We're knee-deep in football season, and it got me thinking: coaches have to create game plans for their teams every week.
They break down their goals, they analyze the competition, and they outline the steps it will take to reach those goals—together, as a team.
Shouldn't we be doing the same thing as marketers?
Obviously, most of us don't have the time or bandwidth to create a new game plan each and every week, but we can certainly create larger seasonal and annual campaigns—and then update and refresh those as things change and the weeks go on.
So ask yourself, do you have a marketing game plan in place for your senior living and homecare company? Do you know what your goals are and how you're going to reach them in the coming weeks, months and years? With 2018 right around the corner, the time to get your game plan in gear is now.
Marketing Game Plan Must-haves
A good marketing game plan consists of four major segments: The What, the Who, the How and the When. You could include "the why" in there as well, but for most business owners, that one's pretty simple: to turn a profit.
Let's break down the other four in more detail.
This is your goal (or goals)—what you want do achieve and what you hope to do. Do you want to bring in X number of new residents by the end of the year? Add new services, facilities or staff members? Up your profits or revenues by a certain amount? Outline your goals for each department, and be specific if possible. This will help you once you get to the "how" and "when" steps.
The Who is two-pronged, as it involves your team and your target buyer personas. Who will help you internally to reach your goals? What will their roles in the game plan be, and how will you hold them accountable for those responsibilities? You want everyone to be aware of their parts and be fully on board with your plans to achieve your goals.
Just as important, think about your audience. Who are you trying to reach with your marketing game plan? Residents? Their loved ones? Nurses, doctors and caregivers? Learn as much as you can about these groups, as these details should drive your strategy.
Arguably the most important piece of the game plan puzzle, the how outlines exactly what steps you'll take to reach your set-out goals. What advertising efforts will you invest in? What events will you host and community organizations will you sponsor? How will you get the word out about your facility to potential residents, their loved ones and caregivers in the region?
For a senior living and homecare facility, we always recommend a plan that includes a balance of:
Events and Community Outreach - Senior living marketing is very much about going local. After all, few family members want to put their loved ones in a community that's hundreds of miles away. They want one close to home, where they can visit and ensure they're loved one is healthy, happy and cared for. Create a calendar of community events you can participate in, and consider hosting on-site and co-marketing events yourself. Creating community visibility is key in this industry.
Content - You need quality online and printed content that informs, empowers and, ultimately, converts. You'll want to invest resources into creating info-rich brochures, pamphlets and materials to hand out at events and on-site tours. These should include details on your services, your residents, your staff and the life you can offer local seniors.
On the web, youâ€™ll want conversion-centered, SEO-rich copy, blogs, articles and resources that can answer questions and address common concerns. If you have the room in your budget, you can also consider creating content for outside publications, like local magazines, newspapers, blogs and more to up your reach.
Digital Efforts - Though seniors certainly aren't as tech-savvy as today's younger generations, they're definitely on the web—as are their kids and grandkids making decisions for them. As such, you'll want to include things like social media, email marketing, SEO and digital advertising in your game plan—all crucial components of any modern marketing campaign. If funds are strapped, invest in SEO first, because it can help you rank for geo-focused keywords right in your exact metro area. After that, look to Facebook; both organic and paid efforts can reach seniors (and their loved ones) on this platform.
Lead Cultivation - Finally, you need to break down how you will cultivate and nurture leads. When you attend events, invest in digital efforts and create great content, you're going to get plenty of leads in return. How will you get them schedule a tour? To connect with you? To learn more? Line up the appropriate resources to reach back out to these leads and make sure you stay top of mind.
Creating an annual marketing game plan is fine, but be sure to break it down into smaller milestones along the way. Do you want to get 40 new residents by the end of the year? Then set milestones of 10 new residents every quarter. Doing this not only makes your goals more manageable, but it also holds you accountable to work hard all year-round–not just as December 31 rolls around.
What's Your Senior Living and Homecare Company's 2018 Game Plan?
The New Year is right around the corner. Do you have a marketing game plan for your senior living and homecare company yet? If not, the time is now to get started. Want help goal-setting or outlining the what, who, how or when? Outlet Creative Group is here to help. Contact us today to get started.
Here's a great resource to get you started from our friends at PR 20/20: "The Marketing Growth Hackathon Webinar"
Outlet Creative Group provides all of this and more. Get your marketing inline, on track, and to a positive ROI. We provide Facebook Advertising for as little at $5/day, complete social media management, responsive mobile website design, and it's all HIPAA Compliant.