I’ve been asked this question several times over the last year: “We’re an assisted living community; what do we need to do for marketing?”
Across the country, we’ve seen assisted living and memory care construction has grown significantly over the past 5 years, and it’s expected to continue well into the future.
What does this mean for us? Two things. One, increased competition in many markets. Two, an increased need for communities to stand out from their competitors. Ten years ago, having a good reputation and a good location often did the trick for assisted living communities. Today, it goes much further than that. The first step, though, is getting noticed, and the best marketers are rising to the top.
When it comes to marketing a higher level of care, here are 3 things to consider:
- A strong digital program is a must. Yes, some prospects or adult children in your market may be aware of your community. But there’s a good chance there are many others who aren’t. Either way, we know someone looking for care will begin their search by going online, so visibility in the digital world is key. An effective search marketing campaign, engaging website, active presence on social media, online directories and reviews, display ads, email and more – it can all be relevant. Put a digital program in place that consistently gives your community a name, and supports your other marketing and outreach efforts.
- Identify your true differentiators. What really makes your assisted living or memory care community unique? Unfortunately, it’s not the weekly housekeeping or the on-site beauty salon. Think about the programs, staff or services you offer that no one else in your market can claim. Be distinctive. With so many choices, prospects need to know why they should choose you over the community down the street. Once you’ve identified your differentiators, your marketing should reflect that. And beyond this, each time a prospect comes through your door, create an experience that’s just as memorable and unique.
- Relationships are everything. As consumers, we buy from people we trust. You can’t welcome new residents without earning their trust first, and that of their loved ones. To instill confidence, find ways to support them through the sales process with solid solutions to overcome their objections. The same trust goes for generating referrals among professionals in your area. Because they have a lot of communities vying for their attention, plan regular visits and provide relevant information, so they see you as a credible, reliable provider – a place they can feel good about sending their patients or clients to.
In what ways are you setting your assisted living or memory care community apart from the competition?