How important is marketing my funeral home?
Unless you’re the only funeral home in your area, marketing should be a major component of your business’s success. More and more people are moving around more frequently and have fewer ties to the communities in which they grew up. A generation or two ago, you could probably count on getting the majority of your business from families you had already served. This is not the case any longer. You can no longer assume that the majority of the people in your area know who you are. To succeed in today’s market your funeral home needs to be known and respected by your potential clients in your area. Funeral directors are busy and have so many pressing concerns to attend to. That’s why we have put together a brief guide of some effective funeral home marketing ideas to help you better market your funeral home.
We’ll first go over a few of the most important marketing channels and how to most effectively use them. Then we’ll give some specific funeral home marketing strategies that you can adapt to fit your specific needs.
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Not all people are the same, and they don’t all use the same services or consume the same programming. You might be getting good leads by running ads in the local retirement center newsletter or with radio spots during certain programs. If an advertising channel is producing results for you, don’t stop using it.
Using a mixed approach combining traditional and digital advertising can ensure that your target demographic knows who you are and can easily find you. This is true for both prearrangement and at-need cases. It’s important to remember that not all types of advertising work the same way. What gets the best results generating at-need calls will not necessarily drive pre-need sales.
Traditional marketing relies on the types of ads that have been common for the last century. That includes newspaper, radio, television, and billboard ads. In general, online marketing has taken over much of this market share. But this is less true for the older demographic who is your main market. Many older people can still be effectively reached via traditional channels.
Traditional marketing is wonderful if it works. The difficulty is that it’s often unclear if it does. Attributing leads to specific sources is much more difficult for radio and newspaper ads than it is for digital ads. There are solutions to this problem. For example, your funeral home can run ads that feature a unique phone, which allows you to attribute leads to a specific ad. This can be cumbersome, but it can provide useful data. A less cumbersome but less accurate approach is to ask clients how they heard about your funeral home. (But this can produce its own problems. Let’s say, for example, that you ran four different ads in the local paper last month. If somebody says they saw your ad in the paper, you haven’t learned which ad was the most effective.)
Digital marketing is key to your funeral home’s success. Every year, more and more people search for goods and services online. If your funeral home’s website is outdated or difficult to find, you’re giving away business to the competition. You wouldn’t build your funeral home in an alley and not put up a sign. But that’s what it’s like online if potential clients can’t find you. The primary goal of digital marketing is to drive traffic to your website and convert this traffic to clients.
You might not think of your website as part of your digital marketing plan, but it is crucial for driving conversions. Getting traffic to your site is no small task, so you want to ensure that once they get there the user experience is excellent. That means you need to create a welcoming design that looks up to date and has the relevant information that customers want. Most internet users expect a funeral service website to look as nice and be as easy to navigate as any modern website.
Search engine marketing
Search engine marketing is a great way to make your funeral home visible to clients in at-need situations. These days, search engine marketing really means having pay per click on Google. (For many users, Google is the only search engine they ever use.) When someone Googles “funeral home near me,” they’re likely in need of funeral services and are planning a funeral. If your ad doesn’t appear when people are actively shopping for funeral homes, how will people visit your site? It’s best if your ad appears and your site organically ranks high on the results page. Search engine optimization (SEO) can help achieve the latter.
Well-targeted, relevant ads that are tied to keywords that people are looking for in your area are of the utmost importance. You need to know what search terms people are using in your market and bid on those keywords.
Social media marketing
Social media marketing is ideal for generating pre-need calls. Ads on social platforms are a great place to show off your brand and the unique things your funeral home has to offer. Like traditional forms of ads, social media marketing is perfect for raising awareness. But unlike those older forms, this new tool allows you to actively target precise demographics. Facebook ads can be much more targeted than any newspaper or radio spot.
Ads on social media provide a nice venue to tell your company story and show off your team. It’s the perfect place to focus on your unique services and to showcase how much you care. Paid and boosted posts increase your visibility. Social media ads give people the option of leaving messages directly on your ad or writing a question you can answer. That’s the type of social content that lots of people love.
Easy to use funeral home marketing ideas
Here are a few tips to help you review and enhance your funeral home’s marketing strategy.
- Google your funeral home and “funeral home near me.” This is free and can tell you tons of valuable information. Do your ads appear? Does your website appear at the top of the results page. If not, these are two things you should immediately address.
- Go to your funeral home’s website or ad landing pages and try to contact the funeral home. Is it obvious how to call your business? Is there a contact form that requests email addresses and phone numbers? Make sure your website is up to date and designed for maximum conversions before revamping your marketing. Driving paid traffic to your website and not getting conversions from it can be an expensive mistake.
- Think carefully about strategy. This might sound silly, but funeral homes could often be more strategic in their approach to marketing. Consider if you’re trying to grow your market share. Maybe you’re trying to increase the value of each sale. You could also be trying to increase the valuation of your funeral home in order to sell it when the time comes. All three of these goals require different marketing strategies.
- Determine which of your ads are working. Look into your return on investment/return on ad spend. Start to carefully monitor the analytics from your digital marketing. Do you need to add more campaigns or update your existing ones?
- Try new things. You can put on an annual celebration of life event at your funeral home. Experiment with new ad formats, like social media video that show off new products and services. Put in the effort to bring something new to the industry. It might help you reach a new set of clients.
Making the most of your funeral home’s marketing
We hope this list of funeral home marketing ideas provides you with a solid foundation and helpful tips for improving your funeral home’s marketing. Implementing some of the ideas in this article will help to improve your visibility in the community. The owners of many funeral homes don’t have the time or inclination to run their funeral home’s marketing. We understand that. Many funeral homes find it more effective to hire marketing professionals to do their marketing for them. A professional funeral home marketing agency can often produce better results at a lower cost than when funeral homes do it all themselves. Whatever path you choose, the end goal should be to provide the greatest visibility for your funeral home and the best client experience.