By Emma Urbanek
Seniors are going to the web to determine their paths toward senior living. Seventy-five percent of senior living consumers research options on search engines. In fact, the overwhelming majority of senior living and senior care customers start their journeys with online research, with 75 percent of senior living consumers researching on search engines.
Once seniors realize they are ready for senior care, what influences them to narrow down their search? It could be word of mouth, signs they’ve seen around town, or the research they do online. Senior care providers should attempt to reach their audience through each of these channels, as long as it makes sense for their facility.
What Is Integrated Marketing?
Rather than simply using various media to help tell parts of a brand's overall story, integrated marketing communication leverages each channel's intrinsic strengths to achieve a greater impact together than each channel could achieve individually.
You’re not necessarily using only inbound marketing tactics like blogging or traditional marketing tactics like billboards, but you’re using both of those together to share your brand message. Integrated content marketing is a great place to start.
To effectively reach your audience, senior care providers need to first start with brand personas and identified marketing messages. A well defined target persona will help you craft messages that will be effective across multiple channels.
Typical channels that senior care providers use are:
- Advertising: Broadcast, print, internet advertising, outdoor advertising, online classified ads, media ads
- Direct marketing: Direct mail, emails, telemarketing
- Sales: Materials such as sell sheets, brochures, presentations
- Online/Digital marketing: Email marketing, mobile marketing, user-preference coding (or remarketing)
- Social media: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram
- Content marketing: Blogs, newsletters, content offers, premium content
- Public relations: Community outreach, news releases, public events, grand openings, press conferences
- Special promotions: Limited-time offers, contests, rebates, special events
If your senior care facility doesn’t utilize all of these channels, that’s perfectly fine, but it’s imperative for senior care providers to understand each channel’s strengths and weaknesses, which can be identified by analyzing the conversion rates of your target audience. Once you have a list of the most efficient channels, you can use that information to build your multichannel strategy without having to spend extra time and money on efforts that won’t produce results for you.
How Can Senior Care Providers Use Integrated Marketing?
The most important part of a successful integrated marketing campaign is consistent branding and messaging. If a senior living community wanted to launch an integrated campaign they would also need to set up appropriate tracking metrics—tracking URLs and phone numbers.
An integrated campaign could include the following channels:
- Facebook ads
- Google ads
- Print ads in local publications
- SEO optimized landing page
- Billboards near your community
- Lead nurture sequences
Once you’ve developed a consistent message and brand for this campaign, you can adapt it so that it fits each channel appropriately. Try to use the same images, copy, and calls to action on each ad if you can. Beyond message consistency, marketing integration also focuses on the distribution of the message in a properly timed order or sequence based on interaction with the customer and the specific media used.
Once your campaign is live and running, make sure to have a process for following up with the leads you’ve pulled in. Lead nurture sequences are an effective way to stay in front of leads that have converted on the digital aspects of your campaign.
Measuring Your Success
The biggest mistake you can make when running an integrated campaign is failing to track your leads. Traditional marketing tactics don’t always have the benefit of being able to track down the leads or impressions that your campaign produced. Building and monitoring tracking URLs will be key to your success.
Watching the calls come through and seeing the tracking URL data grow is my favorite part of any campaign. As you monitor the results, you can optimize your online assets and plan for your next campaign!