The senior living industry is in growth mode. Much of that has to do with an aging population living longer. The market had a value of $87.4 billion in 2021. Experts project it will grow at a 5.6% CAGR (compound annual growth rate). While the pandemic caused some challenges for the industry, the current outlook appears strong for recovery, which means senior living advertising will be critical for attracting new residents.
So, what strategies should you consider when targeting senior living organizations? Check out these tips to ensure your pitch is relevant and in line with their objectives.
When approaching a senior living facility about advertising, you are unlikely to get granular details from them on their vacancies. However, knowing this will be beneficial in the recommendations you make. To calculate capacity, use old-school and contemporary strategies.
First, you need to determine how many rooms they have. Some might share this on their website. If not, you can literally count the windows and balconies to come up with an estimate. Next, visit the website and look for newsletters, which often have member information like those celebrating birthdays. An average might be five birthdays per month. Multiply that by 12, and you get 60.
If you found through your analysis that there are 84 rooms and an estimated 60 residents, that’s a 71% occupancy. There are 24 empty rooms that aren’t generating revenue. Knowing this basic information provides an almost insider perspective that didn’t take long to figure out. You now have the edge over other sellers because you took the time to do the math. Based on the capacity, you’ll be able to suggest the proper level of aggressiveness in advertising.
Engaging the Right Audiences
Seniors themselves aren’t the only audience facilities need to engage. Adult children often help make the decision. What’s important to each group is somewhat different. After all, one group will be living in the community, while the other may prioritize the place’s safety. The latter group will likely put more emphasis on reviews and testimonials. Residents may care more about amenities, furnishings, activities and more.
They can address both groups in ads or create parallel campaigns that are more targeted. Finding the right audience has a lot to do with the channel you use. For example, the over-55 demographic listens to local radio much more than those under 40. Depending on their age, adult children decision-makers may be more inclined to search for facilities on Google or seek out options on social media.
However, keep in mind that older doesn’t mean technically challenged. Most seniors have smartphones. The share of those over 65 with a smartphone rose to 61% in 2021, and 83% of those aged 50 to 64 own one. Your customer can reach these demographics with digital advertising just as much as linear ad spots.
In presenting ideas to capture the attention of both seniors and their children, propose multiple channels, and tell them why it’s the best way to connect with audiences.
Ad Content Matters: Visuals and Stories Work Best
With senior living advertising, the content will greatly influence engagement. Bright and vivid imagery will offer a peek inside the rooms and facility. These are factors in decision-making, so they are a great place to start. Video will hold attention even longer than still images, so recommend that.
Second, it’s all about storytelling. Current residents make great spokespeople to talk about their experiences and why they feel like the community is their home. Their words will be influential in convincing others to check out the facility.
If you can sprinkle in positive reviews, awards or recognitions received, that will help the customer build more trust with future residents.
Long-Term Campaigns Are Critical for the Lengthy Decision Process
The decision to move to a senior living community is not one made quickly. According to data, 40% of people take three to six months to decide. That’s the short side, with 47% searching for two years. Another data point to note regarding the sales cycle is that conversion usually requires 25 touchpoints across many channels.
With these stats to support your pitch, you’ll be able to explain why an integrated campaign is critical. It should encompass multiple digital initiatives and linear, and these tactics shouldn’t be short-term. Even after the advertiser acquires the resident as a lead, they’ll still need to nurture that with email marketing or mobile messaging, which you can facilitate.
Senior Living Advertising Beyond Resident Acquisition: Recruitment Needs
The field, like many others in health care, is facing staffing challenges. Recent data indicates that 45% of these providers reported shortages. Those surveyed said turnover and temp staff usage increased. For senior living facilities to add new residents, they need the staff to care for them. As such, you should be talking to them about their recruitment goals and how your advertising portfolio can assist them.
Recruitment advertising can include digital display ads, SEM (search engine marketing), social media ads, and OTA ads for broadcast radio and TV.
Senior Living Advertising: Pitch Tactics Based on Research, Audiences, Buying Cycles and Needs
Following these tips can set you apart when you prospect senior living facilities. It demonstrates your value as more than just a seller. You’re coming to the table with industry knowledge and custom strategies, which boosts your probability of winning!
Get more inspiration on senior living advertising by browsing our selection of creative examples.