Top Marketing Trends Your Senior Care Facility Should Embrace This Year
Part 1 of a 2-part series on senior care marketing trends to embrace in 2023
As the marketing industry continues to evolve, new marketing trends are frequently emerging. Whether you are reevaluating your senior care operation’s marketing plan or are considering a new marketing approach, it’s important to be aware of the marketing trends, platforms, and strategies that are seeing results.
Here, we talk to four marketing experts about the top marketing trends they’re seeing, as well as which trends are most valuable for senior care operations and how to improve your marketing efforts. Staying on top of these trends will help increase your facility’s visibility and strengthen its reputation in the senior care industry.
In part two of this series, we’ll share things you should consider before increasing your marketing efforts and how to determine if a marketing strategy is worth the investment.
Top Marketing Trends of 2023
An increase in competition in the senior care industry means senior care facilities should apply top marketing trends to stay competitive. According to Anna Stella, a two-time national award-winning marketing expert, academic researcher, and CEO of the global marketing outsourcing agency BBSA, senior care facilities need to enhance their digital brand reputation by leveraging digital tools like social media platforms to showcase their brand personality and culture. “To enhance their digital reputation, senior facilities must recruit qualified brand managers or hire marketing agencies with good industry expertise and sophisticated digital marketing tools,” she says. “The expert will help curate a winning brand to attract more potential clients.”
She also highlights the importance of using social proof. “Like any other industry, senior care clients will use online reviews and ratings to make decisions,” she says. Stella encourages senior care facilities to embed reviews in Google ads and campaigns, and to add video testimonials to digital platforms.
Dr. Colleen Kendrick, DBA, FACHE, CEO of Kendrick & Company, points to a trend of increased focus on customer journey mapping. “We are looking at all of the touchpoints where we engage with prospects and customers from the time they become aware of us to the effort we make to support an ongoing, loyal relationship,” she says. “Identifying each touchpoint along that journey allows marketers to evaluate how they can impact the customer experience at that moment. Does that interaction allow us an opportunity to further inform or otherwise engage?”
Kendrick also sees an increased focus on reputation management. “Customers and prospects are more likely to trust feedback from both known and unknown third parties who share their experience on review sites and social media channels,” she explains. “While marketers cannot, and should not, control what parties post as reviews, they should be acknowledging those reviews, responding to them, and using what they can learn from them for continuous improvement.”
She adds, “Additionally, they should be proactive in showcasing the culture of their organization to foster a positive reputation with stakeholders. With the variety of opportunities today to leverage social media channels, participate in podcasts, craft helpful blog posts, and more, it is easier than ever to give your brand some personality and to let it shine.”
Furthermore, as digital platforms become more important to senior audiences, senior care facilities will need to revise their local paid search strategies to build targeted customer relationships. Christel Henke is vice president of earned media at STIR Advertising & Integrated Messaging. “There is one component of search marketing that is crucial when people are on a quest for products and services right in their area, called NAP, or name, address, phone number,” she says. “This represents the main contact information for businesses that appear in search results. If this information is not up to date, it becomes challenging for customers and prospects to reach you or find your business, which results in missed leads and lost trust.”
“Many mobile searchers will tap the click-to-call button or link when they want to speak directly with a company. Forrester Research found that click-to-call functionality boosts ROI (return on investment) by 143%,” Henke explains. “However, if the phone number listed in the NAP listing is incorrect, that potential customer may falsely assume you have closed your doors — definitely a lose-lose situation. You’ve lost a potential customer, and they’ve lost trust in you.”
Many marketing trends are also emerging post-pandemic. “We are observing that companies are catering their marketing efforts to focus on customer quality experiences, getting out, travel, personalization, and in-person networking,” says Jenna Ballard, director of sales & marketing at The Virginian Senior Living Community. “Many are taking advantage of every opportunity at any cost to feel connected again and have the social experiences that were not as available the last few years.”
Ideal Trends for Senior Care Facilities to Embrace
With so many marketing trends, it can be difficult to decide where to focus your marketing efforts. Henke encourages senior care facilities to embrace a media relations approach. “Senior care facilities are often filled with people who have led diverse and fascinating lives, and oftentimes they love the opportunity to share their stories and their wisdom with others,” she explains. “Not only does this kind of program provide visibility for the organization, but it elevates your residents’ confidence, provides a social outlet and puts them in the spotlight for their accomplishments.”
Kendrick encourages an approach that embraces multiple marketing trends. “Every single one of those trends are very valid for senior care facilities,” she says. “In fact, I would say they are not just worthwhile, but necessary in today’s competitive environment. Those seeking care facilities for themselves or family members are more empowered than ever with information that is literally in the palm of their hand. They are reading reviews, interacting with prospective facilities both online and offline, and expecting that much of that legwork can be done independently before they ever make a phone call or send an email or come for a tour.”
Thus, with the increased use of digital resources, it’s increasingly important to embrace multiple types of marketing techniques. “Current estimates are that approximately 90% of the customer journey happens digitally, before a prospect ever interacts with a live human,” says Kendrick. “Looking at all of those touchpoints along the way, both offline and increasingly online, will clearly show the value of optimizing an organization’s digital efforts and managing their reputation.”
In part two, we’ll share things to consider before increasing your marketing efforts and how to determine if a marketing strategy is worth the investment.
Topics: Business Marketing Including Social Media and CRM , Facility management , Featured Articles , Operations