Ah, the age-old quest for budget approval. It’s a hurry-up-and-wait game: intense scrutiny of past budgets and performance followed by long periods of waiting for new budget approval.
What’s a marketer to do in the meantime?
Here are three marketing activities that don’t require budget dollars and help move the meter in terms of inquiries and occupancies:
- Audit the community’s Facebook presence. Here is a starter checklist:
☐ Profile image includes the organization’s logo.
☐ Cover photo is branded to match the logo and website.
☐ The entire team has liked the organization’s Facebook page.
☐ There is a sign in the community asking residents and family members to like the organization’s Facebook page.
☐ Overview includes the organization’s positioning statement and the benefits, not just the features.
☐ All contact information is listed and is accurate:
- Phone number
- Website address
☐ Upload photos of the team and interior/exterior of organization
☐ Upload photos of happy clients and residents (with permission via a HIPAA consent form)
☐ Upload photos of team outings at trainings, lunch and learns, community events, etc.
For more detail, download the whole Facebook audit checklist.
- Bolster the organization’s social media posts. Now that the Facebook page is in tip-top working order, it’s time to ratchet up the effectiveness of each post. Great posts are liked/shared, increase followership and lead to greater brand awareness. Here is a tip for optimizing posts:
Your average prospect is likely unaware of the latest industry trends and probably has little interest in learning about them. A good rule of thumb for sharing content is to relate to the prospect. Everyone, from the independent 55+ to the adult children managing their loved one’s care, should be able to connect with your posts and have your messages leave them with a smile. Consider posting content like:
Tips of the Week
- “The Seven Best Foods for Healthy Aging”
- “Keep Your Strength with These Five Exercises”
- “How To: Chair Yoga”
- “How To: Mindfulness for Aging”
- “Why Exercise Matters”
- “How Physical Health and Brain Health are Connected”
For more tips like this one, download the full social media strategy guide.
- Fine-tune the content marketing strategy.
Whether your organization already has a content marketing strategy in the works or is new to the approach, this is a great time to focus on it. Content marketing is actively sharing insightful, educational articles or blog posts that are meant to coax potential clients/families down the funnel and into the organization. Regroup with the internal marketing team to ensure that content topics meet these criteria for highly readable, memorable and sharable content:
- Helps people overcome any fears, challenges and obstacles they may have before they part ways with their money and sign a contract/lease with the organization.
- Positions the organization as the expert on the topic covered in the content.
- Helps answer all of the “burning questions” that keep the resident/client/family awake at night.
- Includes all relevant search keywords in a natural, easy-to-read way.
- Takes a stand. Offers a big “aha moment” or invites the reader to agree or disagree.
- Is not about the organization. Rarely if ever contains a brand name.
- Never contains an offer or discount. May include an invitation to submit questions or a subtle call to action at the end.
Next, develop or refine the editorial calendar, assign tasks by headline and get the team to writing. With just five people each taking an afternoon to write content, your organization can amass 40 pieces of content in a single day, which is enough to educate the target audience for a year.
Before you know it, the marketing budget will be approved and, having completed these three actions, your team will be well set for marketing success in the fiscal year to come.