Between the effects of the pandemic, recent research findings, and new legislation in the works, there may be a lot of changes ahead for the senior care market.
Since COVID-19 emerged, long-term care (LTC) providers have faced enormous challenges in an effort to protect residents from infections and deal with the shift toward care in the home. As a result, many are finding the need to be more creative to reverse a downward trend in occupancy rates.
Adding fuel to these dynamics is recent research that revealed a consistent trend: most seniors want to remain in their homes as they age.
According to a study from The AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research that was published in April of 2021, “Even as concerns about the safety of nursing homes decline as more and more COVID-19 vaccines are administered, 88% of Americans would prefer to receive any ongoing living assistance they need as they age at home or with loved ones. Just 12% want to receive care in a senior community or nursing home.”
Additionally, new legislation has been gaining steam in Congress that, if enacted, may completely upend the current model for post-acute care. The Choose Home Care Act of 2021 is a bipartisan bill that seeks to add additional home health benefits for SNF-eligible Medicare patients.
The American Bar Association (ABA) summarizes it like this: “If enacted, the Act would permit eligible Medicare beneficiaries to opt in to receive home-based extended care after a qualifying hospital discharge. Post-acute Medicare beneficiaries will be able to choose between post-acute Skilled Nursing Facility care or up to 30 days of expanded skilled and at-home services under the Choose Home Care Act’s add-on to the existing Medicare Home Health post-discharge benefit.”
All those dynamics are impacting the senior care market in big ways—which is why marketing teams for long-term care providers may need to adapt. Now’s the time to assess current strategies to determine what’s working, what’s not, and what changes may be required to navigate what could be a rocky road ahead.
Know Your Target Audience
As you likely know, there’s a big difference between target market and target audience. Senior care providers obviously share the same market—seniors and their families—but the target audience is much more specific.
In this light, it’s essential to gain a detailed understanding of your target audience so you can be sure your messaging and outreach aligns with their specific needs. Although this is a bit of “marketing 101,” the needs of your target audience may be changing from what they were in the past, so make the effort to determine if they have.
Understand current industry trends, the concerns of prospective residents and their families, and what they want and need most. Then clearly demonstrate how your facility can uniquely provide it.
Think Outside the Box
With so much competition and potentially significant change afoot, it’s important to find a way to stand out from those competing for the same prospects as you.
Gain an understanding of what others in your market are offering and then brainstorm with your team to see if there are ways you can provide something that prospects want and need but currently can’t get.
And once your new offering is developed, be sure to get the word out by using the most effective marketing mix. When you know your target audience and understand their unique needs, you’ll be better able to reach them with relevant messaging through the channels they frequently use.
Show Off Your Offerings and Expertise
Potential residents and their families start a residence search by researching online. When they do, you want them to discover your expertise in blog posts on your website or through social media channels. When you provide credible, clear, concise educational content, it helps to establish trust and confidence.
Additionally, seniors want to see themselves in your content and marketing, so be sure to show off your amenities and consider including “a day-in-the-life” scenarios and testimonials from happy residents.
Since caregivers, family members, and aging parents often work as a team in choosing the right senior living experience, consider offering tools that help them know how to choose the best facility to meet their loved one’s needs.
Find the Right Partner
With all the challenges LTC providers are facing in the current climate, it can be difficult to know where to start when it comes to creating and deploying the most effective marketing plan.
Fortunately, AMG Healthcare Marketing can help.
Through our extensive network of media outlets, we own the largest healthcare audience in Alabama. That’s one reason our offerings are so effective. With our deep expertise and so many resources at our fingertips, we can:
- Tell your story from a local perspective.
- Reach more prospects through AL.com, Alabama’s #1 largest and most trusted local news source.
- Increase marketing performance. Digital Ads and Sponsored Content on AL.com drive better results over digital network advertising.
- Tightly target relevant audiences using HIPAA-compliant patient targeting data.
Contact us today so we can help you reach the future residents and families who need the unique offerings you provide.