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10 Trends to Up Your Digital Marketing Game

It was probably the day after the World Wide Web became a real thing that a smart marketing guru said “hey, as more users jump on let’s use this thing to market our business!”  Hard to believe but traditional internet marketing is more than 25 years old!  It started with the first popular browser.  Remember Netscape? The internet has evolved tremendously since then, and some of the biggest trends haven’t even arrived yet!  In this article Kansas City-based software engineer and author Stephan Miller, shares 10 trends to keep your eye on in the world of digital marketing. Do keep in mind that traditional internet marketing principals lay a critical foundation for your overall strategy. Make sure to use various tools (like this blog) to keep track of ideas that are increasing in popularity.

Voice Search

Real voice technology first appeared about 10 years ago when people started talking into their cell phones asking Siri for help.  Since then, we invited voice activated devices into our homes to turn on the music, the timer, the HVAC, dial the phone, answer trivia or even tell us a joke.  Voice technology is only going to accelerate in the consumer’s lives, so we need to learn to utilize voice technology to better our digital marketing.

One way to optimize your content for voice-friendly terms is by creating opportunities for useful information to be easily captured by voice technology.  For example, one popular strategy for your website is to create a headline with a common question followed immediately by a concise answer or definition. Then elaborate on the answer further in the content on the page.

Zero-Click Search Results with Featured Snippets

What is it? I’m sure you’ve experienced it while looking for an answer online. It’s when you put your search words or a question in the search bar, hit return and a snippet of the answer appears among the search results in a box at the top without having to click further to find it. That’s Zero-Click, a.k.a. Quick Answers, Knowledge Boxes, Featured Snippets or Top Stories. It positions the site as a thought-leader.  Most of them are informational in nature and not related to a purchase.

According to similarweb.com, “a high search volume for a keyword coupled with a high percentage of zero-clicks indicates the consumer intent is high for the given keyword regardless of search visits and clicks.” So, it helps us define which keywords are better than others.

Progressive Web Apps and Mobile Optimization

Many companies are still operating as if no one looks at their website on a mobile device.  Many small businesses especially.  The idea is that the consumer has a great encounter with your brand no matter which device they have chosen to use. You can add one simple manifest file to an existing website to make it website installable as a mobile application. Progressive web apps (or PWAs) make a website act like a mobile app. Users can download an “app version” of your content with only a few changes to existing sites. It’s easy and oh, so worth it for your consumer.

Chat Bots

In a world filled with ever-evolving automation, more and more consumers are vocal about wanting “the human touch.”  When they land on your website and have a question, they want to know there is a real person on the other end with a brain and multiple resources to find them the answer.  AI chat bots can fill this gap when your human employees are busy, while still creating a back-and-forth dialogue.

Video SEO

Video is still king in digital marketing. The pandemic just accelerated video usage and production too.  The most powerful video however is video that persuades and when done well it can run circles around text content.  Adding more video content can up your digital marketing game.

Influencer Marketing

This is currently the fastest growing customer acquisition channel out there.  These are people we follow on social media channels who convince us to part with our hard-earned money because, well, they said it was a good idea. The Kardashians are the ultimate marketing influencers and have proven how well it works because they’ve built an empire around persuading consumers to buy stuff.  In senior living, there are influencers too.  When you can get them to talk about your brand online it’s a definite boost and is typically cheaper than organic search efforts, paid search and email marketing.

Artificial Intelligence

AI or machine learning is used all around us and is used for prediction and personalization. It’s a matter of programming your website to respond based on what people search for when they get there.  It’s used for things like Chatbots (mentioned above), music choices and the most basic use – the search bar on your website. You can use it to drive consumers to areas of your website that you want them to see.

Capturing information as consumers search your senior living website and setting up the various paths of information as a result of their search is best left in the hands of digital marketing experts and those who manage your website.  AI is not one of those simpler marketing tools, and while it may cost a little extra to get it going on your website, it is well worth the effort and money.

Personalized Marketing

Personalized marketing is one of the most effective methods of digital marketing and one of the most difficult to executive.  It’s connecting personally with the consumer at just the right moment on the right device with the right message.  Talk about precision!

No one does it better than Amazon!  When I return to the site, it knows what I’ve been searching for online and makes suggestions.  It knows that it’s been 30 days since I ordered dog food and makes a suggestion – heck, it has Alexa talking to me about it too!  Their algorithms personalize the homepage specifically to me based on my online behavior.  Sure, it’s a little creepy but it’s also very effective.

AR and VR

During the pandemic many communities found a way to provide virtual tours to families considering senior living. They also did a nice job providing more community video experiences to share with families and on social media. Virtual Reality catapults above all of that using computer technology.  With a head set and video goggles the consumer can see what it actually looks and feels like to be transformed to the space.  It takes 3D modeling and app development which probably wouldn’t fit into most senior living brand budgets.

Augmented Reality may be more doable for this industry. An example of it is the IKEA Place app that lets you see what their furniture looks like sitting in your living room before we buy it!  Movie theaters use it on some of their upcoming movie releases. When a movie goer scans a movie poster with their phone it can give them a summary about the film, the cast and even offer advanced tickets.

Interactive Content

Interactive content can make the users experience on your website more fun or even rewarding.  Giving them a reason to click, swipe or do something online can engagement the user for a longer period of time on your site and perhaps even make them feel more connected to your brand.  And if there’s a reward for doing something, even better!

What if you created a quiz that captures datapoints about them?  Something about levels of care, or amenities they are looking for, then when they give you their name, contact information, they get, say, a 20% discount to move-in for the next 30-days. Results show that surveys that feel more like a quiz get greater engagement.

If you’re looking for help with digital marketing for your community, reach out to SeniorVu today.

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Happy Holidays

Answering inquiries for your community is what our Family Advocate Managers (FAM team) love doing, even on most holidays. Thanksgiving and Christmas Day are the only two days we close up shop. We believe all of our team members deserve time with their families. By the next morning, FAM is right back at it to follow up on any inquiries that may have come in the day before.

What about all those other holidays? Rest assured SeniorVu has your time zone covered from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on each of the following holidays:

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