Senior Care: How to Generate Leads and Boost Occupancy with Blogging
Blogging can be a powerful part of your overall occupancy marketing plan. But before blogging can deliver those vital leads you’re aiming to generate, you need to properly structure your blogging strategy. With the right approach, senior care blogging can help you earn people’s trust and attract qualified audiences to your organization.
Here are 5 steps for using blogging to generate leads for your senior care organization...
1. Be clear about your goals.
As with any occupancy strategy, it’s important to start with the end goal in mind. When it comes to blogging, be crystal clear about which occupancy goals you want blogging to advance. For instance, is your main focus related to housing and housing with services? Or, is your primary focus nursing and transitional care?
Particularly when building a new a blogging strategy, it’s important to choose one priority focus. The prioritized occupancy goal will inform your key target audience and content plan.
2. Define your target personas.
As a senior care marketer, you have a firm understanding of your target audiences. You know that, on the housing side of senior care, seniors and their adult children are your most important target audiences. This keen understanding will be fundamental to building a successful lead-generating blogging plan.
An important step to formalizing and building upon this audience understanding is to develop in-depth buyer personas. A buyer persona is a representation of your ideal customer. That representation is based on data you have about your existing customers, market research and first-hand insights about your customers.
A buyer persona digs deep to illuminate how your service is fulfilling the persona’s need or solves their problem. It also provides the foundation for addressing why that persona should choose your senior care organization over your competitors. The persona further addresses key topics like: how your organization is different and what the persona gains by choosing your organization.
If your organization is serious about turning your blog into a lead-generating resource, then persona development is a must.
It may be tempting to skip this step – especially if your marketing team has deep experience and audience insights already. But don’t. Each and every piece of content you create should address the needs and interests of your ideal customer, or persona. A thoroughly developed buyer persona will provide the necessary insights for blog posts and other content that will truly resonate with your audience.
In the case of senior housing and housing with services, you will likely need at least two priority buyer personas: one for your prospective resident and one for the prospective resident’s adult child.
- Is this your first time developing buyer personas? Use this Buyer Persona Template to know which questions to ask and what information you need in a buyer persona.
- Pro Tip: Already have personas in place? Here’s an advanced article on building data-driven personas using Facebook audience insights.
3. Create content that addresses your personas’ needs and questions.
Once you’ve completed the groundwork of goal identification and buyer persona development, you’re ready to build out the blogging editorial calendar. The blogging schedule should include a balance of content that addresses each of your primary personas.
As you’re brainstorming blog post ideas, be sure to keep your buyer personas handy. Refer to the persona documents for inspiration and as a topic quality check – each topic should address your persona’s needs and/or questions, as well as their positioning in the buyer’s journey.
This is also a great opportunity to document a persona-by-persona list of frequently asked questions. These FAQs serve as fantastic blog post topics!
For instance, consider an adult child of a prospective resident who is early in her research process. She knows that her mom could use some help, but she has very little knowledge when it comes to senior care. She may begin her research with questions or search phrases like:
- How do I know if assisted living is right for my mom?
- What is the difference between home care and assisted living?
- How to talk to my mom about assisted living.
Additionally, consider a prospective resident who has already completed considerable research. She knows what type of housing she’s looking for. And, she’s interested in out-of-state organizations that are in the same city as her adult daughter. She may be engaged in research like:
- Independent living in Minneapolis, Minnesota (or other geo-targeted search)
- How much does independent living cost?
- How to budget for independent living.
Editorial Calendar Resources:
- Not sure what information needs to be in an editorial calendar? Take a look at this video: How to develop an editorial calendar [video]
- Pro Tip: If you’re in need of a robust editorial calendar template, you can use the same blogging editorial calendar for Trello that we use (includes a training video).
4. Optimize your blog post for search.
When prospective residents and family members have questions, many will turn to Google for answers. And if you’ve done a stellar job in #3 above and are answering your persona’s most pressing questions, then you’re already making major SEO headway.
In addition to answering those FAQs, there are also several additional steps you can take to optimize your blog posts for search. Here are 10 important blogging SEO optimizations:
- Include one of your target keywords in the post title.
- Keep your post title short.
- Include target keywords in the body of your post.
- Don’t overuse your keyword.
- Include internal links.
- Include an image.
- Add alt text to your images.
- Include at least one target keyword in the URL.
- Add a meta description.
- Include a keywords in the meta description.
- Feel like you could use a crash-course on SEO? Here’s an overview of SEO in Plain English.
- Need a tip sheet? You can use this Blog Post SEO Checklist to help ensure all your posts are optimized for search.
- Pro Tip: Ready to tackle more advanced SEO strategies like earning inbound links? Take a look at this post: Link Building is So Yesterday. Why Senior Care Needs Stronger SEO Tactics.
5. Make it easy for blog readers to take further action. (i.e. convert site visitors to leads)
Not only does your blog need to attract visitors, but it also needs to convert those visitors to leads. This conversion process begins with a call-to-action, or CTA. A CTA is an image or line of text that prompts your visitors to take action. It is, quite literally, a "call" to take an "action."
To turn your blog into a lead generating tool, you’ll want to include at least one to two CTAs in your blog. A primary location for your CTA is at the bottom of each blog post. Secondary CTA locations include your blog sidebar and within the body of your blog post.
These CTAs lead a site visitor to a related content offer – an eBook, checklist or whitepaper. The content offer, like your blog posts, is designed to address a persona’s need or solve a problem.
When a visitor clicks on a CTA, they are taken to a dedicated landing page with a form. At this point, the site visitor fills out the form and is then redirected to a thank you page where she can download the content offer.
This exchange is precisely the moment when your anonymous blog visitor is converted into a lead.
In order to have strong performing CTAs, it’s important that your call-to-action is aligned with the blog post content. Consider these examples:
- A blog post entitled 5 Tips for Talking with Your Parents about Senior Care is targeting the adult child persona. A well-aligned CTA could be an ebook that provides a more comprehensive guide to talking with parents about senior living and senior care.
- A blog post entitled How to Budget for Independent Living is targeting prospective residents. In this case, a strong CTA could be a budgeting tool that helps prospective residents through their planning process.
Are you using blogging in your senior care marketing? If so, what tips or lessons have you learned along the way? And don’t forget to share a link to your blog!