This post was published on the Pivot Communication blog
In today’s digital era, it’s easier than ever for consumers — including seniors and families looking for housing or care — to find answers to their questions and solutions to their problems. Usually, all it takes is a quick Google or YouTube search. That’s why if you’re still producing content that focuses exclusively on your product, services and brand — it’s time to stop. The truth is: No one cares about how great you think your company is. They do, however, care about what your company can do for them: What solutions can you offer a consumer? What questions can you help them answer?
In senior living, families and seniors want content that informs and delights. With more and more seniors going online, they are becoming just as content-savvy as their younger counterparts. In fact, a recent Pew Research Center report found that 67 percent of adults 65 and older are on the internet, and most use it daily.
That said, it’s no longer enough for senior living communities to have a simple website that lists their offerings and services — you need to be producing regular content tailored to your consumers’ behaviors, motivations and goals. While creating this type of content does take planning, there are seven major ways you can start generating great content for your potential and current customers today:
Rely on your staff’s expertise.
Chances are, your senior living community is staffed with highly trained professionals, including your care team and administrative staff. Tap them for good article or blog topics, and consider sharing their knowledge with consumers by reaching out to a local paper or industry publication to pitch a story, or craft a letter to the editor or column on timely topics. Maybe it’s National Nurse’s Month and your nursing home administrator could craft an article on the critical value of nurses; or maybe your wellness director could share his thoughts on tips for staying active during winter months as you age. If these professionals aren’t skilled writers, consider asking a PR firm to assist with organizing your team’s thoughts on paper.
Humanize your employees.
Think about how you can use your employees’ stories and experiences to create interesting content. Sure, they may be filled with knowledge and expertise, but they also have unique personalities and interests. Introduce new hires in your next newsletter, and include funny or interesting facts about them to keep the content fresh and personable. You may also consider writing a blog post to spotlight them or other employees at your community. A good question to ask employees when writing this content: What do you like most about working with seniors? Many of them will have truly heart-warming stories to share.
Use insights from your sales team.
When it comes to senior living, the questions consumers have are endless: When do I know it’s time to move into a senior living community? Will my insurance cover my stay? What are the differences between assisted and independent living? Ask your sales team to compile the questions they most often get from prospects, and then create a list of FAQs based on these questions. You could even use individual questions as the basis of blog posts or newsletters intros — the options are endless.
Put your reviews and testimonials to good use.
When a resident or their family members leave you a glowing review on a senior living review website like Caring.com, A Place for Mom or Senior Advisor, don’t just let is sit there. Add a blurb from the review to your website or at the bottom of your newsletters. You could even share it on social media. When prospects read these reviews, they’ll feel reassured that people like them had good experiences.
Share residents’ stories.
You or your staff probably know of a resident with a remarkable life story, an important upcoming birthday or even a story on how they came to call your community their home. Ask residents for permission to share their stories, and then consider how you can best promote them. Often, they serve as great blog or social media fodder. And if the story has an angle that’s strong enough, you could even pitch it to a newspaper. We’ve helped numerous communities attract media coverage and share their residents’ stories with the world.
Always have a camera on hand.
A picture really is worth a thousand words, mainly because it saves someone from having to read any words when seeking out information. Pictures also help humanize your community. Take pictures of residents having fun on outings and during unique events and activities — this will show prospects that your community is an exciting place to live. Share these photos on social media and in your newsletters. If they’re good enough, you could even share them with a newspaper. Don’t forget about video, either. Importantly, though, ask for permission if you are going to share images online.
Go beyond the blog.
If you’re not already blogging, you should be — blogs drive traffic to your website, help create leads and position you as an authority figure in your industry. And, every single blog is a new page on your website, loaded with keyword-rich content that can be found when seniors and families go online to find answers to their questions. However, it’s important to not stop with just a blog. Create white papers, tip sheets, or checklists that go more in-depth than a simple blog post. If you are going to the effort to produce this valuable content, ask for something in return – such as an email or phone number – so you can initiate a dialogue.