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Why All Senior Living Websites Need To Have a Blog & Premium Content

The Benefits of a Senior Living Blog & Premium Content

Even as we sit here in 2020, it still amazes us the resistance we occasionally encounter when we tell people they should have a senior living blog and offer premium content (e.g., free guides, infographics, checklists, ebooks, etc.).

So let’s explain our rationale once and for all.

1. Senior living blog posts and premium content provide additional opportunities to attract people to your site and engage them with helpful info.

The more paths you can give people to enter and explore your website, the better. And that’s precisely what premium content and senior living blog posts do.

Remember, most people begin their shopping online these days. A basic 10-page or 20-page senior living website isn’t enough to cover all the information people are searching for. But every blog post you write is considered a website page. Every landing page you have for a free download, like a guide or infographic, is considered a page. And ALL of these pages are excellent ways to help attract site visitors and convert them into leads.

Google also likes a deeper website with lots of helpful info: “If your pages contain useful information, their content will attract many visitors and entice webmasters to link to your site.”

2. Blog posts and premium content provide a great opportunity for long-tail keyword optimization.

A long-tail keyword is one that’s hyper specific, but doesn’t have a ton of monthly searches. That’s OK, because the specificity of the search term often indicates someone’s eagerness to buy sooner rather than later. For example, someone searching on “yellow sneakers women wide width size 8” indicates a certain level of interest beyond someone who simply googles “women’s sneakers.”

Armed with a solid list of long-tail keywords relevant to senior living, you can optimize your blog and premium content so that it helps capture the people conducting these long-tail searches.

3. Blog posts and premium content can speak to a specific point in the buyer’s journey—and to different buyers.

Some of your core pages—like your home page—need to speak to everyone. It’s the home page, after all. It needs to be welcoming to everyone who lands on it, regardless of who they are or where they are in their journey.

But a guide that that discusses the differences between independent living and assisted living is speaking to someone earlier in their journey. The one-sheet on your community’s pricing is speaking to buyer who is in the decision making stage.

Having different types of content that speak to different types of buyers at different points in their journey is not only helpful to your prospects, but also your marketing and sales teams. How? Well, marketing and sales will be able to score the leads appropriately based on the types of blog posts and premium content the prospects read and download.

In the example we used earlier, the person learning about independent living and memory care would be a marketing-qualified lead (MQL) since they’re still in the educational stages, while the person who requested pricing would be a sales-qualified lead (SQL).

4. Blogs and premium content allow you the space to dive deep into complex questions.

Think of the most common questions people ask about senior living. Do a quick answer on your FAQs page. But go into a deeper explanation in a blog post or guide.

5. Blogs and premium content give you a great place to show your community’s personality and unique point of view.

In a previous article, we mentioned that one of the challenges facing senior living communities is that most (if not all) are essentially selling the same thing—and your core web pages won’t differ too much from competitors’ web pages.

But with a blog and other premium content, you can begin to differentiate yourself simply by how you talk and the approach you take to common questions (or objections/challenges).

In fact, we’d argue that more and more senior living communities need to get into this “personality-driven” content. Write a blog post on a day in the life of your…activities director, nurse practitioner, head of dining, you get the idea. Include candid photos and real quotes. Or create a guide on “How 3 Real Families Helped Ease Their Parents’ Angst About Moving into Our Community.”

THAT’S the type of content people won’t see anywhere else because it’s unique to your community. It’s honest, and it tackles the stuff that’s in the back of so many people’s heads.

The communities that start producing truly original, heartfelt, honest content are the communities that will succeed the most this decade—and a blog and premium content are a great way to disseminate this sort of material.

Need fresh ideas for your blog or premium content?

Let’s brainstorm together for 30 minutes!

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Using Premium Content to Generate More Leads, Tours, & Move-Ins

Content is king. If used correctly, it will attract and convert website visitors into qualified leads, scheduled tours, and move-ins.

But what content should you create? Most people immediately say “blog posts.” While blogs are a great tool to improve SEO, increase traffic, and engage visitors, you need to do more than simply “blog” if you want to generate leads, tours, and move-ins.

1. Invest in Premium Content

Your site probably has lots of ungated content, meaning people can access it without giving you their info. Your blog posts are examples of ungated content.

But offering premium content—something people can’t get anywhere else that is “gated” behind a form—motivates visitors to give you their contact information in exchange for the valuable content. From there, you can continue to nurture the prospects along their sales journey. So what should the premium content be? Think guides, e-books, “how-to” articles, and checklists.

A good place to promote your premium content is through a call-to-action (CTA) at the end of a blog post (e.g., “Get our free guide on aging well!”). The blog posts are the bait, your prospects are the fish, and the premium content serves as the hook.

