Why Advertising Your Funeral Home is a Waste of $ (And What You Should Do Instead)February 6th, 2013
Why Advertising No Longer WorksLet’s take a look at why traditional advertising doesn’t really work anymore.
- - First of all, it’s mostly static – this no longer appeals to Baby Boomers who prefer to have a two-way conversation with a brand online rather than a one-way, generic one.
- - It tends to be focused on one medium (ie. radio,tv, newspaper) or another, while today’s audience wants access to information wherever they are. Traditional advertising doesn’t readily provide them with that information they need, when they need it.
- - It can be hard to see how effective it is because you never really know how many people are seeing your ad and how many actually become your client families because of it.
- - It focuses on selling and most people don’t like to be sold to.
- - It’s expensive.
- - We’re selling a service people don’t want to think about buying. Is someone going to remember the radio ad they heard 5 years ago when they need your service? Chances are, the demographic you’re trying to reach isn’t listening to the radio hoping to hear a commercial for your funeral home.
What is Content Marketing?Content marketing is all about creating and sharing something valuable to get the attention of your potential families. It provides an antidote to all the defects of traditional advertising because it’s platform-independent (meaning you can share it anywhere), dynamic (in other words, it can be changed quickly and easily) , measurable and in most cases, free. So it’s no wonder that 86% of marketers are using content marketing to attract their customers’ attention (according to a study by PACE and the Content Marketing Institute). And businesses of all kinds are catching on fast, so you don’t want to be left behind.
What Content Marketing Can Do For YouNow that we’ve nailed down exactly what content marketing is, let’s really dig in and find out what all the hoopla is about. Here are the top goals your funeral home can achieve with content marketing:
- - It can spread the word to people about your funeral home, building your brand awareness
- - It can help you attract (and keep) the attention of potential client families
- - It can generate your business new leads
- - It can keep existing client families loyal to your funeral home
A Prime Example of Content MarketingThe truth is, we don’t work in a profession that’s appealing or glamorous to most. But that doesn’t mean content marketing won’t appeal to our audiences. Mint.com is a great example of making non-glamorous topics such as personal finance seem appealing and easy-to-learn, thanks to content marketing.
They know that by offering their readers free resources that help them manage their personal finances, they’re more likely to become paying customers down the road.
Not only that – they’ve established themselves as a resource for consumers. The truth is that any business can use content marketing – and, believe it or not, that includes your funeral home.
Content Marketing Ideas for Your Funeral HomeSo what kind of content can you share to build authority and connect you more deeply with existing and potential client families? Try to think of the topics that would capture your families’ and community’s interest, and go from there. Here are some ideas to get you started:
1. Articles & E-Newsletters These could provide information on topics of interest to your families and community like:
- - A roundup of links to relevant community news, either weekly or monthly. You can use the tool Paper.li to do just that, for free.
- - Answers to client families’ frequently asked questions about your funeral home and funeral services.
- - Topics that dive into issues of interest to them, such as personalized services or what options are available to them.
- - Grief & healing advice – answer some common questions surrounding grief in a Q&A form.
2. Blog Posts If your funeral home doesn’t have a blog, now’s the time to start one. In addition to the content ideas listed above, you could try:
- - Reviewing related or complementary products of interest to your community and client families.
- Example: write a book review on grief and healing books you recommend.
- - Sharing examples of unique funeral services, highlighting the benefits of the services you offer, but in a non-salesy way.
- Example: Write a post titled “X Ways to Celebrate Your Loved One’s Life” and include some of your service as examples.
- - Publishing guest posts from people with authoritative opinions on issues of interest.
- Example: Have an expert from a local hospice write a post on making end-of-life decisions.
- - Mythbusting – debunking the misconceptions some people have about funeral homes and funeral services.
- Example: Write a satirical post like “X Things You Didn’t Know About Your Funeral Director” that pokes fun at some common misconceptions and allows your community to get to know your staff.
3. Case Studies & Testimonials These are a good way to tell the story of what you do and how real client families feel about your services. Try doing the following:
- - Interviewing a client family who had an excellent experience with your firm.
- - Interviewing your employees for a day in the life slot (people love behind-the-scenes exposes).
- Example:During Christmas, an O’Connor Mortuary Employee wrote about their favorite Christmas memories. Read it here.
4. Community Events Hold events that give something back to your community while being totally aligned with the services you offer. Try these:
- - Deepening your relationship with client families by holding weekly grief and healing events to help them face their feelings.
- - Hosting events at hospices and care homes.
- - Holding pre-planning meetings to help client families “start the conversation” about their end-of-life decisions.
5. Educational Content Library You are the expert in your business, so this is your chance to wow your community with a wealth of informative, free resources. These could include:
- - Funeral pre-planning guides
- - Information on funeral etiquette
- - Guides on what to do when a death occurs
- - Information on customized funeral services
- - Answers to frequently asked questions
- - Grief and healing resources
If you are using f1connect as your website platform, you’ll notice that your resource library is automatically built out for you. You can also add in articles unique to your firm, and even print them out for your families.
Here’s an example of f1Connect’s educational content library: