Over the past year, it has not been business as usual, which means that it has definitely not been marketing as usual. In many industries, marketers have been primarily focused on damage control, following the continued effects of the coronavirus.
Senior care facilities have been hit incredibly hard. Deemed “hot zones,” many still face heavy visitation restrictions, which means that – even if someone did want to weather the storm and tour the facility – they probably would not be able to do so. Chances are, the pandemic has probably stalled a lot of people’s decision making.
With much still unknown, it is difficult to determine how to direct your marketing and communications efforts. One thing that is for sure: you should not be spending on traditional advertising efforts right now. Forget about print ad, radio spots, and other outbound marketing techniques for the moment, and focus on inbound marketing.
You need to revamp your communication strategy to focus on growing trust, transparency, and education. Inbound marketing does this by means of blog posts, articles, webinars, etc. As opposed to selling your services, you are focused on providing information that can answer the questions of your target audiences.
Here are some key things to keep in mind when crafting your messaging:
Different audiences: Of course, you will not want to just push out a single message. As with outbound marketing, you need to craft messaging specifically for your different audiences: seniors, family members/loved ones, caretakers/social workers, etc. Keep in mind that many may have different fears, which need to be individually addressed.
Acknowledge the situation: Talk about the pandemic first and foremost. What is the facility doing? How are you ensuring that residents and staff are staying safe and healthy? What are the latest local and federal mandates? You want to address and quell concerns as soon as you can. Make sure you mention how you will continue to address issues in the future, and where they can find the most up-to-date resources and information.
Look for different ways to share information: Since it will probably still be some time before prospective residents are able to come to visit in person, find other ways to share the look and feel of your facility. For example, share photo albums and testimonials. It is important that you consider a variety of multimedia materials as some may have difficulty seeing, hearing, or reading.
Make sure there’s a clear way to contact. As with any type of marketing, you always need to make it as easy as possible for your audience to take the next step. Regardless of whether someone is looking for more information or a way to get in touch with your team, make sure their path is obvious and intuitive.