If you run a residential assisted living home, you know how important it is to attract new residents and keep your occupancy rate high. Assisted living marketing is what it takes to fill your home fast!
But with so many other assisted living facilities in the market, how can you stand out and communicate your RAL home’s unique value? And to be sure, that’s EXACTLY what you want to do. You want to showcase how your home is different from the rest and lean into what makes you unique.
One answer lies in using online tools to reach more potential customers and build trust and credibility. “Using online tools” is a bit of a generic statement, but in this blog post, we will share insights and instructions for effectively marketing your residential assisted living home online to grow your business.
The demand for assisted living facilities is growing as the population ages, but so is the supply. More and more RAL homes are opening every day, creating a competitive landscape for the industry. In the same way there is competition for attention in your community, that same competition exists online.
Competition isn’t a bad thing! As more homes open, the competition will motivate all businesses to maintain high standards of care and quality environments for our seniors. That’s actually a great thing! However, it does make it harder to attract attention and that’s why you need a marketing plan.
Your marketing plan may look similar to other homes:
- An informative and compelling website
- Social media ads
- Search network ads
- Local publications
- Local search engine optimization (Local SEO)
- Social media posting
- Local Chamber of Commerce
This is normal. Everyone has the same tools available. Your challenge will be using the tools available to highlight who you are, what makes you unique, and what people can expect when they visit your home — and ultimately, if the experience of the resident be superior to other facilities.
You are in residential assisted living, most likely, because you are passionate about helping seniors and providing them with a comfortable and dignified living environment. If you don’t have any experience in marketing, especially online marketing, that’s okay! Today, there are more resources and tools available than ever before to help you learn the basics and implement effective work that will fill your home fast!
If you are looking for a specific place to start, you need to look no further than your website. There is no tool more important to your online presence than a website showcasing your home, highlighting what makes you unique, and making it easy for potential customers to learn about your services, staff, past reviews, and more!
Your website will be the backbone of your marketing plan and will be an excellent source for capturing leads and generating inquiries from interested prospects.
In the following, we will explore the best ways to make your website more appealing and effective for marketing your RAL home.
Website for Assisted Living Marketing
Anyone who runs an assisted living business knows just how important it is to get your brand out there and reach as many potential clients and their families as possible.
Your website is your online marketing hub. Not only will it showcase your residential assisted living business, it will serve as an employee working on your behalf 24/7. Here are a few responsibilities you should offload to your website:
- Showcasing high-resolution photos of your facility.
- Provide a biography about who you serve, why you serve them, and how life is better for them.
- Highlight amenities and special or unique features of your home that may not be the norm of other facilities.
- Basic contact information and location details.
- Answers to frequently asked questions residents will typically ask during a tour.
- How to schedule a facility visit or facility tour?
- Provide a virtual tour of your facility.
All of the above seems pretty straightforward, right? It is! And it doesn’t have to be expensive. In the past, creating a website for your business would be time-consuming and costly. Today, many services provide basic website designs for a nominal fee, or you can build one yourself!
All Marketing Leads Back to Your Website
Seniors and their families have so many choices when looking for senior housing. Your website is your digital front door and, likely, your first impression. No matter where they find you — Google, social media, directory, word of mouth — they will visit your website as the first step in discovering if you are a fit for them.
The language you use should be welcoming and uniquely you. You could say “Welcome to Eden Estates” on your website’s home page, and that would be just fine. But any home could say that.
What makes you different? What makes you unique? When someone is welcomed into Eden Estates, what does it feel like? If you go to the actual Eden Estates website, you’ll find this language:
“We Cater To Your Loved Ones To Ensure They Know This Home Is Their Home”
This simple pivot is considered branding and identity. You don’t have to dive too deep to build an effective brand. In fact, with just a little intentionality, you can outperform your competitors in your branding because, most likely, they aren’t going to put in the time and effort you will. If you want to learn more branding tips, check out the article, Simple Steps for Creating Brand Identity.
Like most other businesses, advertising for assisted living isn’t what it used to be. Gone are the days when traditional TV advertising made a significant portion of a business’ budget and traffic. People are on the go and constantly interacting with various social media apps. Still, no matter what your social media presence is, everything needs to link back to your main website. It is your home base, a source for all things relating to your business and what you have to offer.
