Older adults and their family members struggle with senior care conversations — whether talking about driving, senior living, medical matters, or end-of-life concerns. There can be a gap between what the adult daughter thinks Mom needs and what Mom thinks Mom needs, and these are emotionally charged, highly personal topics as well.
Recognizing this challenge for families and their elder loved ones, Home Instead Senior Care offers a free resource on CaregiverStress.com that helps get these important senior care conversations started. It’s a great example of digital marketing that uses content for generating leads and developing client relationships.
Here’s how: The medication management conversation starter is published in their Let’s Talk about Rx content, and includes script samples for common medication concerns and facts about why the discussion is necessary. To get this free Conversation Starters one-pager, you enter your email address via a simple, straightforward landing page — no clicking through multiple screens, no long form to fill out, and there’s an image of the resource provided as well. Home Instead also wisely offers two versions of the Conversation Starter — for the caregiver or for the senior, and asks if you’re in the U.S. or Canada.
This digital marketing campaign helps Home Instead get connected via email to new prospective clients and see which of their existing clients may be struggling with medication management and need added support. Home Instead’s landing page for the Starter Kit also helps it ‘stay connected’ to its prospects and clients via opt in to free e-newsletters — extending the content marketing from a one-off conversation starter handout, to ongoing lead nurturing via e-newsletter content.
After a family caregiver or senior requests the Conversation Starter resource, Home Instead sends an email that is brief, friendly, and follows email best practices. The email includes a PDF link of the Conversation Starter one-pager and a quick link to more online content about medication management that may be helpful to the family caregiver or older adult — driving visits back to the CaregiverStress.com site.
Well done, Home Instead Senior Care! Your free Conversation Starters resource is excellently demonstrating how digital content marketing can effectively fulfill the needs of family caregivers and older adults, and build business revenue and relationships.
Have a Digital Marketing Kudos story to share? We’d love to hear from you. Submit kudos now.
I want to start by saying I am a successful content marketer and have built Senior Housing Forum into a significant force in the senior living space exclusively using content marketing techniques.
The biggest problem with content marketing is that someone has to generate content and generating content is hard work. It is hard work for me and it is my full-time job. It is much much harder for senior living marketing organizations since they have dozens of things that must be done every day, week, month and year.
Here are seven simple ways to be an effective content marketer:
- What’s Your Goal? — This may sound like a stupid question, but trust me it is not. I would suggest that more than anything else, your goal with content marketing needs to be relationship building. What I mean by this is that you need to see you content strategy as vehicle for prospects — your local community — to get to know you better.
The Brookdale employee videos are a great example of this. Over time those employees almost begin to feel like family.
- Tell Stories. — Storytelling was the very first marketing technique that is thousands of years old. Today it remains the single most powerful way to grow your business. When dealing with prospects, they ultimately want to know just one single thing: What is it like to live in your community and will mom or dad be happy here?
About The Author: Steve Moran
Steve Moran is the publisher of Senior Housing Forum and speaks on the senior living industry and the broader aging economy. He shared: “Five days a week Senior Housing Forum publishes great content that helps senior living leaders do a better job. We would love to hear your story and have you join the thousands of other senior living professionals that read our content every month. We would also love to hear about your content marketing journey for a possible future story.” Please visit Senior Housing Forum to contact Steve about these opportunities.
Did you know that the American “Mothers’ Day” holiday was started by a family caregiver? A well-educated businesswoman, Ann Jarvis shifted her focus in 1904 to care for her mother (her namesake) after her father died and her mother’s health declined. On May 10, 1908 (three years after her mother’s death), Ann held a memorial ceremony to honor her mother and all mothers — and thus began her campaign to establish this national tradition, finally proclaimed as an official holiday in the USA in 1914.
With such a direct correlation to our industry, and the significant numbers of older mothers being cared for by their adult daughters (many of them mothers themselves or “sandwich caregivers”), we think this is an excellent topic for your content programming in May, and offer these tips and resources to help.
Content Tips for Any Senior Care Company:
- Talk about the challenges that adult children face in caring for elder or frail parents, and how professional senior care services can help ease the burden — so that the family can shift to focusing more on quality time together in their loved ones’ golden years.
- To care for her mother, Ann Jarvis moved her into the home Ann shared with her brother — but it did take some time to persuade the elder to leave her own home to live with her children. This is a decision (and challenge) many adult children face: help mom find a senior living community, hire an in-home care agency, and/or move mom into their home — if and when they can convince the senior to accept help in this way. Provide tips and guidance for adult children in having this conversation with their mother and how to proceed with considering the senior care options, such as cost factors or what the different levels of senior living provide.
- Consider any tribute crafts or legacy activities that you can share with the elder mothers you serve — as a gift for their family members or as an activity with their loved ones. Write about these projects and their importance.
- Photos and quote memes — such as this poem about each letter in the word Mother — can be particularly effective for increasing social media engagement with your Mothers’ Day programming. Sometimes visuals and meaningful quips can be more emotionally moving than long-form prose, and there’s substantial data from platforms like Facebook and Pinterest that images and shorter posts are more popular among social networking users.
- Content Tips for Senior Living Communities:
- What special activities or dining services do you have planned to help celebrate Mothers Day at your senior living community? Write an overview of how your community is marking the occasion and on your social profiles include great photos (especially the day of or after the event) with photo opt-in by those featured, of course.
- Interview a senior resident who is a mother and whose daughter (or son) helped her make the decision to move and found your community. What was the process like for them? How has life improved for the elder mother in her golden years as a result of moving into your community? This personal storytelling can resonate particularly well with prospective residents and their family members too.
- Content Tips for Home Care Agencies:
- Help family caregivers understand that they don’t have to go it alone — whether their aging mother lives alone, in a senior living community, or moves in with them, an in-home care agency can help with caring for her in several ways. Avoid the sales pitch though — you want to be seen as a helpful, knowledgeable resource they can rely upon, not as an opportunist seizing on their difficult situation.
- Interview a senior client who is a mother and whose daughter (or son) helped her accept an in-home caregiver or elder companion and found your agency. What was that experience like for them? How has life improved for the elder mother since then? Real life stories from “people like me” can be particularly helpful to those considering home care for themselves or their elder parents as well.
Caring Resources to Support this Spark:
- Caring for a Parent Support Group — an online resource for adult children to discuss the unique aspects of caring for a parent and get advice from others facing similar challenges
- Difficult Conversations with an Aging Parent — A range of senior care conversations aren’t easy but can be navigated better with these tips
- How to Help An Older Adult Create a Lasting Legacy — a project for families or for professional caregivers to do with the seniors they serve as a gift to their families
Additional Resources to Support this Spark:
- Caregiving, Mothering Mother, and More — a blog by caregiving expert, Carol O’Dell
- About Ann Jarvis — details and sources on the origins of the Mothers Day holiday in the USA
- Western Oregon University study, “It’ll Work Out: Older Mothers’ and Adult Daughters’ Perspectives on Future Plans” (2014)
Content Sparks are part of Caring.com’s Content Made Simple program. See all of the May 2016 Content Sparks.