Transform Your Funeral Marketing With These 35 Amazing ToolsJuly 29th, 2014
Does the thought of marketing your funeral home online make you think of time, money and effort you don’t have? If so, you’re not alone. Many funeral homes mistakenly think that online funeral marketing is an expensive, complicated and challenging process.
But the truth is, marketing your funeral home online won’t cost you a lot of time or money… if you have the right resources.
The most successful funeral homes have a list of go-to marketing tools that help them promote their funeral home online, and you need one too. Need help finding the right tools? Fear no more! Here’s a list to get you started:
Funeral Social Media Management Tools
If you’re using social media at your funeral home (which you should be) then it can be helpful to manage your online interactions with a social media dashboard. Here are a few free social media management tools worth considering:
Hootsuite allows you to manage multiple social media accounts (five in the free level, plus two RSS feeds), performing all the key tasks for each social channel from one handy dashboard. You can also add team members to your account, schedule social posts and measure your efforts with their basic analytics tracker (though you will have to pay more to add more social media profiles and get in-depth metrics).
If you want to build engagement by sharing your own content, plus interesting content from around the web, then Buffer is the best tool around. Just set up several time slots for each of your main social media accounts and then use a bookmarklet to share content which is published at those times. It allows you to schedule a time to create your updates but not have to be there when it’s time for them to go live. It’s got limited analytics and has recently implemented content suggestions as well.
Sprout is one of my favorite tools to monitor and measure social media efforts. Not only does it help you upload, publish and analyze your social media, but it also gives you the ability to track conversations taking place around your brand (which we’ll cover in the next section). They don’t have a free version, but their plans are pretty affordable, starting at around $39/month.
Brand Monitoring and Social Search
What does yourfuneral home look like to the people whovisit your website and follow you on social media? Are they even talking about you? If you want to get a snapshot of this and manage your reputation, then social search and brand monitoring tools are a big help. Here are a few free options that help you get more bang for your buck by covering multiple social sites.
This tool, available on the web and as a mobile app, alerts you when your brand is mentioned online. Plug in the name of your funeral home or flagship service and you can get alerts, either as they happen or via a digest, about Twitter and Facebook mentions. This allows you to respond to client families’ concerns in real time, right from the Mention page. Over time, Mention learns which mentions are most relevant. Mention is free, but you have to upgrade for additional functionality.
5-7. You can also monitor funeral home mentions and topics of interest via Google Alerts and Talkwalker Alerts (both free), though Mention seems to be the best of the three. Another option is How Sociable, which allows you to track brand impact over a range of sites by putting your funeral home’s name into their search engine.
8-9. Twtrland gives you a snapshot of what’s happening on your Twitter, Facebook and Instagram profile. It provides demographic information about your social media followers and helps you to identify influential social media connections. The basic version is free, but you have to upgrade for more depth coverage. If you really want to boost engagement and sharing, then form your own social sharing tribe on Triberr. Triberr allows you to create “tribe” (or group of people) based on your interests and share, exchange and discover new content with them.
10-11. You can’t talk about brand monitoring and influence without mentioning Klout. When you add all your social media profiles, it gives you a Klout score to assess your relative influence. Klout also helps you to identify influential social media followers, deepen your connection with those talking about you, and has recently moved into the content suggestion game. An alternative to Klout which also tracks social influence is PeerIndex.
12. Finally in this section, Social Mention provides real-time search and analysis of the latest mentions of your funeral home across multiple social media sites. It has good filtering capabilities and is particularly useful for its broad analysis of the results. You can assess whether mentions are positive and find the main words people are using to talk about your funeral home. That makes it a great tool for figuring out if you’re getting your marketing right.
Content Curation, Content Discovery (and Sharing)
Part of making an impact on social media is finding the right content to share. Both Klout and Buffer, mentioned earlier, now include content discovery as part of the package, but there are other tools which are even more useful. Check them out below!
