The senior living industry sees varying trends in consumer behavior throughout the year. Each quarter introduces new priorities and considerations for seniors and family caregivers, and the best senior care marketing strategies are mindfully adjusted to embrace these changes. In Q4, it can be tempting to let marketing efforts dwindle “until the new year.” But this quarter presents unique opportunities to increase leads, tours, and move-ins.
Why Year End Marketing Is Important (and Challenges You Might Face)
Before we explore the best strategies for marketing in Q4, it’s important to acknowledge why they’re so vital. In any field, effective marketing allows businesses to stand out from the competition and ensures consumers feel confident about spending their money on a product or service. Effective marketing can make or break your success in an industry like senior living, where a person’s health and well-being are on the line.
However, marketing can introduce a range of challenges and frustrations for senior living providers. Competition in the industry is rife, and modern innovations are making aging in place a more viable option for seniors than ever before and an attractive option during the holidays. Your marketing must convey how and why your community remains a better choice while tackling misconceptions that can make seniors resistant to residential care.
Multiple parties are also typically involved in decisions about senior care, including seniors themselves, adult children, other family caregivers, and medical professionals. Stretched marketing budgets often make it difficult for senior living providers to appeal to each stakeholder on a large enough scale. Doing adequate research and ensuring your efforts and funds are channeled into the most effective marketing campaigns is vital.
When the time comes to explore assisted living options, seniors and family caregivers may be facing several challenges and experiencing heightened emotions. A successful senior living marketing strategy will put empathy and education first. Ultimately, it will provide clear guidance on everything from finances to the specific needs your community can meet, while s for assisted living may spike slightly after the holidays or come in from a wider geographical area (from relatives who have visited a senior from out of town).
As a senior living organization, you too may be under greater pressure during Q4; caring for residents and organizing seasonal events while continuing to build relationships and conduct tours for prospective residents and families can be time-consuming. With hours scarce and families ready to move their loved ones to the right community as soon as possible, Q4 is the ideal time to focus on simple, targeted, and immediately effective methods of lead generation. The following strategies will help you tackle these challenges, bringing 2023 to a close and giving your community a head start in the new year.
*Top Tip: Hone Your Website
Prepare for a potential spike in senior living searches by ensuring your website is in excellent working order. Check your site’s functionality, user-friendliness, and SEO, and provide a quick and simple contact form to help convert website visitors into inquiries.simultaneously communicating your trustworthiness, care, and expertise.
How Does the Time of Year Affect Behaviors Around Senior Care?
The focus of seniors and family caregivers undoubtedly shifts throughout the year. For example, during the first quarter, families who visited a senior loved one over the holidays may start searching for assisted living, realizing their relative needs additional support. As a result, ensuring your website is attractive, functional, and factually correct could be more crucial than ever at this time. Conversely, in the summer months, families who have toured and settled on a community during the first quarter might step back to focus on selling their loved one’s home. This is the ideal time to slow down and thoroughly review your marketing plan before the busy holiday season.
Opportunities and Challenges in Q4
The year’s final quarter presents ample opportunities to be proactive with your senior living marketing. The pressures of winter and an uptick in family social events can highlight critical challenges seniors face, leading to family caregivers urgently seeking additional support for their loved ones. As a result, web searche
Plan a Marketing Blitz
A blitz is an intense, short, and focused marketing campaign. An effective blitz creates a sense of urgency within a specific demographic, often using multiple strategies like direct mail, online ad campaigns, video content, or social media marketing. The content is typically highly focused, centering around a key issue a specific group of people face.
In the winter months, when families often start to notice changes in their loved one’s health, this type of marketing could be particularly impactful. As a senior living provider, you may run a blitz highlighting how your community helps seniors overcome common winter challenges. For example, you could focus on your community’s ability to eliminate the need for home maintenance, improve access to transportation, or reduce loneliness over the holidays.
Using Facebook ad campaigns as part of your blitz can be highly effective, offering many benefits. These campaigns are relatively cost-efficient and have the potential to reach a vast audience in a short period when compared to other methods. Facebook ad campaigns can also be targeted and shown to a specific audience. This means you can conveniently tailor your ads to reach the demographic at the heart of your blitz.
Nurture Referral Sources
Current Resident and Family Member Referrals
When looking for quick and easy ways to market your community in Q4, current residents and family caregivers can be your greatest asset. As the people affected directly by your care, they’re a trustworthy and reliable source for prospective residents to turn to. If you’re short on time before the holidays, one of the best things you can do is to continue providing excellent care to boost current resident referrals.
The holidays are all about goodwill and nurturing relationships. Therefore, Q4 is the perfect time to build trust and personally connect with seniors and family caregivers. For example, you might send personalized holiday messages or host seasonal events to organically connect with existing and prospective residents. This can help you build a close-knit community for residents, families, and staff, and it may also increase your chances of gaining necessary referrals from current residents.
Regardless of the time of year, professional referral sources can be one of your greatest assets as a senior living community. Many senior living organizations have referral partners ranging from medical professionals like hospitals, physicians, and physical therapists to community settings like places of worship and senior centers. Marketing to existing or potential new referral partners should always be personalized, conveying how your missions align and what you can do to support their patients or members.
In Q4, your referral partner marketing may focus on their patient’s or member’s challenges during winter or the holidays. For example, a physical therapist might have elderly patients concerned about mobility in poor weather conditions. A physician may speak to patients worried about winter flu, COVID-19, or isolation, and community centers or places of worship might serve seniors who struggle with loneliness during the holidays. When marketing to referral partners, emphasize how you can help with these issues and how this will benefit both seniors and the referral partner.
Harness the Holidays
The holidays are associated with various positive feelings essential in senior care: love, warmth, togetherness, cheer, and joy. Why not host a holiday-themed event for prospective residents, family caregivers, or the local community? Create a loving, cozy feel with seasonal decorations, warm lighting, and festive treats while offering tours. You can also share holiday-themed images on social media platforms that showcase residents and staff hanging decorations, wearing festive costumes or enjoying parties, activities, and events. Personalized messages are an excellent tool in senior living marketing, too. Q4 presents an opportunity to reach out to leads with tailored holiday greetings and a reminder of your community’s unique benefits.
Offering a holiday promotion can also be an excellent incentive for speeding up the move-in process. In an industry where the sales cycle is typically long, this can be a valuable way to see quicker results from your marketing investments. Pairing a promotion with a marketing blitz can evoke a sense of urgency, and when used together, you could see even more rapid results. As we’ve discussed, many families notice changes in their loved one’s health during winter. This makes Q4 the ideal season to offer a time-limited incentive in keeping with the generous spirit of the holidays.
Marketing in Q4: A Summary
- Perfect your website to encourage inquiries.
- Plan a marketing blitz that creates an increased sense of urgency.
- Utilize tools that can generate quick results, like a Facebook ad campaign.
- Focus on the challenges faced by seniors and family caregivers in winter.
- Tailor marketing to referral sources based on their patients’ key Q4 concerns.
- Embody the spirit of the holidays by delivering festive content, events, and promotions.
Trust our Experts to Streamline Your Marketing Strategies
As we move into the final important quarter of 2023, Scott Marketing and Consulting Group® can help you develop targeted marketing campaigns for your senior living or healthcare organization. Our team comprises experts in website design, digital and traditional marketing, market research, sales, branding, and creative content. Arrange a no-obligation consultation to discover how we can help you enter the new year with your highest occupancy levels!