What An Assisted Living Website Needs
Whether you hire someone to build a website, use a template from a hosting service, or try and build your own site, there are a few traits you’ll want to be sure to capture. You want your website to:
- Be simple
- Be clean
- Have easy-to-read fonts
- Include high-resolution photos
- Have well-written text
- Be free from grammatical or spelling errors
- Be easy to navigate
Avoid things like motion or movement, flashy animations, or high tech effects. People are coming to your website to discover if your home will be a fit for their loved one and the fewer obstacles you can put in their way, the better.
Additionally, avoid hard-to-read fonts, even if they’re pretty. That doesn’t mean you can’t use cursive or handwritten fonts; just make sure they’re easy to read and bold enough to stand out.
Your color scheme will greatly impact your website engagement. You can use a free service like Adobe Color to find a nice color palette you approve of.
Your website is not about what you like. Yes, it’s important you like it, but the more important purpose is that it speaks to your ideal resident and their family.
A well-designed website will have clear messaging and engaging imagery that will positively influence how people perceive your assisted living facility. Because of this, it would be well worth the investment to hire a professional photographer and videographer to not only capture incredible imagery that shows off the best aspects of your facility, but to also set up each shot in the most flattering way. Moving objects, shooting from specific angles, and enhancing the lighting. This is not meant to mislead, but rather, to accurately capture the environment at its best.
Your messaging, visuals, and overall aesthetic must be professional and engaging, and when it is, your website will do a lot of heavy lifting for you. It doesn’t matter how incredible your home is or what upgrades you installed in the facility to appeal to potential residents, if they don’t ever come to tour — your website will advocate for you and motivate them to “see this place in person!”
By nature, people looking for an assisted living home for their family members are often stressed and overwhelmed by the decision. They don’t need a website that adds to their frustration or confusion. They need a website that answers their questions, addresses their concerns, and convinces them to take the next step. They need to be able to see their family member living in the home you provide.
How to Create An Assisted Living Website
If you are unfamiliar with creating or maintaining a website, don’t worry, you can hire someone who is. There are many professionals who can help you build a website that suits your needs and budget. You may even know someone who can do it cheaply, but remember, your website is your face to the world and should be seen as an investment in your business and future. You want to ensure it is done right and works for you and your customers.
Your website is not just a showcase of your assisted living facility but also a resource for the adult children of seniors looking for the best option for their loved ones. You want to ensure that your website speaks to their needs and concerns and provides clear and comprehensive answers to their questions.
Some of the questions you should address on your website are:
- What are the costs involved, and what services are covered by them?
- How can I tell if my parent is ready for assisted living, and what are the signs to look for?
- What steps are involved in moving my parent to your facility, and how do you help with the transition?
- What kind of atmosphere and care can my parent expect at your facility, and how do you ensure their well-being?
- And many more questions that are relevant to your target audience.
Your website can be a powerful tool to showcase your services, facilities, testimonials, and more.
To get started on your website, you will need to choose what type of platform you want to build upon. Platform essentially means, what service do you want to use? We’ll explore several options. These services, or platforms, are also referred to as content management systems or CMS for short.
Choosing Your Website Domain Name
Before you get started, you need to purchase a domain name. Often this will be the name of your facility with a dot com on the end. You can use a provider like Godaddy to purchase your domain name.
If the dot com domain is already taken you can either change up your domain name or choose a different extension like .net or other. Here is a great article for choosing an alternative domain when your dot com is taken.
At this point you are just purchasing a domain. You’ll be offered other services to purchase, but you’re looking just for the domain.
After you’ve secured your domain name, you can begin building your website.
Using WordPress for Your Assisted Living Website
WordPress is the world’s most popular CMS. At one point, over half of the world’s websites were built using WordPress. It is easy to use, easy to maintain, and easy to get started with.
There are two different versions of WordPress: WordPress.com and WordPress.org.
If you want the path of least resistance, you will want to choose WordPress.com and follow their prompts for building your website. WordPress.com has a great tutorial for how to build your site in five easy steps.
As easy as WordPress.com is, you may find a lack of templates for your home page, about page, contact page, and other pages that will leave you feeling slightly overwhelmed. That’s okay, there are other options.
WordPress.com is a great option if you want more control over your website in the long term and you want to get creative with the design.
WordPress.org offers even greater flexibility and creative options, but there is a much steeper learning curve.