13. Swayy. This tool helps you discover great content based on your interests. Our tests show that it’s pretty accurate. Visit the web dashboard or get email alerts when content is found and you can share that content to Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn right from the app. It even incorporates scheduling.
14. Tagboard helps you monitor hashtags across social media sites so you can find out the latest on any topic. This is a great way to stay relevant to your audience. It presents the findings in a card-based interface and the best part? You can also see other related tags that have been used along with your key search term.
15-18. Content curation, collecting content around a theme to enhance your thought leadership, has become a key marketing tool for businesses of all kinds. There are a number of free web tools that help you to do this. Most work by letting you choose keywords, blog feeds or people on social media to follow. Then, the tools will pull together all of the content surrounding those keywords, people and feeds and put them into a digest form. Some important tools that help you do that include Paper.li, Storify, RebelMouse and Scoop.it. If I had to pick one of these to recommend, it would be Scoop.it, because it’s great for sharing content to the widest possible range of sites while adding your commentary.
19. Feedly also deserves an honorable mention because it allows you to categorize and monitor multiple blogs, making it a good way to keep tabs on what your competitors are publishing.
If you’re sharing social media content, then you might need a URL shortener. That’s because if you’re using a site with a character limit for updates, like Twitter, keeping the URL short leaves you more room for commentary. URL shorteners are also good for tracking your own links. Plus, let’s face it – long URLs are an eyesore. Below are some free options you have to choose from.
20-22.Bit.ly is without a doubt the go-to for shortening your URLs. That’s because it integrates with almost every social sharing tool (including Sprout Social) and collects analytics on the results of your social shares in one handy dashboard. If you’re using Hootsuite there are also a number of options, including Ow.ly.Google also has an online URL shortener and has the advantage of being a recognizable brand.
Ideas for Generating Content At Your Funeral Home
Content marketing is important (if you don’t believe us, read this article). But sometimes you need help finding inspiration to create compelling content. Some of the tools listed below will help.
23. BuzzSumo allows you to monitor content performance across the main social sites by plugging in a search term or username. It’s a great way to generate new content ideas and to see where you could tweak your content marketing strategy.
26-28. Sometimes you want other kinds of content to tie into what’s relevant now. You could use a quote finder like Think Exist to find something relevant to post on your funeral home’s Facebook page. Or, you could use Meme Generator to riff off a current meme. You could even create your own infographic or graphic with the totally awesome and easy-to-use Canva.
29 & 30. Pixabay and Flickr’s Creative Commonsare great resources for finding the right image to post on your blog or use in an ebook. There are also dozens of image sources listed in this guide from Crazy Egg.
Assessing SEO and Funeral Marketing Performance
Probably the most important part of any marketing efforts is tracking and analyzing your efforts. After all, you want to know which funeral marketing tactics, campaigns, or pieces of content are performing the best and worst, right? Aside from the commonly known Google Analytics, here are a number of tools to help you.
31. QuickSprout does a competitor analysis for traffic, SEO, site speed and social shares so that you can compare your funeral home against that of your competitor. The best part? It’s free!
32. Hubspot’s marketing grader gives you an in-depth report on all the areas that you can optimize on your website. Not only that, but Hubspot also delivers a wealth of knowledge with their Inbound Hub, so be sure to check it out next time you have a marketing-related question or issue.
33. Simply Measured has a huge number of free social media reports on almost every aspect of your social profiles.
34. Moz.com. At $99/month, Moz gives you access to 12 killer tools that allows you to check out your SEO, link building, social and content efforts, all in one.
Still need more tools? Check outKissmetrics’ list of free and low-cost social media measurement tools.
35. The most important funeral marketing tool
You could use all the funeral marketing tools in the world, but without a professional and well-designed website to direct all of your traffic to, all of your marketing efforts won’t show the results you want.
To find out how you can optimize your funeral home website to yield the best marketing results, schedule a consultation with one of our Website Success Specialists by clicking here or giving us a call at 800-798-2575, ext. 5