Marketing for Retirement Villages

Marketing for retirement villages and lifestyle resorts is all about selling a lifestyle. Potential customers are interested in downsizing, simplifying their lives and embracing a community of like-minded individuals.


Marketing in the hyper-competitive landscape that we live in today, is an incredibly challenging feat, and we’ve put together a comprehensive guide of the marketing opportunities available to retirement villages and lifestyle resorts based on our experience in the industry.

Know the target audience for your senior living community

Before we dive into how to market retirement villages, it’s important to note you’ll typically have two target audiences:

People over 50. As of June 2020, there were 4.2 million people aged 65 and over living in Australia. That’s over 16% of the population! While you’ll typically target local elderly residents, you’re guaranteed to have a large pool of prospective residents.

People aged 35+. Depending on age, children often look for a senior living community for their parents. They may also help in the decision-making process.

Brand Identity

The age difference directly impacts your marketing plan, and the tips below reflect this. We’ll include ways to target one audience and both.

Now you’ve identified your target audiences, it’s time to understand them. Build a profile that includes:

Once you build your profile, you can create content that delivers exactly what they want.

10 Ways To Market Retirement Villages To
Prospective Residents

Your marketing goals will probably be to increase brand awareness, lead generation and sales. Use a combination of these marketing ideas to achieve your goals.

1. Traditional or above-the-line channels

It’s not just about digital. Given that the target audience of retirement villages is over 50, huge wins can come from traditional advertising channels.

Local Radio

Local radio provides a relatively low-cost and high audience-relevant medium to communicate with potential customers. We recommend spreading your media buying across various time slots to ensure you capture listeners when they're consuming. This way, you can target their children before and after work and retirees during the day.

Local Publications

Now, you can stick to traditional print ads in newspapers. But there's also probably a senior-specific publication in your area. You can either place ads or write an article about village life to build brand awareness. This is an effective way to reach seniors in your local area.

Letterbox Drops

It's an oldie but a goodie. The older generation, a.k.a your target market, typically receives more direct mail than younger generations. So make the most of this and add a brochure to their letterbox. Start by focusing on your local community.

Out-of-home Advertising

Out-of-home or outdoor advertising can be too costly for retirement villages and lifestyle resorts in highly populated areas like capital cities. For the price, you're also generating a whole bunch of impressions that are not within your target audience. So, usually, the cost isn't worth the exposure. Plus, as a digital marketing agency, anything that we cannot measure and quantify is difficult for us to recommend as an advertising channel.

But if you’re in regional areas, this is a great brand awareness activity that can help build affinity within your audience.

2. Local community involvement

This is a vastly underutilised opportunity to attract more senior consumers, raise awareness of your senior living community, and build trust and affinity within your local community.

Here are some options:

You can start genuine conversations with your prospects through local engagement. By actively getting involved in the community, you also reflect your village or resort’s local community values. This is a prime selling point for most establishments. This strategy works in both capital cities and regional locations.

3. Online Advertising

Pay-per-click (PPC) online advertising is integral to most marketing strategies. These are our top recommendations.

Google Ads

There are several placement networks which are available on Google Ads, including search, display, video, app, discovery and local services ads. Google Search Network ads are great for retirement communities. They're the text ads at the top of Google search results when you type in a search term. You can target multiple keywords, and they're a quick and easy way to generate high-quality leads. Another alternative is Google Display Network ads, which are text, image and video ads displayed across websites like Google, Gmail and YouTube.

Microsoft Ads

One incredibly overlooked marketing medium for lifestyle resorts and retirement villages is Microsoft Ads (Bing's equivalent of Google Ads). Generally speaking, senior citizens aren't as tech-savvy as the younger generation, so most still use Microsoft computers over Apple. Therefore, their default search engine is most likely Bing. This presents a low-cost and high-relevance search PPC advertising opportunity.

Facebook Ads

They say Facebook is the "boomer" social media platform of today. So, this is where you'll find the best and most lucrative opportunities for retirement villages and lifestyle resorts. We see a mixture of lifestyle-based creatives, stage plans and visually rich multimedia driving the highest volume of conversions. Make the most of geo-location targeting and the data social media channels like Facebook/Meta provide. Use this information to learn more about your audience and create better ads.

Meta's network can have a mixture of lead quality from high to low. But in a world where Google charges whatever CPCs they want for paid search, we recommend creating a multi-channel marketing strategy to ensure your sales teams are always getting the lead volume that keeps them on the phones and engaged.

