7 Reasons Your Funeral Home Needs to Start Blogging, Now.December 6th, 2012
I recently received an email from a funeral director who was interested in blogging for his funeral home:
“Hi Joe, I am looking into blogging on our funeral home website. I have looked at a few online, some are really good, but some aren’t. I was told to keep it 500 words or less and do it whenever there is a community event. Can you give me any ideas?”
I wanted to take this opportunity to answer this gentleman’s question in-depth, because the sooner this funeral director (and you) can start blogging, the sooner you can tap into a huge opportunity you’re missing out on if you’re not.
Blogging is one of the best ways for you to engage with your client families and, since only 5 percent of funeral homes are blogging, it’s a key way to differentiate yourself from your competitors.
A blog is one of the most important business tools of this century (so far). If you’re not blogging yet, you might find the whole thing a bit overwhelming, so here’s the lowdown on some ways that blogging can help your funeral home.
1. Humanize Your Brand
Let’s face it; the funeral profession has a bad rep. Six Feet Under, Death at a Funeral and similar programs portray funeral directors either as creepy or incompetent. Blogging can help you dispel the myths so that client families see your more “human” side and build trust with you.
The CEO of Tesco, a major European retail chain, recently started a group blog for his company to achieve that same goal. The thing is, people don’t buy from businesses; they buy from people – and blogging helps client families to see the people behind your funeral home.
Example: Check out the O’Connor Mortuary Blog. It provides inspiration and life lessons for client families and their networks – and its got a great following too. You could do the same with a blog for your funeral home.
2. Showcase Your Services
Your firm delivers a valuable service to client families, but they don’t always know that up front. That’s part of the reason we see more people going for direct cremation. A funeral blog is a way to let client families see the range of services you offer so that they can create the best possible funeral service for their loved ones.
Speaking of creativity, with the Boomer generation now focusing on creativity and choice in funeral services, your blog is a great place to showcase the personalized services you have provided.
We live in a world where people watch channels like HGTV to be inspired by before-and-after transformations. What if you could show your families a before-and-after transformation of a no-frills cremation to a fully custom funeral that celebrates life?
You can do this by writing inspirational blogs about creative services you’ve provided families.Tell your story your way and enhance it with testimonials and photos from happy client families. You’ll be surprised at how your blog will help families realize the value of a meaningful service.
3. Use Blogging As a Sales Tool
Once potential client families can see what you offer on your blog, then your blog becomes a sales tool that brings leads and business to your funeral home. The well-known inbound marketing company, Hubspot, says: “Your business blog is one of the most valuable pieces of sales collateral you have.” And other statistics support this fact.
An article on Business2Community shows that companies with business blogs generate 88% more leads – imagine how that could boost the success of your funeral home.
Focus on writing content that answers questions and solves problems your families might have, but in a non-salesy way. At the end of the blog, provide a call-to-action, or a way for them to take action if they like what they read.
Example: If you write a blog about a memorable service you created for a family, at the bottom write a call-to-action that says “To learn more about our XX services, call XXX-XXX-XXXX or visit yourfuneralhomewebsite.com.”
4. Help Your Community
Of course, your funeral home’s blog is not only about making the sale. It’s about building a relationship with your community so that people automatically think of you when it’s time to create a service for a life lived. Just like the O’Connor Mortuary blog mentioned above, your blog could become the go-to resource and de facto expert on every aspect of the funeral service.
You can connect with your community through blogging by:
- - Providing articles about grief and healing
- - Helping families with recipes for food for the wake or after party
- - Giving information about caregiving for elderly or disabled relatives
- - Showcasing different ways of celebrating a loved one’s life through a funeral service
- - Reviewing books on grieving, healing, funerals and more
- - Providing videos, photos and presentations showcasing examples of innovative services
The only limit is your imagination!
5. Do Market Research
The good thing about using your blog in this way is that you start to understand your client families better and learn more about what they want. Many blogs use open-ended questions and polls to find out what interests their readers. Your funeral home could do the same. You can float ideas for new service offerings and get feedback from readers.
Every month, you can even ask someone on your staff to provide a report on what people are looking for. This will help you generate new blog content ideas and new ways of serving your client families. You’ll be surprised what you might learn!
6. Increase Web Traffic
It’s all in the numbers… companies that blog get 55% more website visitors. That’s great,and not just in terms of simple math… the more people on your site, the more likely it is that some of them will check out your services – but also in terms of revenue generation online. Once people are on your site, you can keep them there longer by providing more of what they need – and if it’s not one of your services, then partner with someone else to provide it on your website.
Example: If you offer sympathy gifts and flowers on your funeral home website, write a blog on “The Significance of Sympathy Flowers” and provide a link on the bottom of your blog to your “sympathy store”. That’s a great way to turn an engaged reader into a paying customer.
7. Turn Blogs into Brochures and Printed Materials
Finally, a blog makes a great content hub for your funeral home. The beautiful things about blogs is that they can be repurposed for other marketing channels.
Example: If you write a blog on personalized funerals, for example, you can turn that blog into a brochure or an article that you offer to client families during the arranging process.
Even if you started reading this without any prior knowledge about blogging, it’s hard to ignore the value of starting a blog. It’s a win-win situation for you, your families, and your community. Not only will you provide resources for them, you’ll boost your reputation, website traffic and most of all, your business.
Interested in starting a blog, but not sure how?
Stay tuned for our next blog on this series which will provide a step-by-step guide on getting started with your own blog.
If you have additional questions on getting started with blogging, please feel free to leave a comment or question below. Our social media and blogging guru, Krystal will respond to each comment