“Change is the only constant in life.”
A year ago, could you have imagined the state we are currently in?
COVID-19 has been a force that we never could have imagined, interrupting marketing efforts, disrupting business plans and changing the course of society at large … and we still haven’t seen just how far those virus-y fingers may reach.
“Seniors are some of the individuals most affected by COVID-19, so our clients in the senior living space walk a fine line these days between marketing their communities as usual and being sensitive to the very real effects of the virus,” says Melinda Schmitz, President of SageAge Strategies.
Whether your consumers are receiving messages via traditional media, social media or another channel, it’s essential for you to make sure your messaging – no matter what it is – is hitting three key tentpoles: Clarity, Stability and Sensitivity.
Clarity: Clear and Concise.
The age of Don Draper is well in the past. These days, marketing messages rely less on being cleverly crafted and creative, and more on being clear, straightforward and sincere. Today is a good time for you to focus on the message that your senior living community is delivering to your audience. How are you positioning your community now? As a secure, safe place that provides seniors with everything they need without ever having to leave campus? As a place where your loved one can be secure and safe from the dangers of COVID-19? By focusing on the clear benefit that your community provides – whether your prospect is a senior or a loved one – can break through the clutter and lead to higher rates of move-ins.
“These days, seniors and their loved ones are seeking security,” says Rachel Fox, Creative Director. “Consider streamlining your messaging to make sure you’re providing exactly what they require. Simplify your calls to action with one phone number or email address, so your prospects are going through a very defined funnel.”.
Stability: Predictive Certainty for 2020 and Beyond.
It should come as no surprise that, during a crisis, individuals seek stability and predictability. As an expert in senior care, your messaging should carry weight and hit upon the stability, safety and security that you provide for seniors and their families. Sure, this may seem like basic information. However, reiterating the basics can be a soothing reminder to an audience who is on-edge and unsure what the future holds. Consider sharing information like:
- How your community is operating in the face of COVID-19
- How you’re onboarding new residents during this time
- What precautions you’re taking to ensure the safety of current and future residents
- Any initiatives you’re putting forth to support employees and families
Remember, when you’re sharing messaging from your community, you’re highlighting the brand pillars and positioning of your community in subtle ways. Consider adding a sense of personalization and professionalism by having your communications come from an actual person, like your executive director, president or top-level leader.
Sensitivity: Reading the Room.
There’s no doubt about it: COVID-19 is changing the way we connect and communicate. From a marketing perspective, the worst thing you can do is to not treat this pandemic seriously. Even though we’re many weeks into it, you should refrain from treating the situation with light-heartedness or anything less than utter seriousness. After all, you’re being tasked with caring for some of our most vulnerable individuals – seniors – so any messaging you’re sharing should be viewed through the lens of sensitivity and compassion. Your marketing members and sales team should always try to put themselves in the shoes of your residents and families, and craft touchpoints accordingly.
“This is definitely a situation where how you say something is just as important as what you say,” says Rachel. “You may wish to avoid certain forms of messaging like pandemic or crisis and instead talk about the situation as a challenge or issue or world events. The language we use has power, and by softening your messaging ever so slightly, you increase the chance that your readers and audience will remain engaged without becoming anxious or triggered.”
SageAge Strategies: Your Partner for Challenging Situations and Beyond
At SageAge Strategies, we understand what an unprecedented time we are in. That is why we are working overtime to provide our client-partners with messaging strategies and information that can be used to help calm and comfort residents, family members and staff members at this time. We strive to be true partners for you and help you get your message out in a relevant and efficient way. Our public relations and account teams excel in helping you fine-tune your messaging to inform, comfort and, ultimately, nurture your prospects to continue increasing your move in-numbers… even during times of a worldwide crisis.
If you need assistance in fine-tuning your message in order to reach your target audience with sensitivity, clarity and stability, we invite you to contact us today to learn more about our proven strategies that have transformed other senior living communities like yours.
SageAge Strategies is a multiple-award-winning, strategic growth, marketing and consulting organization that operates exclusively in the unique senior living marketplace. For more information, please call or email Melinda Schmitz at (816) 349-0464 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit us on our website at sageage.com.
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