If you want something with more templates, more guidance, and are okay spending a little bit more money, keep reading!
Using Squarespace for Your Assisted Living Website
You may already be familiar with Squarespace. They have spent a lot of money on national marketing campaigns and have emerged as a HUGE CMS player.
Squarespace is easy to use, offers a lot of themes (website looks) to choose from, and within each theme, there are a lot of templates to help you design an engaging website.
Squarespace has an entire tutorial course on how to get your website up and running and it is worth checking out here.
Squarespace does cost a little more than WordPress, but it may be worth it in the end if you’d rather be responsible for your own website and are okay with the options provided by Squarespace.
Using Leadpages for Your Assisted Living Website
Leadpages is not a typical website builder in that is meant more for capturing email addresses. However, they have a very intuitive and easy-to-use drag and drop website builder and quite a few additional built-in-tools that make certain aspects of marketing quite easy.
Still, it is more expensive than Squarespace or WordPress, and, depending on what you may want to do with your website, it might prove to be too limiting.
It is worth a look because their website themes and individual templates make build a site INCREDIBLY easy.
You can learn more about Leadpages here.
Other Website CMS Builders
You can also explore website builders listed below.
Each of these will have positives and negatives. In the end, Squarespace may wind up being the best option for ease-of-use, themes provided, and template options.
Promoting Your Website
Once you have created your website, you need to let people know about it and drive traffic to it. There is not a one-size-fits-all approach or a silver bullet for marketing success.
Successfully marketing your home will require an “all of the above” approach. If you can be serviceable in all marketing areas, you’ll be in good shape. As you have time, money, and need, you can upgrade each area of your online presence over time.
To learn more about building your business’ website, check out our blog Start in Residential Assisted Living: Your New Website Holds the Key.
Here are the areas you need to consider.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search engine optimization is the skill of configuring your website in such a way that it appears atop of the search queries that would be most valuable to your company.
For instance, you would love to rank for “assisted living homes near me” because that is a search query qualified residents would be using.
The problem is that everyone who has an assisted living home would like to rank for that term.
By optimizing your site for search engines, you give yourself a competitive advantage. You don’t have to be an expert to gain this advantage, but you do need to be thorough and disciplined at following the very basics of search engine optimization.
Here are the basics you’ll need to follow:
- Assign only one Heading 1 text on a web page. This is typically going to be your page title.
- Use Heading 2 on web pages for text headlines or section separators.
- Use Heading 3 to separate sections within a body of text, making it more scannable.
- Make certain your address and phone numbers are consistent anywhere they are published. If you spell out “East” in one location, spell out East in all locations. If you abbreviate Hwy in one location, abbreviate Hwy in all locations. If you format your phone number (xxx) xxx-xxxx in one location, format it the same way in all locations.
- Social media
- Google Business
- List your home in as many directories and on as many websites as you possibly can. Wherever it allows you to list your website URL, make sure to include it. These are considered citations and HUGE SEO signals for search engines.
- List your website on Google. You can connect your website directly to Google so Google knows where your site is, what pages you have, and can take all your information into consideration. How to list your website using Google Search Console.
Entire industries are built on the value of search engine optimization, and it is impossible to cover everything you need to know in a subsection of this post. If you follow the basics listed above, that will be a good starting point.
Adding Content Regularly — Blogging
If you spend any amount of time learning about “SEO” on the internet, you’ll come across content that tells you the importance of blogging. It’s true, blogging can be a powerful tool for attracting people to your website through search, however, simply writing content and clicking publish isn’t the way to attract search engine ranking.
If you want to go beyond a basic website and provide Google, Bing, and other search engines with content to potentially show to their search users, you will need to add content on your website, articles, that provide useful information and make sure that information is what families are looking for when searching for a home.
You don’t need formal training.
You don’t even need to be a writer to start creating articles about your business, discussing topics your current and future clients might find interesting or helpful.
Start by creating a list of the most frequently asked questions by the families you visit with, and write a document that comprehensively answers each question. Once you have 10-15 different questions, consider which ones might have the most appeal to someone who is searching, for the first time, to find options for assisted living or residential assisted living.
It might be something like, “What are the different types of assisted living homes?” or “What makes residential assisted living different from other assisted living homes?”
