Archive for the ‘Home Care Marketing’ Category

Lead Generation in the Senior Living Vertical: CEO Chris Rodde Shares Insight with DomainSherpa.com

Our CEO, Chris Rodde, shares some valuable insight, particularly in the senior living vertical, on starting a lead generation business with DomainSherpa.com. But these insights can be applied to any vertical, and many of the tips shared can be utilized by any startup entrepreneur. Here are a few of the musts to get you started:

  • Conduct market research. If you plan on pursuing a specific business model in a given vertical, it’s imperative to research the competition and uncover an unmet need. It’s true that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel, but some of the most successful startups have attributed their success to taking a different “spin” on the wheel (pun intended).
  • Know — and capitalize on — the individual skillsets of your partners. SeniorHomes.com was founded by Chris Rodde, Jay Goldstein and Tom Blumer, each of whom had prior experience in the lead generation industry in different capacities. Part of what has made SeniorHomes.com so successful is that each founding member was able to bring his own unique background and skillsets to the table, and each member did what he does best. The result? An incredibly productive, functional team.
  • Contracts, contracts, contracts. No matter what business you’re in, you know the importance of a contractual agreement. Chris talks about how contracts were developed for more than 2,300 senior living communities to create a win-win for both parties.
  • Pricing: The one area many entrepreneurs struggle with. How do you set a price per lead? And how much revenue will each lead produce? Finally, how do you ensure the leads you deliver are quality, making them more valuable to the customer?

    SeniorHomes.com Lead Generation

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  • Marketing and SEO: Both are incredibly important for the success of any venture, particularly a web-based business, such as internet lead generation. SeniorHomes.com generates more than 200,000+ visitors per month, thanks to a solid marketing and SEO plan.
  • Where do we go from here? There comes a point in each business venture where things start to get stagnant. But if you have a plan for long-term growth, you’ll already know where you’re headed. Chris talks affiliate partnerships as one way to continue to grow a lead generation business and boost revenues.

Determining a profitable lead generation niche

One of the most important market research aspects that should be accounted for before considering entering any vertical in the lead generation industry is the lifetime value of a customer: In the higher education vertical, for instance, a single customer (an enrolled student, in this case) would provide a college or university with anywhere from $10,000 to $60,000 over the student’s education years. So paying a nominal fee for a lead is often well worth it to colleges and universities. In other words, as long as the conversion rates (number of leads purchased to number of students who actually enroll) are decent. Rodde suggests the following industries as good candidates for lead generation:

  • Adventure travel
  • Cosmetic surgery
  • Real estate
  • Automotive
  • Insurance

It breaks down like this: Most companies, whatever the vertical, must dedicate a portion of their profits to marketing. So if they’re spending 25% of their profits (not net sales, but profits) on highly-qualified leads, without having to dedicate a lot of time and money to “traditional” marketing methods, it makes sense. Still, companies — senior living communities, universities, and so on, still must have admissions representatives capable of closing deals once a lead is received.

Beyond doing your research and undertaking thorough planning, you’ve got to have the right people in place. As Chris, Tom and Jay quickly realized, it was beneficial to get people involved who had different skillsets. Chris and Jay were the marketing and business guys; Tom is a developer who had participated in several successful startups prior to getting involved with SeniorHomes.com.

Start small and prove your model

When SeniorHomes.com first launched, we had listings in only two states: Washington and Oregon. By starting small, building out the development work necessary for the primary search platform, and allowing Jay the opportunity to go out and secure business, SeniorHomes.com was able to really test out its business model on a small scale for six to eight months.

The challenge in this case is that with a directory that’s live and recently launched in only two states, there’s no real proof to demonstrate to potential customers that it’s worth listing on the site. But with lead generation, it’s a win-win situation; there’s no startup or signup cost for communities, they pay only when they receive a qualified lead.

Want to know more about internet lead generation and how the founding members of SeniorHomes.com built the company from startup? Chris talks more about marketing, SEO and SEM in the full interview. Be sure to check it out at DomainSherpa.com.

Company Spotlight: GlynnDevins, Insights

GlynnDevins is a full-service marketing firm based in Overland Park, Kan., with an emphasis on helping senior living communities drive occupancy rates. More than an advertising agency, GlynnDevins’ consultants have more than two decades of marketing expertise in senior living, including development, operational, expansion and redevelopment. GlynnDevins maintains relationships with a number of senior living professionals and offers the most comprehensive information on the state of the industry and provides creative solutions to overcome any of today’s marketing challenges.Glynn Devins Blog

Jim Glynn and George Devins, founders of the company, each bring a robust background of expertise to the table. Both are sought-after thought leaders in the field of mature marketing. But GlynnDevins expertise doesn’t end there. The founders’ foundation is built upon by a team of highly specialized experts, each servicing senior living clients from an expert perspective.

