The biggest problem with content marketing is that someone has to generate content and generating content is hard work.
By Steve Moran
I want to start by saying I am a successful content marketer and have built Senior Housing Forum into a significant force in the senior living space exclusively using content marketing techniques.
The biggest problem with content marketing is that someone has to generate content and generating content is hard work. It is hard work for me and it is my full-time job. It is much much harder for senior living marketing organizations since they have dozens of things that must be done every day, week, month and year.
Here are seven simple ways to be an effective content marketer:
What’s Your Goal? — This may sound like a stupid question, but trust me it is not. I would suggest that more than anything else, your goal with content marketing needs to be relationship building. What I mean by this is that you need to see your content strategy as a vehicle for prospects . . . your local community to get to know you better.
The Brookdale employee videos are a great example of this. Over time those employees almost begin to feel like family.
Tell Stories — Storytelling was the very first marketing technique that is thousands of years old. Today it remains the single most powerful way to grow your business. When dealing with prospects, they ultimately want to know just these simple things: “What is it like to live in your community?” and “Will mom or dad be happy here?”
Be Consistent — This means you need to figure out a publishing schedule and stick to it come hell or highwater. Once a week would be ideal, twice a month is not bad and once a month is ok. Under no circumstance should your most recent posting be more than 2 months old. It looks terrible. While I am not a fan of this, if you must, take the date stamp off your content if you only have old stuff there.
Medium — There is no doubt that the written word is easiest to do and the least cost, but you should mix it up. Try some video, even if it is just an embed of something someone else has produced (something we at Senior Housing Forum do fairly frequently). You might even try doing some podcast-style audio only interviews with residents, family members and staff.
Your Voice — Your articles must have personality. Several times a year I will receive an unsolicited guest article from someone where the content is well written, but it is just not very interesting. There is no revolutionary information and well . . . it is has no personality. Adding a short story and some personality can turn a so-so topic into a great article.
Length — In the world of content marketing and search engine optimization, there is a lot of discussion about how long a given piece of content should be. The current thinking is that an article of 1,200-1,500 words is best for search optimization. Is this right? I have no idea. For marketing senior living it is probably too long — think more along the lines of 300-800 words. It is easy to tell a story in that space and — from a reader standpoint — can be read in a minute or two; which happens to be the attention span of the average web reader.
Call to Action — You must do this! You will waste your content if you do not include a call to action at the end of every article. It could be a download, a link to another page, It should be specific (see my call to action below).
Five days a week Senior Housing Forum publishes great content that helps senior living leaders do a better job. We would love to hear your story and have you join the thousands of other senior living professionals that read our content every month. We would also love to hear about your content marketing journey for a possible future story.
Finally, on behalf of Caring.com I would encourage you to take just a minute to look at your listing page to make sure it is up to date . . . and if there are any new reviews you need to respond to.