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7 Digital Marketing Strategies for Senior Living

Elevate your digital marketing with these proven strategies.

Amanda McGrory-Dixon, 20th May 2024

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 seeing the adoption of key technologies by those in the oldest age group, 65 and over, grow markedly every year. 

The consumer trends blog, Think with Google, has noticed a similar change.

In an article titled “Why Marketers’ Picture Of Seniors Is Getting Old,” 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:

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

Ready to learn seven strategies to level up your digital marketing for senior living? Let’s get into it.

1. Identify Your Target Audience

Before you begin your senior living digital marketing efforts, you need to determine your target audience. Understanding the demographics, preferences, and needs of your target audience can help you make your marketing more effective. Identifying your target audience is one way to evaluate your community’s demographics. 

Here are some factors to take into account.

  • Age: Some senior living communities have mostly younger, active 55+ retirees while others are designed for older adults ages 75+ who may have more acuity needs. 
  • Geographic location: Consider where your residents lived before joining your community. Are they local, or did they relocate to your community? 
  • Marital status: Determine if the majority of your residents are married or single. 
  • Income level: Evaluate the financial means of your current residents. 
  • Health status: Assess the health needs of your residents, including mobility limitations, chronic conditions, and level of care needed. 
  • Lifestyle preferences: Consider what your current residents like to do in their spare time, such as games, events, and outdoor activities. 

In addition to the residents themselves, the adult children of your residents are likely a key part of your target audience. Oftentimes, they decide which community to choose on behalf of their parents.

Illustrations showing how to determine the target audience of your senior living community

2. Craft Your Message

Choosing a senior living community is a sensitive topic for older people and their adult children. Transitioning to senior living an emotionally charged decision that often comes with sadness, guilt, or fear. The right message can make all the difference. 

Use these strategies 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 community 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.

3. Create an Optimized Website

According to recent assisted living statistics, 29% of conversions came via the web or social media. Therefore, you need to optimize your website, so seniors can easily find the information they need.

Remember these tips when optimizing a website for seniors. 

  • Streamlined navigation: Make sure your website navigation is clearly labeled, so seniors can easily find important pages, such as amenities, services, financial options, and frequently asked questions. 
  • Simple design and layout: When designing your website, use clear fonts and high-contrast colors to ensure seniors with reduced vision can read the text.  
  • Clear and short forms: When creating forms, try to limit them to need-to-know information, like name, email address, and phone number, so they’re quick to fill out. 
  • Mobile optimization: Some seniors may visit your website from tablets or smartphones, so optimize your website for mobile as well.

4. Use Social Media

Social media allows marketers to reach a wide audience and engage with customers in a more personal setting. And with more seniors becoming social media savvy, it’s a great place to put your marketing hypotheses to the test, so you can predict how different strategies and campaigns will play out before fully investing in them. 

Here are some ideas of what to post on social media.

  • Video tours of your community 
  • Testimonials from current residents 
  • Wellness tips for seniors 
  • Community activities and events 
  • Staff spotlights 

Focus your social media marketing efforts on platforms where your target audience engages. For example, Facebook is widely regarded as the best social media site to reach older demographics. 

Pie chart illustrating that 40% of seniors use social media.

5. Invest in Content Marketing

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. Examples of helpful blog content can include local area guides, retirement planning advice, wellness tips, and lifestyle content about your community.

6. Prioritize SEO

SEO performance makes or breaks your digital strategy. With a proper SEO strategy, your website can gain organic traffic by ranking higher in search engine results, which is crucial in reaching your target audience. 

To get started, you need to understand basic SEO principles to improve your online visibility — again, without a significant upfront cost. Then, apply those best practices and optimize your content with important keywords, high-quality backlinks, and user-friendly website design to improve your SEO performance. 

7. Deploy Email Marketing

Email marketing allows you to reach audiences directly. It’s especially useful for nurturing leads, promoting services, and building customer relationships. Use email marketing automation to manage your campaigns and nurture leads automatically. 

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

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. 

The share of divorced men and women aged 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, senior living digital marketing can help you connect with target audiences, differentiate yourself from competitors, build brand awareness, establish trust, and attract more residents to your community.

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 their target audience’s evolving needs and preferences. 

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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