Posts

Growing business through marketing practices

Our Senior Living Marketing System

We recently became part of Duct Tape Marketing, a network of marketing agencies and consultants from around the world.

As the Duct Tape Marketing website explains, “Duct Tape Marketing is founded on the simple belief that marketing is the most important small business system. And we just so happen to believe that small business owners are the true heroes of business, so we’ve made it our mission to build, train, support, and teach small business marketing strategies and tactics to as many of these heroes as possible.”

For us, we joined Duct Tape Marketing for three reasons:

  1. We wanted to bring in thought leadership from outside the senior living industry.
  2. We wanted to participate in a community of professionals who are as passionate about marketing as we are.
  3. We wanted to use a proven system that simplifies digital marketing.

Being a part of the network has helped us refine how we work with our clients. This has resulted in our ability to offer clients more choices, dependable delivery of work within budget and timeframes, and consistent results.

So, what is this marketing “system” that Duct Tape promotes? The system’s foundation involves creating three levels of marketing support: Build, Grow, and Ignite.

For the Build phase, we create a solid digital foundation that enables prospects to easily find your senior living community.

A strong digital foundation includes many components:

Once that work is complete, we move into Grow.

This is when we focus on content, such as . . .

When it comes to content, we create compelling pieces for all stages of the prospect journey so they will keep coming back to your website. With this new content, we can also optimize a variety of social channels (think Facebook, Instagram, and even Pinterest). In addition, we often start (or re-start) a monthly email newsletter to re-engage existing leads.

Then, we move to Ignite.

We fire up the lead generation turbo booster known as marketing automation. Marketing automation offers many benefits, but the biggest one is that it automatically scores and segments leads.

Remember, not all leads are created equal! Some leads are in the early stages of their journey, conducting research. They have no interest in talking to sales—yet. Other leads need to decide soon. And still other leads will fall somewhere in between.

How you treat different leads will—and should—vary, based on where the lead is in their journey. Your marketing team will work on nurturing the “not ready” leads (i.e., marketing-qualified leads or MQLs). In the meantime, the sales team will work on the sales-qualified leads (SQLs).

The marketing automation system makes this process seamless, by automatically serving up the SQLs to the sales team (and, ideally, your senior living CRM). For the MQLs, the marketing automation funnels them to appropriate lead nurturing workflows based on how they engaged with your site and what answers they provided on opt-in website forms.

This saves everyone time, and it increases conversions, since your sales team will only be focusing on high-intent leads rather than ALL leads.

During the Ignite phase, we often implement paid advertising to increase the number of qualified prospects coming to your site. We are good stewards of client budget. And we don’t recommend pursuing paid advertising until we reach the Ignite phase. After all, why waste money driving people to a bad website with poor navigation, limited content, and nothing to do when they get there?

This three-prong approach to senior living marketing has many advantages.

First, it aligns expectations and timelines for deliverables. Second, it keeps everyone focused on results. And, finally, it works! Interested in learning more? Let’s set up a complimentary 30-minute brainstorming session so we can discuss your senior living marketing and sales challenges.

Connect with us to learn more!

Let’s chat about your senior living marketing and sales challenges.

man and woman searching for blog posts related to their location

Senior Living Blog Topics: How to Approach Location Keywords

Most of your senior living blog topics should be “top of the funnel” content. In other words, articles optimized for keyword phrases that will attract prospects in your area who are in the awareness stage.

The challenge with this approach: When prospects are searching for senior living options, they’re often searching on “dry” phrases like “senior living communities near me” or “senior living communities in South Florida.” (Or whatever city people are considering. You get the idea.)

You need to get creative in how you write blog content around these phrases.

It’s not enough to simply get someone to your site based on the location keyword phrase. You need to provide quality senior living blog content that inspires them to stick around. How can you do this?

Let’s use our example of “senior living communities in South Florida.”

According to SEMrush, the keyword tool that we use, people search on this phrase approximately 50 times per month. It’s a good long-tail keyword phrase to focus on. But how many engaging senior living blog topics can you get from that one keyword phrase? More than you might think!

Here’s our quick brainstorm:

  1. X Tips for Evaluating Senior Living Communities in South Florida
  2. Fun Day Trips for Senior Living Communities in South Florida
  3. Tips for Researching Senior Living Communities in South Florida
  4. Touring Senior Living Communities in South Florida? What to Ask
  5. Financing Options for Senior Living Communities in South Florida
  6. Why Consider Senior Living Communities in South Florida
  7. X Facts About Senior Living Communities in South Florida
  8. Senior Living Communities in South Florida: What to Watch For
  9. Senior Living Communities in South Florida: Right For You?
  10. Senior Living Communities in South Florida: X Considerations

You should also research related keyword phrases and brainstorm even more senior living blog topics.

We love the “related” search function in SEMrush. After we did a search on “senior living communities in Florida,” we hit the “related” button. Here’s a snap shot of the results.