Posting new content for the sake of posting new content often won’t translate into boosting your results in search engine rankings. Writing meaningful content that is highly sought after by families of potential residents and answers critical questions with definition, certainty, and clarity will not only be helpful to those looking to learn as much as they can about, what could be a sensitive subject, but search engines will reward you with better positional ranking.
As you write and publish new content, link to content already published on your website. For instance, if you write a new article on “What makes a residential assisted living home different from other assisted living homes,” you may want to link to another article you previously wrote (hypothetically) called, “Ideal number of residents for a residential assisted living home.”
In the event you publish an article that is substantially stronger than the competition, you’ll climb up the rankings and with that exposure, many other publications may start linking to your post — and this will help your website rank higher.
Going Beyond the Basics of SEO
If you really want to make search engines work for your business, you can dive deeper into keyword research. This is essentially using tools like Google Keyword Planner, ahrefs, Moz, or SEMrush to find keywords that are low competition (no clear winners for Google to push to the top) and high search volume (lots of people looking for those terms).
Google Keyword Planner is interesting because not only is it Google’s tool, but it’s also free.
You can search YouTube for videos instructing you how to use Google Keyword Planner to find great opportunities to rank.
Furthermore, whatever you publish — be it blogs, home page, contact page or other — you’ll want to make sure it looks great and is easy to consume on mobile. If it looks great on desktop and reads easy on a computer screen, great! However, search engines want it to perform best on mobile — and the sites that do get preferential treatment in search rankings.
Social Media Marketing for Assisted Living Homes
Some of the shine has rubbed off of social media, but make no mistake hundreds of millions of people rely on it for information on products, news, and updates about the world. This means that social media can be a powerful tool for advertising your business. You want to be where the eyeballs are… and there are a lot of eyeballs on social media.
Word of mouth is the best form of advertising, and social media is like word of mouth in digital format.
Your website should be your primary source of information about your business, but social media platforms can help you reach a wider audience, even generating more leads. There are many people who need what you offer; you just need to get your name in front of them.
You do not need to be on every social media network. But you may want to consider being present on one or two.
For many businesses, social media has become a way of validating and authenticating legitimacy. Meaning, sometimes people will view a company’s website and then travel to their Facebook page or Instagram page to see if the company appears legitimate or still active.
It is better to have no social media at all than to have a social media account that sits dormant. However, for most homes it may make sense to have a Facebook and or Instagram page and to add a new post once a week. When prospective residents, or more specifically their families, view your Facebook page, they will see an active presence which will communicate you are a real business, with real people, and you have real activities going on.
Here are some ideas about what you could post:
- Profiles of the home staff.
- Menus for the week.
- Quotes related to care.
- Pictures from past events.
- Links to new articles you publish (see the SEO section above).
- Stories of your residents and staff members
- Testimonials from satisfied customers or partners
- Behind-the-scenes glimpses of your facility and operations
- Events and activities that you host or participate in
- Awards or recognitions that you receive
- Industry news or trends that are relevant to your audience
- Questions or polls that invite feedback or opinions
- Contests or giveaways that encourage participation
- User-generated content that showcases your happy customers
You don’t need to overthink it. Simple, easy, and consistent. That’s what you want for as social media presence.
Reviews on Social Media Platforms
If your home is already open, you should place an emphasis on getting five star reviews on Facebook, Google, Yelp, and any other platform (social or not). If you have to focus on one, choose Google. However, if you can build out multiple, even better.
People want to see reviews. Not the reviews on your website, but honest reviews on third-party platforms. And they will read them.
You won’t be able to deliver a five-star experience to everyone every time, but when you do, want that review! Get ahead of any potential negative reviews that may come in the future. It could be an unfortunate situation, a family that was very difficult to please, a misunderstanding, or any other number of reasons why a one or two star review comes your way. Having a buttress of five-star reviews will not only help to soften the blow of the lower-rated reviews but also give those reading in the future something to compare the lesser reviews to.
Other Insights for Getting Started on Social Media
Finally, make sure you know who you’re posting for.
You’re not posting to make yourself feel good.
You’re not posting for your friends and family.
You’re not posting to show up any competition.
You are posting to attract and appeal to a specific group of people. Yes, seniors, but not all groups of seniors are the same. Is there a type of person or type of family you want to attract? Do you love serving seniors whose families are not as involved as others and providing them with a family atmosphere? Do you prefer to serve seniors who are in greater need of memory care than standard assistance for everyday living?
