Retirement Community Marketing 101

August 2, 2021

7 mins

Senior living communities are booming across the United States, and it’s not just Boomers who are paying attention. As residential communities for older adults grow in both popularity and demand, senior living marketing is becoming more competitive.

As more members of the “Baby Boomer” generation move into retirement, they’re looking for housing opportunities with varying degrees of amenities and services. But there are two important things to keep in mind when marketing to older adults:

Older adults in 2021 are not your stereotypical senior citizens and they won’t be making housing decisions alone.

Marketing to seniors is a unique niche that requires a multi-channel approach. When it comes to marketing assisted living and retirement communities, it’s important to remember that your target audience includes both potential residents and their adult children.

In this post, we will break down our best advice for marketing to seniors and share examples of senior living and retirement community marketing ideas that can help you generate leads and increase sales.

Here are Five Ways to Boost Your Senior Living Marketing Strategy

1. Make Sure Your Website Works Perfectly on Mobile Devices

You have probably invested a lot of time and money into creating the perfect website for your assisted living or retirement community, but are you paying close attention to how your website works on tablets and smartphones?

Consider this: the majority of seniors who are looking for a new place to live are probably not firing up their desktop computers to do the research. Just like younger generations, seniors are using mobile devices and tablets for online research and checking social media. So be sure that your website is user-friendly and easy to navigate on smaller screens.

One of our clients, Menno Haven, is a retirement community in South Central PA leveraging a variety of marketing tools and tactics to advertise their business. With prime audiences ranging from ages 40 and up, Menno Haven is serious about educating potential clients and offering clear ways to get more information.

Our website designers partnered with the leaders of Menno Haven to create a beautiful, mobile-friendly, and lead-generating website that showcases the world-class senior living experience they offer residents while providing clear pathways to get more information about amenities and services.

2. Use High-Quality Visuals to Provide Context

Professional images are essential to senior living marketing. Potential residents and their families are eager to see videos and pictures depicting community life in a relatable way. We would not recommend being too abstract with graphics or design, rather, show real-life examples of what it’s like to live in your retirement community.

Brand videos are a great marketing tactic to accomplish this. You’re able to showcase so much more with video and which will further qualify potential leads who like what they see and elect to schedule a tour. Showcasing customer testimonial videos on your website and through social media channels is also an effective way to build trust and establish confidence in your brand with your target audience.

Our in-house video production team worked with Menno Haven to develop story-driven videos their audience could relate to that were then repurposed across marketing channels, such as targeted social media campaigns to highlight open houses and community events. Menno Haven also used our professional photography services to further communicate the value they offer through visual elements.

3. Share Educational Content on Social Media

Content marketing is an effective way to generate leads and market your assisted living or retirement community. Keyword-rich blog posts can help boost organic SEO traffic, social media content can be created that links back to your website, and infographics can underscore your message with compelling visuals that make complex information easier to remember.

When considering social media options for your retirement community, don’t forget about YouTube. Educational and how-to videos present a fantastic content marketing opportunity for retirement communities.

The number of seniors using YouTube is continuing to rise. For a relatively small investment, you can purchase video equipment to create video content or your own or you can work with a professional team (like ours!) to help you film and edit videos for YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram.

If you need help coming up with ideas, think through the specific personas you want to reach with your message and come up with a list of questions they may have about your services and amenities. Then create a variety of content that answers those questions with a clear call-to-action in each piece of content.

Content marketing ideas for senior and assisted living communities could include:

  • How to evaluate retirement communities
  • How to know which services and amenities are needed
  • How to plan for the transition e.g. how to downsize, how to budget, etc.
  • How to talk with loved ones about the transition

Another helpful way to educate potential customers is using an explainer video to showcase the process of selecting your community. We created this explainer video for Menno Haven to describe the process and services they offer to their clients.

4. Be Strategic about Paid Advertising

Content marketing is helpful for generating organic traffic to your website but it often takes several months to see results. A quicker option would be to make use of paid advertising opportunities with Google Ads and through social media advertising.

In both cases, you are able to target specific audiences and keywords to help boost traffic to your website. If you do decide to go this route, be sure to use a landing page as a part of your advertising campaign. Landing pages are stand-alone pages on your website that are designed to move leads from advertising campaigns into your sales funnel.

If you invest in online advertising and only send traffic to your homepage, you may lose the leads you’re attracting with your ad. Create a specific landing page tailored to the audience you are targeting with a clear call to action to help move these new leads into your sales funnel.

If you’re just getting started with online advertising, check out our blog post on the benefits of pay-per-click advertising, or give us a call to schedule a meeting to learn more.

5. Create an Excellent User Experience for Your Existing Customers

As you plan your marketing strategy, don’t forget to continue marketing to your existing residents. It’s important to create great user experiences for the people already living within your community. As you continue to delight your customers, they will become brand ambassadors for your organization and bring in more leads through referrals.

A unique way to create a great user experience for your retirement community residents is to create a community intranet. Intranets are private websites that serve as a central repository for announcements, forms, staff information, residential directories, and other documents that your community members need to access on a regular basis. This is one way to make it easy for existing clients to keep doing business with you so that they will rave about their experience to their friends.

(Read More: Intranet Design Examples and Tips to Improve Your Internal Communications)

Need Help Marketing to Seniors?

Senior living marketing requires a unique approach and you need a digital marketing agency with experience working in this field. If you have questions about how to market to seniors, how to create a website for assisted living communities, or have any senior living marketing needs, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our team.

We would love to help you think through all the elements of a lead-generating senior living marketing campaign that leverages multiple channels to raise brand awareness and increase your occupancy.

Cross & Crown

About Cross & Crown

Cross & Crown is a team of creatives who are passionate about solving problems through design and technology, taking what is there and making it better. Based in Chambersburg, PA, we strive to help educate, advocate, and thrive in a digital world.

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