GlynnDevins Blog, Insights, brings much of this real-world expertise to marketers’ fingertips, offering solutions for selling to seniors and adult children, the proper classification of leads, how to turn your website into a lead-generation machine, the increasing importance of mobile marketing, and much more.

If you have questions about increasing occupancy rates, advertising or marketing a senior living community, Insights is an excellent place to seek answers to the most commonly asked questions. It’s also a great follow for simply staying on top of the latest trends in senior living marketing strategies and effective advertising techniques for the senior living space. For the most convenience, marketers can subscribe to receive regular blog updates directly to your email inbox.

Insights was the People’s Choice Winner in the Best Senior Living Industry Resources category in the SeniorHomes.com 2012 Best of the Web contest.

2012 SeniorHomes.com Best of The Web Awards

SeniorHomes.com is launching the 2012 Best of The Web Awards today! The Best of the Web contest highlights the best senior living and caregiving websites, blogs, and resources for consumers and senior living professionals. Often, the amount of senior living and caregiving websites can be overwhelming and stressful. SeniorHomes.com wants to help take the stress out of the equation by compiling the best resources across the web. This easy to use guide not only helps caregivers and people in the industry, but recognizes websites that consistently provide great resources and information.

Last years, Best of the Web contest was a huge success with hundreds of nominees and voters.  We hope to see even more websites nominated this year and everyone voting for their personal favorites!

Nominate Someone Today!

We want to hear about your favorite websites, blogs, or newsletters.  Nominate via facebook or twitter by using the #SeniorhomesBOW and mention the websites name and link.

Or you can shoot us an email at [email protected] with the websites name, link, and why you love it!

Award nominations are available in the following categories:

Consumer Resources

Industry Resources

Vote for your Favorites!

Has your favorite website already been nominated?  Go to its page and vote for it by liking or +1 the page!  We choose the finalists based on the who has the top votes.

Mature Market Sales Source Offering Benchmarks for Senior Living Sales Chat

Mature Market Sales Source is offering an “Open Discussion of Benchmarks & Best Practices for Senior Living Sales & Marketing” this Thursday, February 17th from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. PST. The live chat format of this session allows participants to connect and interact with other top performing senior living leaders and sales executives.  Mature Market Sales Source

The chat will take place monthly, and participants can attend via phone or internet conference. This is an opportunity for industry leaders to share their knowledge and best practices as well as learn from other senior living professionals. Through the open chat, participants can get their questions answered and seek advice on the biggest challenges they face as a senior living sales or management professional. Whether your question relates to sales and marketing or business practices in general, other attendees are likely to be experiencing the same struggles–or, they may have found an innovative way to overcome a common obstacle that you can learn from.

Don’t have a specific question in mind? You’ll still benefit from the sharing of ideas and resources. Typically, The Open Source monthly chats are limited to members only, but this month Mature Market Sales Source has opened up the lines to all industry leaders with an interest. Space is extremely limited; only 20 open lines are available on each call, but an additional 100 “listen-only” spots are available. Listen-only participants still have the opportunity to ask and answer questions via text chat.

Don’t miss this rare opportunity to connect with like-minded senior living sales and marketing leaders! Reserve your seat here.

Holidays Spell Opportunity in Assisted Living Marketing

It’s back to the daily routine for most of the world today, after the busy holiday season has come to an end. But many adults have a new item on their list this week: Searching for care for an aging parent. 2011

The post-holiday season is a great time for assisted living marketers to improve occupancy rates. Many families who live across the miles will gather together during the holidays, giving adult children and other loved ones a perfect opportunity to monitor the status of a loved one’s independence. Many issues that may go unnoticed by children who live out of town become obvious when several days are spent together under one roof, such as medication compliance, mobility concerns, and memory loss.

Assisted living marketers can begin making a push by publishing a useful checklist for loved ones to utilize to gauge an aging relative’s safety and independence at home on the company’s website. Post it on your company Facebook page and Twitter feed. Often, the need for assisted living or other long-term care doesn’t cross a family’s mind until it becomes blatantly obvious that a loved one is no longer safe to remain in his or her home alone, and some of the more subtle signs of a loss of independence don’t come to mind until they’re pointed out. Think medication non-compliance, expired foods in the refrigerator, and clutter in the home.

So what do adult children do when they come home from a holiday visit with suspicions that an aging parent isn’t safe to live alone any longer? Most of the time, they turn to the internet to search for information to confirm their suspicions. Make sure your checklist and accompanying advice are visible in the search engines by using keyword optimization, social media, a blog post, and even a press release to get the word out.

