Generally, marketing tactics can be used across industries pretty easily. The same tactics that bring customers into retail stores can also typically bring diners into restaurants, patients into medical offices, and new businesses to B2B providers.
But the senior living sector is a whole different animal. And it’s not the product or the service that’s the holdout. It’s the customer.
You see, in the senior living world, you’re not actually marketing toward the end-customer. With restaurants, you’re trying to reach the diner who’d come to your tables. For stores, they’re looking to catch the eyes of potential shoppers.
In senior living, though? You’re not looking to draw in the seniors themselves. You’re trying to reach their loved ones. Their daughters. Sons. Husbands. Wives. Grandkids. And anyone else in their life that cares about them or worries for their safety.
It’s these family members that hold the key—and reaching them in the right ways, at the right times is crucial to any senior living community’s success.
How to Reach Families with Senior Living Potential
Most seniors aren’t the main decision-maker when it comes to their living arrangements. They may be too ill to make the choice on their own, or they may be too set in their ways to seek that level of outside help or assistance.
Whichever it is, it means one thing: You aren’t marketing toward the seniors themselves.
Instead, senior living facilities need to reach the families of those potential residents—the ones caring for their elderly parents, hiring home nurses and caregivers for their grandparents, or worried about the health of their aging loved ones on a daily basis.
Reaching these people—and doing so in the right way—is what drives residents to your business. Earning their trust, alleviating their burden and ensuring their loves ones are healthy, cared for and safe play crucial roles in your success. Here are a few ways to do that:
Appeal to their health concerns.
Many people opt to move their loved ones to a senior living facility because they’re worried about the person’s health. They may have had a recent medical scare, or they may be facing a number of health issues that need professional care on an ongoing basis.
Address these concerns head-on, and show family members why you’re qualified to handle these important health concerns and exactly how you plan to do it. Will you assign them 24-7 caregivers? Will there be an on-staff nurse or physician at all times? Will they get a weekly physical examination? Give them all the details, and put their minds at ease.
Address their fears.
Stories of nursing home abuse and neglect run rampant, and many children and grandchildren fear their loved ones could fall victim to similar schemes. It’s important to set your senior living facility apart from the poorly run, inadequate nursing homes and elder care facilities that most often come to mind in these situations. Tout your team’s credentials and training, your on-site facilities and amenities, and your current residents’ real-life testimonials. These can all establish you as a reputable, trustworthy choice to care for their loved one.
Assure their loved one’s safety.
Don’t use scare tactics, but be sure to highlight the dangers of seniors living alone. A simple fall down the stairs or a trip on the bathroom floor can be life-threatening if there’s no one around to hear their calls for help. At a senior living facility, their loved one lives in an environment that keeps them healthy around the clock—not just when emergency strikes. There’s no need to fear a trip, slip or fall, and there’s always someone around to lend a helping hand. It’s a level of safety and security that just can’t be achieved otherwise.
Stress the ease of use.
A good number of residents enter senior living facilities after having lived with a relative or loved one for some time. These situations are often burdensome, expensive and exhausting for the family members, and they’re simply looking for a little relief. Stress to these family members the ease and burden-free services your facilities provides. With your facility, they can ensure their loved one is cared for, healthy and safe, without bearing the entire weight on their own shoulders—or pocketbooks.
Detail the mental and physical benefits to their loved one.
It’s important to promote not just the problems that a senior living facility addresses, but also the immense benefits one can offer an older adult. Senior living facilities provide social opportunities—a huge plus for widowed seniors or those who live far from their loved ones—and they also offer activities and amenities that can keep them mentally and physically healthier, too. These benefits can improve quality and length of life for the senior—and that’s something the entire family can get behind.
Show them the possibilities.
At the end of the day, everyone wants their elderly loved ones to be happy, so show those kids, grandkids and other family members that it’s possible. Use real resident stories to demonstrate what your facility can do—both for a senior’s happiness and their quality of life. Create video testimonials and share them on your website and via social media. Appoint resident tour guides and greeters to meet with potential new customers. Feature resident stories in your newsletters and on your brochures. Give them a glimpse into what life is really like at your facility—and what it could be like for their loves ones, too.
Family: The Key to Effective Senior Living Marketing
Though your marketing efforts should aim to increase the number of residents at your facility, they shouldn’t be targeting those seniors themselves. Instead, target the loved ones of those potential residents, and your ROI will be much higher. Need more tips on marketing your senior living community? Contact Outlet Creative Group today.