Content rules… your website, your blog, your online and offline newsletters and your customer experience.  Make it fascinating by selecting topics that are interesting, entertaining and informative.  The right content will shed a bright light on your organization. A strategic choice of media will create a wide net for your content to fascinate prospects and residents.

As senior housing and service providers embrace the inbound marketing strategies necessary to gain the attention of prospects, they are also challenged to continually create the meaningful content that supports the sales process.

Content marketing is the art of creating compelling and valuable content and distributing it through a variety of channels, online and traditional.  It is the practice of developing relevant content in a consistent fashion to target buyers, focusing on all stages of the buying process, from brand awareness through to brand evangelism.  Good content can circumvent the consumer’s desire to block unwanted messages because they find it personally or professionally beneficial.

Content marketing is also a science born in the strategic plan.  Subjects are planned.  Accessories and outside content to support the topic is decided.  Distribution is determined.   The voice(s) suited for each target group is honed.  Metrics that gauge consumer influence during both the buying and retention process of a customer experience are established.

Here’s an example of how to make a less than dynamic story relevant to your strategic plan, your sales prospects, customers, general audience and media.  The principles in this example can be applied to all the content you are considering.

Your news hook…

You have an ice cream social for residents, family and guests at least twice a year and would like to send  a story and caption to the media for some free publicity and better attendance at the next ice cream social.  You know people really enjoy it — but will the media help you tell your story with free publicity?

Let’s get strategic…

Consider why you want to have media cover and if this placement will hurt other placements you may seek with this publication.  If you still want to move forward with it, think it terms of the publication’s readership; let’s say they are baby boomers who live within a 5 to 10 miles of where your ice cream social took place.  Next, do the photos you took of the participants reflect the image you want to portray for your organization?  At this point, you may decide that you really don’t have a very compelling story, your photos do not reflect the high energy and independence you want your community to be known for and finally you still have to get photo releases from the people whose photos will be submitted to the publication.  Is it really worth it?  It will be!

Look at all the angles…

First, think about the possible story angles that this can take on:  the popularity of ice cream — why is that?  What benefits does it possess?  What are the most popular flavors?  How many places can you buy ice cream within the area of the readership?  Is there a physiological change within a person when then eat ice cream?  Think about what would expand the interest of the reader and what could be relevant or entertaining to them.

Add the extras…

Then look at the photos you have.  Can they be cropped to be more appealing?  Can you add stock photography to the shot to make it more interesting?  Do you have video to add?  Links to other great sources and stories?

Make it last…

Review your distribution options:  local print, online, your website, newsletter.  Consider if this story now interests the readers of any or all of these venues; now, it probably will.  Send it out, email or call to follow-up with the editor(s) and print it out when it is published.  Create links to and from the publication and your website.  This article has just begun to work for you….

Get permission for reprints and put them in your sales folders.  Frame and wall mount the story in a prominent place, post it on your website and feature it in your newsletter.

How your content benefits marketing…

You have just developed a sweet little event into a marketing tool that helps people know what kind of community they are considering, the lifestyle they will enjoy when they move.  You’ve also honored the activities of those who live at the community.

Wow, now you have created something really fascinating!