It’s 2017. Are you still marketing your funeral business like it’s 1979 (I know most of you are)? Are you spending the bulk of your advertising dollars on old school methods that are expensive and ineffective? There is a major problem in this profession where funeral directors think they can be guarded from change - like you're untouchable from what the market (consumer) demands or wants. Regardless of what you do or how you market, you think families you have served in the past are always going to come back to you, this is just not true. Yet, we (the profession) continue to do things the same way we always have. The market doesn't owe you anything. Every family is fair game and the funeral home that gets their attention is the funeral home that will win.
You're being romantic about what use to work. What do I mean: you're being romantic about traditional media and ‘old’ advertising habits! Being romantic about what use to work and not giving attention to what ‘works now’ and where the consumer is playing, is hurting thousands of funeral homes. Social media is not an option for funeral companies in 2017, it’s what’s required to be relevant.
Think about the way you interact and engage with brands, both large and small. At home you are the cool Mom and Dad. You're on Facebook, you watch Netflix, you use Amazon Prime, you DVR the majority of television shows you watch and you fast-forward every single commercial. Yet, when you walk through the doors of your funeral home, the normal consumer hat comes off and the traditional funeral director hat goes on and you forget about how you engage out in the real world. When it comes down to it - you are the person your funeral home needs to market it to - but you continue to market in traditional ways that you yourself don't consume. Think about it, when was the last time you opened a phonebook, listened to a commercial on the radio or got really excited about a billboard ad you saw?
Here are some things to consider:
- Almost no one uses the Yellow Pages any more. Most people grumble when the phone book lands on their front porch. They stuff it in a drawer or toss it in the trash. If you are paying for and/or depending on Yellow Page advertising you are wasting your money. Personally, I love when the Yellow Pages gets delivered to my house - the pages make perfect fire starters on cold Ohio nights!
This beautiful tonight is brought to you by....The Yellow Book! I apologize to all the businesses in southeastern Ohio that wasted their marketing but the only thing the pages of the Yellow Book are good for is starting fires. When was the last time you opened a phone book? Be honest... #sillymarketing #wasteful #throwingmoneyaway
A photo posted by Ryan Thogmartin (@ryanthogmartin) on
- Newspaper circulation is way down. Major newspaper outlets are going out of business. Newspaper advertising is pricey. You are reaching far fewer people per dollar every year through this form of marketing.
- Television advertising is also becoming less effective. More people are using subscription, commercial free television services like Netflix and Hulu. Busy families record the programs they want to watch and then fast-forward through the commercials.
- Who listens to the radio for long periods of time? Like television, more consumers are tuning into commercial free, satellite based subscription services and abandoning traditional AM/FM radio.
- Billboards, place mats, direct mail, calendars…yes, you reach some people, but at what cost?
As this infographic from Nuanced Media indicates, the cost per 1000 people reached is far less through Facebook than any other form of advertising you can use. Period. Plus, Facebook advertising provides these benefits that set it apart from traditional marketing methods:
- Facebook offers precise targeting of advertising thanks to the amount of demographic data it has collected from its users. Facebook ads can be targeted to granular levels of location, age, gender, interests, relationship status, connections, languages, education, and workplaces. With Facebook ads, you can reach your target market with precision and do it with minimal expense.
- Facebook has an incredibly engaged audience. American users spend an average of 40 minutes a day on Facebook, and almost half of the 1.44 billion monthly active users log in any given day.
- People carry Smartphones with them and check their social media feeds every chance they get. Next time you are in a public place where waiting is involved, scan the crowd. Most people will be looking at their Smartphones, and a majority of them will be on Facebook.
- Facebook offers two-way communication. Traditional marketing methods are one-way. Through Facebook, you can carry on conversations with your future customers. They can get to know you, your staff, your facilities, and your services more intimately. Facebook is 'pull media' (you attract people with value content and they voluntarily engage) and traditional marketing is 'push media' (your message is pushed on users when they don't want it - they aren't voluntarily seeing your brand).
- The opportunity to offer a fresh, constantly changing message is unlimited on Facebook. How often can you change a newspaper ad or a billboard? And at what expense? With Facebook, you can offer fresh, informative, and inspiring content multiple times a day or week. Check out some of the great content below from a few of our clients. This content is real and organic but most of all it is engaging and capturing the attention of their communities. Look at the reach and engagement numbers below the posts.
Don’t let your personal preferences or your lack of knowledge about Facebook get in the way of finally moving into the 21st century. Resolve, this year, to create and/or enliven your business presence in Facebook. Browse our blog feeds at https://disruptmedia.co and http://funeralsocial.com for tons of helpful, practical, and informative articles on creating and managing a Facebook business page. Better yet, let the professionals at DISRUPT Media take over the management of your outreach in Facebook or the other social media channels. We are the only full-service social media agency specifically catering to the funeral profession. Go to http://www.funeralsocial.com to find out more about the services we offer. Our clients who are a part of our FUNERAL Social Design Process are seeing an increase in post reach and engagement of over 300%.
Schedule a live demo with DISRUPT Media: http://www.funeralsocial.com/demo
Learn more about our FUNERAL Social Design Process: http://funeralsocial.com/social/
Download our social media goals worksheet: http://funeralsocial.com/social-media-goals-worksheet/