If you read anything about marketing anything you will know that “content marketing” has been the hot topic . . .
If you read anything about marketing you will know that “content marketing” has been the hot topic of 2013. It makes sense because . . .
- It costs significantly less than any other form of marketing. (One study says 62% less)
- It has better retention than any other form of marketing.
- It is more likely to be shared with others.
- It can take lots of different forms including stories, tips, videos, photos and audio (pod cast).
- It can be done on a local level by individual communities or across a corporate enterprise.
- It is more likely to be effective in building a selling relationship with your prospects than any other form of advertising. This means higher close rates.
How to make it happen at the local level
Perhaps the biggest reason people don’t do content marketing is because it seems like an overwhelming task. Next year, I will be telling stories about both simple and complex senior living content marketing efforts. But I want to recommend you make a commitment content marketing in 2014. Here is how to start:
- This has to be said: Many senior living communities publish a monthly newsletter that typically contains items gathered from the internet, an activities calendar, maybe a menu and lists of birthdays and anniversaries. These are almost never content marketing vehicles. They are too cluttered and look like something that is just thrown together because it has to be done and are largely impersonal.
- Start small. Write just 100-300 words at least once a month or, even better, once a week.
- Tell stories.
- No matter how much you are tempted, don’t ever use it to sell anything. That means no special offers and no upcoming marketing events (unless it ties directly to the story you are telling).
- Be personal, tell stories with emotion.
- Don’t worry so much about the format. Just a simple email is all you need. Fancy graphics can get in the way of having your email read.
- Send it to everyone you know: vendors, friends, prospects, competitors, referral sources, volunteers. It is okay to send it to everyone because you are not selling.
If you are doing content marketing for your senior living company I would love to hear about it, with an eye telling your story here.
Senior Housing Forum and Content Marketing – How the value proposition works
As you have likely figured out, the thing that makes Senior Housing Forum possible is our content marketing partners. Our goal is to tell stories about how they are helping senior living communities do a better job of staying full, saving money and caring for residents. In writing these stories our goal is to make sure the article is readable and valuable. We hope to help you do a better job even if you never purchase their products or services; but if you have a bigger need we hope you will talk to our partners. When we publish a content marketing story it is read by hundreds to thousands of senior living professionals. Compare this to a national trade show where it typically costs more than $10,000 all-in-all to exhibit for a few hours over two or three day. At the end of the show, if a vendor walks away having interacted with 100 people they have had a good show. Think about it: spending $100 or more for each person you tell your story too. That is a ton of dough. Now compare that to a single Senior Housing Forum article that reaches hundreds to thousands of readers for a tiny fraction of what a trade show costs. And yes, this is a content marketing article for Senior Housing Forum. How did I do?
I agree completely that content is the core element of Internet Marketing. And even more importantly research supports that case. Utilizing content strategically through all of the online channels based upon the needs of the buyer persona build brand reputation and generate leads.
Patty Cisco, CISCO & CO
You are dead on Patty. It is much harder to build a good brand reputation without it.
Content marketing gets me jazzed. When done strategically, online content unlocks the geographical constraints of professional networking and connecting with an audience. The biggest return; it builds authority. When you’re the authority, you gain the power to influence or command thought, opinion, or behavior! It’s magical!!
Content may not be at the center of your marketing plan – but it helps you connect to what is!
Am working with a client making this happen now…
It gets me jazzed too and I actually think content marketing should be at the center of any campaign or at least really near the center.
Count me in, Steve. As I think we discussed during your visit to be.group, we’ve pretty much shifted our entire marketing strategy from outbound to inbound with content marketing as the fuel.We’re continuing to refine and test our approach, and are discussing some big changes in 2014 to further enhance the effectiveness of our lead gen efforts. I’m more than happy to share what we’ve been doing with the introduction of MySilverAge.com, be.magazine and other content marketing channels.
Dan you are on the top of my list to do a story about doing it big so I will be calling you next week. I then have another story about someone doing a real simple email campaign as a good way to start.