The funeral profession is probably the toughest profession to market.
There are a lot of sensitivities to consider, as well as decades of terrible, tasteless funeral marketing to try and undo (like the ad below).
So, it’s important to take a step back and listen to the experts before we re-create more bad funeral marketing chaos.
There ARE many ways to market your funeral business professionally, tastefully, and in a way that people want to engage in.
Check out these 12 tips from marketing experts below to find out how:
#1: Start with good content that makes YOU feel good
“Good content is what you’re all about and learning what to say online comes from your work, your beliefs and your unique experience. It also is most noticed and memorable when you can take up a different position than what everyone else is saying. In other words, don’t just say something, say something unique, boldly.
Once you get into the practice of creating it regularly and putting it into a shareable form (Instagram, Facebook or LinkedIn post, a podcast episode or video) you’ve got the number one foundation for marketing your little heart out … and feeling good about it.”
What this means for your funeral home: Before you create anything for anyone else, make sure you create it for yourself, too. If you don’t enjoy doing it, no matter how informative or pretty the content, no one else will enjoy it either.
#2: Do less and do it well
“Don’t do all the marketing activities that exist. Do the marketing activities that you have discovered work for you. Take a lot of deep breaths, get help and support when you need it, and have fun!”
What this means for your funeral home: Everyone knows you don’t have a lot of time. So be smart with it. Don’t invest in all the marketing channels and trends at once. Start with one, see how you do for 90-120 days, and check in with how things are going. Then, go from there.
#3: Don’t ignore trends – in fact, play with them!
“Involve your product or service while leveraging trends online to increase brand awareness among your customer base. Create blogs and videos on your site that cover trending topics and show how your customers can achieve or become involved in them (ideally, by using your products and services). Then distribute that content on the appropriate social channels to drive traffic and sales back on your site. Show customers how they can recreate trends with your products.”
What this means for your funeral home: Everyone sees those reels on Facebook, Instagram, and if you’re really trendy, Tik Tok. You might notice many people doing their own version of a “trending sound” or a trend. For example, we followed the “Little Miss” trend and applied it to funeral professionals (below). These trends allow you to expand your audience by reaching more people who wouldn’t have otherwise found your content.
#4: Be authentic
“The world doesn’t just want the best version of you, they want the truest, purest form.”
What this means for your funeral home: You have a career in death. That’s very interesting! You’d be surprised how many people want to see you authentically sharing your journey working within death. Authenticity is a super power.
#5: Tell a story instead of selling
“People who use social media are often averse to content that looks and feels like an ad, especially if those people aren’t familiar with your brand. The beauty of social media is that it allows brands to connect on a relatable level with other social media users.
Storytelling is one of the best strategies to do that: Tell your brand’s story, and focus on the people behind the brand. You’ll build a stronger connection with your followers and greater brand loyalty. All that just for being yourself!”
What this means for your funeral home: No one likes reading sales ads for funeral homes, period. Especially on social media. So instead of selling, try storytelling. You’d be surprised by how many people are touched by the stories of your client families.
#6: Remember the importance of the first impression
“From the moment a potential customer calls or speaks to you, how you treat them, how you play detective to uncover what they need and want, how you help them to determine the right choice and how you exhibit patience, kindness and fairness influences the outcome of the interaction.”
What this means for your funeral home: You already know the first impression is everything. But consider this in every aspect of your funeral marketing. Your phone answering skills, your website, your social media. Trust us, it’s important.
#7: Answer questions your client families are asking
“One of the best secrets for marketing success is to incorporate a Q&A format into your content. Ultimately, content marketing is about generating brand exposure through web search traffic, so optimizing for searchability is key. A leading way search engines parse the results they find on the web is by matching content with the queries users submit in the search bar. So a good place to start when deciding what to include in your content marketing is by asking the kinds of questions your ideal clients ask in their online searching.”
What this means for your funeral home: Your potential client families have TONS of questions about what you do, how to plan for their own funeral, how to plan a loved one’s service, and more. Find out what they’re asking, write the questions down, and create your marketing materials with those questions in mind.
#8: Educate and show off your expertise
“As an overriding [marketing] strategy, seek to educate and demonstrate your expertise, rather than simply brag about your brand or products. This means going beyond your own business to look at wider issues in your industry and various problems that affect your audience. This not only helps with SEO, as you can rank for more terms, but also helps you build trust, as it shows you are someone who is knowledgeable at providing solutions.”
What this means for your funeral home: We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: client families in the funeral profession are hugely undereducated. There is a huge gap here in our profession, and those who are doing what it takes to close that gap are succeeding greatly in their marketing efforts and helping families.
#9: Create more videos
“The most valuable thing about your video content, or any social media content, is the impact it’s going to make on the viewer, the audience, or the listener. So when you stay focused on that and you don’t get too caught up in what it looks like, you’ll notice a lot more impact and engagement. They’ll appreciate the value you’re providing versus the production value.”
What this means for your funeral home: Text posts aren’t enough these days. Even funny memes can only take you so far. Try VIDEO. Don’t be shy, just start somewhere! It doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be helpful.
#10: And while you’re at it, try short format instead of long format video
“I would pay attention to short video formats that became so popular on TikTok but are also getting a lot of views on Youtube and Instagram. It is obvious that people want more of this type of content. Google already has a Stories product which I believe could get more space in the search results if the company decides to take advantage of this trend.”
What this means for your funeral home: The great news about video content these days is that it doesn’t have to be an entire Youtube video that goes into great detail on the art of embalming. You can get just as many people engaged with your content online with a 30-second video talking about your favorite story helping a family. Like we’ve said, start simple and short, and work your way up!
#11: Network, network, network
“Keeping an active role in the community and connecting with key authority figures that are relevant to your business is a good way of working your visibility or presence”
What this means for your funeral home: Don’t underestimate the power of Death Cafes, grief coaches, workshops and yoga studios. Grief wellness and death positivity are hot topics right now that everyone in the community needs expertise on. Get out there and network!
#12: Don’t snooze on the wrong website platform
“Having a business website may sound too obvious, but only a few business owners have fully utilized the vast potentials of a business website. While most, if not all businesses have their own websites, making these websites speak with prospective customers is a task that is often overlooked. Your business website serves as your online storefront and image, and you need to present it in a memorable and effective way.”
What this means for your funeral home: If you do a DIY website for your funeral home, you’re likely missing out on some amazing opportunities to educate and serve your client families. Choose a website platform that was built with the funeral profession in mind. Click here to talk to one of our funeral success specialists to learn more about how our f1Connect all-in-one website platform can work for your funeral home and give the gift of support to your families.
Did those funeral marketing tips teach you anything new? Tell us in the comments below!