Prior to the pandemic, providers considered their social media and internet presences as afterthoughts. These platforms, on the other hand, have become critical to operations. COVID-19 may have ushered in a new era of senior living marketing and sales, comparable to how demand for telemedicine services increased during the outbreak and could have long-term implications for how clinical services are provided in elder care.
Nonessential employees have been denied access to communities; thus, tours have gone virtual. Senior living marketing campaigns are progressively balancing the sale of the lifestyle with the assurance of resident safety. Spending on digital campaigns is increasing, and providers are using websites and social media platforms to communicate more with current and prospective residents and collect information to produce new leads.
As a result, new problems have occurred. For example, more significant provider spending results from the increased importance of digital marketing and digital advertising agencies are beginning to charge higher charges for ad placements.
Some providers are now attempting to strike a new balance between growing digital spending and updating websites to acquire visitor data, generate leads and convert those leads into move-ins.
With only essential workers allowed inside buildings, social media platforms and websites became the go-to places for families to learn about what was going on inside and how providers dealt with the pandemic. While providers relied more heavily on digital channels to communicate with residents, family members, associates and prospects, they also adjusted their messaging in reaction to developments on the ground.
Six months ago, the senior living industry looked very different.
When the virus surged across the country, providers who took their internet presence seriously before the pandemic were able to flip their techniques and messaging immediately.
We work with our clients to integrate COVID-19 updates with tales from staff and residents as well as infographics and other imagery to show that residents are safe inside a facility and that staff is doing everything possible to encourage positive interactions throughout the day.
As the outbreak became more severe, many providers went all-in on digital, investing more resources in enhancing their websites and replacing outdated on-site experiences. Virtual interactions took the place of all on-site contacts that prospects had in the community previously.
Potential residents expect to be able to take a virtual tour or get a customized video tour, download a brochure or schedule a video conversation right on the website.
Providers are increasingly using their digital presences to collect basic information about visitors, such as which website pages they visit, how long they stay and which referral sources they use, which may be used to build basic profiles for lead generation.
We assist our clients in casting broad nets on their websites to acquire as much data as possible. Whether it’s online registration for an event, contact forms or even surveys on websites to help visitors figure out what kind of care they or a loved one requires.
Despite the increasing importance of excellent digital sales and marketing, many businesses still regard their online presence as afterthoughts. Website home pages resemble brochures, but visitors cannot obtain additional information, book visits or have phone conversations with sales representatives.
You must ensure that your website generates leads. Pay per click is an important area in which to invest right now. You’re going to lose leads if you send people to a brochure-style website.
All of these phases will require additional resources, both in terms of time and money. Because of the pandemic’s longer sales cycle, more nurturing is required to keep prospects interested and in the sales pipeline until they are ready to buy.
Moving forward, we believe automation and video will be critical. Sales teams, for example, may focus on “ready to close” leads, while marketing automation nurtures “not quite ready” leads through bespoke journeys based on each prospect’s stage, role and interests.
Interactive digital brochures can be posted on websites or sent to potential customers. Prospects can click to start movies or activate links by turning the pages. Meanwhile, video brochures mix written materials with video to bring the community experience to prospects’ homes.
Sales teams can effortlessly include video to prospects’ emails, allowing them to personalize their pitches. Some operators of senior living facilities are also embracing systems that turn still architecture and lifestyle photographs into virtual tours.
People are starting to realize that their messaging needs to be repositioned. We can’t simply bury it on a back-end internal page.