The next step most consumers take is to search for potential facilities — near where they live or near their family member’s current home. If there are many miles between those locations, the search can be more difficult but is simplified by online directories like SeniorHomes.com, which list senior housing communities in cities across the country. A simple search by city and state brings up dozens of listings, whether you’re searching for assisted living, independent living, or nursing homes.

If you’ve followed the first few steps by offering relevant and timely information and making it visible through online media, but your facility lacks a presence on senior housing directories where many families begin their in-depth search for assisted living, many of those post-holiday leads might land with your competitors.

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New Research on Baby Boomers Using Social Media

The New York Times reported on December 26, 2010 that while the 18 to 33 age demographic is still predominant among internet usage, older age demographics are rapidly catching up. Adults 45 and over more than doubled their social networking use in the period between December 2008 and May 2010, but the most surprising gain came from adults 74 years and older — this group quadrupled its social networking participation, with 16 percent of adults in this group now actively using social networking. Social networking among baby boomers

A similar report issued in November by AdvertisingAge points out another interesting piece of data: Baby Boomers who are caring for their aging parents are heavier internet users (among social networking sites like Facebook) than their non-caregiving counterparts. Laurel Kennedy, author of “The Daughter Trap” and president of Chicago-based consulting firm Age Lessons, estimates that approximately 15.5 million baby boomers are serving as caregivers out of the 78 million-strong boomer population.

The gender gap is nearly evenly split, with a slight edge towards women (60%, versus 40% men). This group spends an average of 150 minutes each month on social media and visits 70% more pages than the typical internet user. ComScore, which conducted research on behalf of Age Lessons, breaks down the top ten sites among Boomer Caregivers. It’s not surprising that Facebook leads the pack, with a 91 percent reach. Among some online retailer sites (Amazon.com, Target, WalMart), LinkedIn has a 37% reach and Twitter a 21% reach.

One interesting discovery from comScore’s research is that the online review site Yelp has a 30% reach among Boomer Caregivers, beating out Twitter. In our previous posts reporting on assisted living marketing and social networking use, Yelp never entered the conversation as a most-used site for either internet users or marketers. Could this be an untapped resource for senior housing marketers? Possibly, if boomers are using Yelp to read reviews of health and medical providers and not merely to decide what restaurant to visit that evening. Only more in-depth research could tell for sure, but it’s probably worth your time to monitor your presence on Yelp.

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Long-Term Care Decision Making Influenced by Online Media

Walker Marketing recently released the results of a study investigating how online and social media trends influence decision-making among unpaid caregivers. The survey population consists of 210 completed surveys by unpaid caregivers who cared for an ailing family member or friend within the past 12 months. Most participants have incomes between $30,000 and $50,000 per year. Specifically, researchers were interested in learning how social media impacts home care decisions. Social media is a big piece of the marketing puzzle.

Walker Marketing’s findings are consistent with that of Pew Research, which found that social networking use among the 50+ population is rapidly expanding — increasing from 22 percent in April 2009 to 42 percent in May 2010. Walker Marketing found that 92 percent of respondents indicated that they consider the internet to be either “very valuable” or “somewhat valuable” as a source of healthcare information. Sixty-five percent indicate that they regularly read internet news sites or blogs.

More than half (61 percent) of respondents indicated that they were either “very likely” or “somewhat likely” to communicate with other caregivers utilizing home health services in a social networking medium, such as a forum or social media site. Slightly less (53 percent) of respondents who have used home care in the past say they use the web regularly to search for caregiving-related information.

It’s true that physicians largely drive healthcare referrals. However, 91 percent of respondents indicated that they were “somewhat likely” or “very likely” to conduct their own research of a company after receiving a referral from a professional. Further, 78 percent said that while they do rely on professional recommendations, they would ultimately make their own decisions based on research.

There are two clear takeaways from this research. First, it’s clear that social media is now a core component of word-of-mouth marketing. Home care providers should closely monitor their online reputations and target attempts to send a consistent marketing message. Second, it’s imperative to offer a comprehensive resource for website visitors above and beyond standard company information. With more than half of caregivers seeking caregiving-related information online, providers who offer robust resources will be best positioned for converting visitors into solid leads.

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Emeritus: A Social Media Case Study from CareNetworks

CareNetworks is conducting a Social Media Success Series, a collection of interviews from senior care providers who have achieved positive results from using social media. The first in the series is an interview with Emeritus Senior Living, one of the largest senior living providers in the country with more than 460 assisted living communities serving 43 states. social media marketing

As all demographics, even baby boomers and seniors, are embracing social media, it makes sense for senior living providers to research ways for incorporating social media into their overall marketing mix. CareNetwork’s interview with Emeritus’ eMarketing Specialist, Chris Kim, is evidence that social media marketing is effort well spent.

