Digital Marketing Strategies in the Senior Housing Industry: New Ways to Reach Prospective Residents

Photo by Jono Erasmus on Shutterstock
Photo by Jono Erasmus on Shutterstock

By Beth Burnham Mace, Chief Economist and Director of Research & Analytics, NIC, and Lana Peck, Senior Principal, NIC

A billboard won’t get you very far in engaging today’s senior housing consumers. Unlike traditional marketing, which has been a one-way conversation in terms of advertising to motivate a group of potential customers, digital marketing – a relatively new concept – fosters direct interaction between a senior housing operator and an older adult or their children, allowing for dynamic, tailored, and targeted communication to individual future customers.

Digital marketing is the process of creating and communicating offerings that have value for customers using the internet and online-based digital technologies to increase sales or promote awareness for a company’s products and services. Within the last decade, personal electronic devices such as laptops, tablets, and smartphones have revolutionized how people interact with each other and with businesses, and have even become prevalent with the least likely demographic: seniors. 

Understanding the Senior Housing Audience 

Senior housing providers have long relied on traditional marketing and advertising to communicate to older adults and their family members. Tactics such as paid advertising in newspapers, printed brochures, and flyers provided to community organizations such as churches and senior centers, ads in the yellow pages, and open houses were all effective ways to reach the senior living audience. However, in recent years, older adults (persons aged 65 or older) have become increasingly tech-savvy. 

Recent Pew Research Center surveys found that internet and smartphone use among the cohort 65 years of age and older has grown significantly. In the early 2000s, fewer than one in five seniors used the internet. Now, three-quarters do. Reflecting growing confidence in their ability to use digital technology, three-quarters of older adults go online every day. With their widespread adoption of smartphones and tablets, older adults interact with their family and friends online, read online reviews before making purchase decisions, research products and services in real-time, and often make purchases online. 

In addition to marketing to prospective residents, the senior housing industry finds that adult children of seniors are an especially important target market since they often have input in deciding where their parents live. This significant influencer is typically the oldest daughter, aged 45-64. Seniors and their adult children have accepted online platforms that younger age cohorts have historically embraced. 

With increased online presence and interactive websites, senior housing providers now push and pull information to maximize reach to their target audience. Through digital marketing, senior living communities can offer potential customers a lot more information than in the past. This was further accelerated during the pandemic when open houses and on-site tours were halted for safety reasons, prompting rapid growth in the use of virtual technologies and content marketing to connect senior housing operators with prospective residents and their family members. Before the pandemic, many communities relied on advertising that pushed people to their digital content, offering picture galleries (and less commonly rental rates) on their websites, similar to a digital brochure. The pandemic boosted interactive communication platforms such as Zoom for nurturing existing leads and educating new prospects through virtual open house tours and video sales seminars. 

Gone are the days of only pushing customers to communities through newsprint, glossy magazine pages, radio jingles, daytime TV advertising, and the yellow pages. Senior housing sales offices have not been replaced, but rather augmented by websites to activate prospects. It can be as straightforward and relatively simple as email and website advertising as well as blogging educational content or quickly gain in complexity with search engine optimization (SEO), content marketing, and conversion rate optimization (CRO). 

What Makes Senior Housing Special?

Besides housing, including providing both shelter and amenities, senior housing, and care properties offer residents a range of services:

  • Hospitality services: meals, transportation, housekeeping, entertainment, and concierge services
  • Care services: assistance with bathing, grooming, dressing, eating, medication management, and other activities of daily living (ADLs)
  • Medical services: skilled nursing, rehab therapy, and chronic care

The combination of care and medical services at each property varies according to residents’ needs. Typically, independent living serves the ablest residents and primarily offers hospitality services. On the other hand, nursing care serves residents with the greatest care needs by providing the most intensive services. 

For a commercial real estate category as diverse as senior housing with various levels of care in an assortment of living settings, digital marketers must pick and choose the components needed at different points in the marketing process that funnels prospects to become leads and then into residents. The senior housing marketing process can be years long. While the funnel may begin with younger retirees (starting around age 65 as a general rule of thumb), residents often enter senior housing over the age of 80 – after an adverse health or life event. An individual may have very different desires and needs at different points in the funnel.

Senior living marketers’ primary goals are increasing brand awareness, lead generation, and, ultimately, sales. According to a 2016 benchmark survey on digital marketing trends in senior living, commissioned by LeadingAge and the American Seniors Housing Association (ASHA), senior housing marketers reported that website and search engine marketing are highly effective messaging conduits. After performing their initial search engine queries, prospective customers will dive deeper into website content to learn about a community’s services and amenities, dining, healthcare, and wellness offerings, as well as review residence floor plans, and increasingly, pricing. Additionally, the use of video marketing provides a powerful and personable way of engaging prospects to promote a property’s unique features. At its most basic, a high-quality website can generate senior housing leads by offering downloadable content that is relevant and shows what life is like in the community. 

