As we all know, Baby Boomers are changing the landscape of senior living. They and their families are making choices that involve the need for assisted living, nursing homes or independent living. So in other words, Boomers are now the driving force in creating incredible marketplace opportunities. The recent boom of senior care options (facilities & care homes) and geriatric care managers is proof of this movement.
Since 2010, the United States has had over 10,000 baby boomers hit retirement age daily. This means that by the year 2030, every single member of the Baby Boomer generation will 65 years old or older.
This exponential growth of the senior living marketplace has made those in and out of the industry take notice. It has allowed for every level of product & service in the space, to find room to grow. This means that even you and your facility (or service) are poised to take advantage of this special time.
Why Online Marketing Matters
Many people begin their search for senior services online. In fact, only 15% of people searching online search specifically for a brand name facility or location, and 75% of google searches in senior care start with generic search terms, such as “assisted living”.
Keep in mind also that searchers in the space are almost never those actually in need of the service. Family members of Boomers are the people searching, and their demo falls more squarely in the 30-50 age range.
1) Streamline Your Website
Your website is your starting point. When someone visits your site, they need to see the most important aspects of what you have to offer quickly and easily. For facilities, focus on imagery up front, definitely make shots of the best aspects of your physical space most prominent. People want to see what awaits them prior to a physical visit. They also want to know that they are doing the best they can for a loved one.
Also, align your tabs to access the most poignant info as quickly as possible. Your menu should include access to a services page to help distinguish the type of facility you operate (e.g. memory care, senior apartments, nursing home), credentials of the staff, history of your service and a fast/efficient contact page to, at the very least, allow for visitors to sign up for a call back.
If you are a geriatric care manager, (senior care consultant/patient advocate) make yourself the front page. Your site is more than a business card. Families are meeting you for the first time, so make it count. Post images of yourself on the home page, your services and, most importantly, testimonials of current and past clients.
2) List Your Business on Google Maps
It’s free and easy to list your business onto Google Maps, yet there are thousands of businesses across the country that fail to do so. All you need to do is to go to Google My Business.
Enter your information either through their form submissions system or through google maps directly. They will verify your existence by simply sending out a postcard to the address you recorded and then you send it back. Done. You are now instantly viewable to anyone who is locally searching for your specific business category on google maps. All you have to do it make sure your website is good to go.
3) List Your Business on a Senior Care Business Directory
No matter what your business does, there are a number of business directories available for you to take advantage of, but the best ones are the directories that cater to your specific industry. A national senior care directory such as SeniorCareHelper.com, often has the time to market themselves, ranks high for organic search and also already has a built-in brand identity in the space (especially on social media.)
4) Start a Blog
Even though it might seem a bit antiquated, blogging has seen a recent resurgence in usage and application. Since you are an expert in the field, churning out blog content in the space should be quick and easy. Not sure what to write about? Head over to online tools such as buzzsumo.com and start a free trial.
You can research the keywords and topics that have seen the most action and are being shared regularly. All you need to do is find what is working and then copy the approach, only do it better, with more rich content. Also you might consider keeping topics ultra-specific so you are not competing with aggregate sites that pull the most traffic with the more broad headings. Discuss how to physically move a loved one into a facility, when and how to deal with final expenses or even the step by step process of hospice care.
5) Take Advantage of Social Media
Blogging goes hand-in-hand with social media. The quickest way to build trust in any space is to develop a social media presence. It doesn’t take much time to do so and is often free or nominal in cost depending on how much content you produce. You might just include a regular blog post or tweet and that would be enough to start growing recognition. Remember, it takes about 6-8 interactions with a customer to get them to start warming up to your brand. Social media makes it easy to get those interactions started. The easiest way to manage this outreach is to first simply start accounts at the three major social media hubs (facebook, instagram and twitter).
There really is no need to expand to more than that. If you really don’t want to jump around to each one every time you have something to post, manage them all on a free social media consolidation site like hootsuite.com and get them all going from just one primary hub.
6) Google Adwords Campaign
Campaigns on google adwords are quick and easy. They are not the most affordable option considering the amount of current competition at the moment, but they are streamlined to work ultra efficiently. Develop your website and direct traffic to it using filter settings that take into account keywords, age range and display networks. Since you service a local area, you can even pinpoint the ad to show only in your specific county.
7) Manage Your Reputation
Reputation is everything. This means that it is of the utmost importance that you manage your reputation online, as a lot of people will end up doing research for expensive or lifelong purchases, and that retirement living is the most important factor of their lives at this point, so having a well-established reputation with reviews is an essential part of it. Go to brandmentions.com and take a free look, but keep in mind you must have a definitive history of posting to find any relevant data.
Managing your reputation also entails making sure your business is being respected online. Much like google maps, make sure you either register your business on yelp or claim the business already listed. Add your website, verify ownership and then make sure and follow up to all negative and positive reviews.
Special Offline Options to Consider
Those with more time and energy may want to follow up all this online work with an offline effort. Take the time to book free seminars on the topic of senior care at local churches (invaluable for Geriatric Care Managers). Leave behind contact information and gather as many emails as possible.
Open an affordable booth at a community gathering. Dispense any and all free information to those that are interested. You’ll find that putting a face to a facility without having to immediately visit one can be most helpful for those that are hesitant, but in dire need of help.
If you’ve taken the time to invest and build a legitimate business…no matter if you got a certification as a Geriatric Care Manager, you opened your home to board & care patients or opened a mainstream facility…the steps are exactly the same. You will want to invest just as much effort, time and money to make sure your outreach is done correctly. Take the time to build a reputation and make yourself the go to source not only online, but out in your community. Before you know it, you will be what all senior care resources should be…invaluable.