My first encounter with “traditional” marketing was during an internship in college. I was asked to write an ad for a radio station, and I had no idea what to do. I had spent four years of college learning about social media and online advertising. In true millennial fashion, I thought utilizing radio was old-fashioned because, “who listens to the radio anymore?”
Obviously someone does, or else I wouldn’t have been writing an ad. The biggest hurdle I have encountered in my professional career was realizing that I am not my audience. I am not the person I want to reach, and it took a lot of practice for me to see outside of my own preferences for marketing. It’s very easy to become inflexible with your marketing tactics. Whether you’re like me and can’t fathom the point of a print ad, or you’re the opposite and can’t imagine how someone would choose a funeral home from Facebook, we all need to take a hard look at our marketing strategies. Here are six inventive marketing tactics that can help you reinvent your funeral home marketing strategy.
1. Start a Podcast
Podcasts are the new radio. If you’ve been looking for new ways to educate consumers about funeral service, consider starting your own podcast. With a good set of microphones and a little practice with an audio editing software, you could have a weekly or monthly funeral podcast that anyone could listen to from their smart devices. Not sure how to get started? Check out this quick how-to guide.
2. Engage Online
There are a lot of misconceptions about funeral service swirling around online. The highly popular forum reddit is a goldmine for funeral-related information, news stories and people asking questions. Create a profile for your funeral home and start keeping tabs on questions people ask about funerals. Not only can you jump in and help answer them, but you can also identify real things people have questions about and work the answers into your marketing strategy.
3. Try Social Listening
The people in your community are active on social media, and the things they say could provide you with additional opportunities to connect with them. Consider tracking common funeral service terms on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. You could even narrow down your search to people only in your community for a more localized approach. Your findings could provide you essential information into the questions families in your community have. Here’s a list of free social listening tools to help you automate the process.
4. Join a New Social Media Platform
We highly recommend that funeral homes utilize Facebook as part of their marketing strategy. It’s huge, consistent and more than likely not going away any time soon. But, if you’ve already mastered that platform, Instagram might be the next best challenge for you. Learn more from DISRUPT Media’s Ryan Thogmartin on how to get started.
5. Translate Your Website
Does your community serve a diverse population? Consider working with a translation service to create different versions of your website to accommodate non-English speakers. Funeral service is about trust, and providing your information in a format that your client families can engage with will help you build additional trust. From Mandarin to Spanish, there are several reputable translation services you can trust to work on your site.
6. Invite the Community into Your Funeral Home
Leverage your community’s curiosity about what you do! Offer free funeral home tours, open houses and lunch and learns to bring people into your facility who you may not have otherwise had contact with. Provide them with educational materials that helps prove that you are the best firm in the area for their future needs. Making a good impression up front could make you their first call when they decided to prearrange or when there is an at-need situation.
It can be hard to take an existing plan and re-energize it into a new and usable funeral home marketing strategy. Use the SWOT analysis worksheet below to identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats within your firm that can help you develop your new marketing goals.