Senior living lead sources have changed.

Referrals used to come primarily from community-based resources like a hospital social worker, primary care physician and pastors from local churches. Because families trusted their advice, they reached out to senior living communities for more information by phone. Some even stopped in for a visit.

Lead Sources for Today’s Senior Living Communities

Fast forward to today and take a look at what the lead forms and inquiry cards for the typical senior living community reveal. Image_ElderOnPhoneAtComputerMost senior living providers now receive at least half of their leads through online channels. Some providers report as many as 70% of their leads coming from their website.

Even if an adult child called you to set up an appointment instead of using your Contact Form, you can rest assured they’ve already checked you out online. Probably with visits to your website and Facebook page, as well as read what other families have to say on senior care review sites.

Does your online footprint tell the story you want it to tell?

Does a senior or an adult child who visits your company site log off feeling confident that you are an aging expert they can trust? Or is your site merely a static list of features and floor plans?

5 Must Have Types of Senior Living Content

Here are five suggestions for helping you connect and engage with seniors and their adult children online:

1. Show Solutions: Satisfied, engaged residents have always been our industry’s best referral sources. In the digital age, these advocates have the opportunity to influence many more families who are searching for a senior living solution than ever before. Find the stories in your own community and tell them. It might be a daughter who found peace of mind knowing her mother was safe in your Memory Care program. No more worries about wandering. Or it could be the fella with the snappy hat who has a spring in his step again. Living alone after his wife of 52 years passed away left him feeling sad and lonely. Now he’s on the move and enjoying life again at your community.

2. Answer Questions: If seniors and their adult children are asking questions offline, you better believe they are typing them in to a Google search box. Gather those questions from your marketing and sales teams and turn them in to blog posts or guides.

3. Talk Money: While many communities are reluctant to share rates on their site, be aware that financial-related topics are some of the most searched key phrases in our industry. At a minimum, even if you don’t want to put pricing out there, create content and tools that help people understand the ins and outs of financing a move to senior living.

4. Ditch the Jargon: The aging services industry is confusing enough for seniors and their families. Don’t make it worse by clogging up your carefully crafted content with industry acronyms and jargon. We know it’s easy for them to slip in to your written and spoken communications. Make a habit of having someone outside the industry act as a proofreader for every piece of content you post.

5. Help with The Tough Talk: How many times have we talked with adult children who put off a move until a crisis occurred because they just didn’t know how to start these difficult conversations? It might be about a senior and their driving abilities. Or an older adult who isn’t safe living alone any longer. Have a variety of content that helps adult children tackle these tough talks.

Finally, make it a habit to review your analytics to see what content is connecting with visitors and to identify new editorial opportunities. And don’t be discouraged if content marketing feels a little foreign to you. Keep reading. It’s the best way to learn.

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About This Guest Contributor: Shelley Laurell
Shelley Laurell is the Founder/CEO of The Senior Care Specialists, a team of writers and editors with hands-on senor living experience. If you need help developing strategy and creating unique, relevant content for your senior living site, contact Shelley@TheSeniorCareSpecialists. Connect on Twitter: @ShelleyMLM “The Content Chick”. Or subscribe to the SCS blog and follow the witty banter that happens there each week.

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