Keep in mind that it’s important to have a variety of premium content because prospects will “bite” on different content based on their stage of readiness and interests.

2. Create Stellar Landing Pages

Your landing page is where the premium content “lives.” This the “gate” part in gated content. The landing page should include:

  • An image of the premium content – so work with a graphic designer on a beautiful cover!
  • A compelling description of what the prospect will learn – so work with a copywriter!
  • A form to gather contact information in exchange for receiving the content. If you want to be sure to gather real emails, distribute the content to prospects via email rather than direct download.

Don’t overwhelm prospects with too many required fields! This is a first date, so simply ask for first and last name and email address. In terms of how to create and host landing pages, we recommend HubSpot because they offer progressive profiling so you can ask additional questions with every opt-in form. As prospects take more premium content, you get more information such as preferred location, their role, and desired lifestyle.

Remember, marketing’s job is to “plate up” sales-qualified leads (SQLs) to the sales team. Each landing page represents a piece of content related to the sales funnel. Your sales team will be especially interested in prospects who opt into content that indicates they’re sales ready. And by knowing what content the SQL has downloaded, your sales team can have a more productive conversation when they talk to the prospect on the phone or meet face-to-face.

3. Set Up Effective Senior Living Marketing Automation to Nurture Leads

Congratulations, you took an anonymous website visitor and converted them to a lead – great! Now, it’s time to nurture these leads to create face-to-face or voice-to-voice interactions with the sales team.

However, if you reel in the fish too quickly, it will get spooked and drop off the line. That is what happens when you send every lead directly into your CRM. Instead, use a marketing automation platform that will create automated workflows to provide additional content and offers (e.g., tours, lunches, home visits, events) that are relevant to the lead based on the “bait” that reeled them in.

For example, if someone downloads a piece of educational content on tips for aging well, this suggests they are at the top of the sales funnel and perhaps just beginning to learn about senior living options. How you nurture them will be a lot different from the way you nurture someone who’s downloaded a guide on how to finance different senior living arrangements.

If you follow these three steps, you will establish your brand as a thought leader and you’ll continue to bring prospects back to your website throughout their journey. Best of all? You’ll be serving up SQLs that your sales team can take across the finish line.

If you need assistance setting up these systems, please contact us or call 888.620.9832.

Fresh Ideas For Planning Events That Drive Traffic & Generate Leads

Senior Living Marketing Events: Fresh Ideas That Drive Leads

Editor’s note: We updated this article on 9/15/20 in an effort to talk about senior living marketing events in the time of COVID-19.

Senior living marketing events can typically go one of two ways. First, well-planned and executed events can generate qualified leads, re-engage existing leads, and create opportunities to develop new professional contacts and nurture existing relationships.

On the other hand, poorly executed events can be a big waste of time and money. Add in a pandemic, and event marketing becomes even more complex!

Don’t worry. We got you covered. Here are some fresh event ideas, most of which you can adapt in a “virtual” way. Popular options include Zoom and Facebook Live. In fact, we’ve written an in-depth post on how to effectively use Facebook Live during COVID-19…and beyond.

Senior Living Marketing Events: Show That You Are An Expert & a Resource

Educational senior living marketing events will help position you as a trusted advisor and valued resource. Below are some topics and themes to consider.

  • Author Visit. Many authors are doing virtual book tours right now. You can either host or simply promote a popular author’s upcoming virtual book tour. For in-person events, the author can speak and bring books for purchase and signing.
  • Downsizing/ Transitions. Invite real estate pros and downsizing experts. Hold a panel discussion in person or via Zoom/Facebook Live.
  • Financial Solutions Same idea as above. Your community hosts the experts in person or virtually. Think VA benefits, life insurance conversion, and long term care.
  • Legal Issues/ Financial Planning Topics. Ditto.
  • Memory Care Topics. Ditto. Think brain fitness, education, research, driving, and dementia.
  • Support Groups. Ideas include: caregiver support groups, Alzheimer’s, men’s groups, bereavement groups, etc.
  • Continuing Education Units (CEUs). Do this at your community, or bring your program to a local hospital or skilled nursing facility.

Senior Living Marketing Events: Be Social & Show Your Fun Side

Some of the senior living events below work better “in person.” But many can be adapted to a virtual environment. We’ve marked those with asterisks.

