How to solve low senior occupancy rates with a targeted marketing campaign

Is your housing authority plagued with low senior living occupancy rates? Perhaps you need to bulk up your wait list for specific low-income properties? The National Council on Aging reports that:

25 million Americans aged 60+ are economically insecure.

As our senior population increases so will the need for outreach efforts within housing sectors.  Statistica data shows that “an estimated 22% of our population will be 65-years-old or older by 2050.”

Improving occupancy rates is more than hitting government-approved numbers. Filling units ensures that you’ll get help out to those who need it the most.

If your agency struggles to attract clients for certain properties or unit sizes, you can attack the problem with a message-focused marketing campaign.

How does a marketing campaign differ from standard messaging?

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Regular communication with low-income residents and community members establishes your housing authority as a credible source of information.

However, when you have an ongoing issue and aren’t seeing results from everyday messaging, then it’s time to consider a concentrated campaign.

  • With a message-focused marketing campaign, you’re utilizing all media to promote your message and encourage specific action.
  • The goal is to achieve measurable results over a particular timeframe, whether that’s one month or six.

Housing marketing coordinators use campaigns to increase occupancy in a unit, appeal to donors, ease a transition, and even improve their operational efficiency. A successful plan:

  1. Defines the problem.
  2. Provides solutions.
  3. Lists actionable steps.

Segment your audience for improved access.

For housing authorities struggling with a low senior living occupancy rate, the trouble may be that older adults don’t know that they qualify, take issue with the property’s reputation, or don’t realize that housing services exist. According to Pew Research:

Only 27% of seniors whose annual household income is below $30,000 report having broadband internet service at home.

For your campaign to be successful, you’ll need to communicate in traditional ways with older adults while also targeting their children, grandchildren, and other decision-makers.

It’s important to reach out on social media and regularly update your mobile-friendly website. Not only do you need to be where your targeted audience is—whether that’s on Facebook or the local newspaper—you also should use appropriate messaging for each demographic.

Tailor your message.

The language used for a younger Millennial looking for low-income housing for their parents or grandparents differs dramatically from the wording an older adult might use.

Beyond copy, your call-to-action will vary depending on the population you’re targeting.

  • Craft messages to existing housing members and request referrals or social shares.
  • Use a regional earned media strategy to reach those in your surrounding area.
  • Write copy that community influencers can share.
  • Create stories that appeal personally to each demographic.

Virtual Knowledge Centre to End Violence against Women and Girls provides an excellent example of how they crafted multiple marketing messages for their varied audience.

Think about your platforms.

While you’re planning out your messaging, it’s important to consider the different media platforms you’ll use for outreach. For small campaigns lasting a few months, you may choose to update your existing profiles and website.

  • Refresh your bio on social media accounts to display a brief message for your message-focused campaign.
  • Add a landing page on your website dedicated to the campaign.
  • Change website popups and banners.

Some housing authorities create a marketing campaign strategy, then fall short when it comes time to implement it. Others are eager to implement a plan, if only there were one.

If your eyes are going a little buggy trying to figure out how to pull a content marketing campaign together, then consider outsourcing.

Far from just throwing out content and posts, implementing a campaign allows you to use your budget fruitfully and infiltrate your community with messaging that results in action.

Management consultant and brand strategist for small teams. Fan of dark tea, thick books, peace, and unity.

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