One of the most common pieces of sales and marketing guidance that we share with our Life Plan Community partners is to meet prospects where they are. It’s advice that we provided early in 2021 while prospects sought safety and security; and it’s advice we shared last summer as vaccines and seniors’ pent-up demand for the benefits of Life Plan Community living helped the sales and marketing environment get back to normal in earnest.
Meeting prospects where they are is just as much about knowing their motivations and needs as it is knowing where they spend their attention. We focused on the latter during our recent webinar, “Optimal Strategies for Reaching Prospects in 2022…and Beyond.” If you haven’t viewed the insightful session yet, one of the primary takeaways is that boomers are voraciously consuming new forms of digital media. They’re streaming all kinds of content, watching on-demand programs on smart TV apps and listening to their favorite podcasts to stay up to date on the world around them. That’s where they are.
So, how can your Life Plan Community start reaching boomers using paid ads on streaming and on-demand multimedia platforms? Here are 5 keys to hone in on and prioritize.
1) Know your audience.
The more information your Life Plan Community has about its ideal target prospect, the more effective its streaming multimedia ads can be. For example, if you know that many of your prospects are avid golfers at a country club in your designated market area (DMA), the ad campaign can target people who have recently visited the country club and use that data to serve them a streaming ad after they get home from playing a round.
Speaking of data, market and consumer research can supercharge a streaming ad campaign. Information gleaned from the market study or market analysis can be shared with the media placement partner, who will then input the most crucial data points into the advertising campaign so that its streaming ads target prospects with unmatched accuracy. More accurate ad targeting also leads to higher return on ad spend (ROAS), so your Life Plan Community can get the absolute most out of its paid media budget.
2) Give it a real shot.
The panelists from iHeartMedia and Effectv/Comcast on the recent webinar shared that one critical element of any streaming ad campaign is ensuring it has the chance to be out in the world long enough to generate sufficient impressions. In other words, it’s not much different from other paid advertising methods in that any ad needs to be seen by enough people to generate results.
“We determine campaign length by the total impressions generable,” Ray Noone, Multi-Market Broadcast and Digital Strategist at iHeartMedia, explained. “A two-week campaign won’t generate enough impressions. By comparison, a six-month campaign will be able to help build sufficient brand recognition over time in the DMA.”
A two-week streaming ad campaign would be similar to sending a direct mail piece to just 50 households in your community’s city and expecting multiple move-ins. Similar to that not being an advisable direct mail strategy, experts in streaming media recommend giving streaming ads enough time to make an impact. How much time? The panelists agreed that a minimum of three months is a good place to start.
3) Work with a trusted paid media partner.
For many people in charge of not-for-profit Life Plan Communities, terms like OTT, conversion, remarketing, UTM, campaign event triggers, pixel tracking, backfill and header bidding might as well be a different language. That’s where a trusted and experienced paid media partner comes in to launch the streaming ad campaign and get your Life Plan Community in front of your prospects’ eyes (or for podcasts, in their ears).
Aside from the technical aspects of launching a streaming ad campaign, you’ll want to work with a partner who knows the boomer market. And when drilling down further to the senior housing space, it’s important to keep in mind that all advertisements for senior housing fall under the Fair Housing Act. Don’t trust your paid advertising budget to anyone lacking this crucial expertise.
4) Maximize attribution.
The previous tip of working with a trusted paid media pro will help ensure that your new streaming ad campaign is trackable to a point. Your Life Plan Community’s digital footprint is the other piece of the attribution puzzle.
For example, can your website track new visitors who have come to your site by clicking on a streaming ad or entering the custom URL they heard in your ad while listening to their morning podcast? Your website needs to have the proper tracking codes and tags installed so it can properly attribute traffic coming from these new ads. Plus, the user-facing parts of your website should be up to date with messaging that reflects the current ad campaign, whether on the home page or landing pages. Fortunately, most paid media and digital marketing partners can help your organization get all this into place.
5) Keep an open mind.
When diving into a new type of advertising campaign, it’s important to remember that these types of ads weren’t even around 10—or in some cases 5—years ago. The digital media world is constantly evolving, and it’s certain that beyond 2022 even more paid ad opportunities will be available. And fortunately, with how rapid boomers’ uptake of new forms of digital media has been, you’ll have new opportunities to reach them, too.
With that in mind, don’t be shy to try new things and adopt a “learning mindset” when it comes to this new advertising approach. Your paid media partner will discuss new opportunities as they arise, and can help pinpoint the exact streaming and podcast ad mix that is most effective for your Life Plan Community.
Perhaps you’ll find that streaming ads work well for your community’s prospects and want to try them for your recruiting efforts, as well. Or maybe you’ll go in a different direction and try something even more adventurous like voice search ads or in-app interactive ads. Just remember, the boomers are out there. It’s up to you to meet them.
This article is part of Love & Company’s supplemental content for the recent webinar session, “Optimal Strategies for Reaching Prospects in 2022…and Beyond,” which you can watch by clicking here. We encourage you to bookmark this page to stay in the loop on all of the insightful webinar content featuring numerous leaders in the senior living field.