We all know the funeral industry is changing. People are becoming more price sensitive, folks shopping around more and funeral homes continue to feel the pressure from local competition and online offerings. The good news is that by taking advantage of the latest marketing trends, smart funeral homes can position themselves for both immediate growth and lasting success.
Below we’ll look at the 5 dominate marketing trends your funeral home should pay attention to this year. While some of them are brand new, others have been around for awhile but are now becoming more effective through the use of technology.
Finally, be sure to read through to the end, where we announce an amazing offer to help your funeral home succeed online, absolutely free!
Without further ado, let’s see the trends.
1. Facebook Ads
It’s no secret that Facebook has been aggressively adjusting their news feed which has resulted in fewer people seeing your Facebook Page’s posts organically. While on the face of it, less reach seems like bad news, right? Actually, it’s a great opportunity! What Facebook is doing is making its paid ads more effective (and important). Best of all, if you set your ads up right, you can get really great ROI! Let’s take a look at 3 kinds of Facebook Ads you should consider.
Boost for Engagement
Facebook offers the ability to boost your post (i.e. pay Facebook) to reach a broader audience. But to get value from this kind of ad, you must be careful to set it up properly while boosting the correct types of posts. Start by selecting your most engaging content; posts that position your brand in a positive light. One way you can do this is simply wait a few days after posting to see which of your posts performs the best organically, then boost those for greater reach and exposure. Next, when you boost the post you want to be sure you are selecting a targeted audience of people within your community, so that you aren’t wasting your budget on folks who can never become customers. Finally, be sure to monitor the results to see which audiences are responding the best, then adjust your future ads to target more of those people.
Perhaps your funeral home is holding a special educational event, a candle lighting ceremony or is releasing a new offering or special. Facebook is the ideal way to build awareness for your event or offering! In this case, you’ll want to create a custom graphic promoting your announcement (make your graphic 1200px by 627px and be sure to abide by the 20% text rule) then boost your post to a very targeted audience of people in your community who will be most interested in your offering.
While the aforementioned types of ads are intended to build awareness and engagement of your brand, it’s also possible to generate actual leads by getting people to click back to your website or provide you their contact information. To be clear, if you are looking to sell something on Facebook, such as a preplanning package, prepare to be disappointed! Facebook is not a good medium for direct sales. Instead, you can use Facebook to build interest and educate your audience, then provide some call to action or giveaway to move them down your marketing funnel and closer to a sale. For instance, you might give away a free eBook on preplanning, a downloadable Living Will, preplanning reminders, or any other offer in return for their email address or contact information. From there, you can use drip marketing techniques (discussed below) to heat up the lead and result in a sale!
2. Mobile-First Mindset
Mobile devices now account for over half of all internet usage! It’s an amazing milestone, but one that probably doesn’t surprise anyone who sees people glued to their phones everywhere they go.
For your marketing plan to succeed, you need to ensure you have a mobile-first mindset, meaning you take into account mobile internet users with all of your digital marketing.
For example, your website should employ a responsive design to ensure it looks perfect no matter what sized device your visitor is using. This is even more important when you consider that Google now penalizes websites without responsive designs, making it less likely that your website will show up in search results for people on their phones. If you don’t have a responsive website, or don’t know where to start, contact us now and we’ll get you where you need to be!
When you send emails or newsletters, be sure they have a responsive design as well, since they are likely to be opened on a mobile device and 80% of people will simply delete an email if it doesn’t look good on their phone!
When you create Facebook Ads, you should keep in mind that almost half of Facebook’s users only use Facebook from their mobile device! That means you should cater to their mobile experience. For instance, if you are asking someone to click on a link from your Facebook ad and leave their Facebook app to go to your website, there’s a good chance you’re going to get poor conversion rates. Fortunately Facebook has just released a new kind of ad, called Lead Ads, that let mobile users submit information to sign up for your offer or newsletter without leaving their Facebook app!
3. Email Newsletters
While newsletters have been around for a long time, they are now more popular than ever!
Newsletters are particularly valuable for funeral homes and cemeteries, since they allow you to take your message directly to your community, and speak to them with their full attention, right from their inbox. You can educate your families on the value of pre-planning, announce events, and position yourself as the experts within the industry to build the all important top-of-mind awareness that leads to more customers and better word of mouth marketing.
Many people need to see your message multiple (or even a dozen or more) times before they are ready to take action. The best marketing approach is one that saturates your audience with your message across multiple channels. You might prime your audience with simple and engaging posts on Facebook, then bring them a more in depth article through your newsletter.
You can get started with newsletters by using popular tools such as MailChimp or Constant Contact. If you really want to save time, and want access to a huge library of newsletter stories for funeral home audiences, consider using our very own Email Copilot!
Retargeting is an extremely effective form of advertising in which your ads are only shown to people with whom you’ve already made some sort of contact. On the web, typically retargeting is focused on showing display ads across the web to people who have previously visited your website. You’ve probably noticed this done to you before: perhaps you were shopping for a new vacuum cleaner on Amazon, and then sure enough, you start seeing ads for vacuum cleaners on Facebook!
Here’s how you can make retargeting work for you.
You’d probably agree that it’s more effective to show an ad to someone who already visited your funeral home’s website, right? After all, they are at the very least familiar with your brand already, and maybe be interested in something you offer. You then simply install a pixel to your website (or particular pages on your website) to track visitors, and create ads for those visitors to see across the web, including on Facebook and Twitter. You can use tools such as PerfectAudience, Google AdWords, AdRoll and others to set up your retargeting campaigns.
5. Drip Marketing
Drip marketing is an email marketing strategy that sends (i.e. “drips”) pre-written set of messages to customers or prospects over time. The emails are sent automatically after being triggered by some action indicating interest.
Drip marketing serves a different purpose than your email newsletters. Your newsletters have a broad audience and maintains general interest. Drip marketing, on the other hand, is very targeted and sent just to people who initiate the trigger. Further, with drip marketing, once somebody starts the campaign, they get each email message in the series in the exact order, unlike newsletters where someone only starts getting new emails from the time in which they subscribe.
Using Drip Marketing, you can generate interest using some sort of giveaway, for instance, perhaps you are giving away a free Living Will. To sign up, folks just need to enter their email address. From there, they get a series of emails automatically over time, explaining how to use the Living Will, progressing to a discussion of preplanning, and culminating with calls to action to get started.
Want more information about this powerful marketing technique, and examples of how you can use it within your funeral home? Sign up for our free email marketing e-course now!
Free Technology Office Hours!
I know this can be a lot to sort out on your own. Fortunately, you don’t have to do it alone! We are offering free technology office hours to help answer any questions you have about your website, Facebook, digital marketing or any other technology. Just click here to book a slot to chat with us and tap into our expertise for free!