In our previous blog post on senior living social media marketing, we noted the most popular social media platforms among the Boomer generation, and YouTube sits at the top of the list at 70%.
Some folks might not think of YouTube as a social media platform, but it most definitely is since users can like, share, comment, and reply on videos. YouTube videos also rank well in organic search results (provided you optimize your video titles and descriptions—treat these the same way you do optimization elements on your website).
When thinking through your senior living marketing plan and budget, diversification is important—but so is a smart strategy. YouTube is an excellent platform to invest in not only because Boomers spend time on the platform, but also because you can easily use your YouTube videos on other platforms, like Facebook, blog posts, and Google My Business listings.
When it comes to content, what sorts of videos should you develop for your senior living community’s YouTube channel? Here are some ideas . . .
1. Give a virtual tour of your entire community.
No doubt, you might be tired of hearing the words “virtual tour” thanks to the pandemic. But virtual tour videos offer people a great bird’s eye view of your community.
They can also be an excellent way to move people from the marketing-qualified stage to the sales-qualified stage. For example, if you embed your tour video in a lead nurturing workflow and someone books an in-person tour after viewing it, you’ll know that you’ve got an interested prospect on your hands.
Not to mention, virtual tours are excellent vehicles for people who are coming from outside the immediate area. So, for example, if adult children are looking for places for mom and dad in another state, virtual tours can provide important info.
- Pro tip: Your tour of the community itself is just that—it should provide a solid overview. Don’t make it overly long, either. Three to four minutes should be enough to give everyone a good sense of place.
2. Provide a tour of various room layouts/floorplans.
Consider these your “drill-down” videos where you provide a deeper look into one aspect of your community. Most prospects want to know about the residences themselves. What floorplans are available? How big are the bedrooms? Is there a patio/deck? What other amenities do certain floorplans have? You get the idea. Create videos for each type of residence your community offers.
- Pro tip: Add a call-to-action (CTA) at the end of each video so people can download the actual floorplan. You could choose to give away the floor plan free and clear (no name required) or put it behind a VERY brief form so that you can nurture the person further.
3. Show off your dining areas (inside and out).
Anyone who’s worked in senior living sales for any length of time knows that one of the most popular questions centers around food. What are the dining options? Who’s the chef? Are any residences outfitted with full kitchens? Does the community offer a private function room for family events like birthdays and anniversaries? Is there a pub on site? And so forth.
Think of all the questions you get about food in your community and create a video (or set of videos) that focuses on cuisine and other culinary aspects.
- Pro tip: What truly differentiates your community from others in the area when it comes to dining? Do you have an award-winning chef? Then, do a video interview with them. Do you cater to different diets, including contemporary diets, like keto and paleo? Talk about how you accommodate.
4. Stroll the grounds.
Setting is everything, and if this is what makes your community special—perhaps it sits on a golf course or overlooks conservation land or is a stone’s throw from the ocean—then create a video that captures the magic. Get footage from different times of day and, ideally, different times of year.
- Pro tip: Regarding our last suggestion, you could create a series of “seasonal strolls.” So if you have a senior living community in the northeast, make sure you have a video of your community in every season. Play up the gorgeous maples with their leaves ablaze in the fall and the blooming dogwoods in the spring. Capture residents sipping cocktails on the veranda on a hot summer’s evening. Celebrate how your community looks decked out in holiday decorations in December.
5. Record events.
Think guest musicians, sing-alongs, poetry slams, comedy nights, and the like. Residents who missed an event can watch on demand from the comfort of their home. Prospects will get a good feel for how active and engaging the event schedule is in your community.
- Pro tip: When recording an event, ask the videographer to also get b-roll of the space and to get reaction quotes from attendees (i.e., your current residents and their family/friends). While these “candid” clips won’t make it into the cut of the event itself, you’ll have the footage available for other marketing purposes. (Like our next idea.)
6. Create yearly retrospectives.
Put out a “best of” video every December that features clips from events and anything else that was new that year (such as the opening of a new amenity, for example). These can be great videos to share across social media in December, since people are always eager to reflect on the past 12 months. And they can serve as great marketing vehicles moving forward.
- Pro tip: These sorts of videos can make excellent video ads on places like Facebook and Instagram.
7. Highlight area attractions.
When it comes to senior living—and truly demonstrating that it is indeed a different lifestyle than the myths that persist around “retirement homes”—you need to go beyond the community itself. Because while all the amenities your community provides are certainly important things to share and show off, you also want to give people a flavor for what life in the town/city and nearby areas has to offer.
- Pro tip: Ask your existing residents about their favorite nearby spots. If you keep hearing the same answer, make sure you add that spot to the list.
8. Interview residents, family members, and staff.
Highlight the people who reside and work within your community. Record a resident or group of residents with a great story. Tape short resident testimonials (this should be an ongoing item). Feature staff members from various departments. Again, look for people with interesting stories, who’ve been part of your community’s family for a long time, and/or who are popular with residents/staff.
- Pro tip: Videos with staff can perform double duty. Yes, they can be a great marketing tool, but they can also be a great recruitment Post your videos to places like your community’s company page on LinkedIn.
9. Experiment, play, and try new things.
What we shared above isn’t an exhaustive list. Honestly, the sky’s the limit when it comes to YouTube content ideas. Be willing to experiment and try new things. Ask people in your community for ideas. (You might be surprised at the creativity!)
- Pro tip: If you need help, seek it, which brings us to our final point.