Senior living might not jump to the front of the brain when thinking of industries that benefit from inbound marketing. The boomer generation has joined the digital age with heels in the dirt, loudly proclaiming a preference for simpler times.

That’s not to say that boomers are digitally inept or that they’ve developed the philosophy of Luddites. However, it’s clear that their preferences lean to tradition, and senior living groups have taken note.

While 87 percent of American adults use the internet, the number drops to 57 percent for those aged 65 and older. This may seem like a clear-cut case for senior living marketers, but when you look at the next demographic group (50- to 64-year-olds), the number jumps to 88 percent. 

Suddenly, the issue becomes clear. Not only will the market shift in the next few years to more tech-savvy residents, but the generation of adults seeking solutions for their aging parents are likely looking for senior living groups where they can’t or won’t be found.

The Newfound Power of Consumer Choice

As the post-retirement lifestyle changes, so do people’s purchasing decisions. The internet has shifted the buyer’s journey to one where consumers can research their needs without reaching out to sales.

In fact, 72 percent of consumer research occurs on Google before turning to other resources. This is a huge detriment to groups that don’t have a digital presence and instead rely on mailers, word-of-mouth, and brochures. A senior living group that can’t be found through this methodology is missing out on consumer education opportunities.

Furthermore, digital content has a longer lifespan than physical materials due to the duration of information on the internet. This means the digital content bringing in leads returns a lower lead cost than traditional methodologies.

Targeting the Decision Maker

When thinking of buyer personas for seniors, most people think of the active senior. Active seniors can make their own decisions and support themselves in post-retirement. Many don’t consider the growing population of seniors who require assistance and rely on loved ones to make their decisions.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates that by 2050, the population of individuals using these types of long-term care services will double to 27 million, over the 13 million found to be using the services in 2000. This is a significant shift that will transform the market completely. And for the children of this growing group of adults, research is key to finding high-quality care.

Given the high turnover that exists because the cost and care quality does not meet the expectations of adult children, representing the ability to meet these needs in your online content is vital to success. Educating leads on these options can build authority with the industry shift from institutionalized care to more community-based services.

Why You Need Digital Leads for the Digital Age

These trends indicate a bigger change across the economic landscape — that both business and demographic trends are shifting to meet a world where technology is no longer an afterthought. This market shift means a necessary shift in strategy as well.

Older Americans shun traditional homes in favor of new alternatives, so senior living groups must be present online. By targeting online content to the appropriate groups, senior living communities can become a strong resource for active or older seniors. Without adopting this new direction toward lead generation, senior living may very well be shifted out of the market.