20 Aug Good news: Marketing during Covid-19 works!
As I write this, we’re four months into the pandemic, and we now have marketing results for lead generation during Covid-19. Turns out, going virtual has its advantages, and older cohorts are still exploring senior living options and moving in.
We’ve had fantastic success rolling out our 3rdThird Pivot program. The ROI we’ve achieved would be impressive even without a pandemic, but with Covid-19, the ROI is nothing short of dang remarkable. If you want the nitty-gritty about why Pivot works, please reach out and I will be happy to share specifics with your team.
Until then, here are some highlights and lessons from our recent efforts:
- Leads are down, but conversions are up. We used to hold big open house events with food and wine and get 100+ attendees, whereas now, we invite prospects to attend virtual webinars and get 30+ attendees. However, those 30 prospects are highly engaged and full of questions. You can be certain they aren’t there for the free shrimp! Learn to do virtual webinars well because they’re beginning to look like the perfect vehicle that marketers have always dreamed of: fewer leads to chase, but nearly every lead is worth pursuing.
- Take it to a 10. The marketing rule that “It takes at least 10 touches to create a move in” still holds true. If you can’t see your prospects in person, how are you going to get in these 10 unique touches? We find that many things work: holding virtual events, making exclusive invitations, sending gift packages and providing sought-after services such as grocery delivery or free meals delivered from local restaurants right to their home. Remember, one sale is worth a great deal, so be willing to invest in your nurturing program and incentivize prospects to stay engaged.
- Answer the one big question: “Could I live here?” Your target audience is looking for answers related to Covid-19, but above all, they want to know what it’s like to live in your community during this time. Communicating sanitary and precautionary measures is important—however, lifestyle is still king. Make sure you show that a high quality of life is happening at your community via social media, blogs, podcasts and video content. Do you offer concierge services like deliveries for groceries, medications and meals? Play that up!
- It’s still a lifestyle sell. We’ve known forever that prospects, even assisted living prospects, do not want to buy care. Care is an assumed given, and it’s just not sexy. What they do want to buy is a lifestyle. Your website should communicate vitality and positivity, and it should make it clear that living in your community is always fantastic—even during Covid-19.
- The same channels still work. Although digital marketing is increasingly important with people spending more time online, all channels are still available and successful, including direct mail and newspaper. Plus, you’ll see a lift in digital success when offline marketing is also utilized.
Our key takeaways from all of this are that content is critical, and you should work to grab market share now! Things may change for the worse come fall and winter, but for now, stocks are up, home sales are up and another stimulus package seems to be just around the corner.
Yes, the overall numbers of prospects have declined and so has interest, but there are plenty still in the market, and they are serious. Those who want to buy, want to buy sooner rather than later. Many organizations have pulled back on marketing because they think people aren’t interested in senior living. Capitalize on their mistake by expanding your market share! If you have questions on how to do it, we’re here to help.