Proven Nursing Home Marketing Ideas + (Traps to Avoid) [2021]

Sliman M. Baghouri
Sliman M. Baghouri
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7 minute read

If you’re looking for a resilient way to market your nursing home facility, Look no further. This article contains proven marketing strategies for senior living facilities.


Marketing your nursing home facility is day and night different from marketing in other industries. Today, I’ll share with you marketing strategies that will catapult your nursing home facility to the next level.

This article covers:

  • Mistakes to Avoid when marketing your nursing home
  • Multi-Channel Marketing
  • Targeting the decision-makers with trust-creating messages
  • Cross-Promotion marketing strategy
  • Video Storytelling
  • Print Advertising
  • Local SEO
  • Pay Per Click Advertising
  • Event Marketing
  • Youtube Advertising
  • The “Secret” to an unmatched nursing home marketing campaign

Mistakes to avoid when marketing your nursing home

Before we go into the details of marketing your nursing home, let’s first tackle the pitfalls you need to take precautions against.

1) Jumping into the “Social media” bandwagon

It might be counterintuitive but being on social media and investing in organic social reach for nursing homes is a common mistake I see a lot. The reason why this is an ineffective strategy is simple:

Your target audience is not on social media to interact with healthcare providers.

If you’re trying to reach seniors or their decision-makers through social media, your effort might not be as fruitful. That’s because people are on social media to have fun, interact with colleagues and entertain themselves. They are not there, however, to comment or engage in conversation with care providers such as nursing homes or assisted living facilities.

2) Not Developing your brand

Marketing should come after your brand is defined. By brand, I mean its substance, purpose, and core attribute. A brand is the feeling your audience gets from your nursing home. It’s how you’re perceived and how people know you.

A brand is a person’s gut feeling about a product, service, or company. It’s a GUT FEELING because we’re all emotional, intuitive beings, despite our best efforts to be rational

― Marty Neumeier

This “feeling” is what we call a brand preference metric: a cognitive judgment a resident makes regarding your brand. It measures to which extent purchasing decisions are made based on the attachment and loyalty to your brand rather than the price, convenience, or regardless of the alternatives.

Developing a purpose-driven nursing home brand can be your competitive edge over other providers. It will skyrocket the value of your nursing home and attract a stream of residents right at your doors.

If you’d like to know how you can build such a brand strategy for your nursing home brand, you can check our step-by-step healthcare branding guide.

3) Not establishing a differentiation strategy

In the competitive market of nursing homes, not being different is the same as being invisible. A differentiation strategy can act as an unbreachable wall against the competition. It forms a razor-sharp clarity about how your nursing brand is different and why people should choose to be there.

A differentiation strategy can make your competition irrelevant and provides your facility with a bigger market share. Thus, increasing your profit margins and solidifying your brand in the healthcare sphere.

If you’d like to know more about this strategy, check our free branding course where we provide you with positioning strategies that differentiate your brand from the lookalikes.

Nursing Home Marketing Ideas

Before we go into the details of marketing your nursing home, let’s first tackle the pitfalls you need to take precautions against.

Multi-Channel Marketing

Multi-marketing channel illustration

According to recent research , 86% of senior-level marketers think that it’s important to create a cohesive customer journey across all touchpoints and channels. And for this reason, multi-channel marketing is a great way to add a holistic experience for your customers.

Multi-Channel Marketing is the practice of utilizing multiple marketing channels across all of your customer contact points with your nursing home. This strategy ensures that your brand is always present in front of your audience despite the medium they consume.

Having your foot at many doors will also expand your nursing home brand awareness and makes it top of mind for your local community and potential-residents.

However, despite the clear advantage this strategy provides, it may prove to be challenging because of its “promiscuous” nature. Having more than 3 marketing outlets will require an overarching branding strategy and more marketing expenses. So, if you’re willing to adopt this strategy for your nursing home, make sure that there’s a strategy in place that glues all of your efforts together and protects your brand from getting diluted.

Targeting the decision-makers with trust-creation messaging

Illustration for trust creation marketing

Another strategy is to target the decision-makers for senior people. So instead of marketing directed at your primary audience, you can switch the messaging to be catered towards their children or caretakers.

And because the decision to send their loved ones to be residents at your facility is not an easy one, it will require a lot of trust to “lubricate” the decision-making process. Your communication in this strategy will need to send high trust signals towards the caretakers to gain credibility and lessen the buying friction.

According to Sales expert and author Neil Rackham, the bigger the decision someone needs to make, the more trust is required to make a sale.

Here’s a graph that illustrates how trust correlates with buying decisions:

illustration of how trust plays bigger role as the decision size gets more important

Cross-Promotion Marketing Strategy

Cross-promotion marketing illustration

In terms of effectiveness, cost, and viability, cross-promotion is a strong marketing strategy for nursing homes. This strategy revolves around teaming up with non-competing healthcare facilities to better reach the same audience.

For example, a hospital that has patients that don’t need to be hospitalized anymore and can’t be cared for at home might suggest to their patients your facility and vice-versa.