Define who you want to attract and then speak specifically to that person in every post. In everything you share, think of them and ask yourself, “How can I make this appeal to them above all other people.”
Above all, be authentic and true online. This will build trust with people viewing your platform, even if it is in a 5 or 10 second glance at your profile page. Showing up consistently and in an authentic way will increase trust, elevate the perception of your home, and even allow you to charge rates that are higher than your competition because that rate comes with elevated care in all aspects of your business.
Email Marketing Options
Depending on the size of your home, you have one resident vacancy or several at any point in time. The best way to let potential residents and their families know about a vacancy is to email them.
Make collecting email addresses a priority in your home. Not everyone will be ready to tour, and not everyone will be ready to occupy a bed.
But if you have their email address and maintain regular content (with relevant information) when they are ready you will be first on their list.
Do what you can to collect email addresses during events, during the home tour process, and at any other outreach or community events you participate in.
When you have something to announce, your email list will be an immediate audience.
Boost Your Marketing With An Email Newsletter
If you run an assisted living business, you know how important it is to keep in touch with your network and your potential and existing clients. One of the most effective ways to do that is by sending them an email newsletter on a regular basis. An email newsletter is a great way to show your expertise, provide valuable information, build community and loyalty with your audience, and drive traffic to your website.
Another advantage of sending out regular newsletters is that it shows what you and your staff do for your residents.
When people see the level of care you provide and how you engage your residents with enjoyable and healthy activities, they will be more likely to consider your business for their assisted living needs.
Here are some tips on how to boost your assisted living business marketing with an email newsletter.
Define Your Goals and Audience
Before you start creating your newsletter, you need a clear idea of what you want to achieve and who you want to reach. Do you want to generate more leads, increase referrals, or retain current customers? Do you want to target seniors, their families, or other professionals in the industry? Having a specific goal and audience will help you craft a relevant and engaging newsletter that meets their needs and interests.
Get the Right Subscribers to Your Newsletter
The quality of your email list is more important than the quantity. Make sure you are collecting email addresses from people who are actually interested in what you have to offer.
You can do this by offering something of value in exchange for their email address, such as a free ebook, a discount, or access to exclusive content. To grow your network of contacts, exchange contact info with anyone you meet in your personal or professional life who might be interested in assisted living or who might know someone who is.
The more people you reach out to, the more chances you have of finding new leads for your business.
Choose A reliable Email Service Provider
Do not send your newsletter from your personal email or business email account. First, it’s hard to manage, second, it often can appear unprofessional to most, and third you put yourself at risk for being marked as spam (and you don’t want that).
Instead, you should use a reputable email service provider that offers features such as templates, analytics, segmentation, automation, and deliverability. Some popular options include Mailchimp, AWeber, Drip, and ConvertKit, etc.
Design An Attractive and Responsive Layout
Design is a double-edged sword. If you are a gifted designer, you can elevate the communication with design elements in your email newsletter.
If you are not a gifted designer, the opposite is quite possible — even likely.
When we say to design an attractive layout, aim for clean and simple. One or two colors, easy to read fonts, and let real life photos do the heavy design lifting. Don’t feel like you need to spend hours in Canva designing an email header or individual graphics.
Simple and clean is best.
When we say responsive, make sure it looks good on a mobile device.
Let the words and any photos be the superstars of your newsletter and any visual elements should be simple, clean, and complimentary.
Include Valuable Content
Your newsletter’s content is the most important element, as it determines whether your subscribers will open, read, and act on your emails. Aim to provide useful and interesting information that relates to your brand and provides value to the reader.
For example, you can share tips on choosing an assisted living facility, stories of successful residents, testimonials from happy clients, industry news and trends, or updates on your services and events. You can also include blog posts, articles, videos, infographics, or anything else your audience will appreciate.
Personalize Your Emails
The more personalized your emails are, the more likely your subscribers are to read them. Use their names, interests, and other personal information to make your emails feel like they were written just for them. There are email programs you can use that will automatically personalize emails to your subscribers.
Test and Optimize Your Emails
Before you hit send, you should test your emails to ensure they look good and work well on different devices and email clients. You should also check for any spelling or grammar errors, broken links, or inaccurate information.
Consistency Is Key
The frequency of your email newsletter will depend on your audience and your goals. However, it’s important to send emails regularly enough to stay top of mind with your subscribers.
