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Senior Living Marketing Trends During COVID-19

Senior Living Marketing Trends During COVID-19

Senior living communities face incredible challenges in 2020. According to the CDC, residents in retirement communities are at higher risk of severe COVID-19 outcomes because of age, underlying health conditions, and living in a group setting. Senior living marketing trends during COVID-19 are especially unique due to limitations caused by the pandemic, and because communication with the public is more important than ever.

Normally, RSPR would recommend any number of special events to bring people into the community and entertain guests and residents alike. During a pandemic, however, public and non-essential group activities and events are not possible.

Retirement communities must have open communication with four groups – residents, workers, visitors, and prospects. Prove to each group that your facility is safeguarding them.

A disease outbreak is a stressful time; do residents know how to manage stress and anxiety? Do staff members feel safe? Do visitors know what protective measures are being taken?

Senior living marketing trends during COVID-19 center around getting the word out to your prospects and everyone in your area that yours is a safe, responsible, and caring community. Marketing is crucial not just for increasing resident occupancy but also for attracting skilled staff.

There are several ways to communicate with the public and what your facility is doing.

First, we recommend getting in the habit of creating regular video messages from facility management, staff, residents, and resident family members. Choose a different topic for each video, such as:

  • How to deal with pandemic anxiety.
  • The advantages of living in your community during this pandemic.
  • How visitation works at your facility during COVID-19.
  • How you are protecting workers (bonus if staff speaks in the video).
  • How you are protecting residents.
  • COVID-19 myths.
  • How your facility manages testing.
  • What proactive plan do you have if the pandemic spreads in your facility?
  • New availability and pricing.
  • The ways that senior living facilities differ from each other.
  • A message from a resident family member on why they recommend your facility.

Keep the videos friendly and reflecting your brand. They could have a theme, such as morning “coffee talks” that show off a nice sitting area in your facility.

Ways to use your video messages:

  • Include them in press releases emailed to local newspapers, online news sites, radio, and TV stations. Follow up with the media to offer interviews.
  • Post the videos to your website.
  • Post them to social media including YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
  • The scripts used in the videos can also be used as text blog posts on the website and shared.

Taking advantage of live video streaming, such as Facebook Live and YouTube Live, could go a long way toward changing people’s perception of your community.

Are you regularly posting to social media, at least a few times a week? Social media helps establish the “personality” of your community, and especially now it is an easy and open way to communicate with the public.

Digital advertised can be customized to your precise target audience and your budget. Google Ads and social media advertising are excellent ways to ensure people who could benefit from your services are connected to you.

With highly customized mailing lists, direct mail remains an effective marketing tool. Develop a marketing piece that answers all the questions and fears raised by the pandemic, and mail it to the neighborhoods and demographics you choose. You may want to include a custom URL to track some of the website visits that result from the mailing (note that many people will still use Google rather than typing the URL).

Now more than ever, your website needs to be a showpiece to sell your services. Having high quality pictures, written details, and a 360-degree virtual tour would help make up for a lack of in-person tours. Make sure you are search engine optimized, and have a blog and use it!

This is a difficult, heartbreaking time for so many people, and an uncertain time for the industry. Even if your facility has suspended new residency, you’ll still want to continue compassionate and safe sales measures for the future of your community. As always, RSPR is here to help with experience and knowledge of effective senior living marketing trends during COVID-19.