Digital is now one of the most, if not the most important marketing channels. Google recently said that they process over 2 trillion searches a year. If you aren’t successful marketing in the digital channel, you’re missing out on business.
The digital world can be a challenging one for assisted living facility. There’s a lot of competition and it can he hard to be visible and stand out online. Fortunately there things you can do to improve your visibility and get more business from digital sources. Here are three keys to maximizing digital marketing efforts for your assisted living facilities.
1) Target And Plan Your Digital Marketing Efforts
One of the best features of digital marketing is the ability to target your efforts and targeted marketing always gets better results, In order to target your efforts you need to define who your target is. What are the problems and pain points they have that you can solve for them? How can you educate them to help them resolve their problems? Remember that every purchase is a decision that solves a problem.
Start your targeting work by developing a persona. A persona is a semi-fictional description of who you are targeting. Identify who they are, what is their daily life like and the pain points that they have that your business can solve for them. What are the solutions? What terms do they use when they discuss these pain points and solutions? What is the cost to them if they don’t act to solve these problems?
If you’re not sure where to start when developing a persona, simply make a list of every question a prospect or a customer of your assisted living facility has asked you in the past. This exercise will help you uncover a real portrait of your ideal prospect and how you can help them and that allows you to target their needs very precisely.
Next you have to develop a plan on how you are going to market to your newly defined ideal prospect. Planning your marketing work is essential because if you don’t have a plan you can’t evaluate if the time and resources you put into your work were worth the effort you put forth. We won’t go into the details of what you can do marketing wise, that’s better left to another, or several other posts. What we will tell you is that you will get better results if you set SMART (Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Realistic and Time Bound) goals and a system to track the steps you took to achieve those goals and the results you got. So whether it’s a content calendar for regular blog posting and social media or improvement of your on site search optimization or an email newsletter engagement strategy, you need a plan, execution and analysis in order to be successful.
2) Don’t Try To Bite Off Too Much At Once
Too often businesses try to do everything all at once because they think that will get faster results. Quite the opposite is true. That’s often a recipe for disaster. It’s best to start off in a focused manner by picking the digital marketing method that you think is likely to give the greatest ROI.
I you want to focus on social media because your target audience for your assisted living facility spends many hours on social media, pick one platform. For an assisted living facility your target audience is likely women in their fifties whose parents are in their 70’s and 80’s and may no longer be able to live on their own. That audience is not likely to be on Snapchat, LinkedIn or even Twitter. They are most likely to be spending most of their day using Facebook as their social media channel of choice. So you've got to develop a strategy of creating valuable content for your target where they live, on Facebook.
When you can create content for your target audience that they find valuable, they will interact with it and will share it with their friends who may also find it valuable.
If you try to execute your first social media plan across four different social media platforms all at once you are very unlikely to be successful on any of them. Not only will you have to do four times the work but you are very unlikely to get any results at all.
Start out by picking a focused direction for your digital marketing and make sure that you have some success before you expand your efforts. This way you are playing off of strength, not weakness.
3) Optimize Your Website For Conversion
The biggest mistake that many businesses make is that their website is more of a sales brochure focused on them when it should be a conversion machine focused on solving their prospects problems and pain points. Your website should be focused on converting prospects into leads and leads into customers. If your website is not generating business it is not doing its job.
If you are expending resources to do digital marketing you have to make sure that your website is ready to give you return on that investment.
So, how do you ensure that your website is properly optimized to convert prospects into leads? Well, here are some tips that you can put into place right away.
Make sure that you have calls to action on your website. You have to let prospects know, quickly and clearly, the next step they should take. Whether it's to call you or to click on something to receive information they need to be told what to do. Don’t assume that they will figure it out. They aren’t going to do work to buy from you. Make it clear and easy.
That call to action also needs to stand out and not blend in with the design of your site. If the call to action is a phone number it should be big, it should be bold, and it should be of a highly contrasting color. A phone number should also be click to call for mobile devices. That means when someone looks at your website on their mobile phone they can click it and their phone will dial your phone number.
Your phone number should also be at the very top of the website. Make sure that you look at your website on your mobile phone to see where the phone number is. Mobile layouts are often vastly different than desktop layouts and sometimes the differences are a big surprise. If the phone number is not clear, if it's not easy to see, then you have to make some changes.
A good way to test this is to show someone your website on your phone. Make sure that it's someone who hasn't seen your website before and ask them to find your phone number. Simply watch them while they do it. If it takes more than a few seconds, you need to make some adjustments.
If you are using calls to action to direct a prospect to a landing page so that they can download some helpful content, like an ebook, in exchange for their contact information, that call to action should be some sort of graphic that talks about the benefits of that ebook for the user. Tell them what it will do for them. Let them know how it will help them.
When you ask for someone's contact information they know you are going to contact them. So in their mind they are weighing the value of what you're offering versus what they are giving up. Their contact information is the currency and they will compare the value of that currency to the value of what they're getting, just as they do with any purchase that they make. So if you are going to offer a content download, you had better make sure it has value to your user.
Obviously there's a lot more to digital marketing your assisted living facility than what we have covered here, but these three key points can help you get started in evaluating your current digital marketing plan and its effectiveness. If you have any questions please feel free to reach out to me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.