According to Kim, Emeritus first began using social media in June 2009. In the grand scheme of things, they’re still new to the scene, yet they’ve still achieved some impressive results. Rather than use social media to generate leads, they use it to engage their customers. They started by thinking about what information their typical customer is searching for, and leveraged social media as a tool for brand reputation management, an online presence, and to establish the company as an industry authority. As a plus, Kim reports that social media enabled Emeritus to connect with field employees and third-party service providers.

Currently, Emeritus utilizes the following social media initiatives:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • A corporate blog
  • LinkedIn
  • YouTube

Note in our previous post, Benefits of Social Media Marketing (which reported on findings from the 2010 Social Media Marketing Industry Report), that Emeritus has focused the majority of their social media efforts on the top five venues indicated by this study. The company continues to build out a robust resource of health and caregiving glossaries, guides, and tutorials (even video tutorials are in the works) on its corporate website for residents, potential customers, their families, and providers. The company’s resources also provided useful content that was used to engage customers on social media profiles.

Here are a few tips Kim offers senior living executives for ramping up social media efforts:

  • Keep your content current and updates timely — keep your customers abreast of what’s happening in your facility
  • Don’t just post content; instead, ask for feedback and opinions
  • Add some flavor. Run a contest, link to other relevant — and fun — resources, like quizzes, and ask fans to post their scores

Read the full interview on the CareNetworks blog

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November is National Family Caregivers Month

In 1994, family caregivers were first recognized during National Family Caregivers Week. President Clinton was the first to honor caregivers as a month-long celebration, signing the first proclamation declaring November National Family Caregivers Month. Every year since, the American President in office has declared November a month to recognize the challenges, struggles, and tremendous sacrifice millions of family caregivers provide every day. National Family Caregivers Month

The National Family Caregivers Association (NFCA) coordinates National Family Caregivers month each year. More than 65 million Americans serve as family caregivers, making them part of a large group of caring and compassionate individuals who strive to meet the needs of aging parents or disabled loved ones every day, yet many members of this population continue to feel isolated and alone.

To help caregivers cope with the daily challenges and emotional toll that caregiving can take, NFCA has created a community comprised of caregivers and volunteers to offer education and support as well as a sense of community among this remarkable group. National Family Caregivers Month serves to both recognize caregivers and to promote education and support resources available to caregivers. Membership in NFCA is free to all family caregivers and provides access to the association’s resource library, which includes helpful information including:

  • A home healthcare primer
  • Care management tips and techniques
  • Advice on improving doctor/caregiver communications
  • Medication management
  • Tips on choosing assisted living facilities or nursing homes, or other senior housing
  • Stress reduction
  • Action checklists
  • And much more

National Family Caregivers Month is celebrated community-wide, with healthcare providers and community organizations taking an active role in the promotion of the event and recognizing caregivers. Those wanting to get involved can participate in a number of ways, including displaying National Family Caregivers Month posters in their places of business, offering support groups for family caregivers in the community, hosting a caregivers workshop with resources and information, or simply by telling caregivers they know about the benefits of joining NFCA.

Visit the NFCA website to learn more about National Family Caregivers Month and ways you can get involved.

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ALFA Leadership Forum Discusses the Future of Senior Living in America

On October 26, 2010, 125 executives from senior living companies and related organizations convened in Alexandria, Virginia, to discuss the future of senior living in America. Rick Grimes, President and CEO of ALFA, says of the event, “There is a lot of interest by senior living executives to find ways to better serve seniors and their families and collaborate with their staff to promote excellence at their companies.” The future of senior living

Participants were given the opportunity to share knowledge with fellow leaders, participate in discussions and roundtables, and attend presentations. Discussions and roundtables focused on solutions to the following challenges:

  • Staff recruitment and retention
  • Economic impacts and how government involvement will affect the industry
  • Challenges of longer lifespans and needs for diverse types of assistance
  • Forming collaborative relationships with adjuct industries, such as hospice providers, pharmacies, and rehab centers
  • Changes to employee benefits as a result of health care reform

Tom Donohue, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, spoke to participants at a luncheon on how a changed political landscape would have eventual impacts on the senior living industry. In addition, the President’s Council, comprised of a representatives from companies serving the senior living industry, gathered for an industry update and discussed possibilities for aiding ALFA in its mission to advance the future of senior living.

Read the ALFA press release.

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