Piali Dasgupta from Columbia Pacific Communities sheds light on relevant factors to keep in mind while leveraging content-driven marketing for Senior Housing Players in India, in 2020.
Senior Housing in India is a sunrise industry and has seen increased public interest only in the last decade. With a handful of key players, it is safe to say that the industry is at a nascent stage and is still discovering its voice and understanding its audience.
Good content is a result of a long term vision and commitment. It doesn’t come easy, and there are no magic formulae to crack it.
Social media has made it possible for consumers and end-users to call out brands for being inauthentic and not “walking the talk.” So, the challenge today is to create impactful, shareworthy, thumb-stopping content that not only resonates with a brand’s audience and takes the brand credo forward but also remains authentic and genuine in its tone of voice. This is true for all industries and categories.
However, marketers in the senior housing industry have an additional challenge. That is of catering to a target audience that is complex and traverses generations. Another aspect of the challenge is tailor-making content to suit the various subsets of the audience. Let me elaborate.
The target audience for senior living operators can broadly be divided into three different subsets:
The primary audience of senior living communities is someone who is looking for a solution for himself/herself. This is someone who typically falls within the age bracket of 55 to 70, have either retired or dialed down work, and looking to move into a senior living community. This is the key decision-maker.
There is another equally important stakeholder in the decision-making process. And that is children of the senior citizens. The secondary TG largely comprises of the millennial audience (28-40) who are either proactively looking for a solution for their parents or are influencers of the purchase decision.
There is a third audience for senior living operators in India. It is the NRI audience. They are either on the brink of retirement and are looking to move back to the country post-retirement, or are children of empty nesters who are seeking a solution for their parents back home.
Keeping the above in mind, here are five key pointers for creating a content-driven marketing blueprint for the senior housing industry in India in 2020.
Find your narrative and own it through content:
Senior living, as a category, is very much about empathy and high EQ. Your content and communication strategy must reflect that. Therefore, it becomes critical to first identify the brand purpose (or the raison d’etre) and use different content formats to build recall around it. Not many senior living operators today are doing this effectively and proactively.
Celebrate seniors through content:
Senior living communities are all about their residents. They are the life of the communities. So, it’s important to celebrate them and their incredible, inspiring stories. Our nine communities across five cities are home to golden agers who have led rich, remarkable lives. Everybody wins when we celebrate our own heroes and tell their stories.
Holiday Retirement, a senior living operator in Florida, USA, also does an impressive job of telling residents and community stories through their Instagram feed.
Playing to your audience:
Many real estate players in India with a senior living vertical have not invested in independent social media handles and pages for their senior living business.
The audience for senior living is niche and complex and they need to be served content of a wholly different kind, which clearly differentiates it from real estate content. For example, real estate communication is skewed a lot towards offer-led communication, because that’s what the audience is often looking for.
The primary need for a senior housing customer is service. That’s what he’s seeking out as a solution. Therefore, it is imperative to highlight the service proposition of senior housing through content. The amenities, facilities, and services of a senior housing operator are best served in pocket-sized content pieces, preferably using animation, as they seem to engage the audience the most and drive home the message.
Create platform-agnostic content and make your content work hard:
As far as content is concerned, the great advantage of a category such as this is that the sales cycles are usually long – easily a couple of months. So, if a customer takes 2/3 months to make a purchase decision, he/she gives you many opportunities for interaction.
Content can play a crucial role in this sale window. For example, when a customer visits the site to see the model apartments, there is no reason why a video that was created for Facebook/Youtube highlighting the services can’t be played on a screen for him to better understand and absorb all the services he would enjoy as a resident. Content at this point is far more effective and impactful than… say… content via emailers that he would have passively consumed.
Let your content win hearts:
When RELEARN was launched last year, it had one simple objective – to free the seniors from all kinds of labels and stereotypes given to them.
It was not content for the sake of content.
One cannot stress enough on the importance of creating soulful content for this category. There’s a lot of clutter around anyway. You could either be one more agent of the clutter or try to break free from it.
Senior care and senior living give you an opportunity to communicate with those that have served the nation and shaped the world for decades. They deserve a powerful narration and content that proudly bats for them. Because, for very long, this generation has been ignored and made invisible. It is only through outstanding content that you can bring the focus back on them.
This article piece is authored by Piali Dasgupta, Vice President Marketing at Columbia Pacific Communities.