5 Assisted Living Marketing Challenges and How to Solve Them
In 2020, about 17% of the U.S. population is age 65 or older. That percentage is expected to increase to 22% by the year 2050.
In 2016, there were over 65,000 paid service providers in the long-term care industry, which includes assisted living facilities. As the number of such facilities increases, assisted living marketing becomes even more important.
Marketing in the assisted living sector poses unique challenges. Here are some of the most common ones along with effective ways to address them.
- Coping with competition. The need for assisted living is increasing as more people join the over-65 population. New facilities open frequently, so assisted living marketing has to keep up with the pace. Staying visible in a crowded sector requires attention to SEO, the use of the most effective marketing channels and a deep understanding of the target audience. Having a strong marketing strategy is essential, as is being ready to fine-tune that strategy as the market evolves.
- Dealing with potential residents’ feelings of guilt. Eighty-five percent of retirees want to be cared for in their own homes, and many adult children feel guilty when they turn to assisted living for help in caring for their aging parents. This guilt can be an “elephant in the room,” and it’s essential for facilities to address this in their marketing. Many facilities do so by emphasizing the increased safety of their residents due to smart design and trained staff. They also focus on education in the care of older adults and their efforts to build genuine communities within their residences.
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- Differentiating your facility from competing facilities. Assisted living marketing can appeal to the target market in many different ways, and marketing campaigns don’t have to try to be everything to everyone. Some facilities stand out from the competition due to location, while others make their mark by emphasizing specialty care, such as care for residents with Parkinson’s disease or Alzheimer’s. Understanding the target market means understanding both potential residents and their families (typically adult children), knowing what they’re looking for and showing how the facility meets those needs.
How to Help Your Facility Reach the Top of Search Engine Results
People begin their searches for assisted living facilities online, and the facilities that appear at or near the top of search engine results have a clear advantage. SEO requires attention to several details consistently over time:
- Creating fresh, unique, compelling content
- Having a Google My Business page that is complete, current and visually appealing
- Having a strong presence on social media platforms where the target audience spends time
- Prominently displaying contact information, plus name, address and phone number information that is consistent across all web properties
- Showcasing online reviews and responses to them that demonstrate attention to reviewers’ concerns
Building and Maintaining a Strong Online Reputation
As the customer journey for assisted living decisions often begins online, maintaining a strong online reputation matters a great deal. That’s why assisted living marketing and online reputation management are natural partners. Part of your marketing budget should be allocated to online reputation management tools that enable you to manage online reviews, social media and all your online business listings.
Online reputation management directly or indirectly addresses the major challenges assisted living facilities face as they strive to build strong, vibrant communities for their residents. Download our ebook “Getting Started with Online Reputation Management” to learn more today.