Marketing Housing to Older Adults Can Be Tricky

When marketing to the senior housing audience, it is essential to develop advertising and messaging content that complies with HUD’s Fair Housing Act which includes the Housing for Older Persons Act (HOPA). Senior housing communities advertising on social media have access to tools that allow them to customize their ads based on user-provided information such as gender and location. Companies such as Facebook have published guidelines for allowable content. 

Additionally, the customer and product are complex. Senior housing marketing and sales teams must build personal relationships with the customer and meet them where they are in terms of housing, health, wellness, support with daily activities of living, spirituality, and socialization. The product is often considered the last household move one makes in life making it an emotional decision. Often the customers are vulnerable, having experienced a triggering event like the death of a spouse or health incident that drives them to the community’s doorstep. Family members need to be educated. Health and financial considerations are additional sensitivities to navigate. 

For these reasons and more, senior housing sales and marketing teams need to work in tandem. Marketing messaging should align with sales activities to make the experience a smooth and rewarding process for the customer and to be effective in building a sales pipeline for the senior living property.

  • Hospitality and healthcare are combined. Unlike the hospitality industry, an intake review must also take place with the potential new resident to ensure that the property can properly accommodate their needs. Notably, unlike the multifamily and hospitality sectors, websites in senior housing typically do not list rates, making it challenging to shop by price for a potential property. Also, unlike the multifamily or hospitality sectors, the move to senior housing is typically made only once or twice, making the decision tree more complex than that for apartments and hotels.
  • Language is important. Senior housing marketers should use vernacular that the general public uses. Identifying common keywords that prospects would use aids in search engine optimization. For example, consumers may search “nursing home” or “old-age home” rather than “skilled nursing facility” or “nursing care.”
  • Content must be relevant, fed by localized search terms. With senior housing, a challenge is figuring out what content attracts people for what purpose. Keyword research, using tools such as SEM Rush or Moz can help identify common searches by which to write and optimize content that will appeal to prospective residents throughout their buyer journey.

Digital Marketing in Senior Housing is Evolving

According to an AARP survey published in 2020, three-quarters of adults ages 50 and older use social media regularly. Reliance on online reviews like Yelp and Google has become prevalent in all aspects of consumer decision-making. Reputation management is increasingly viewed as an essential component of senior housing’s digital marketing strategy. Most engage a third-party provider, but many use a reputation management platform to help them respond to online reviews and comments and mine prospect information. 

With growing sophistication, marketers can combine Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and marketing automation tools to consolidate prospect generation and lead retention activities. Digital marketing strategies provide greater access to more people than traditional advertising/marketing media. As a result, sales teams are getting more leads than ever before. They often get so many leads that their attention has turned to vetting them for qualification. Marketing automation and AI virtual marketing assistants can help marketing teams big and small hone in on qualifying leads. Marketing automation tools also aid in the (digital) distribution of informational blogs and their promotion via email and social media to entice prospects to view a community’s website. Once a prospect has visited the website, marketing automation can schedule and deploy follow-up emails at specified times and intervals and serve up re-marketing advertisements that follow prospects on unrelated websites.

Marketing and sales teams will increasingly find it necessary to work together strategically to generate messaging that supports the sales process to mitigate rising costs of operations and shrinking budgets. Using multiple digital platforms and data mining tools, they can share buyer behavior data with greater ease and efficiency.

Senior housing has slowly embraced digital sales and marketing activities over the past decade and a half, on pace with the adoption of personal internet technologies by older adults. Senior housing is a highly local business. Geo-targeting is being increasingly used by marketers to deliver location-specific advertisements to neighborhood prospects. Highly targeted marketing messages can be customized to individuals and groups using Google Ads, Facebook, and Twitter.

Marketing senior housing to older adults has always been about nurturing connections and building rapport. Going forward, the industry will be more flexible and adaptable in implementing digital marketing practices that were employed with growing success prior to the pandemic and evolved quickly out of necessity during the pandemic. The industry will continue to use digital tools to develop one-on-one solid consumer relationships established through marketing automation activities, online reputation management, and CRM integration for better customer engagement and increased marketing and sales opportunities.


PDF Version Available Here


59 comments

  1. The Amazon SAP-C02 is one of the most popular certifications available for those wishing to demonstrate their knowledge and skills in the area of Amazon Web Services (AWS). The exam is designed to test an applicant’s understanding of the core concepts and services offered by AWS, as well as the ability to use them to solve real-world business problems. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the common questions you can expect to be asked when taking the Amazon SAP-C02 exam. By understanding the types of questions you may be asked, you can better prepare yourself for success on the day of the test.

    Visit Page: https://www.exactinside.com/SAP-C02-exactdumps.html

  2. These ways until 2023 I think will still be very effective when applied. As far as I know, the current home buying trend of buyers prefers to design a professional gaming room so that their children can comfortably play healthy games such as basketball stars and other games aimed at becoming a pro gamer.

