Landing pages . . . e-mail blasts . . . content marketing . . . social listening . . . re-targeting . . . long tail keywords . . . inbound marketing. Welcome to the language of the new landscape of digital marketing.
Traditional v Digital Marketing
Until recently, we used traditional marketing methods, now characterized as outbound marketing. A business or individual would push a message out to consumers. They would determine what they wanted to communicate, decide where or how they were going to transmit it (typically in print or on radio or TV), pay to push their message out, and then wait for a response – ideally for the phone to start ringing.
With the rise of the Digital Age, marketing is being turned upside down. Digital marketing, or inbound marketing, is all about driving potential buyers to a business website, via search engines, social media conversations, blogs, and other Internet-based platforms, and then tracking their preferences.
Americans Use Digital Devices
Inbound marketing makes perfect sense given that 84 percent of American adults go online at least once a day, according to Forrester Research. In the US, almost 280 million people have Internet access via computer or mobile device; that’s nearly 10% of the world’s Internet users.
So, if you want to reach people now, the Internet is the space to do it. In order to get your messages on the Internet, they have to be digitized; that is, converted to electrons that move easily through air and wire and convert back to formats that are readable and useable. And if you’re not careful, the way you communicate can easily be rejected.
Announcing DEI’s Digital Learning Center
Thankfully for the senior living industry, DEI Central, renowned experts in senior housing business management and sales process training, and a Senior Housing Forum Partner, has created a new division – the DEI Digital Learning Center. DEI President Jeanine Aspen noted that today, more and more leads are generated online via websites and third party aggregators. She said, “This is a shift from a few years ago when the vast majority of leads came from referral sources such as case managers, physicians, and even the Yellow Pages. Senior living operations as well as sales teams at communities must implement a digital sales process that involves knowing how to follow-up to get a face-to-face meeting with the online customer.”
Jeanine pointed out there is a huge imbalance between providers that are successful converting Internet referrals and those who believe Internet leads are not worth the time and energy because they’re worthless. “This ‘worthless’ perception comes about because Internet leads are not the same as a traditional call-in or drive-by,” Jeanine said. “They need to be treated in a way that the respects how the inquirer is doing their research. Success is very achievable if a thoughtful approach is followed.”
For the past several years, DEI has been been delivering online content to their clients such as Americare, Spectrum Retirement Communities, Midwest Health Management and Kisco Senior Living, with extremely positive outcomes. Jeanine noted, “With client feedback, we are designing online courses as an economical, effective way for any community or senior housing company to train the right staff members in the methods and outcomes of digital marketing. They’ll understand how to work this valuable digital channel to keep their pipelines filled and cut lost revenue due to open units.”
Amy Setnicka, DEI Director of Business Development, will oversee the new division. The first online course is titled Maximize Your Internet Leads and Referrals.
How are you entering the digital world? Have you transitioned your website from online brochure, to interactive forum, to a new media platform?