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Will Your Post-Holiday Search Spike, Sizzle or Fizzle?

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By Susan Saldibar

Were you happy with your post-holiday lead conversion last year? If the answer is “no,” what are you doing differently this year to capture and convert more leads?

I spoke recently with Liz Hoffman, G5’s Lead Digital Advertising Analyst for Senior Living. We talked about the whole post-holiday web search spike phenomenon. (G5 is a Senior Housing Forum partner.)

It is a topic G5 knows well, having recently conducted a webinar, “3 Ways to Adapt Your Senior Living Marketing This Holiday Season”, which is chocked full of facts and tips to make sure communities take advantage of the holiday and post-holiday surge. Liz gave me a rundown of some of the main points.

1. Boost Your Digital Advertising

This is the time of year to kick your Pay-Per-Click and Google display advertising into high gear. Some things to remember:

  • 100% of “above the fold” search results on mobile phones are paid search. So G5 urges operators to ensure their paid ads are showing up on mobile.

  • Mobile devices also pick up location information, so it’s important to make sure you have local keywords in your website to take advantage of local search.

  • Don’t forget “near me” searches. The search query containing “near me” is growing at about 150% each year, according to G5 research. In senior living, “near me” searches had a 600% increase in search volume! So making sure your community is popping up when a prospect in your city searches for senior living communities is critical.

  • Remarket, remarket, remarket. Taking advantage of those who have already visited your website or in some way interacted with your community online is important, given the highly competitive nature of this industry. Using Google display remarketing, you can show ads to individuals who have already visited your website and shown an interest in your community. It’s imperative to keep your brand top of mind to help ensure conversions. What’s great about remarketing is that you can filter out people who visited your website quickly just to grab a phone number. “You can also filter out people who have already completed forms, or people who have visited your careers page,” says Liz. “All of those pieces, as well as using frequency caps can help you remarket conscientiously.

  • Track and adjust as you go. Digital ads are easier to track than other forms of advertising. “With digital advertising, you gain the ability to target more directly and track the result of those campaigns,” Liz tells me. “You can see exactly where the traffic is coming, versus casting a large net. It’s easier to pre-qualify them.”

  • Digital is economical if you keep it consistent. G5 reminds marketers not to blow the entire budget in one week. Keeping a steady flow of ads ensures that your brand stays out there consistently.

And here’s something I found really interesting. For those of you who still think you’re getting a better bang for your buck with direct mail, check out the chart below. It took me by surprise. Notice the difference in the average cost per thousand impressions between online ads and direct mail pieces!

2. Align Your Marketing and Sales Teams

First you need to be responsive. Super responsive. Research shows a huge drop off between leads responded to within 5 minutes and those responded to within 10 minutes (source: InsideSales.com). That’s probably because that person is also looking at other communities. The bottom line is that somebody is going to get back in 5 minutes. Make sure it’s your community.

While we all know that expediency of response to leads is important. Here are a few more stats G5 has collected (source: SeniorVu):

  • 94% of move-ins come from leads contacted the same day

  • 72% of tours scheduled come from leads contacted the same day

  • 86% of move-ins will occur if the prospective resident is contacted within the first 90 minutes

And, it takes about 203 minutes of talk time to get a tour. So G5 urges sales to get in touch and stay in touch with prospects. You also need to be consistent in using email. It’s basically a numbers game, requiring 141 emails sent out to all leads to complete one tour! Consistency matters.

3. Increase Holiday Content on Your Website

This is the time of year when communities can really share their stories with prospects. G5 urges communities to post photos and videos of events, special holiday décor and residents as they enjoy it all. By posting your holiday activities you are demonstrating to visitors that you are a connected and active community.

Facebook is an ideal platform for this. As you probably know, it is the most popular of the social media platforms for adult children and will be one of the first places they look to get a more personal look at your community. So G5 urges communities to keep consistent with your posts.

By the way, whenever possible, use resident, family and staff images from your community. The conversion rate is higher when authentic images are shown, versus stock photos. G5 acknowledges that this can be challenging. They recommend that communities take the time to develop a waiver document that will enable them to use and reuse images without unnecessary constraints. They can help community operators with the process of creating waiver forms, along with strategies for obtaining waivers from residents and staff members.

There is so much more to optimizing holiday content than I’ve covered here. I really recommend that you watch the full webinar.


For more information about G5 and digital advertising solutions, please visit here.

 

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