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An Introduction to Senior Living Digital Marketing

Learn how digital marketing can help your senior living community improve your organization’s occupancy and attract the right skills.

Karen McDonald, 14th November 2023

Digital marketing for senior care is a maturing science. It isn’t just the technology that’s changing. The consumers you’re targeting are changing too. 

Older Americans are more digitally savvy than you might expect. Today’s 65-year-olds witnessed the introduction of the internet browser in 1992 when they were 34 and the launch of Google in 1998 when they were 40. It’s no wonder that The Pew Research Center is starting to see the adoption of key technologies by those in the oldest age group, 65 and over, grow markedly every year. 

Think with Google has noticed a similar change. In an article titled Why Marketers’ Picture Of Seniors, Think with Google reports, “Marketers who have traditionally relied on TV and print to reach older audiences have noticed the rise of the ‘digital senior’ and are making changes to their strategies to meet the moment.”

Digital marketing senior care is due for an update. Not just because we have smarter, more effective tools to help us reach a wider audience but also because senior living audiences are now in more sophisticated digital spaces. Your revamped senior living digital marketing strategy could include amping up your SEO for senior living community leads, becoming more active on social media, or even sharing more content on YouTube. There’s no reason digital marketing to senior living audiences can’t be vibrant and engaging.

In this blog, we answer the main questions about creating a senior living digital marketing plan, including:

  • Why you need a senior care digital marketing plan.
  • Key considerations for your strategy.
  • Digital marketing strategies for senior care communities.

Ready to learn more about digital marketing for senior livingLet’s get into it.

Why Do I Need a Senior Care Digital Marketing Plan?

Reaching the right people at the right time could not be more urgent. The right senior living digital marketing plan can help you improve your organization’s occupancy and attract the right skills.

Improving Your Organization’s Occupancy

Older Americans are living longer. The Population Reference Bureau predicts that the number of Americans age 65 and older is projected to rise from 16% to 23% of the nation’s total population. 

But the need for care is not just determined by the growing number of its recipients. It also stems from the increasing complexity of attention required. 

Obesity rates among adults age 60 and older have been increasing. The share of divorced men and women age 65 and older has expanded. And the number of Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease is predicted to reach 13.8 million people by 2050. 

Senior care will only increase in demand. Using effective digital marketing strategies for senior living residents can help you increase your visibility, so you can reach the families most in need.

Attracting the Right Skills

Another major challenge for digital marketers in the senior living industry is attracting the right skills. 

Senior care needs are outpacing available labor. The American Health Care Association found that 84% of senior living communities are facing moderate to high levels of staffing shortages. The available supply of workers isn’t enough to fill the demand. 

Employer branding can be a powerful tool to combat labor shortages. Effective senior living digital marketing can help you reach specific demographics, industries, or job titles by leveraging the most impactful platforms. It can also allow you to establish your organization as an attractive employer by offering a transparent view into your company culture, values, and employee benefits. 

Overall, digital marketing in the senior living industry can help you connect with target audiences, differentiate yourself from competitors, build brand awareness, establish trust, and attract more residents to your community.

Key Considerations for Your Digital Marketing Senior Living Strategy

Choosing a senior living community is a sensitive topic for older people and their adult children. It’s a decision that’s emotionally charged and often arrived at with sadness, guilt, or fear. The right message can make all the difference. 

To share the right message:

  • Focus on empathy: Effective digital marketing in senior living addresses concerns and builds trust. That could mean providing more transparency on the care and overall well-being your business provides. Your goal is to build a sense of safety. 
  • Personalize your message: Your potential senior living residents have different motivations that drive their search. Research their preferences, behaviors, and pain points and tailor your marketing messages to address those distinctions effectively. Consider factors such as age, location, lifestyle, health concerns, and other decision-making dynamics within the target demographic.

Digital marketing for senior living can take many forms. In the next section, we’ll give you a short introduction to each weapon in the vast digital marketing arsenal.

Beginner-Friendly Digital Marketing Platforms

If you’re just getting started with digital marketing, you have a lot of ways to start. 

Here are some beginner-friendly options:

  • Content marketing is an easy starting point for beginners. You can build brand awareness, establish expertise, and drive organic traffic to your website by creating valuable, engaging content. And it doesn’t even require a substantial budget. Just remember to focus on creating content that meets your audience’s needs.
  • SEO performance will make or break your digital strategy. It helps your websites gain organic traffic by ranking higher in search engine results. You can get started by understanding basic SEO principles to improve your online visibility — again, without a significant upfront cost.
  • Social media allows marketers to reach a wide audience and engage with customers in a more personal setting. It’s a great place to put your marketing hypotheses to test, so you can predict how different strategies and campaigns will play out before fully investing in them. 
  • Email marketing allows you to reach audiences directly. It’s especially useful for nurturing leads, promoting products, and building customer relationships. 

Depending on your business goals and appetite for change, your digital marketing strategy could include one or all these platforms. We have more advice on how to do that in Your Guide to Creating an Effective Assisted & Senior Living Marketing Strategy.

Digital Marketing Is No Longer an Optional Add-On

Older Americans are becoming increasingly digitally savvy. This shift means marketers at senior living communities must adapt their approaches to meet the evolving needs and preferences of their target audience. 

Implementing a senior living digital marketing plan allows you to effectively reach and engage your evolving target audiences with personalized, compelling content that addresses their needs. By embracing digital marketing, you can position yourself at the forefront of your industry and ultimately thrive in the digital era.

Download Your Marketing Plan Template

To create your digital marketing plan, download our comprehensive template that guides you on how to put your efforts into action.

A screenshot of the front of the senior living marketing plan template with a graphical button for downloading and text on top.

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