. We hope to see more senior living communities do more to capture video reviews, “A Day in the Life,” etc.
- Voice Search Optimization: My 93-year-old mother’s best friend is her Amazon Echo. Seniors are using their virtual assistants more than ever. Senior living providers, especially larger organizations with established web presences, should start thinking about optimizing for voice search in 2024 to stay ahead of the curve.
- Privacy Concerns and Regulatory Compliance: Privacy policies and adherence to website regulatory requirements will be a top priority for website owners.
- Personalized and Targeted Campaigns: Long gone are the days of “one-size-fits-all” when it comes to marketing campaigns. But too many communities still have that mindset. I think we’ll see a (mostly) complete shift away from that thinking. If we want to engage prospects, especially younger Boomers, we must engage them through highly personal content tailor-made for them.
- Online Reviews and Reputation Management: Not only do good reviews improve your trust rating for the Google bots, but more and more prospects are looking at reviews as part of their research. Communities that understand this and spend time (and budget) maintaining their reputation will compete well in 2024.”
Paul Trusik, Director of Operational Technology
“Gazing into 2024, I expect to see more marketing integrations using AI features, whether it’s to aid in content generation for email marketing or landing page copy or to help sales teams quickly formulate replies to prospects from their respective CRMs. Many of our chat partners are also harnessing AI features to help arm their chatbots with enhanced sentiment alongside informational community scripts.
Also, I expect a rise in SMS (text) campaigns to complement what we’re already doing with email campaigns in our marketing automation platforms.
Some ten years ago, we patiently waited for adult children to start researching online as the senior living industry started ramping up digital marketing efforts. Now, we expect that same demographic will start getting just as comfortable communicating via text vs. email and phone.”
Doug Demaio, Director of Client Success
“My prediction is that senior living marketing becomes more integrated with each aspect of the community experience—and that the marketing itself becomes more experiential.
As the Me generation ages into senior living, they’re wanting more choices, more amenities, and more activities. Senior living providers who lean into this by making things like health, wellness, workout spaces, dining, and outdoor activities part of their marketing materials (making them marketing assets rather than liabilities) will be able to connect with more of these folks.
Marketing overall will also lean into digital tools that allow for a more experiential effect: Being there virtually for tours, chatting with leads in real-time on your website, hosting digital and in-person events — really bringing the lead into the community for an authentic experience, in person, or virtually.”
Jim Podewitz, Director of Content Strategy
“Generative AI burst onto the marketing scene in 2023. I see 2024 as a year of taking a closer look at the quality and accuracy of AI-generated content and reassessing AI’s place in content creation. Ultimately, I think we’ll see AI as a tool for creating better content more efficiently vs. a machine that generates greater volumes of vanilla content.
Another prediction: Prospects want to be contacted by senior living communities the way they contacted the community in the first place. The next generation of marketing automation will embrace a broader spectrum of channels to reach and nurture prospects and use the ones preferred by the prospect.”
Kerri-Anne Pendergast, Director of Social Marketing
“Here are a few things I predict for 2024: Both X and Threads will continue to decline while Instagram (Meta) increases. We’ve continuously seen users take part in image- or video-based scrolling versus something like Threads/X, which are text-based.
More social media platforms will hop on the AI train. Snapchat was an early adapter. Now, Meta is using celebs to help with their AI movement. X, LinkedIn, and Threads will likely follow suit, allowing you to write AI-generated posts.
Another prediction: Think more click-to-buys. TikTok Shop makes it easy for creators to make money on the platform by selling their products directly on their profiles, and users don’t have to leave the app to complete their purchases. Augmented reality also plays a role in this. You can see what something looks like on you, or in your house (furniture), or a 3D version of that item without being in person to make your purchase. (Editor’s note: Read Kerri-Anne’s take on TikTok for senior living.)
Senior living communities will use more video! At least, that’s my hope! 😊”
Christopher Zook, Director of Paid Media & Strategy
“By far the biggest event of the year will be the near-universal deprecation of cookie tracking. All major browsers, including Chrome, Safari, and Firefox, will prohibit cookie tracking to protect user privacy.
Because of this, the most significant transition next year—and probably the largest source of chaos in senior living digital marketing—will be the confusion that arises from not updating conversion tracking correctly. Incorrect installation means sudden drop-offs in reporting numbers, which will make marketing teams think an emergency is happening while sales teams continue to earn the same volume of leads.
Adapting to cookieless tracking is easy, particularly with Google Ads, and massively important as this giant shift takes place across the whole Internet.” (Editor’s note: If you’re a Senior Living SMART client, don’t worry: Our team is WAY ahead of the curve.)
Got questions? Need help with your senior living marketing next year? Get in touch.
We love helping communities increase occupancy through strategic and proven-to-work marketing initiatives. Reach out and let’s talk.