Has your community ever won an award? Perhaps a Best of Local Business for your town or region? Or maybe you recently received an accreditation or are now listed as a ‚Äúgreen‚Äù building? Was your most recent annual survey deficiency free?
In honor of all of the award-winning communities, as well as those of you who have won other awards, here are 10 ways you can use awards in your community marketing.
1. Submit a Press Release to Your Local Newspaper
Submitting a press release to your local news outlets is a fantastic way to spread the news within your larger local community. Press is a great opportunity to grab the eye of families who may be just starting their search for senior living, or to get on the radar of families who are not quite there yet. Either way, press announcing your award establishes brand recognition and frames your community in a positive light.
2. Update Your Website and Digital Marketing Materials
Add information about the award and upload a logo to a prominent place on your website where web visitors are most likely to see it – good options include your header, footer, or on the right or left side of the page. Also, add this same information to your email signature, so all prospects will see it in your communications with them and be subtly reminded of how much your community has to offer. For added credibility (and just good business development), make sure to include a link to the organization that provided you with the award so families can read more about how you qualified.
3. Incorporate Award Verbiage and Logo in Marketing Materials
Many times the organizations granting you the award will provide you with marketing materials – make sure you‚Äôre using these in your brochures, community signage and other offline marketing materials! For example, the SeniorAdvisor.com Best of 2015 award winners all received framed certificates to hang in their lobby, stickers to add to brochures or mailing envelopes, and window decals for their front door.
If you have the budget for it, you can really go big with this one. Have banners or flags made for the streets surrounding your location to celebrate your award and direct people to your community. Print up posters and post them prominently throughout the community. Order pins of the award logo for your employees to wear, or add the name of the award to your nametags. Create bumper stickers or window decals to share with current families. Vistaprint.com is an easy-to-use website that allows you to make or print almost anything with your award logo – all you have to do is upload the image.
4. Offer a Celebratory Move-In Special
You likely already offer move-in specials surrounding certain holidays, but what about the off-season? Offer a move-in special in honor of your award, and advertise it via your blog, the press release or direct mail postcards. Additionally, you could waive certain fees and let families know it‚Äôs in honor of your most recent award.
5. Write a Blog Post for Your Website
It‚Äôs important to keep an active blog, so families have reason to keep coming back to your website, which helps with your SEO efforts. If you‚Äôre not a writer, you can repurpose what you wrote in your press release from step 1 and post it again on your company blog.
6. Share the News via Social Media (and Update Your Profiles Accordingly)
Spread the good word on your social media channels! Share some photos of your team and/or residents celebrating the award (see step 7), or perhaps post a link to your blog post from step 5. If sharing on Twitter, make sure to use the appropriate hashtags for broader exposure. Update your profile on these sites to include the award. On Facebook, you can add it as a special¬†milestone¬†for your profile.
7. Throw an Employee/Resident Appreciation Party
This is a fun one. Chances are, your employees and residents are the ones responsible for you winning the award – so why not thank them for it? It‚Äôs a great reminder of what makes your community so special, and why they love working or living there. You can also make this an open event and invite your prospects, so they can hear from the people who love your community most when they’re in a festive mood.
8. Run an Ad in the Paper or via Direct Mail Highlighting the Award
Do you regularly run ads in your local newspaper or neighborhood newsletter? Change up the copy and give it a new look by adding verbiage about your award and including the logo for visual appeal. If you also use direct mail or postcards to advertise your community, consider incorporating the award there as well.
9. Use the Award as a Conversation Starter for Additional Feedback
Do you regularly ask staff and current families for feedback? If not, you should be (check out this blog post on how to request feedback). When you send an email out asking for an online review, or requesting a survey response, you can introduce your request by mentioning your award – for example: ‚ÄúWe‚Äôre so honored that our families rated us as the Best Assisted Living in Miami on SeniorAdvisor.com! Would you please take a moment to fill out an online review to let us know what to keep doing, or what we could be doing better?‚Äù
10. Mention the Award Anywhere Else It May Be Relevant
The first 9 steps should give you plenty to work with, but you can squeeze a little more benefit out of your award by mentioning it in the following places:
- Job postings
- Local directory or business listings
- Your company blurb in future press releases
Which of these steps did you find to be the most successful for your community? Let us know in the comments below!