Cross-promotion can take many forms. The most effective ones are:

  1. Recommendation letter:
    • Each participant can create a mailing letter recommending the other’s brand and how they can benefit from their services.
  2. Emailing Promotion:
    • You and your partner might use an email blasting campaign to inform your subscribers of the other’s services. This is way cheaper and easy to do for both sides.
  3. A Mutual Cause campaign:
    • This marketing campaign aims to highlight a common cause that you share with your partner. Maybe you and the facility you partnered with are determined to sustain the health of your community? So, a marketing campaign about how you and your partner are contributing to a healthier place. This will result in fruitful outcomes for both brands.
  4. Holding Educational Summits
    • Partnering up with other facilities to host educational events for the same audience can be one of the most effective strategies for cross-promotion. This way you manage to get the attention of your audience and your partner’s audience. It’s a win-win situation
  5. Joint websites
    • Having a website that functions as an “umbrella” for you and your partner is great for both parties. This Joint website will have links that redirect visitors to both your facility’s website and your partner’s. This way you can drive even more traffic to your site and increase online booked appointments.

Video Storytelling

Video storytelling illustration for nursing homes

According to a study done by Headstream, great stories created purchase intent in 55 % of surveyed consumers. And the reason for this is simple:

People digest and consume stories more deeply than any other medium. Storytelling has the power to stir emotions in your target audience and provoke them to take action. This strategy aims to create purpose-driven short videos around your nursing home facility and highlight what it has done for its community.

Storytelling in healthcare is an effective work because healthcare is an emotional subject. Unlike other industries, healthcare is a mission-oriented field. The companies that work in this have a direct impact on people’s life. So, forming meaningful stories around your facility will be twice as impactful as opposed to making a story around chocolate bars.

Nursing homes must take advantage of the nature of their business model and form stories around what they do and why it matters.

Print advertising illustration for nursing homes

According to Neilson , an information data and measurement firm, print is still the largest contributor to customer engagement.

Despite the myths that print is dead, it’s still an effective strategy for nursing homes to take advantage of and start promoting their service.

Print advertising comes in several forms and many of which are suitable for nursing home audiences. Your audience might consume print more than any other medium. According to MNI, Baby Boomers read 9.2 magazines per month, Gen Xers read 9.1. This makes print a strong marketing strategy for your facility.

Here are some types of print advertising:

  • Newspapers and Weeklies
  • Magazines
  • Brochures and pamphlet
  • Advertorials
  • Direct Mail
  • Billboards and Posters
  • Directories and yellow pages
  • flyers and postcards

Local SEO

Local SEO illustration for nursing homes

According to Pew Research Center, 83% of adult internet users search online for health information. Which makes Local SEO a no-brainer strategy for your facility.

SEO stands for search engine optimization. SEO strategy aims to build a strong online presence for your nursing home brand and drive traffic from search engines like Google to your website. These website visitors are potential customers for your brand.

Local SEO however, is more focused on making your facility location visible to the searchers. For example, if your target audience searches “Nursing home near me”, it would be a missed opportunity for your business to not show up in the search result:

Local SEO example for nursing homes

Many healthcare centers are taking advantage of local SEO to appear in the top search results. Being on the top page means you’ll have more chances of acquiring residents and driving customers to your location.

Pay Per Click Advertising

Pay Per Click Advertising illustration for nursing homes

PPC (Pay Per Click) is a digital advertising strategy that aims to attract customers using paid online clicks. When someone clicks on your ad, your account is charged for that click. A good example of this strategy is Google’s Adwords platform.

Google Adwords allows you to appear in the search results when someone searches for a query that relates to your nursing home. For example, if someone looks up the phrase “Nursing home near me”, your ad will appear on the top result.

Pay Per Click example for nursing homes

The difference between this strategy and local SEO is that when you’re paying to be on the top result, you’re more or less guaranteed to appear within the top search results. In addition to that, you can pick and choose which queries you want to rank for.

This strategy is comparatively cheaper than traditional TV/Media advertising and yields high ROI for your facility.

Event Marketing illustration for nursing homes

According to Bizzabo tech company, 85% of executives and senior managers believe that in-person events are essential to their company’s success.

Hosting community events can be a great strategy to start increasing your brand awareness for your facility and attract customers.

Educational events about nursing homes and how they benefit the local community can highlight the need for such services and might trigger action for your audience to choose your facility as their second home.

Youtube advertising

Youtube Advertising illustration for nursing homes

Youtube is the world’s second most popular website, attracting 2 billion visitors a month. This surge of popularity makes it an undeniably valuable place for healthcare facilities to advertise on.

With the huge amount of viewers, youtube allows you to reach a highly-targeted audience within your local community with a couple of clicks. And because it’s a video-driven platform, you can combine advertisement on youtube with a Video Storytelling strategy.

This not only allows you to attract the kind of customers you want but also solidifies your nursing home brand as an authority in the market.

The “secret” to a result-driven nursing home marketing

Your marketing efforts must be backed by your brand. If your facility didn’t cultivate its unique brand, the ROI on marketing wouldn’t be nearly as great.

Branding your nursing home will solidify its name and make it less dependent on marketing spent. This reduction of expenses is one of the countless advantages of branding your care facility.

Marketing your medical business without building its brand is like leveraging tactics that come with an expiration date. If you’re looking for a resilient and long-term approach, branding your nursing home is a must.

Or if you’d like to know more about branding and how it can be applied in your specific circumstances, drop us a message , we’d be happy to help.