To continually and predictably fill beds, the internal marketing strategy of your community must be solidified and mastered. Effective and efficient internal marketing allows your community to stay top-of-mind among those who love you most (your top referrers and happiest patient families), reinforce your unique brand message and encourage others to spread the word and refer their loved ones to your community.
Implement these five internal marketing ideas to fill beds and keep referrals flowing:
- “Care to Share” cards. Referred residents are often high-quality leads, as their level of trust in your community is much greater than someone who may have found you another way. Create a simple referral reward program. Whether it is an employee, a current resident family, or a friend who refers a new resident to your community, reward them; we’re all children at heart and a little prize can go a long way. Offer the referrer and the person who was referred an incentive for choosing your community. Keep the conversation going by encouraging your team to ask for referrals in their daily conversations.
- Content marketing. Create original content that is short and sweet and to the point. It should answer the burning questions that you hear on a regular basis, whether they come from residents, family members, caseworkers, referrers, etc. By educating and enlightening your network on a regular basis, you are able to stay top-of-mind and position your home as the top community in senior living when the time comes.
- Thank you cards. A little “Thank you” here and there says a great deal. Send a hand-written note to each and every person who has helped the community grow or referred someone to you. This genuine message further helps to keep your community top-of-mind and shows your respect for those in your network.
- Nurture the referrers. Treat them as your friends, not just objects in your sales funnel. Keep up on their personal lives; did their child just graduate from high school? Did they just get a new pet? Are they going on a vacation to Hawaii? Send them an email or give them a quick call to let them know you’re thinking of them and wishing them the best. Practice the 80/20 rule: 80% of the time be their friend and 20% of the time remind them that you are accepting new residents and would greatly appreciate their referral.
- Point-of-sales campaigns. Differentiate your community from the rest, and do so from the very moment prospective residents and their family members are touring. Create a video or slideshow that highlights what makes your community so special – your happy residents, the great meals, fun activities, etc. Tell the community’s story in a real, authentic way.