  3. Digital Marketing Strategies have become increasingly important in the senior housing industry for reaching prospective residents. With the proliferation of social media, email, and internet searches, there are new ways to advertise senior housing facilities and services. Digital Marketing includes website optimization, email marketing, social media advertising, and more. Mobile apps also play a crucial role in reaching potential residents and utilizing the Best Sms Forwarding App Android 2023 has to offer can help senior housing communities stay connected with seniors and their caregivers. By staying up to date on the latest digital marketing trends, senior housing communities can effectively target potential residents and provide all the information they need to make an informed decision.

  4. Digital marketing tactics that efficiently target and engage older individuals and their families can be quite beneficial for the senior home sector. The following are some fresh and successful digital marketing techniques for the senior housing sector:

    – Improve your website’s search engine visibility (SEO) by optimising it for pertinent keywords like “senior housing,” “retirement communities,” or “assisted living.” Create educational and entertaining material for your target audience, such as blog entries, articles, and videos, that offers them useful information.

    – Local Listings and Directories: Ensure that your senior home facility is listed in regional web directories, including senior housing-specific directories, Yelp, Google My Business, and others. Add accurate and current information to these ads, such as contact information, an address, and pictures.

    – Create and distribute high-quality content that speaks to the wants, requirements, and interests of your target market. Make blog entries, videos, and how-to manuals on subjects like social activities, healthy ageing, retirement planning, and senior care. By putting your senior home facility in the position of an industry authority, you can gain the audience’s respect and credibility.

    Hire top talent from https://www.assistedlivingmarketingagency.com/

  5. I haven’t come across such an interesting blog so far.

    Whether crafting engaging social media posts, persuasive email campaigns, or SEO-optimized website content, skilled copywriting helps businesses stand out in the digital landscape, fostering lasting connections and boosting conversion rates.

    If you are a beginner, striving with passion to succeed in this evolving field, then you must read this blog: https://yourbrandwizard.com/top-7-beginner-tips-for-copywriting/

  6. Prefabrik ev nedir? Prefabrik ev, önceden üretilmiş parçaların bir araya getirilmesiyle oluşturulan, taşınabilir ve ekonomik bir konut çeşididir. Prefabrik evler, genellikle ahşap, metal veya beton malzemelerden yapılır ve farklı tasarım ve boyutlarda olabilir. Prefabrik evlerin avantajları arasında, hızlı ve kolay kurulum, düşük maliyet, çevre dostu olması ve depreme dayanıklı olması sayılabilir. Prefabrik evlerin dezavantajları ise, izolasyonun yetersiz olması, estetik açıdan sınırlı seçenekler sunması ve arazi sahibi olmadan prefabrik ev kurmanın zor olmasıdır. Prefabrik ev almak isteyenler, öncelikle ihtiyaçlarına uygun bir model seçmeli, arsa durumunu ve ruhsat işlemlerini kontrol etmeli ve güvenilir bir firma ile anlaşmalıdır.

  7. This blog post contains important information about the topic and is useful for readers. I appreciate the author’s research and sharing. You can share your opinions by leaving a comment under the blog post. Çorlu Web

  8. มีให้ท่านเลือกการเดิมครบทุกรูปแบบ หวย สล็อต คาสิโน สล็อต evo เสือมังกร รูเร็ท ยิงปลา

  9. รวบรวมไว้ให้ท่านแล้วที่นี่ที่นี้ที่เดียว slotpgเว็บตรง สำหรับท่านที่ชอบเดิมพันเท่านั้น

  10. This PNG image resizer tool is more than just a convenience; it’s a game-changer. With its intuitive interface and powerful capabilities, it empowers you to effortlessly modify the dimensions of your PNG images by changing width and height while preserving their original transparency. Whether you’re looking to optimize a single image or in bulk process a collection, this tool has got you covered. We are confident that once you experience the remarkable outcomes achieved with this tool, you will be genuinely impressed. Don’t take our word for it; take a moment to witness the impressive transformations for yourself – simply cast your eyes below the png image, and you’ll see how this tool can elevate your online visual content to a whole new level of excellence.

  11. as you said asghar above comment to resize png image here we will thoroughly delve into the intricate world ofPNG image resizing , providing you with comprehensive insights on how to seamlessly achieve this task with the assistance of a remarkably user-friendly online free tool. And when it comes to this tool, allow us to introduce you to an exceptional resource that not only simplifies the resizing process but also guarantees truly outstanding results by changing width and height of png images without losing original quality.

  12. Increase Image Size in KB! fast and free you have come to the right place for effortlessly increasing JPEG or PNG images kb size while retaining its quality and pixels online without any cost. As you know, there are many instances when you have to scale up your photo’s kb size without altering pixels or quality. It makes it easy for one to Increase Image kb size without compromising on image quality whether you are a professional graphic designer, an operator of a website, social media enthusiast, among others. It comes with a friendly interface, different format options, as well as customizable features which makes it suitable for many purposes

Post Your Comment