The word “storytelling” has become quite a buzzword in advertising and marketing over the past few years, especially in the our field of senior living. And, while many buzzwords come and go, some—such as “storytelling”—actually communicate quite effectively and should not only be on the use-to-impress-at-parties word list, but should be top of mind and put into practice daily.
Great storytelling can communicate invaluable benefits to your prospects in seconds, making the story about them. This excellent TV commercial for Expedia, for example, will give you an idea of what I’m talking about:
When you have a brand—let’s say your Life Plan Community—and you want it to occupy the “that’s exactly what I need” space in the mind of a prospect, you should have a compelling reason for that potential customer to become an actual customer.
You need a story.
Not just any story…but one about the reader or viewer or visitor considering your community.
It may seem like anti-marketing, but a compelling and engaging story should not be directly about you or your community. It should be about the life that is expected and desired by your senior living community’s prospects. Tell that story. Tell their story. Their one-of-a-kind story…that also happens to relate to your community, because you provide the environment, the resources, the opportunities.
And tell the story with such passion and enthusiasm that your audience will truly believe you have what they need—right now and in the future—because it is what they need. And you can help them get it.
As we age and mature, our needs become less materialistic and more emotional/spiritual, and your community’s advertising and communications should affirm and reflect that reality. That is one of the reasons Love & Company often uses testimonials for our clients. Testimonials connect emotionally and logically and speak one-on-one to the reader or viewer, offering personal examples of storytelling that capture the essence of well-being that is experienced in and around your community.
Blogs are also an effective way of letting those stories be heard. Videos are effective, too, as they capture life’s possibilities in addition to the differences being made in the lives of people throughout your community, for residents’ benefit, and because of your community. Surprisingly, engaging video storytelling can be achieved for less than you may think; large production is not necessary to tell a compelling story.
Look around you.
What drew residents to your particular community? What unique offerings do you have that excite those living at your community, providing a sense of well-being and purpose day after day? What powerful messages do you want to use to attract others to your community?
Show those aspects—in images, words, video—in any way you can. Tell those stories and realize that the positive resident stories around your community are as much part of your story as you are part of theirs. Be incredibly proud of that fact and unabashedly use those stories to communicate and promote possibilities, not only to build your census—although if done correctly and with humility, that will also be a side benefit.
So, how do you tell a compelling story with passion? By reaching out to potential residents and enthusiastically telling the stories that interest them, connect with them and are really about them—inspiring, transformational, life-changing stories.
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If you are unsure how to tell those one-of-a-kind stories, we can help. Contact us to start the conversation. We LOVE a good story. Let’s chat. Feel free to contact Tim Bracken at 410-207-0013 or firstname.lastname@example.org.