Senior Living Digital Marketing Maturity Model
In working with numerous senior living communities that vary in both number of locations and service line offerings, Linkmedia 360 is ultimately tasked with driving qualified inquiries that turn into residents to reach occupancy goals. Getting there and showing tangible results as soon as possible is what often times is the challenge we mutually encounter. Each senior living community comes to the partnership with different levels of digital marketing experience, website visibility, website user experience and website conversion potential. Common senior living digital marketing challenges we look to solve out of the gate with our client partnerships include:
- Heavy investment in traditional marketing without tracking ROI
- Never invested in dedicated team or digital channel marketing
- Website is not user friendly (no mobile version)
- Lack of transparency from digital marketing partners
- Unable to execute activities in a nimble fashion
- Increasing competition online (paid ads, lead aggregators, new community builds, etc.)
- No harmony between online messaging and offline collateral
- Lack of accurate website analytics (with insights)
Is your senior living community actively working to overcome these challenges and seize opportunities now, and also be prepared for future changes in the industry?
Immediately upon entering senior living client partnerships, we mindfully map out where clients are with their digital marketing sophistication, and where we need to take them to meet and exceed their resident acquisition goals. The purpose of this approach, or maturity model, is to support the resident journey with strategic digital marketing initiatives. There is nothing more rewarding in our work than advancing a client’s digital operations and community profitability – and proving it through analytics and insightful reporting. Timetables to generate results vary widely, but as long as there is ongoing knowledge sharing, transparency and a collaborative effort, results will manifest quickly.
Let us walk you through a model that can be applied to your community’s digital marketing operations.
While most of our new client partnerships fall under the novice or practitioner levels, we also are sought after by advanced community marketers to efficiently deliver upon niche components of a digital marketing strategy. As an agency, we are set up with dedicated expert resources that are up to date on the digital marketing industry, so your team can focus on branding, story telling or public relations.
Do any of these words accurately describe your digital marketing operations?
Novice – Stagnant, Chaotic, Siloed, Ad-hoc, Reactive
Practitioner – Managed, Experimental, Reactive, Process Emerges
Expert – Conversion & Revenue Focused, Quantitatively Measured, Proactive
The areas listed below are the strategic initiatives for senior living marketing, that when done in a holistic and integrated fashion, will lend toward success and movement in the maturity model. Here is our take on the importance of each one:
Having a documented plan that is connected to outcomes (and is measured along the way to show success, failure, opportunities and so on).
This is critical, whether it is internally, with agency partners, contractors or consultants. Without a team-first approach, nothing is achievable. Just having a website or a software solution doesn’t automatically solve all of your lead generation, messaging, or operational challenges.
This is the infrastructure that powers your digital presence. This involves your website hosting, mobile website, analytics and other tools that help further optimize digital marketing efforts.
Branding is an area that needs to reflect your mission, values and daily actions for your residents. This involves the messaging, look, feel, emotional connection and also how that is represented in areas like Facebook and review websites.
Visibility is one of our favorite strategic areas in digital marketing. Our goal is to get our clients prime real estate in search engines and other important digital channels that drive new and qualified traffic to your website – which then turns into leads. There are a lot of ways to create new visibility, but it is critical to focus on sustainable methods that will continue to work harder for you and get you ahead of competitors in your local market.
Engagement is how we capture our website visitors, email subscribers, and social media followers to stay active and informed. Are you there to help in their times of need, or early on in their research efforts? Accounting for engagement on your website is achieved through great content, decision guides, videos, interactive floor plans, live chat, blogs, and articles.
Once we have engaged our audience online, where are we ultimately driving them? If the phones aren’t ringing more frequently, or the website inquiries aren’t coming through, or your emails aren’t getting opened, then all of the other strategic activities are meaningless. With conversions, it is critical that we track and analyze all touch points and events on your website to continually improve the content and user experience.
Understanding Marketing Touch Points Within a Senior Living Community
Although our client partners usually reside in sales and marketing departments, we often work with other stakeholders of communities. It’s not uncommon for us to have joint or separate campaigns or workstreams that include HR, Giving, IT, or PR/communications.
When working with internal clients that have connections to sales and marketing, it’s important to:
- Understand goals and objectives
- Align and coordinate (break down siloed operations that require marketing expertise)
- Determine integration points
- Optimize everything
- Defer to data, not opinions (easier said than done)
Our Senior Living Digital Marketing Checklist will provide direction on all the things your senior living digital marketing operation should be accomplishing. Below are some of our recommended ways to advance your efforts to go from novice to practitioner and practitioner to expert.
How do you get to the Practitioner level?
- Establish program KPIs/goals
- Team training & role alignment
- Analytics setup & optimization (data integrity)
- Technical enhancements (mobile-friendly design, user experience best practices)
- Strategic updates to improve visibility
How do you get to the Expert level?
- Quarterly roadmap creation & competitive deep dive
- Integration across departments
- Optimize website analytics & technical SEO
- Monthly reporting review sessions and actionable next steps
- Create a keyword/content strategy that spans channels and ladders up to goals and census needs
- Establish a lead reconciliation process
- Set up marketing automation workflows
How do you maintain the Expert level?
- Ongoing analysis into website activity and CPL metrics; actionable go-forwards immediately incorporated into roadmap
- Frequent integration touch points across departments
- Build out a keyword/content strategy tailored toward goals (style guide, personas, strategy across channels)
- Marketing automation enhancements
- Automated lead reconciliation process between sales and marketing
How can this digital marketing approach be simplified even more?
Setting aside all the tactical digital marketing components that need to happen to advance your operation, our best advice is to keep this simple framework in mind. Analytics are necessary to show success, but they are even more valuable when you have insights and experience behind them that can execute an action plan in agile fashion to drive new visibility and leads in the markets surrounding your senior living community.
Download Our Senior Living Maturity Model Checklist to start producing more quality online leads that turn into residents!
If you see an opportunity for Linkmedia 360 to help you in your senior living digital marketing journey, contact us today!