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SL1We’ve heard the demographic numbers before and the clever slogans that foreshadow the impending “age wave,” “graying of America,” and “silver tsunami.” The plethora of conversation about seniors in America may seem like a lot to some, but the facts are tough to ignore. The U.S. Census Bureau predicts that by 2060, the population age 65 and older is expected to more than double to 92 million people. These trends in aging and longer life expectancy are fueling a massive expansion of the senior living sector. Whether independent living, assisted living, memory care, or nursing homes, there is a great deal of potential to reach this rapidly growing market.

In this newest blog series, we’ll take a look at the senior living industry and three key target audiences: adult children, residents, and grandkids. By exploring these audiences we’ll highlight how to reach them and why sales and marketing efforts should be geared to them. We begin with the adult children. They’re often perceived as making the decisions in terms of senior living choices and there is some truth to that perception. How you reach adult children has evolved in recent years, especially as the manner in which we communicate changed. Increasingly, they search online for senior living communities, which means that a community’s digital presence matters, including websites, search engine optimization, and social media. Online reviews are becoming more important as well. A 2014 report from Caring.com found that feedback from customers was ranked as the best information about senior living communities. Thus, having a robust online review presence will be critical as potential customers look to previous reviews as a guide (this is especially true for adult children who use the internet and social media frequently as they are comfortable relying on reviews from third party sites).

videoThere has never been a more important time to integrate video into your marketing strategies.  Why?  Over six billion hours of video is watched every month according to the Content Marketing Institute.  Add in that YouTube has over one billion unique visitors every month and reaches the 18-34 year old market more than any cable network, according to the site’s own tracking metrics.  Plus, other social media platforms, including Facebook and Vine, encourage videos as our society becomes more video-oriented. Given these trends – heck, YouTube is the second most popular search engine – it is increasingly important to include video in your marketing strategy.

The Virginia General Assembly convened last week and one of the major initiatives for this year’s short session is jobs. With federal sequestration impacting both the Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads economies, the legislature and the Governor’s Office are trying to develop new programs which will help to spur economic growth across the Commonwealth. Here are some of the key bills:

With the New Year upon us, many organizations are finalizing 2015 marketing plans. Developing a strategic plan is critical to success and the research component of the plan is vital to your ability to achieve your goals.  As part of that research, it’s important to take a step back and evaluate your target audience. Although the beginning of the year is a natural time for this review, it’s importance to do it periodically. Really, it’s always a good time to dive in, research, and discover who’s been utilizing your services!

There are a number of key questions and factors to consider when you take a look at your target audiences. We’ve got three ways to learn who your target audience currently is and explore them more deeply in 2015.