Marketing Trend Analysis for Funeral Homes
Predicting the future is hard. In January 2020, not many people in the funeral industry would have predicted the massive impact that the pandemic had on funeral service. The sudden increase in the importance of your online presence caught many funeral directors by surprise. As many commentators have since observed, the pandemic was an accelerant. Trends that had been occurring suddenly skipped years ahead. Paying attention to the latest funeral home marketing trends will help you stay ahead of the curve.
The funeral industry is not usually at the forefront of developments in marketing. Ironically, this can actually be an advantage. It is precisely this fact that allows forward-thinking funeral directors to see into the future. The future of funeral marketing looks a lot like the current state of the art in the fastest moving industries.
The Biggest Funeral Home Marketing Trends
The future of marketing is increasingly online. This has been true for well over a decade, and it’s unlikely to change anytime soon. Social media continues to provide a major venue for marketing innovation. Every other post on Instagram or video on YouTube seems to feature some innovator selling a product that everyone apparently needs. Artificial intelligence (AI) has recently received a huge amount of attention in the media and news. It promises to change the way we all experience the internet and access information.
But what does all of this mean for funeral homes? It is crucial that funeral homes separate the hype around exciting new technologies and marketing strategies from what actually serves funeral consumers.
We’ll look at these three key areas and see how funeral homes should respond.
- Online presence
- Social media
- Artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality (AR), and the metaverse
Your Funeral Home’s Online Presence
Your funeral home’s website is the cornerstone of your online presence. Many customers will experience your website before they’ve ever made personal contact with you. (And if your website is slow, uninformative, and outdated, they may never contact you.) This is one of the most important channels through which potential client families find your business. Your website provides a great opportunity to differentiate your funeral home, show the value of your services, and create a positive first impression.
For years, the importance of your online presence has been growing. It’s very safe to assume this will continue to be the case in 2023 (and 2024 and beyond). The importance of the mobile web experience is continuing to grow. Google boosts websites that perform well on mobile. Mobile experience is a significant ranking factor. If you still have an old website that isn’t optimized for mobile, this should be the year to upgrade it.
In terms of marketing, you know your customers are online. You know they look for funeral homes online. What does the user experience when they see your website? Your beautiful facilities are a marketing tool. Your website is an even more important one. A family that walks into your funeral home is unlikely to leave immediately after walking inside. But this happens all the time when people see bad websites. For people to see your website it needs to rank well. It also needs to have tons of positive reviews. Google increasingly promotes local businesses with lots of positive reviews in the local pack. Make sure you’re in front of the people you want to serve.
Social Media for Funeral Homes
Influencer marketing is one of the leading trends in online social media marketing. Yet it’s unlikely to play a major role in funeral home marketing in the near term. But that doesn’t mean social media can’t be effective for funeral homes. Social media (especially Facebook) can be a great venue for you to interact with the community and answer their questions. The majority of baby boomers are online and regularly use social media. Engaging social media content provides an ideal way to focus attention on the good work your funeral home does. It’s also a great way to demystify death care.
Remember your audience and the platforms they’re on. It’s fun to post videos to TikTok that get millions of views around the world. But most TikTok users are unlikely to become your customers anytime soon. Just because a platform is experiencing phenomenal growth doesn’t mean it’s a good place to market today. Follow the research and reach your clients where they’re at. And right now that’s Facebook.
AI and Beyond
Much ink has been spilled over AI lately. It holds the promise of changing how we all search for products and services. Microsoft’s early lead in this technology has suddenly made Bing more relevant. Depending on how a number of these developments play out, funeral homes will need to adjust. More funeral homes will need to advertise on Bing if its market share expands significantly. (This will complicate marketing efforts, but greater competition will likely benefit consumers.) AI-powered search also opens up the possibility for a whole new world of search ads. That isn’t here yet, but funeral homes (or those in charge of their marketing) should keep abreast of these developments.
Augmented reality is here. Amazon can already show you how an urn will look in your home. If you’re an online direct cremation brand, this is something you should be aware of. For most funeral homes, however, this sales and marketing tool probably does not need to be incorporated into your site in the immediate future.
Last year Meta (Facebook’s parent company) spent tens of billions of dollars to develop a metaverse product that almost nobody uses. Your funeral home doesn’t have billions of dollars to throw around on exciting and risky ventures like that. At this point it’s probably best to keep an eye on the market but not spend much of your marketing budget in the metaverse.
Funeral Home Marketing Trends Takeaways
Your online presence has never been more important. Your funeral home’s website needs to be mobile-friendly, content-rich, and user-friendly. It also needs to appear at the top of the search engine results page. Your funeral home also needs to appear in the local pack next to the map. It’s best if your ad also appears when people search for funeral homes near them.
A focused approach to social media that is data-driven and adds value to your funeral home is key. But make sure to focus on boosting your presence in front of the right demographics. Concentrate on the boring things like requesting email addresses and getting people into your funeral home for prearrangement. Your content doesn’t need to go viral. It does need to increase your business.
Keep an eye on the latest developments in the world of tech. But know they might not make an impact on funeral homes in the near future. Your marketing strategy should create growth for your business without getting lost in the latest marketing hype.