Blog > Sales and Marketing

How to Make Your Senior Living Community Marketing More Effective

Senior living community marketing faces many unique challenges. With multiple audiences, including seniors and most likely their adult children, your…

Amanda McGrory-Dixon, 12th December 2023

Senior living community marketing faces many unique challenges.

With multiple audiences, including seniors and most likely their adult children, your marketing for senior living must address diverse preferences and concerns. Moving into a senior living community is also an emotionally charged decision for all involved, requiring an extra heft dose of empathy from your marketing messaging. As if that’s not enough, both seniors and their adult children use a variety of marketing channels — both print and digital marketing — so your marketing tactics should include a mix of different platforms.

We’ll cover:

  • What to consider before crafting senior living marketing ideas.
  • Three ways to make your senior living community marketing more effective.
  • How to come up with effective senior living marketing ideas.
  • Some parting wisdom about marketing for senior living.

What to Consider Before Crafting Marketing Ideas for Senior Living Communities

Not every marketing idea works for this audience. Given the industry’s special set of business challenges, your marketing ideas for senior living communities must account for some practical factors.

Some questions to consider When crafting marketing ideas for senior living, consider these questions.

What Are Your Specific Marketing Goals?

Before anything else, define what you’d like to achieve with your marketing efforts. Do you want to increase brand awareness, generate leads, or drive sales?

Of course, “all of the above” is the answer for many marketers. But, specifying exactly what you want to achieve helps you focus your efforts and keep your team aligned — ultimately increasing your chance of reaching your goal.

When you’re setting a goal for your marketing ideas for senior living, keep the goal simple. For example: “We’d like to increase brand awareness by 20% in the next quarter,” or “We’d like to Increase website traffic by 15% in the next six months.”

Who Are You Trying to Reach?

Yes, you want to target people around age 65 years and over, but you’ll find a lot of diversity within that demographic. Not all seniors — and their adult children — have the same needs and preferences.

So when you come up with new marketing ideas for senior living, think about whether you’d like to tailor your marketing message toward active seniors, seniors with dementia, or married or single seniors.

For example, if you target active seniors, you could highlight amenities, such as the swimming pool or bring attention to features like walking trails around your property. Defining who you’re speaking to helps you deliver a more compelling message.

What’s Your Unique Value Proposition?

Differentiating your community from the competition will be vital in the coming years.

Think about what your target audience likely values the most in their decision-making process. It could be your location or amenities or the different care services you provide. Make sure to highlight your community’s strengths and weaknesses in your senior living marketing plan to gain a competitive advantage.

Of course, you have much more to consider than just those three points. But defining your goals, your audience, and your value proposition will help you come up with effective marketing ideas for senior living.

Now that you’ve made some strategic decisions about your marketing efforts, let’s talk about how to create marketing materials that are truly valuable to your audiences.

How to Come Up With Effective Senior Living Marketing Ideas

Effective marketing comes from truly understanding your audience.

What are their hopes and fears? What keeps them up at night? What do they love doing every day?

Marketers refer to these details as “pain points” or “buyer expectations,” but understanding the emotional factor of these nuances is the secret to succeeding at marketing for senior living.

Here are some ways marketers in senior living communities can demonstrate more empathy in their marketing efforts.

Related: Get our guide on how to create an effective marketing strategy for senior living communities.

Take the Opportunity to Educate, Not Just Pitch

Looking for a senior living community can be an ordeal.

  • The search itself can be time consuming and confusing.
  • The number of available options can be overwhelming.
  • The thought of living away from what has been their home for decades can be painful.

Tactfully managing those complex, emotional experiences is our responsibility. As marketers, we can alleviate the pain prospects and their families feel by providing more transparent information. This could mean writing blog posts about “how to downsize” or “what to look for in a senior living community” or hosting webinars about “understanding the differences between independent living, assisted living, and skilled nursing.”

By offering valuable information, you can draw people into your marketing funnel and engage them on a deeper level before they even visit your community.

Be More Inclusive With Tech

Digital tools can transform your senior living marketing ideas. You can reach a wider audience by simply using alt text for images or making your website compatible with screen readers. And that’s precisely our advice — start small.

Say, for example, many residents cannot participate in property tours. That’s a problem. Guided tours give prospective residents an opportunity to get a feel for its atmosphere, and it allows their families to ask questions about the community’s care, services, and costs.

Here’s how senior living tech can help: Use Zoom tours to give potential residents and their families a realistic experience of your community. You could walk them through common areas, apartments, and other amenities. At the end of the tour, you could even arrange a one-on-one conversation with another resident.

Problem solved.

Focus on Life Enrichment, Not Just Comfort

People join senior living communities for different reasons. Many senior living communities market themselves primarily as comfortable, safe places for seniors to live.

While that’s important, it’s also been done a thousand times. People expect for a senior living community to offer comfort and safety. What truly differentiates a community is an emphasis on life enrichment.

Remember how we discussed highlighting your unique value proposition? Here’s where it’s crucial.

Consider promoting unique classes, hobby-focused groups, or even partnerships with local universities for lifelong learning programs. This strategy can help you appeal to the growing number of seniors who want to make the most of their retirement years, not just find a place to live them out.

Put Your Marketing Efforts Into Practice

Marketing for senior living communities can be challenging, but it is also incredibly rewarding. By taking the time to understand your target audience and their needs, you can develop marketing campaigns that are both effective and empathetic.

Here are a few key takeaways to get started:

  • Define your goals: What do you want to achieve with your marketing efforts? Do you want to increase brand awareness, generate leads, or drive sales? Once you know your goals, you can focus your efforts and measure your success.
  • Understand your audience: Who are you trying to reach? What are their pain points and buyer expectations? The better you understand your audience, the more effective your marketing will be.
  • Highlight your unique value proposition: What makes your senior living community different from the competition? What value do you offer to your residents? Make sure your marketing materials highlight your unique selling points.
  • Use tech to become more inclusive: There are a number of ways to use technology to make your marketing more inclusive of seniors and their families. For example, you can use video tours to give potential residents a realistic experience of your community without having to visit in person.
  • Focus on life enrichment: Seniors are looking for more than just a comfortable place to live. They are looking for a community where they can thrive and enjoy their retirement years. Highlight the life enrichment opportunities your community offers in your marketing materials.

Take Your Marketing to the Next Level

By following these tips, you can create effective senior living marketing campaigns that will help you reach your goals and attract new residents — but how do you put those campaigns into action? To supercharge your marketing efforts, you need to an actionable roadmap, and that’s where a written, documented marketing plan helps you successfully execute your campaigns.

Download our free senior living marketing plan template now, and you’ll be on your way to meeting your marketing objectives and goals.

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

Related Content

Blogs, stories and studies from the forefront of senior living operations

The 2023 Aline Annual Sales & Marketing Benchmark Report for Senior Housing is here! Download Now!.