As we wrap up third quarter, now’s a good time to think about your senior living marketing strategy for the fourth quarter (as well as next year). Below, you’ll find seven mistakes to avoid as you develop your strategy.
Mistake #1. Thinking you don’t need a senior living marketing strategy in the first place.
For some things in life, you can fly by the seat of your pants. But marketing your senior living community isn’t one of them. The benefits of having a formal marketing strategy are many:
- It provides clear goals.
- It keeps everyone accountable (marketing and sales).
- It provides important insights to the C-suite.
- It will help inform future strategies based on real intelligence.
Mistake #2. Simply going through the motions of creating a strategy.
Don’t treat your marketing strategy as one more thing you need to cross off your to-do list. Your strategy should be your team’s constant companion, the blueprint everyone refers to week in and week out.
Mistake #3. Treating your strategy as if it’s set in stone.
Your senior living marketing strategy must remain fluid. The best example we could possibly offer: Consider the strategy you had going into 2020. Given the pandemic, if you had “stayed the course” with your original strategy, that would have been a big mistake. Strategies will and should change based on things like analytics and conditions on the ground.
Mistake #4. Making your strategy too vague.
On the flip side of #3, you still need to have a concrete marketing strategy—one with clear goals and specific initiatives to support those goals. If it’s too loosey goosey, it won’t serve anyone. A good way to approach developing your strategy: Focus on key areas. Think website/SEO, paid advertising, content marketing, email marketing/automation, social media marketing, and print/traditional marketing (like direct mail). Define what you’ll be doing under each, as needed.
Mistake #5. Making your strategy too long.
Planning too far out can result in unwieldy and unrealistic initiatives. Better to focus on shorter time frames. Consider creating quarterly marketing strategies or even month-to-month marketing plans, if that makes following them easier.
Mistake #6. Not revisiting the results of previous strategies before developing this one.
Think of strategies as chapters in a novel — they should all flow together, rather than function as separate books. You should always review past strategies and develop new strategies based on measurable results.
For example, is your paid advertising delivering excellent ROI? Great! You might decide to reserve more budget for pay-per-click campaigns. Are you finding you’re not gaining any traction on Twitter, but Facebook is lively? Wonderful. You might decide to downgrade (or eliminate) Twitter initiatives and make Facebook the focus of your social media strategy.
Mistake #7. Developing your strategy in a silo and/or forging ahead on your own, even if you don’t know what you’re doing.
There’s no shame in saying you’ve never created a formal senior living marketing strategy before. And there’s no shame in saying you’d like some guidance (even if you have created strategies in the past). In fact, though it might sound self-serving, we do believe working with an objective third-party on your strategy can be extremely beneficial — precisely because it will be objective. You and your team might be too close to things. Or you might not have the experience in developing a sound strategy.
Whatever you do, don’t develop the strategy by yourself. Work with team members in marketing and sales at the very least. Or do yourself a favor and reach out to us about developing a strategic marketing roadmap for your community.