A good rule of thumb is to send emails once a week or once a month. You don’t want to send too many or too few emails that can annoy or lose your readers’ interest. You should also respect your subscribers’ preferences and privacy by allowing them to opt-in, opt-out, or change their settings at any time.
Track Your Results
After you send your emails, you should track and measure their performance using metrics such as open rates, click-through rates, bounce rates, unsubscribe rates, or conversions. It’s important to track the results of your email marketing campaigns so you can see what’s working and what’s not. This information will help you improve your email newsletter and get better results.
Here are a few additional tips for marketing with an email newsletter:
- Use a clear and concise subject line that will make your subscribers want to open your email. Co-schedule has a free subject line analyzer you can refer to.
- Keep your emails short and to the point. People are busy and don’t have time to read long emails.
- Use eye-catching visuals to break up your text and make your emails more engaging.
- Include a call to action in every email, such as a link to your website, a sign-up form, or a coupon code.
- Test different versions of your email newsletter to see what performs best.
Email marketing can be a very effective way to market your business. By following these tips, you can create email newsletters that will engage your subscribers and help you achieve your marketing goals. Sooner or later, everyone we know will need assisted living for themselves or their loved ones. And you never know when that marketing connection you made will pay off, so just keep building your network and making connections.
Online Advertising and Paid Ads
There are two primary types of paid ads for residential assisted living homes to consider: search network ads and social network ads.
Paid ads can be very effective in granting exposure to your home as well as booking tours, provided you know how to target the right audience with a message that resonates.
On Facebook and Instagram, creating an ad can be as simple as publishing a normal post and then ‘boosting’ that post with $5, $10, $50, or any other dollar amount. The benefit is that this is easy and takes only minutes. The negative side is that you’re relying on the social network to put your ad in front of the right audience.
If you decide to get into paid advertising, it will work to your favor to either hire an agency or consultant to help you get started or to take some sort of training course online.
Ads don’t have to be difficult. In fact, they can be very simple, provided you know what you’re doing and there are plenty of resources available today that can help you proceed with confidence knowing you’re making the right decisions.
Create Videos To Engage Your Audience
While social media is something you can do if you want, video is something you must do if you want to stand out.
People want to see, feel, hear, and even touch the environment they are considering for their loved one. Video gets them closer to this than words or photos can.
A brief, captivating intro video of your home and property is a highly effective way to convey your values and the services your home offers. A virtual tour or sit-down interviews with your residents and their families can also become great video tools to help potential residents and their families get a better sense of what you have to offer.
If you decide to produce videos for your residence, be sure to emphasize the unique features in your home, enhanced amenities, or extra services you provide that might make you stand out from others in the market. Of course, a balance needs to be maintained between promoting your brand and giving an honest depiction of what daily living is like in your RAL home.
If you choose to record interviews with your current residents, make a list of relevant questions to ask that will highlight the more attractive aspects of your home and how your staff care for the residents, and be sure to ask them to share their favorite parts of living in your RAL home.
Creating videos to market an assisted living business can be a powerful way to showcase your services, attract new clients, and build trust with your audience. Videos can also help you rank higher on search engines, increase social media engagement, and boost brand awareness.
But how do you create effective videos that put your assisted living business in the best light? Here are some tips to help you get started.
1. Define Your Goals and Audience
Before you start filming, you need a clear idea of what you want to achieve with your videos and who you want to reach.
Do you want to educate people about the benefits of assisted living? Do you want to showcase your facilities and staff? Do you want to share testimonials from happy residents and families? Do you want to target seniors looking for a new home or their adult children helping them make the decision?
Having a clear goal and audience will help you craft your message and tone, as well as help you choose the best platforms to distribute your videos.
2. Plan Your Content and Script.
Once you have your goals and audience in mind, you need to plan what kind of content you want to create and how you want to structure it. Depending on your goal, you might want to create different types of videos, such as:
- Explainer videos: These are short videos that explain what assisted living is, how it works, and what benefits it offers. You can use animation, graphics, or narration to illustrate your points and answer common questions.
- Facility tours: These videos show off your facilities and amenities, such as the rooms, common areas, dining options, activities, etc. You can use a camera or a drone to capture different angles and perspectives and add voice-overs or captions to highlight the features.
