The senior living industry is a multi-billion dollar industry, and is expected to grow exponentially in the coming years due to the advancements of the healthcare industry resulting in senior citizens having longer life spans. In the US alone, 10,000 Americans turn 65 every day, and 80% of seniors have at least one chronic illness, meaning the demand for senior living communities is increasing. Many are seeing the opportunity in the senior care industry, and stiff competition has increased the overall quality of these communities. A growing industry means growing pains, which in the senior living space includes high staff turnover, understaffed facilities, and challenges that require changes to be enforced, such as COVID-19. One way to mitigate these pain points while also enhancing your business in the competitive space is by using geofencing.
Geofencing gives you the ability to serve advertisements to people who are, or were, in very precise areas. These areas can be large or small, and can vary from large cities to the contours of a building. In the senior care space, this gives you the opportunity to target your competitor’s locations, nursing homes, and more. When someone with a mobile phone walks into a location that has an active geofence, their mobile ID is captured and you are able to serve them ads.
Let’s get into the four most important reasons your senior living community should be using geofencing.
In senior living communities, it is extremely important for caregivers to develop trust in the community they work in. High turnover and understaffed facilities are two of the biggest weaknesses in the senior living industry. These are serious and costly issues, as staffing shortages can lead to abuse or neglect of residents. High turnover rates can be difficult, as they result in the need to constantly recruit in order to maintain the needs of a community. This is why some communities may choose to implement geofence recruitment strategies in addition to traditional recruiting methods.
Using geofencing gives you further opportunity to recruit the right staff by strategically sending recruitment ads from any targeted location that would be valuable to your talent search. To use geofencing for recruitment purposes, it is helpful to know where your candidates live and what their demographics are. The more specific, the better, as you will be serving ads through the platforms that pertain most to your ideal candidate. Once you have your ideal candidate narrowed down, you are then able to target ads to them, and situationally promote, for example, shorter commute times to work or employee perks that someone will have when being an employee of your senior living community. You can even advertise the pay or benefits that your senior living community gives employees that may not be as common in other communities.
There are many options when using geofencing to your advantage for recruitment purposes, including recruiting from outside of the senior living space entirely. For example, you can geofence a nursing school, and send recruitment ads to people who are there for over 6 hours, who are likely students that may be looking for work. This will increase exposure to your community, send out messages that your community is hiring, and even get people to apply easily and directly through these ads. Another place you can recruit employees using a geofence is events such as job fairs or senior care events and conferences. Geofencing events such as these would give you the contact lists of these events, which you can then use to serve ads to without even needing to go to the event.
Another option when considering using geofencing for recruitment purposes, is to put virtual fences around your competitor’s location. This would give you an opportunity to entice your competitors’ employees to come work for you. You can do this by, for example, pushing employee open house ads, or by showcasing certain benefits or pay grades that you offer. Your competitors’ employees may be disengaged, bored, or unhappy with their current role, and seeing your ad may be just the push they need to apply. In addition, with the onset of COVID-19, thousands of businesses have been forced to scale down or shut their doors for good. If you know of a senior living community that is doing a big lay off or closing down completely, you can use geofencing to snag these employees for your own community, which would help them, and you!
Increase Leads to Your Communities
Using location-based marketing for your senior living community allows you to reach out to the right people, at the right time, with the content they want or need to see. You can get messages directly in front of adult child influencers, who are likely in the market for a senior living community for their mothers or fathers. In fact, most residents living in senior care communities are there because of a need presented to them from their child(ren). Since your goal is to target adult child influencers, you are able to use geofencing to pinpoint them based on their location, and gather information on:
- How long they were in a location for
- Why they were there
- What specific area of your geofence they spent the most time in
- Potential personal pain points
This information is extremely useful in order to put out effective ads, and educate adult child influencers on what your community has to offer so that they can become a potential lead. With this collected information, you are able to target specific people with different messages, based on the amount of time that they were in a location. For example, it is accurate to assume that those who have spent less than 3 hours in a senior living community are likely visitors or adult child influencers, because employees of a community will likely be there for 6-9 hours, and residents for over 10 hours. You can use this time frame to send ads to those people to attract them to your own community.
