I had the pleasure last month of sharing the podium at the CALA conference with Meghan Lublin, Senior Vice President of Marketing & Communications for Sunrise Senior Living, to talk about content marketing. Sunrise, with its great blog, Facebook page, and website, is one of the best content marketers in the industry.

Katie and Meghan at CALA

Thanks to Carrie Coumbs of Kindred at Home for this photo from the session!

Meghan shared some of her best practices with the CALA audience and me, including:

  • Always create content that will be truly helpful to your unique customer (your “persona,” to use the marketing buzzword). Don’t create content just to do it.
  • Try to be part of a larger conversation with your content. Content marketing is less about closing the sale NOW and more about building relationships so that when your customer is ready, they think of you first. The Sunrise Eats blog is a great example.
  • Be very careful using community activities, photos, etc. as content, especially for memory care communities. Always get new authorizations from any resident or family member whose photograph you post. Sunrise runs a single Facebook page for all its communities centrally, in order to ensure that all posts conform to its corporate guidelines for privacy and appropriateness.
  • Email is Sunrise’s best bet for getting content into the hands of senior housing prospects.

Of course, many of Caring’s partner communities are small chains or single communities who do not have a team of marketing experts like Sunrise does. But I’ve still seen numerous examples of great content marketing, including:

  • Local Relevance: Roland Park Place in Baltimore has an outstanding website. Some of my favorite things are the list of activities in the Baltimore area and a great page of local resources, both with links to local companies’ web sites. An out-of-date idea is that backlinks detract from your SEO presence, but Roland Park Place’s Baltimore-specific backlinks allow Google to put it in context, and their website is one of the top results when you search for “Retirement Communities in Baltimore”
  • Videos: Bethany Village in Horseheads, NY, posts lots of creative videos on its Facebook page. There’s one honoring a local Olympian that got great engagement on the page and also lots of shares by others in the community. The videos are low on “production values” but high on enthusiasm.

To see screenshots of these and other content marketing examples, check out the slide deck we used at CALA. And if you want to do content marketing but need some inspiration, Caring posts monthly Content Sparks which you are welcome to reference. If you create a blog post using one of our Content Sparks, and you tell us about it, we’ll share it out to our audience.

Image on this article also available here: www.linkedin.com/hp/update/6196829588677488640

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