Most nursing home & assisted living managers would agree that there’s nothing like finding a good client. But it’s hard to find a good client if you don’t have new applications coming in.
Some assisted living & nursing home facilities have a location or reputation that brings in applications with nothing but phone number. But for most managers, you have to go out and market your property to get a quality pool of potential clients.
I’ve consulted on search marketing for several large, regional nursing homes who serve all along the continuum of care. Based on those experiences, here are some assisted living & nursing home ideas that you can use to bring in more clients.
Create Location-Specific Website Pages
For families, neighborhood searches are too small, and regional searches are not relevant. City searches are just right.
That may sound obvious, but most locally-focused companies that I’ve worked with still don’t focus their marketing on cities and neighborhoods. It’s a lot of work. It’s tedious. But it can still be worthwhile.
If you have multiple locations, create locations pages to rank for each respective city (and cities within a certain radius).
If you have a single location, create a neighborhood & next to your neighborhood pages to try to rank for “nursing home in [neighborhood]” searches underneath your main location page that will rank for your city.
Create Niche Amenity Pages
Lots of clients and families have specific amenities and/or requirements that they want. Instead of listing your amenities in a giant list, make detailed pages about each amenity. Try to rank for searches like “nursing homes with [amenity]”.
You can use Google Suggest for ideas. Go to Google and type in “[city] nursing home with” and hit space, but not enter. You’ll see some suggestions.
Create pages that match those search queries to show up when people search. The pages may not generate a lot of pageviews, but every pageview will be highly qualified.
If you want to take this to the next level, you can use a tool like SEMrush’s Keyword Explorer to provide phrase match search terms in bulk.
Create Local Data Pages
Create resource guides for people in the early stages of senior care consideration. Create lots of them. You’ll be competing with major national players like A Place for Mom, so it’s critical that you put a local angle on them.
Develop Your Local Citations & Reviews
You should already have a Google My Business profile so that you can show up in Google Maps.
But you can take it to the next level to show up even more prominently.
First, you can build your Google My Business profile with photos, posts, and full listing details.
Second, go to every local business listing site and make sure that your Business Name, Address, and Phone Number match exactly. Whether it’s on the Yellow Pages, Yelp, or elsewhere – everything must match. These are called your “local citations” and Google uses them to confirm the relevance of local business.
You can use SEMrush’s Local Listing Management Tool to audit all these listings quickly.
Third, create a local review strategy*. Having diverse, unique, and regular reviews on your Google My Business page is the number one way to get more views (aka applications) from Google Maps.
*Reviews are so important that you can (and should) develop marketing strategies exclusively to generate reviews. Some clients run paid retargeting campaigns to generate new reviews.
Steal Ideas from Large Local Competitors / Businesses
I’m not a fan of brainstorming. I think that it’s more effective to build off ideas that have already worked.
No matter your size, you can always look to larger competitors or larger businesses for inspiration.
With assisted living & nursing home marketing, make a list of local businesses that you *think* are being creative – including companies in different industries.
Like local listings and keywords, I then use a marketing tool like SEMrush to spy on those competitors. Type in the URL of a competitor below to see an example.
Here’s an example of what you’ll see.
It looks like a lot. But drill down and categorize each link. You’ll quickly get a sense of what they are doing. You’ll see where they are posting on social media. You’ll see which media outlets have accepted press releases and what types of digital marketing they’re doing.
The trick here is *not* to copy cat them. Instead, take the general idea of what your competitors have done and make it your own – or, make it better.
Work with Local & Niche Publications
Across the Internet, there are hundreds of small publications that need to generate interesting content with few resources. Any publication that is hyper-local or topically-focused especially has a problem.
Find those and become a regular fixture. All blogs act on tips & press releases. Very few have a “boots on the ground” journalist. If you can be the place to provide inside information, free images, and consistent write-ups, you’ll earn attention and links.
That extra attention and those links will help every other idea on this list. Google loves links. Social media users find URLs via links.
Your location pages, amenity pages, and everything else on your website will benefit from more inbound links.
Use Hyper-Local Facebook Ads
A local business has one massive advantage against national brands trying to operate locally – you live in your city and understand it.
Facebook allows for hyper-local advertising. You can run ads that show within a radius of only a few miles. It’s tedious to set up, but it’s relevant and effective.