Approximately two-thirds of those looking for retirement community options online end up making their move within 6 months of beginning their search.It is crucial for your marketing tactics to consider the immediate needs of potential residents, because if you don’t, your competitor may beat you to the punch. This gives you a short window to act on these people, in order for them to convert into a lead. If you get your community in front of them before they even start shopping for options, you will be one step ahead of your competitors. This will also give you the opportunity to start developing relationships with those who may not have even started their search.
Another way to increase leads to your community, is to do traditional site retargeting through your geofence. When someone clicks on your ad and it directs them to your website, which they don’t stay on for very long, you can retarget ads to them. Prompt them by providing incentives to reconnect, which can convert them into warm leads. Encouraging a loved one to move to a senior community is not always easy, and a lot of the time can be delayed, with some avoiding the topic completely until necessary. Advertising an eguide or blog that showcases your expertise in the industry will get the reader thinking, and they are more likely to associate your brand and community with this topic to fuel their searches. Showcasing your expertise through these ads also establishes trust and credibility in the reader’s mind, which can then blossom into a sale for your community in the future.
Location based audiences have an average click through rate of 7.5%, which is over 8 times higher than Facebook. Whether you are geofencing areas for recruitment purposes, or geofencing your competitor to showcase why your community is better, geofencing is one of the more effective ways to get a higher click through rate on your ads. What other ways are you able to get a high click through rate on your own ad from people who are in your competitor’s location!
Gain a Competitive Edge
Competition in the senior living space is stiff, and with most competitors having great websites and SEO, you have to be able to stand out and target your audience in different ways to gain a competitive edge. Using geofencing pushes you to capture your audience in a way that not all of your competitors may be taking.
We already talked about how to increase leads in those searching or not yet searching for senior living communities, but what about the opportunity in those who are already residents of a community, perhaps your competitors? Just because someone has chosen a community to live in, does not mean they are not looking for better options. As mentioned earlier, those who spend over 10 hours in the same space in a senior living community are likely residents of that community. To gain a competitive edge, you can put a virtual fence around your competitors’ community in order to target the residents living there. Geofencing allows you to send advertisements to residents, perhaps enticing them with certain features of your community in order to push them to move communities. This would be especially useful for communities that you know you don’t offer as many services as yours. Perhaps your community is the only one in your area to have a casino. You can geofence all other communities around you, target the residents of those communities, and advertise this feature of your community. Giving time and place relevant solutions to client problems or desires, ones that they may not even know that they have, may intrigue residents to choose your community over their own.
Infectious Disease Prevention
Not only can geofencing be used for marketing purposes for your senior living community, but it can also be used for quality and safety control purposes. Especially with the onset of COVID-19, mitigating the potential safety concerns of residents and their families is extremely important. In 2020, thousands of senior living communities and resident families were impacted by mass outbreaks in the communities, causing stress and anxiety in family members of residents and creating a negative connotation towards the industry. As the CDC states, every senior living community should have a plan in place to protect residents, volunteers, employees and visitors from the spread of COVID-19. It is beneficial to your community to show that you are taking extra steps and precautions in order to protect the overall well being of your community, and you can use geofencing for just this.
One of the many benefits of using geofencing as a means of safety and prevention, is by triggering a push notification to remind caregivers to wear PPE when entering a certain area in the geofence. This ensures that staff are taking the appropriate precautions and wearing the proper equipment when needed, in order to protect themselves and everyone else in the community. Limiting the access of a room where someone is quarantining is also a possibility with geofencing, with alerts being sent to staff if someone enters the area. This introduces an additional control measure that can be used to mitigate possible spread of a virus. Because geofencing allows you to capture where people are and for how long, this also makes contact tracing a lot easier in the case a breakout does occur.
Using geofencing as a means of safety, especially in a global pandemic, increases the overall safety and quality of your senior living community, and therefore increases the desirability of it. For adult child influencers, knowing that their loved one is in a community that takes additional safety and protection measures is extremely comforting, and you can even use this as a means to advertise your community against your competitors.
At the end of the day, even before someone starts thinking about looking for a senior living community for their loved ones, you want them to think about your community in a very positive light. If your community is looking to boost your monthly new residents and use additional hiring techniques, consider implementing geofencing into your marketing plan right away.
At CITIZEN, we listen to the needs of your community and create custom geofencing strategies to reach the right people at the right time with the proper messaging. To learn more about geofencing, connect with us. We’re happy and excited to chat.