This is also important due to the buying cycle that many prospects go through. Moving is not a small decision; these research journeys can take between four weeks and 18 months. So utilising Facebook/Meta to retain a share of voice ensures that your retirement village is front of mind when your audience is ready to buy.

4. SEO

Search wins. Like all digital marketing, the strategy depends on your target audience. However, older demographics still heavily rely on Google and other search engines as they don’t consume social media as a purchasing vehicle like younger demographics do.

As paid search is a dominant opportunity for retirement villages, SEO is another vehicle to help ensure audiences researching retirement villages or lifestyle resorts discover your brand.

It’s essential to do keyword research (Evolving Digital can help with SEO) and understand what phrases and long-tail keywords people input in search engines to find your retirement village or lifestyle resort. These could be terms such as “retirement village [city or suburb]”, over 50s lifestyle resort, over 55s retirement village, independent living options and so much more. Great keyword research tools like SEMRush, Ubersuggest and many others are available for you to use.  Then, you want to use these keywords and phrases throughout your website and create informative content.


See how we took The Links Over 55s Lifestyle Village to
Page One Rankings for Key Terms 

Local SEO

Most people moving into senior living are from the immediate area. This is why local SEO is so important. Besides participating in your local community, here are more local SEO tips:

HOT TIP: We recommend creating local suburb or city pages for your SEO strategy. For example, if you’re a retirement village in Wollongong, we would recommend creating SEO pages for:

This will help you appear in local search results for people searching for a solution. 

Local SEO Page for The Links Over 55s Lifestyle Village. 

5. A fully functional website

A website is a must in today’s digital world. You need somewhere for potential residents to go when they click on an ad or find you through search engines.

A well-optimised website should include:

It should also download quickly, be easy for site visitors to navigate and be fully responsive on all devices. Many seniors use tablets over mobile devices. Bonus points if you include an easy-to-read font.

Potential residents or their adult children should be able to find everything they need to know about your retirement community without emailing or making phone calls.

Some larger senior living communities and organisations also offer live support through Chatbots. We know this isn’t always feasible. However, adding live support to your website lets you communicate effectively and efficiently with your target audience and instantly answer questions.

6. Tours

A free way to market your retirement home or lifestyle resort is through tours. Nothing sells a product better than seeing it in action. So, hold open houses or offer tours (both in person and virtually) to show potential residents what they can expect. Here’s what we recommend focusing on:

If potential residents can immediately picture themselves in your senior living community, you’ve succeeded.

If you choose an open house, transform it into a big event. Advertise on social media, your email newsletter and your website. Invite friends and family of current residents, local business owners and seniors through a letterbox drop. On the day, have refreshments, food, and music alongside tours. Show off the highlights mentioned above, and you’re bound to make an impact.

7. Word-of-mouth

One of the most excellent marketing strategies is free, and it’s word-of-mouth. Provide them a positive experience, and your current residents will become your brand ambassadors, singing your praises. You might even want to establish a referral program to reward residents and their families for referring clients.

Another part of word-of-mouth marketing is online reviews. Staying on top of Google Business reviews and leveraging them is crucial. Find positive reviews and use them on other marketing channels. For example:

Using reviews for marketing purposes helps boost your brand’s reputation and can be an easy way to reinforce your key messaging.

8. Customer Lists / Cold Outreach

Customer lists are a great way to find qualified prospects without the having to invest in digital advertising.
These processes are more appropriate to teams that have decent sized sales teams that have the capacity and resourcing to outreach to these prospective buyers.

To succeed with a strong outreach and cold strategy, having a robust and power customer relationship management (CRM) software is crucial. There are senior-living-specific CRM softwares such as Yardi Senior CRM, Continuum CRM, and WelcomeHome.

When reviewing the return on investment of these types of labour intensive activities, we feel that digital marketing for retirement villages gives much better quantifiable return on investment.    

9. Email marketing

Don’t discount email marketing for retirement communities. With an ROI of $36 for every $1 spent, it’s definitely worth the investment.

Capture the emails of potential residents through a landing page or pop-up on your website and continuously provide them with helpful and relevant information. We recommend using an email marketing system to automate your emails and make lists.

You can also use email marketing to update current residents on what’s happening in your community. Remember to add a call-to-action so your past and present customers know what you want them to do next. It might be to visit a blog post on your website, write a review or follow you on social media.

