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A guide to influencer marketing

What it is and why your senior living organization needs to invest in it

by Michelle Nessman | July 26, 2019 | Marketing

women working on her ipad

Most senior living organizations will tell you that word of mouth is the greatest contributor to full communities. Yet few invest in influencer marketing strategies.

What Is Influencer Marketing?

When you think about an “influencer,” you probably imagine a celebrity endorsing a high-end product or a picture-perfect 20-something on Instagram promoting a new skin care brand.

But an influencer can be anyone — a senior financial adviser, a geriatric physician, a member of your local chamber of commerce. What makes them influential is the power they have to affect the decisions of your target audience because of their authority, knowledge, or relationship with them.

Influencer marketing works within the senior living industry because it uses strategies like word-of-mouth referrals and social proof.

Seniors and their adult children trust their peers, friends, people they admire, and authority figures more than companies selling the products and services. So when you market directly to these influential people, they can begin helping you connect with your target audience, enhance brand awareness, and boost conversions:

No wonder influencer marketing is the fastest-growing online customer-acquisition channel.

5 Steps to Implementing Influencer Marketing

Ready to implement your own influencer marketing strategy? Follow these five steps.

1. Identify Your Primary Influencers

To improve your reach among potential customers, you’ll need to identify the type of influencer best-suited for your senior living organization. Start by looking at who your ideal prospect is.

For example, if you are marketing an assisted living community, you might focus on geriatric physicians, cardiologists, physical therapists, or independent living providers — trusted authority figures who already work closely with older adults and their children.

If you are marketing a continuing care retirement community, your primary influencers might be local country clubs, your local chamber of commerce, or financial advisers.

2. Develop Campaigns to Engage Influencers

Next, identify what kind of information would motivate your influencers to learn more about your senior living organization or refer folks to you.

For example, you might create a campaign for physicians that helps them approach the topic of assisted living with their patients. For financial planners, you might pull together a campaign that focuses on the financial benefits of a continuing care retirement community.

3. Create Your Contact List

There are many ways you can develop a list of influencer contacts and their email addresses:

  • Work with your sales team to pull contacts from your CRM software.
  • Purchase a list.
  • Do a Google search for senior living industry-related terms and keywords to find experts who align with your brand image.
  • Search for influencers on various social media platforms.

4. Allocate a Budget

Influencer marketing is just one part of marketing, so you’ll need to determine how much of your marketing budget to allocate to your influencer marketing efforts.

About three-quarters of marketers have a budget set aside for influencer marketing, and about half of them spend at least 20% of their marketing budget on influencer marketing.

5. Implement Email Marketing

Now you’re ready to create a drip email marketing campaign — a series of automated emails that are sent in a specific order when triggered by a specific user action — that shares educational information with influencers that motivates and inspires them to work with your senior living organization or share the content with their network.

If you can cultivate relationships with influencers and make them ambassadors of your senior living organization, they can help improve brand awareness, boost your credibility, and generate conversions.

Now is the time to do your research, find influencers who might have the trust and ear of your target audience, and get involved in influencer marketing.

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