With 2018 right around the corner, it’s a great time to take a look at ways to improve your marketing. Whether you need to rethink tactics or get a little better organized, consider incorporating these ideas to make the coming year your best yet.
Create a Written Plan
If you’re not already writing down your marketing goals, gear up to add this habit for the new year. Ideally, your overall goals should be part of a broader, written marketing plan that you update at least quarterly, adjusting for real-time results and changes in your local market.
Try to keep your marketing strategies as simple as possible while still meeting your goals, and don’t set yourself up for overwhelm by starting too many new projects at once. After you create your written plan, share it with your leadership team, including your chief operating officer, resident services director, activities director and others who can help make your marketing goals a reality in the new year.
Craft Compelling Content
Good marketing centers on telling engaging stories about your community and its residents. What is special about your community? Why would someone choose to live there instead of remaining in their own home?
Marketing has become a high-tech discipline, but don’t forget to focus on the human factor: stories that manifest as compelling, shareable content. Spend some time brainstorming ideas with residents and the team members who work with them, and create a content calendar for producing written pieces, photography and video. Consider including some first-person stories, written or spoken by residents in their own words.
Hone Your Social Presence
By now, you’re probably on at least one platform, but is social media enhancing your marketing efforts? Once you’ve put together some engaging content, share it regularly on all your social media sites.
Sharing stories covers the “media” portion of social media, but what about the “social?” Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and other platforms were built on the idea of networking and engaging with others. Designate someone from your marketing agency or your in-house team to directly engage with people who provide feedback on your social media platforms.
Make Sure Your Site Is up to Speed
Website technologies — including search-engine optimization and user interface — change continually, and you’ll need a tuneup at least annually to ensure that your site is functioning at its full potential. Your marketing agency can help make sure your site architecture is using the latest technology and that your SEO is friendly to digital assistants, voice search, mobile and other emerging search platforms.
Review Your Reviews
User reviews of your community on sites like Yelp and Facebook can have a major impact on your sales and occupancy. Reputation management should now be part of your overall marketing strategy; your goals should include monitoring and improving your star ratings on the primary review sites, along with increasing the overall number of reviews you get.
Your marketing agency can advise you of methods for driving traffic to review sites, where your residents and their family members can leave positive feedback.
Maximize Your Measurement
To get a handle on the effectiveness of your marketing strategies, you need real data. Whether you’re adding a new social media platform or starting a new ad campaign, measurement data can help you determine what you’re doing right and what you can adjust in the future. Experienced professionals can provide you with useful data on your search-engine placement, popular and unpopular pages on your website, social media shares, and more.
Update Your Print Strategy
Despite the proliferation of digital channels, print advertising and collateral are far from obsolete. In fact, with so much communication having moved online, your prospects may be grateful to receive an informative, beautiful packet of printed information. People still read print magazines, and effective print advertising opportunities still exist. For 2018, make sure your print ads and collateral integrate effectively with your overall strategies for the best use of your marketing dollars.
Get a Hand from the Pros
Managing a multi-faceted marketing program requires constant diligence — not to mention research and education to stay abreast of the latest industry trends. With our comprehensive discovery process, Walker Marketing can analyze your market position and advise you on strategies to get the most from your marketing in 2018.