Personas, also known as audience profiles or target markets, are a description of the types of residents and influencers who choose your services.
They apply to senior living marketing whether you’re a marketer or owner of the community, and they should be a key component of your market research.
There are three big reasons to create and use personas — and to update them. They focus your marketing, assist with prospecting and train your team on client service. All of these areas affect your brand positioning because potential residents or family members of residents need to quickly know that you understand them and that your community is the right fit for them.
1. Personas for Marketing
Effective marketing campaigns include messaging that offers solutions for residents and their families. Marketers and community owners use personas to speak to those individuals in a relatable way. Personas ensure clear direction, which helps write more targeted copy and choose the best methods for advertising.
Personas should include a description of your target resident(s): their challenges, dislikes, goals and desires. These descriptions will help you focus your marketing messages on how your services bring solutions and support their goals. By articulating how you best serve the resident, you are differentiating your brand.
Whether you are writing blog posts, creating an ad campaign or writing website copy, personas will help you create content that fits the residents or potential employees.
Writing to your persona will help you avoid the common problem of writing all about your community instead of what your audience really wants to know. Can you help them find the right home, and what is the first step to secure their spot and move forward?
If you aren’t sure of your potential resident’s dislikes, interests or desires, interview your current residents and discover how you are currently solving their problems and helping them. Their stories will help clarify your brand positioning. You can include that feedback in your persona description!
2. Personas for Sales
When having sales conversations, one rule of thumb is to have the prospective resident speak two-thirds of the time and to actively listen to their answers. To get them talking, you need great questions. But don’t just ask any question. Ask a question related to your brand; convince them that you are the best choice.
A persona description will help you develop sales questions that relate to your target resident to qualify them, but also to get them talking about what’s most important to them in a senior living community.
For example, if you have a process in place for holding safe social gatherings for residents, ask a sales question like, “How important is it to you that your community holds regular social gatherings where you can mingle with other people in a fun, safe and supportive environment?”
It’s likely that the right resident will say that it’s very important. Now, this gives you an opportunity to talk about the different types of social gatherings you hold at your community, including that newly remodeled back patio where residents dance the night away on beautiful summer nights.
The persona description helps you prepare for these conversations with confidence and consistency.
3. Personas for Strengthening Census
Once you attract a new resident — or family members involved in the decision — you can use your persona descriptions to address how to improve customer loyalty. The descriptions can be used to train your staff on customer service expectations, how you solve problems and how you make a difference.
You can even create persona descriptions for staff, referral sources and influencers. Help your management or marketing team understand how to develop industry connections that can refer new opportunities to your independent or assisted living community. Everyone can take ownership of your brand positioning with the right knowledge. Personas are just one way to do this.
One last tip: Senior living marketing needs to be personal, but how do you know you are appealing to real people online?
Send me an email and let’s chat about marketing automation and other opportunities to ensure you’re meeting your census goals and talking to the RIGHT-FIT resident or future employee…every time.