How to Market in the Face of a Pandemic

Senior living communities face even more marketing challenges than other industries during this uncertain time caused by COVID-19. The highest risk population from the pandemic are the people in the senior living demographic. First, marketers must provide consistent communication that inspires trust and calm for current residents and their families.

Second, the senior living sector normally depends on community visits and in-person presentations to transition leads to a purchase decision. With safety protocols and government restrictions in place, marketers must find alternative ways to reach their target audience.

Thankfully, with today’s abundance of technology options and date-driven marketing solutions, senior living communities can create a best-in-class marketing plan to meet changing needs. Plus, two-thirds of adults over age 65 use online technology, making the shift to virtual communication a realistic approach.

4 Best-In-Class Marketing Solutions

1 - Video Offers a Personal Touch
Video is a proven and effective marketing tool during typical times. However, during our current pandemic, video provides a way for businesses to connect directly with customers. One question many prospects have is the senior living community’s safety plan. Use video to calm fears through storytelling from the perspective of current residents. Also, allow leaders to communicate a message of reassurance for current residents and prospects.

2 - Give Virtual Property Tours
Both recorded videos and live online tours are solid substitutes for in-person community visits. Recorded videos are more cost effective; however, for leads further along in the sales cycle, live online tours give a chance for dialogue and questions.

3 - Connect with Video Teleconferencing
Live events are a common marketing approach offering prospects the opportunity to learn about the issues impacting their decision to transition to a senior living community. Now that live events are restricted, consider effective alternatives. Video teleconferencing tools, like Zoom and Google Hangouts, provide a way for seniors to connect live as a group to watch a presentation, interact, and ask questions.

4 - Make a Phone Call
During the typical consumer journey, most senior living consumers reach out with a call, and calls convert more quickly than web leads. Calls are therefore vital for senior living communities to provide valuable information and convert leads. Ensure that while more people work from home, your senior living community maintains the bandwidth to field and respond to calls quickly. In fact, with the Coronavirus stay-at-home orders in place in many states, calls continue to provide a way for prospects to connect and build brand loyalty.

Tailor Messaging to the Times

This is not the time for business as usual. The entire world is simultaneously experiencing disruption. Marketing must address the pandemic head on with consistent communication while considering the right messaging for each market segment. The message to reassure current residents and their families will differ from the message to prospects. One important message is that senior living communities are fully prepared and equipped to keep residents safe. Also, ensure prospects and their families know whether your community is welcoming new residents during the pandemic. If not, create a pipeline of prospects ready to move in after the crisis abates. Clear communication helps avoid confusion about current operations.

You Don’t Have to Figure it Out Alone

At Sabal Group, we are here to help you with data-driven marketing solutions. We understand marketing departments feel the stress to deliver the right messages in best ways. We use omnichannel marketing to reach your target market, wherever they are, with the information they need. Contact us to discuss how we can help you develop a marketing plan today.

Maribeth Maribeth Jenkins is passionate about building long-term relationships and developing solutions for inbound and outbound marketing. With more than 10 years experience in the field, she understands the power of having the right information when you're making a decision. If you'd like to know more about how Sabal Group can help you and your team, please email her or connect with us on LinkedIn.