Screen shot of SEMrush report highlighting related search results

Here’s a quick brainstorm of potential senior living blog topics:

  1. How We Deliver the Best Independent Living in Florida
  2. Rethinking Retirement Facilities in Florida
    • We know, we know! You’re bristling at the word “facilities.” But people DO search on the term. Reclaim it and reinvent it! Take it back.
  3. 10 Reasons Why Nothing Beats Senior Living in Florida
  4. Best Independent Living in Florida: How to Tell
  5. Senior Living in Florida: X Things to Keep in Mind

Note: You could use ALL of the above as blog titles and title tags since they’re all within 65 characters.

While all of the proposed titles have a consistent theme, each angle is different. And a good writer can create compelling blog content that will fulfill the title’s “promise” while also finding a way to weave in aspects of your community.

Remember, the content should be helpful, not promotional.

For the article titled “Best Independent Living in Florida: How to Tell,” you could provide a solid checklist that people can use to audit the communities they’re researching and that they will eventually visit. You’d only mention your community tangentially.

For example, one of the items on the checklist might be “Read reviews about each senior living community.” And you could link that phrase to your community’s Google reviews. At the end of the article, you might include a call-to-action that says something like “Discover how our community offers the best independent living in Florida. Schedule a visit!”

Again, a skilled blog writer can help breathe life into these topics.

A good writer will understand how to write for search engines and humans. The more interesting and helpful the senior living blog content is, the better chance the person reading it will click around your site and learn more.

Remember, the goal is to get visitors to convert on something, like a Live Chat or downloadable piece of premium content. A prospect’s email address is worth its weight in gold. Because once you have it, you can continue to engage and nurture them. (Provided you have good marketing automation.)

Need help developing senior living blog topics that convert visitors into leads?

We’re a marketing agency that knows the senior living industry inside and out. We have excellent writers who can help you get the most out of your blog. Let’s chat about your needs.

The Impact of Marketing Automation on One Senior Living Community

Marketing Automation: The Impact On One Senior Living Community

Sonata Senior Living operates in highly competitive markets in central and southern Florida. They were looking for a way to drive more qualified prospects to their site, convert more tour and phone interactions, and determine the ROI of their digital efforts. We recommended marketing automation, since it’s both strategic and measurable.

Here’s the philosophy behind it…

Persona Development to Attract the Ideal Prospects

A persona is a fictional representation of the most qualified prospects with the highest opportunity to convert to a resident. Think about your most successful residents. They’ve lived in the community for a long time. They enjoy the amenities and lifestyle. And their families are involved and supportive. To get more of those ideal leads, you should develop buyer personas to understand common attributes, decision-making behavior, and key motivators.

Content Development to Attract More Qualified Leads

Once the personas are developed, the next step is to create an editorial calendar with relevant topics that are compelling to your personas throughout their journey. Content development should start with a keyword analysis for the target community and their nearest and dearest competitors. We focus on building a content strategy with topics for each persona and each stage within their journey.

Our copywriters work from keyword-rich titles based on our clients’ ranking for desirable keywords vs. the ranking of their competitors. For example, Sonata ranked lower on “Florida Senior Living” than their competitors. This keyword had a strong search volume, so we increased the number of blog titles with that keyword to elevate their ranking.

Boosting Conversions through Marketing Automation

Blogs serve as the bait that attracts interested prospects to the website, but gated premium content reels them in! Simply having regular blog content (we recommend two to four original blogs per month) will improve your SEO. But once you add gated premium content, conversions will significantly increase. For example, Sonata is seeing contacts double thanks to premium content.

Optimizing contact forms is a quick win. Offering multiple choices to prospects instead of only “contact us” or “schedule a tour” will allow prospects to opt in at the level they are most comfortable.

For instance, early stage leads are not ready for a tour, but they will eagerly download brochures and pricing. We like to offer “speak with an advisor,” “join us for lunch,” “schedule a tour,” and “receive our newsletter.” Sometimes just changing the location of the contact form can increase conversions.

Creating Workflows to Nurture Leads

Once a prospect takes the bait, marketing automation ensures that each prospect is nurtured according to where they are in the buyer’s journey.

Leads in the “bottom” of the sales funnel are ready to buy. We call these Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs). The goal is to get SQLs to the sales team quickly while integrating prospect information into the CRM.

Another goal is to keep Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) in a nurturing environment to build trust, provide valuable information and resources, and continue to advance them to SQL status.

Sending all leads to the senior living CRM is a distraction to the sales team. In addition, it often turns off early-stage prospects who aren’t ready for the sales pitch. Marketing automation can discern sales-qualified vs. marketing-qualified leads. Automation can also plate-up highly qualified and motivated leads to the sales team without losing the “not ready” opportunities.

Return on Investment – How Much Revenue Does Your Website Generate?

Sonata was interested in measuring the effectiveness of every marketing investment. They provided us with their average rent and length of stay by lifestyle. We tracked deposits and move-ins. Also, we were able to calculate the ROI of marketing automation and PPC efforts. In the first three months, Sonata realized a 1200% ROI. (Nope, that’s not a typo.)

Interested in learning more? Download the full case study today!

How to Boost Occupancy & Lead Generation Through Inbound Marketing.  In this case study, track the growth of 10 communities in just 3 months using marketing automation, and view measurable results with reported ROI.