Make sure your senior living community website is comprehensive, up-to-date and search engine optimized, and stay or become active on social media. Those points are some of the take-away messages for senior living marketers offered in a new report from the Conversation Research Institute.
The publication shares findings of an institute analysis of almost 1,200 online consumer conversations related to senior care between November 2015 and October 2016.
“Consumers are talking about senior care options,” the report authors wrote. “While our research indicates they are under-informed about product and service offerings and they are being underserved by the senior care brands in critical decision-making phases of the selection process, the opportunity for senior care marketers and brands to connect with prospective customers, clients or patients is ripe.”
Highlights of the report:
- Prospective residents and their families need to be educated about the differences between independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing and other types of senior care. “Nursing homes” are the topic of 66% of conversations about senior care, but the authors said that’s because consumers don’t understand the various options.
- Overall, community websites and search engines are the most critical digital marketing assets in the decision-making process for consumers.
- The phase during which consumers actually shop for senior care options accounts for more than 33% of the “buyer journey” conversations about senior care, making that time “fertile ground” for marketing professionals to engage prospective residents and their families in conversations on social media.
- Existing social communities such as forums and message boards are the main places where consumers discuss senior care online. “These often-overlooked communities account for 83% of the senior care conversation, including the critical ‘buyer journey’ posts,” according to the report.
- “Facebook is fertile ground for senior care conversations, but analyzing and understanding them on the privacy-first social network offers challenges.”
- Consumers say they need more information about the financial and legal issues related to senior care. Issues related to cost account for 44% of negative conversations related to assisted living.