Learn how to create hyper-local targeting for demographics and geography to find lots of interested clients.
For example, you can run a campaign targeting women between the ages of 50 and 60 who have shown an interest in assisted living (ie, for elderly parents) and live within 5 miles of your location.
You can run small, targeted campaigns that show multiple places at once.
Use Hyper-Local Google Search Ads
Google Search ads are famously effective and famously expensive. The best client is someone who searches for “assisted living in [neighborhood]”.
But that search click will be very costly.
But like Facebook, you have an “in” – Google Quality Score. Google will show ads higher if they are more relevant even if they don’t have the high bid.
Like Facebook, it’s tedious to set up, but if you can set up a hyper-local campaign, you’ll be able to get Google Search traffic that large competitors can’t bid on.
Use Hyper-Local Google Display Ads
Google’s Display Network also offers opportunities for local advertisers who are willing to put in the work.
Google serves banner & text ads on some of the best ad locations on the Internet. Many placements are expensive for bulk ad buys.
But again, Google would rather serve a relevant ad with a low bid than an irrelevant ad with a high bid. That’s your opportunity to set up a hyper-local campaign focused on specific demographics in a specific area.
List on Locally-Popular Senior Websites
Senior living websites are a dime a dozen. They will send traffic to your listing. But they are expensive and require a lot of legwork.
The key is to find a few key senior living websites that are popular in your area – and list on those.
Explore Government & Non-Profit Opportunities
There is a wealth of government and non-profit website with gerontology information and senior living information.
Many have automated directories, but many are manual and may not include your facility/
Remember that even a link to your website from their website will dramatically help your other online efforts.
List on NextDoor & Local Forums
NextDoor is one of many local social media websites & forums. They are hard to find and hard to join, representing an opportunity for any local, enterprising manager.
These networks are interesting because they are specifically local and extremely relevant for real estate.
Post Listings w/ Photos in Instagram
Think about how you can take listing photos & repurpose them across different platforms. I don’t think you should simply post listings on every platform, but instead use photos from listings to create a truly interesting feed on Instagram, Facebook & Twitter.
For example, suppose a unit has an excellent skyline view. That should be a post. Suppose you put in native landscaping around your unit. That should be a post. Do further research around hashtags to make sure that your post shows up in listings.
Develop a Local Real Estate Pinterest Board
Pinterest is an incredible resource for people looking to decorate & upgrade their living. You can get in front of prospects with a locally-focused Pinterest board.
Use local photos, decor, etc from real listings to provide ideas. Promote local artists, makers, etc.
Identify & Market Local Employers
Your tenants are all working somewhere. And your prospective tenants all will want to be close to their job.
Identify all the largest employers & sources of potential tenants nearby. Create resource pages for those employers (especially if they are large).
Create discounts, bonuses, etc. Get in touch with those employers to see if there is a way to collaborate.
Identify & Market Popular Client Sources
Take previous & existing tenants and try to understand where those tenants came from and how they found you.
See if there is a way to build off that success.
Use Events To Get Social Media Attention
Events like open house tours, openings, holiday showings, etc are marketing staples for assisted living homes. But events have a bonus effect online.
You can list them on multiple platforms to get extra exposure. Facebook is the best place for this tactic, but it also works on Google, Instagram, and event apps like Meet and Four Square.
Use Video Tours To Hack Social Media
Like events, most social media gives preference to video in their feeds. Take interesting video tours of listings.
Post the file natively to Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. Pay a small budget to boost it. And look for opportunities to embed it on your website.
Use Digital Referral Fees for Word of Mouth
Referral fees are also a staple of senior living marketing. But they don’t get the same reach as digital referral codes.
Whether you use a simple bit.ly link, manually hand out custom codes (i.e., apartment numbers), or use a software service – digital referral codes can help you move limited physical word of mouth to unlimited digital word of mouth.
Find & Sponsor Local Charities
Sponsoring local charities provides a few marketing benefits.
First, you can likely get a link to your website, which will help your other efforts.
Second, you can tap into a well-networked organization with lots of word of mouth potential.
Third, you can tap into neighborhood goodwill to help with soliciting reviews to help with your Google My Business efforts.
There are a lot of marketing ideas out there for nursing homes and senior living locations. You don’t have to do all of them. You just have to do one or two well.
Find the one that fits your interests & resources and give it a try. Learn based on your initial experience and improve.