If you’re in the senior living industry, we know you’re going through a lot of changes right now. It might be tough to be proactive when you’re simply struggling to keep up.
You may also find that your hot leads, new leads and waitlist members are now hesitating - and people aren’t scheduling tours. And with fluctuations in the housing market and economic concerns, filling your pipeline for the future might be more difficult. So what should you do?
First of all, marketing in the senior living industry will have its own set of challenges, but now is not the time to stop. When a recession looms, this is the absolute worst time to dis-invest in marketing and sales. What happens when leads and waitlist members stop hearing from you? They forget about you.
Here are four ways you can engage your audiences right now, plus tips on how to evaluate your current marketing and sales strategy.
How to Engage Senior Living Prospects During a Recession
If someone showed a lot of interest in your community before, chances are they’re still interested - but might have a lot on their mind. Help them understand why your senior living community is still a good financial investment.
Create educational material like a webinar to engage them and let them know future planning is a good idea. Consider offering incentives for attending.
In-person tours may be out, but think about how you could conduct a virtual tour through video calling apps.
Don’t leave new leads hanging. Provide them with engaging and helpful content - about your community as well as general information and resources.
You might also want to send them fun tips or things to do. Show that you’re a community that cares for them both now and if they choose to move. Personalized emails and interactive social media posts are good ideas.
These people have already made a commitment, and you want to keep that momentum going. Take steps to increase your bond. Remind them of your core values and brand promises - these are reasons they chose you.
One-on-one calls and personalized emails can make a big difference here. Make the next steps as easy as possible for this group - for example, with online deposits.
Position your community as a strong and capable organization, but be genuine. Get creative with online events, videos, social posts, and even traditional marketing right now to reach this audience.
What Should You Update Right Now?
Make sure your messaging and content - across all channels - is appropriate and accurate to the current situation. Use the checklist below to see what content you should audit to ensure it’s up-to-date - even if it’s considered “evergreen".
Why is this important? Here’s one example from my experience.
I signed up for a webinar in early March, and the live presentation was right as the pandemic began to take shape in the U.S.
Following the presentation, I began to receive lead nurturing emails that were clearly written before the pandemic began and hadn’t been adjusted since. As a result, the subject lines came off as irritating and tone-deaf when I saw them in my inbox. They were going for quirky, over-the-top humor that probably would have been charming in normal times - but which was exactly the opposite of how everyone was feeling at that moment.
I wondered why they hadn’t thought to tone them down a little in light of the current situation. And they’d missed an opportunity to meet an audience where they were and engage them more fully. I unsubscribed shortly after.
All that said, don’t let your marketing tactics follow the same path. Make sure to check these areas to ensure your marketing presence isn’t falling flat right now. Tone, content, and imagery are all things to consider.
- Event calendars and signup forms.
- On-campus visit pages.
- Landing pages.
- Whitepaper landing pages.
- Social media content.
- Emails - both individual and lead nurturing.
- Overall website.
If something seems off or doesn’t make sense with your current strategy, change it.
Follow These Guidelines For Any Audience
“People will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” - Maya Angelou
If there’s a positive note to the state of the world right now, it’s that every business is grappling with it. So, don’t worry about perfection.
Instead, focus on these guiding principles to help shape your marketing, sales and communication efforts during this time.
- Tell the truth. Now more than ever, make sure the information you’re sharing is complete, accurate and grounded in facts. Always source health information from sources like the WHO, CDC, or your state or local health department. You can also get the Associated Press guidelines for discussing COVID-19-related terms here.
- Be agile. Now is not the time to plan specific tactics months in advance. Think about what your prospects and customers need right now and plan accordingly.
The economic and global health situations are changing so quickly that you want to be able to respond accordingly. Better a quick, imperfect solution than one that takes months to roll out and becomes obsolete.
- Don’t just talk about yourself. Like I said above, you don’t need to stop your marketing and promotional efforts. You do need to shift them so the tone and messaging make sense right now. Be human.
Read the email, blog or social post you’re considering and ask yourself, “Is this what people want to read right now?” If you have even a little bit of a gut feeling that now is not the time, save it for later.
Above all, strive to be a helpful voice during this time, and show your prospects and new leads that you genuinely care about them both now and in the future.
More Strategies to Recession-Proof Your Business
Find actionable strategies and tactics you can use to keep your business healthy during any economic climate. Read our guide to recession-proofing your business and get the tips you need to make a difference at your business today.