- Staff introductions: These videos introduce your staff members and their roles, such as the nurses, caregivers, managers, etc. You can use interviews, testimonials, or stories to showcase their personalities, skills, and passion for their work.
- Resident stories: These videos feature your residents and their families and how they have benefited from living in your facility. You can use interviews, testimonials, or stories to share their experiences, challenges, and achievements.
For each type of video, you’ll need to write a script that outlines what you want to say and how you want to say it. Your script should be clear, concise, and engaging. It should also include a call-to-action at the end that tells viewers what you want them to do next, such as visit your website, call your number, or book a tour.
3. Choose Your Equipment and Location.
Once you have your content and script ready, you need to choose the equipment and location you will use to film your videos.
Depending on your budget and skills, you might want to hire a professional videographer or do it yourself with a smartphone or a camera. Either way, you need to ensure that your equipment is suitable for the type of video you want to create and can capture high-quality audio and video.
You also need to choose a location that is appropriate for your video content and has good lighting and sound conditions. Do you want to film inside or outside your RAL home, in a studio, or in a neutral setting?
4. Film and Edit Your Videos
Once your equipment and location are ready, you can start filming your videos according to your script.
Film multiple takes of each scene or segment until you get the best one. You might also want to film some extra footage or b-roll that you can use later to add variety and interest to your videos.
After filming, you’ll need to edit your videos using software that can help you trim, crop, splice, add transitions, effects, music, etc.
You can hire a professional editor or do it yourself with tools like iMovie, Adobe Premiere Pro, or other similar programs.
5. Distribute and Promote Your Videos.
Once you have your final videos, it is time to share them. Promotion and distribution may look different for your home versus another home, depending on your social networks or other marketing services you subscribe to.
No matter where you’re publishing content, you want to add your videos to your website.
Your website is your home base. This is where people are going to want to find the most authoritative information and experience about your home. Yes, post to Facebook, yes, share to YouTube if you have a channel there, but get the video on your website.
A Comprehensive Marketing Plan Isn’t All Digital
Digital marketing makes promoting your business much easier than it would have been 30 years ago. Still, some of the analog marketing strategies of the twentieth century are still viable ways of gaining attention and increasing leads. Don’t discount something because it’s old. It’s still around for a reason, and that reason could be relevant to your business.
Trade Shows and Conferences
Attending trade shows and conferences is a great way to network with other senior living professionals and learn about new marketing trends. You can also use these events to meet potential residents and their families. Consider attending the annual Residential Assisted Living National Convention, where thousands of people from across the nation come to connect, grow and network with.
This can dramatically help you shape your marketing strategies beyond what you’re currently doing.
Partner with Local Businesses
Creating partnerships with local businesses is a great way to get your name out there and reach a wider audience. You can partner with businesses that cater to seniors, such as restaurants, hair salons, and transportation companies. You can also partner with businesses that offer services that are complementary to yours, such as home healthcare agencies or financial planning firms.
Advertise In Local Publications
Print media may not be what it once was, but in some areas it is just as relevant and read as it ever was. Identify what publications are present in your geographic location and contact the publisher to discover the cost and potential payoff. Many local publications are desperate for advertisers and what might have been too expensive in the past may be had for a great deal today
Host Events and Workshops
Hosting events and workshops is a great way to get to know potential residents and their families. You can host events on topics such as aging, caregiving, and retirement planning. You can also host fun and informal workshops on topics such as cooking, art, or exercise.
Word of mouth is still far and away your best bet for marketing your RAL home, and that results from making sure the care you offer is second to none. But in the end, you can’t control how others speak of your business; however, you can use up-to-date marketing methods to give your business the best chance to be seen by as many people as possible in your community.
The strategies outlined in this article are just a few of the most effective ways to enhance a marketing plan for assisted living businesses. By employing a few of these marketing ideas, you can more effectively increase your community’s awareness of your assisted living facility and attract new residents. Don’t be afraid to try new things and experiment with variations on these methods to suit your business’s strengths.
Many successful RAL business owners find that when they have their marketing plan dialed in, combined with a solid brand and excellent level of senior care, they end up with RAL homes that stay full and a waiting list of future residents wanting to secure their services. With the growing demand for assisted living, there are so many opportunities in this industry, so make sure you are doing everything you can to capitalize on the opportunities with effective marketing practices.