Next year will be big for marketing, and not just in the digital sphere. The integration of traditional and digital marketing is making a comeback in a big way. Funeral homes are the perfect business to utilize and benefit from the upcoming marketing trends in 2019. From integrated cross-platform marketing to voice search, the up-and-coming changes to marketing are a mix of old and new ideas. Discover how your funeral home can adopt these trends in the new year.
Trust in Content Marketing
Over the past few years, the marketplace has been flooded with ads and sponsored posts on social media. After it was discovered that thousands of Facebook ads were created to cause tension during the 2016 election, many social media users are becoming less trusting of the advertising they see on all platforms, both digital and in print. Businesses like funeral homes that rely on the trust of their consumers should turn to content marketing in 2019.
Content marketing is a tactic that utilizes editorial content like blogs and articles to turn your business into a thought leader in your community. This practice can increase consumer perceptions of your trustworthiness while also acting as free advertising. To take advantage of content marketing, funeral homes should create a content calendar, which includes the messages you want to promote each month and the format you want those messages to take (think of things like blogging on your website or writing a letter to the editor in your local newspaper). This calendar could also help guide your other marketing decisions throughout the year.
Integrate Your Communication
Integrated communication is the crossroads of digital and traditional marketing. In more general terms, it means focusing on all aspects of marketing available to you, not just one. Amazon’s recent announcement that it will be mailing a holiday toy catalog to several of its shoppers is the perfect example of a digital force integrating a traditional marketing tactic.
For the past several years, funeral professionals have been hearing that digital marketing is the wave of the future, and while digital marketing isn’t going anywhere, you shouldn’t completely rule out more traditional tactics. For example, if your funeral home wants to promote aftercare services, you could plan an integrated marketing campaign that includes a blog on your website, several posts on your social media channels, an article published in your local newspaper and a postcard mailed to members of your community. All of these efforts will reach different audiences in ways that will benefit them most.
“Hey Siri, can I plan my funeral ahead of time?”
Voice search technology, like Siri, Google assistant and Alexa, is becoming more common in households. So much so that kids are easily using the technology to get artificial intelligence (AI) bots to answer questions and play their favorite music. Now more than ever people are turning to voice search to find information. It may seem daunting, but with a little work your funeral home could also be searchable using voice technology. There are several ways to optimize your website for Siri and Alexa, including using natural language keywords (meaning words people use when they speak) in your website content and adding a frequently asked questions page to your sitemap.
Leave It to the Chatbots
Much like Siri and Alexa, AI messaging chatbots are becoming popular with businesses. In today’s world, it’s not enough to be available to your customers by phone. Shoppers are interacting with your website and social media pages 24/7, and they expect that they will have their questions answered immediately on those mediums as well. For funeral homes, chatbots can help provide common information to consumers at any time of day without having to be monitored by a staff member. Plus, chatbots can be integrated into messaging apps like Facebook Messenger, opening up an entirely new means of communicating with your consumers.
Now that funeral home businesses are getting comfortable with digital marketing, the sky is the limit for what types of marketing trends they can utilize in 2019. Have you had success with any of the marketing trends above? Leave us a comment and tell us about what worked best for you.