  • Art classes. *This can be a GREAT thing to do virtually. The teacher demonstrates via ZOOM, and people follow along/participate at home.
  • Fitness classes. *Same idea. The teacher conducts the fitness class via Zoom, and people can take part from home.
  • Networking. Think breakfasts, lunch, cocktail receptions, martini mixer etc.
  • Dash & Dine. Stop by for a tour or event, and take home dinner on us!
  • Spa Night. *For a virtual component, perhaps offer a virtual “series” on nail care or how to trim your own hair.
  • Brunch. Ideas include champagne, jazz, holiday, Mother/Father’s Day.
  • Senior/Senior Prom with local high school (Star Dust Prom).
  • Holiday/ Special Day Socials / BBQs. Think of all the possibilities: Valentine’s Day, Saint Patrick’s Day, Mother/ Father’s/ Grandparent’s Day, Memorial Day, July 4th, Veteran’s Day, Thanksgiving.
  • Chef demonstrations & duels and contests.  *Another great option for Facebook Live. Think of how many people love watching reality cooking shows!
  • Fashion Show. Collaborate with a local store and use staff, residents, family, or professionals as models. *Again, a version of this could be transitioned online.
  • Comedienne. Professionals need to have fun after work. *So many comics are sharing free clips right now on YouTube. Compile a bunch and share with your contacts.
  • Reading or one act play by local theater group 

Senior Living Marketing Events: Grass Roots & Community

  • Host spiritual groups. Think Parish Nurses, Stephens Ministry, Non Denominational meeting of Rabbi’s, Pastors, Priests etc.
  • Host seniors groups. Think Red Hat Society, Senior Centers & Groups.
  • Host art shows for local schools/ artists or resident art
  • Host piano recitals for local teachers if you have a piano
  • Dinner & a movie if you have a theater
  • Sponsor a community yard sale
  • Host fundraisers. More and more of these are happening online, such as virtual walks/races.
  • Sponsor a community health fair with free screenings
  • Host community group car wash
  • Host a variety/ talent show
  • Wreath/ Miniature Tree decorating – referral sources & families buy a wreath or tree and decorate it (usually with a theme) and raffle them off for charity at a social event.

Reminder, we’ve helped our clients successfully “pivot” during the pandemic.

In fact, we never missed a beat since we’re a virtual marketing agency. As a result, most of our clients didn’t either. WE CAN HELP YOU. Please don’t hesitate to reach out and take advantage of our free 30-minute brainstorming session. We can help you come up with effective senior living marketing events that will work now.

Market Better During COVID-19!

Access our free resources! Includes tips on senior living events and more. Get started here.

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How To Execute The Perfect Senior Living Grand Opening Event

Recently I was able to attend the Grand Opening of Belmont Village’s newest community in Houston Texas: Hunters Creek. I have attended many similar events and have rarely experienced the level of planning, preparation, and execution as I did at Hunter’s Creek. So what separates a good event from a memorable one?

Planning The Flow

Belmont Village set the tone for this event before attendees even entered the front door. A professional valet service and traffic control and direction kept the stream of cars moving smoothly to the entry. Additional parking had been prearranged nearby, and all of the Belmont employees parked offsite to leave all the parking spaces for their guests. Tours were available with little to no waiting, and these tours were provided by community team members, sister community support teams and most importantly, the executive team.

Using The Tour to Share Your Better & Different Story!

At the Hunter’s Creek event, there were experts stationed at key points along the tour route to speak to unique characteristics of the community and the Belmont Village brand. This allowed the Belmont team to share their “better and different story” with their visitors. Visitors were able to better understand their early stage memory care program, Circle of Friends, their philosophy and approach to secured memory care programming (including a dedicated full time Program Director), rehab capabilities and 24/7 on-site (awake!) nursing. Tour guides had notes to incorporate the unique features about the community and have answers to the most commonly asked questions.

Keep The Focus on the Senior Living Residents

The entire event was resident focused. Belmont Village does not use any stock images in any of their creative pieces, so pictures displayed throughout the community were of actual residents. The photos were beautiful and expressed life, laughter, and relationships. Residents who were Veteran’s were honored throughout the community with displays in Assisted Living, Circle of Friends and Memory Care neighborhoods. Instead of the usual corporate and political posturing that usually is the focus of these events, Patricia Will, Founder and “Mother” of Belmont Village spoke of the resident experience, lifestyle and “honoring this experience of aging.”

It’s A Party – Make It Fun!

Belmont showed off their outstanding culinary expertise with a mouth-watering spread of food that represents their commitment to healthy and delicious options. An open bar featuring a signature cocktail, attentive wait staff and plenty of seating completed the setting. Live music (classical guitars) set the stage of a sophisticated event, without overpowering conversations.

It’s a Business – Collect All The Attendee Information

The community team made sure to get complete information to begin developing their referral network. Registered guests were able to quickly pick up a nametag and unregistered guests had a separate table so all attendee information was quickly and easily collected.

event planning template

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