Covid-19 witnessed the launch of a digital transformation by senior living sales and marketing teams.
Lead generation has been driven by social media paid and earned, providers have realized. Lockdowns in communities across the country prompted communities to conduct virtual tours. In addition, digital platforms continue to receive increased investment.
The marketing industry has also evolved rapidly. With video, sales and marketing teams can customize introductions for prospects and their families while making custom content that will highlight what it’s like to live within a community and showcase potential lifestyles.
A recent webinar by OneDay, featuring key figures from senior living technology firm MBK Senior Living and digital marketing software firm G5 revealed these key takeaways.
A family-run company based in Irvine, California, with 33 communities in six states, saw the highest number of move-ins it’s ever recorded in March 2021. As of April, Christy Van Der Westhuizen, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing, expects move-in numbers to be higher.
In her opinion, MBK’s success is due in part to a digital shift that incorporated customized video, data analysis, improving “speed to lead” between prospect contact information collection and first contact, and controlling its message at a time when early news reports linked nursing homes to senior living.
A new buyer’s journey has also been reinvented at MBK. There are five stages: awareness, interest, consideration, decision, and advocacy.
Why Video is Important
The use of customized video platforms is a key component of MBK’s success in digital sales. Over 100,000 videos were created during the pandemic from March to June 2020, doubling the startup’s business.
For prospective residents, OneDay allows providers to create customized videos that include information about sales teams, community updates on operations and safety regulations, a look behind the scenes at life at an MBK community, and testimonials from current residents about what it is like to live there.
Videos uploaded by MBK are also shared on social media platforms. By measuring click-throughs, new followers, and video duration, we can determine the level of engagement among viewers. Google Analytics for Business can track multiple types of analytics, such as organic search rankings, Google AdWords, Google My Business, and engagement on paid social channels.
Videos can be used in senior living marketing to convey a view of the lifestyle that is available. OneDay’s marketing manager, Michael Blodgett, says video content holds its memory better than traditional print material.
Studies show that when people watch a video instead of reading a text, they retain 95% of the message.
“We are big fans of the video here at MBK. She said, “It’s much better than photos, and pictures are better than texts.”
Videos are also able to create interest by a prospect to come into senior living. It is can also educate the residents on the type of financial options that can help with moving and show the difference in unit sizes and rent, and it can even show how to move leads from the top of the sales funnel to the bottom of it.
This is a lesson that MBK learned the hard way. We are redesigning our website to feature an informational video library about moving to a community and preparing for the transition. Each video will contain a call to action at the end that collects basic contact information so that the sales team can follow up immediately.
The goal is to meet prospects where they are and then offer them a path to connecting with us to help them along the sales process.
Sales and marketing teams have created digitally-enhanced sales and marketing tactics to adapt to the impact of Covid-19 on in-person tours, such as incorporating virtual sales assistants and live online chat capabilities with sales representatives to solicit basic information about prospects.
Videos tailored to prospects’ interests, needs, and health status are created after gathering this information. We may also include information from family members involved.
As soon as basic information has been gathered, MBK strives to reach the lead ASAP. An automated email is sent within a few seconds of a prospect’s information being collected – regardless of how it was gathered – informing the prospect that their information has been received and that a sales associate will contact them shortly, using their preference for communication.
A customized video is published by MBK using OneDay, explaining to prospects why the video was created and relaying the information that they were given at the point of entry. As a result, the buyer feels safe knowing that their concerns will be addressed.
A buyer’s journey is characterized by constant customization. MBK creates videos featuring the leadership of its communities to give prospects an idea of how the community operates. During the sales process at Hacienda Del Rey in Litchfield, Arizona, a video was created for prospective residents of the community showing how the chef prepares bananas foster so the client could see what life will be like there.
MBK and residents who create a video are involved in the process. Residents have been able to share what daily life is like, from their perspective, in the provider’s Real Residents of MBK series. The sales team also identifies residents with similar interests and pairs them with prospects through videos.
Personalized sales processes produce better results. 80% of consumers are more likely to purchase a product or service when they receive a personalized experience, according to a report by management consulting firm Epsilon.
MBK acknowledges that video has been a success but that there is still more to be done to maximize its utility fully. Additionally, they don’t hesitate to advise other providers to put in the time and effort necessary to make similar pivots in the future.
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