In last week’s post, I shared a few budget-friendly tips for investing in equipment and software to produce professional quality funeral home marketing videos. Once you have those logistics taken care of, you can focus on the meat of your video marketing: creating content.
When I worked in event marketing, we often hired actors to serve as on-camera talent for our video advertising. These actors, while often very skilled, had little or no connection to our business. We gave them a script and some direction, and they filmed their “scene.”
Funeral home marketing is different. Your business is sensitive and personal, and any video you produce will not be successful if it seems inauthentic. Key stakeholders – owners, staff members, customers and community partners – are much better choices for your on-camera talent. In addition to having genuine experiences with and a vested interest in your business, these individuals don’t require additional compensation and often don’t need to be scripted.
- Think about your personnel. Who on your staff would serve as a good spokesperson for your services? Give them a few bullet points, and let them expand on your value offering.
- Consider your client families. Are there individuals who were especially well served by you and your staff? Invite these individuals to share their stories by asking them open-ended questions about their experience.
- Look at your relationships in the community. Which individuals (florists, caterers, pastors, counselors, etc.) have partnered with your business? Ask them to reflect on why they enjoy working with you.
You often don’t need to look far to find compelling (and inexpensive) brand ambassadors who can promote the value of your services.
If you want to adopt a more sophisticated approach to funeral home marketing videos, you may want to consider capturing extra video to illustrate key points. This additional footage – often referred to as b-roll – can enrich your videos by adding more visual interest and giving you greater flexibility in editing and post-production.
Few of our funeral home partners have a backlog of video they can incorporate into effective and professional marketing videos. Stock photography is much more common. Most funeral home owners have professional photos of their facilities and staff already on-hand, either for their print advertisements or website. These photos can be useful when creating videos – especially when you use them to illustrate your unique value offering.
If you want to create an archive of video footage to use as b-roll, start by making a list of the type of content you want to produce (customer testimonials, staff introductions, facility tours, event announcements, etc.). Then, think about what b-roll would complement the subject matter in many of these videos, and focus the majority of your time and money on those things.
At Homesteaders, we have three or four video shots of the Home Office that we have used in countless videos. These shots work well when our customers talk about their experience with our Home Office support, when our employees share stories about our corporate culture and when our executives promote the variety of services we offer our funeral home partners. We captured the majority of the b-roll using a hand-held camera, but we use purchased drone footage for more impactful shots. The initial investment in professional video b-roll can be high, but if you repurpose the video in different projects, the cost-per-use is relatively low.
There are a lot of ways to save money on marketing videos through investing strategically in content and equipment that can be used for a variety of videos and incorporating the resources you already have on-hand – local on-camera “talent,” free software platforms and/or still photography.
Now that you have a game plan for investing in your own funeral home marketing videos, I encourage you to spend some time online, exploring what is already available. Your social media feeds are a great place to start – on Facebook, you’ll find everything from professionally produced political ads to home videos of adorable pets. Watch as much as you can, and take note of anything you think is particularly effective. And don’t be afraid to take a look at what the competition is producing. Knowing what is already out in the market can be useful when trying to differentiate your services. The more familiar you are with what videos are available now, the more creative and successful your own marketing will be.