Marketing your retirement community online is no longer a good idea. It’s essential. The technologies at your disposal make online marketing a faster, more cost-effective, and more flexible (read that as easier to make changes and corrections) way to reach your audience.
The Internet, however, is a big, crowded, fast-moving place. Just being on the Web won’t guarantee more business. And not everyone spends all his time staring at a computer monitor or smart phone screen. When someone does go online, how can you make sure she ends up on your site? Sometimes you need to start offline. Here are a few ideas.
Catch Commuters. Maybe you can catch the eye of commuters in your area with a billboard that they see every day on their way to work. Keep your message very simple and striking (with a nice graphic). People can’t read a lot when they’re driving 65 mph. But they might be able to catch a short phrase and an image. And if you have a QR Code (Quick Response Code) on the billboard, they can capture that with their smart phone and read more when they get to work or when they get home.
You can catch commuters that don’t drive as well. Posters with QR codes at bus stops, in subways, and on trains can grab the attention of riders. Just make sure your code takes people to a good landing page that gives them helpful information.
Hit the Mail Box. Mail volume is down. That means there’s less competition in the mailbox. Direct mail is still a powerful marketing tool—if you use it properly. Keep your messages short and compelling. A simple card mailing with a clear call to action to the right audience can yield great results. Make sure you include a clear URL that takes readers to a well-crafted landing page for more specific information.
Event Marketing. When you invite members of the community to open houses or other events at your facility, make sure there is a link to your website on every invitation (whether it’s in the local paper or an invitation that you mail out). At your event, make sure that any materials you hand out either have a QR code on them or a link to a specific landing page so that if people want more information, they know exactly where to go.
Marketing Collateral. If people request printed information about your community, make sure it contains links to your website so that people can come back for more information. And don’t just send them to your home page. Include links to specific pages that will answer the questions they have.
What other “offline” methods can you think of that you can use to drive potential clients online?