It’s also important to manage expectations in your first follow-up email. If you say they’ll receive an email newsletter once a fortnight, deliver on this promise. We want these emails to improve your brand’s reputation, not tarnish it.

10. Content marketing

What type of content marketing should retirement communities and lifestyle resorts focus on?


Google loves long-form, keyword-rich content. Blog posts build trust and establish you as an expert in senior living. Blogging is also a fantastic way to grow website traffic (specifically local search traffic) through organic search results and helps convert that traffic into leads.

Blog posts can help attract new residents or provide information to existing clients. So some blog post ideas include:

We recommend adding infographics and internal links to your blog posts where possible. Don’t forget to cross-market and advertise your blog posts on social media platforms and email newsletters.

Social media marketing

While Facebook is king, and we recommend engaging with consumers via your Facebook page, don’t forget about other social media channels like Instagram and TikTok. Just look at Grandma Droniak. She’s a 93-year-old grandma with 12.5 million followers on TikTok. We also recommend searching “senior living TikTok” for inspiration. While it’s essential to post content, don’t forget to also spend time interacting and engaging with customers.



Video is another marketing platform retirement communities don’t often consider. But videos can boost conversions and help you build relationships with potential residents.

Here are some recommended video ideas:

Interview new residents

Ask them why they chose your retirement community and what they look forward to.

Interview staff

Share staff testimonials and ask them why they enjoy coming to work every day. You can even do a Q&A-type segment, asking different people the same questions every week for an ongoing series.

Virtual tour

Hire a professional and invest in a high-quality video with drone footage to create a captivating virtual tour of your property. They should provide you with content for your website and social media platforms.

Interview current residents

They say good stories sell, so show potential residents what they can expect if they choose your retirement village. You can do a sneak peek into their daily lives or an interview about what they love, wish they’d known and what surprised them most. Showing prospective customers someone they can easily identify with is crucial to converting a lead.

Share video content on your website, landing pages and social media platforms. Just remember, it’s important to be consistent. If you make a series, you can’t stop at one video. With 92% of marketers stating videos give them a positive return on investment (ROI), don’t miss out!

Keep reading for our top content creation tips.

Content creation tips for senior living communities

Now you have a marketing plan, let’s focus on creating content to make those marketing efforts pay off.

Make relevant content

Your target audience is seniors, so creating content featuring young people is not in your best interest. If they see an ad with young people in the pool, they probably won’t think it’s targeting them and move right along without reading it. So keep it relevant and use older models or even current residents.

Consistency is key

Your content should be consistent with your brand. So, use the same images, voice, messaging and colours for a cohesive theme.

Keep it simple

Hey, retirement living is about simplifying your life, right? So, keep your marketing materials simple.

Highlight the benefits

You want to convince potential customers to move into your retirement village, so don’t skip on highlighting the benefits. This might include improving their quality of life through easy access to medical services and recreational facilities to keep them active. Another key benefit of most retirement communities is the community aspect.


Don’t stick to just one content marketing idea. Use a combination of social media marketing, blog posts, infographics and videos to generate leads. Diversifying and creating various content helps you reach more people, as different content types serve different purposes. For example, blog posts are great for SEO. Infographics and videos are shareable content that can help generate buzz. Then you have social media, which helps reach your second target demographic.

Digital marketing versus traditional advertising

We think an effective marketing plan includes advertising online and offline. As mentioned, more older Australians (plus their adult children) are using the internet today. In fact, 93 per cent of Australians aged 65 and older had access to the internet in 2020, compared to just 68 per cent in 2017.

Digital marketing is excellent for a few reasons:

Understanding Target Audience | Digital Marketing for Property Developers

Final thoughts

Strategic marketing plans for retirement villages should be diverse. They should include digital marketing, traditional advertising methods, and paid and organic marketing ideas.

It’s always important to test and measure your results to make changes as necessary. The digital marketing landscape is constantly changing, and the best solution for others might not work for you. So track your results through lead generation, website traffic and social media engagement and adapt.

Remember, marketing is a long-term process, not a one-time fix. If you need help creating an effective marketing plan for your retirement village, let Evolving Digital help.

Are you on the hunt for a dedicated team to handle your digital marketing needs?

When looking for an experienced agency that knows the ins and outs of marketing for property developers, look to Evolving Digital. We know how to create an effective marketing strategy for your real estate business that increases brand awareness and transforms leads into profits.

Google Rating
Based on 14 reviews