Wendy O’Donovan Phillips headshot
Wendy O’Donovan Phillips
Wendy O’Donovan Phillips headshot
Wendy O’Donovan Phillips

“They want to see our communities but never have any intention of putting their loved ones here even after using all of our resources and time.”

Sound familiar?

This was a verbatim quote taken from data Big Buzz recently gathered from 191 marketing executives in senior living and care, and it aptly describes the issue faced by most. The full study revealed six untapped opportunities to motivate older adults to leave home in favor of a senior living community, and in this article we detail the No. 1 most missed opportunity.

Economic trends indicate now is the time to proactively improve on content marketing efforts to attract warm leads who are intentional about moving, rather than investing organizational budget in large marketing and sales teams working hundreds of colder leads who may never move.

Our study showed that 95% of senior living marketers and executives believe that content marketing is an integral part of their organization’s overall marketing approach. More than half of respondents said they invest 25% to 49% of their overall marketing budget in content marketing, and another 24% indicated that they invest more than half of the budget.

That’s a whole lot of content for older adults and their families. And it’s working.

Well over half of respondents said they get up to 25% of sales-qualified leads from content marketing. How can this percentage be increased?

This is the most prominent trend we would like to see bucked in content marketing for the industry. Our data indicate that 78% of senior living marketing teams are going too broad with their target audience: 56% publish content for various target audiences by service subset, such as independent living, assisted living or skilled nursing; another 22% address one broad target audience. Both sets miss the mark by aiming to reach too many differently minded people at once.

When you speak to everyone, you reach no one.

Only 14% of our respondents identified marketing-qualified leads within their organization’s database to create content just for that subset of people. Even fewer, 9%, identified sales-qualified leads within the organization’s database to whom to address specific content. This is a huge opportunity. Sales teams that took an account-based approach to content marketing were the ones that made it onto Sherpa’s latest Best Sales Performers Report.

A second opportunity — and one upon which very few of your competitors are capitalizing — is for your organization to narrow its positioning and content marketing focus to just one service. Become known as the local expert in memory care, for example. This is not to say you wouldn’t market other levels of care; rather, you would lead with one and let the rest follow. Lead with the care/service level at which your data show people are most likely to enter your communities.

At the very least, hone your target audience to just one or two personas to which your content speaks. Doing so more readily invites the right folks to become intentional about moving in with you.

For more trends and opportunities in senior living content marketing, read the full e-book.

Wendy O’Donovan Phillips is CEO of the Big Buzz senior living marketing agency and the author of the book “Flourish!: The Method Used by Aging Services Organizations for the Ultimate Marketing Results.” In addition to being published in McKnight’s, she has been a regular contributor to Forbes and has been quoted in the Washington Post, ABC News and Chicago Tribune.

The opinions expressed in each McKnight’s Senior Living guest column are those of the author and are not necessarily those of McKnight’s Senior Living.

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