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Getting Creative with Funeral Home Advertising

Posted On: November 8, 2016

There’s no such thing as being “creative” with funeral home advertising, right? That seems to be the mindset of both some funeral directors and some advertising agencies: When promoting something like death care services, you just have to keep things simple and straightforward. Stay traditional. Don’t rock the boat, as it were.

At Ring Ring Marketing, we understand where that rationale comes from, but it simply isn’t true. Of course, you don’t want to do anything that comes off as disrespectful or overly irreverent; that’s a surefire way to put off clientele for both pre-need and at-need services.

But there are ways to differentiate yourself with creative ideas and approaches in your funeral home advertising. Yes, you do have to walk a line other industries don’t have to worry about, but don’t let that restrict you from opening up to newer notions and fresher concepts.

Again, the bottom line is always that your funeral home must convey reverence, respectfulness and professionalism — that’s why you can’t just run with any wild promotional idea.

But as long as you’re always checking your marketing approach against that standard, you should feel free to open your mind to new ideas. If your online funeral home advertising isn’t differentiating your business from local competitors, you’ll have a harder time attracting pre-need and at-need clientele and improving your case count numbers.

Let’s look at a few ideas to consider for your funeral home advertising online:

  • Telling your story

Obviously, anyone making plans for their final rest wants to feel in good hands. Similarly, family members researching at-need options need to know you’ll take good care of their loved one’s remains and the associated services.

On your website and in other promotional materials, open up about yourself and why providing death care services means so much to you. You can talk about the history of your funeral home and even some stories about especially meaningful experiences over the years (as long as you can do so while entirely protecting your clients’ privacy, of course).

  • Testimonials

Along the same lines as telling your story, don’t hesitate to publish testimonials from family members who noted great satisfaction with the care you provided during such a challenging time. Testimonials from real people who took the time to say kind words about your business can be extremely effective in attracting new clientele.

Of course, you always want to be thoughtful and respectful in soliciting testimonials. It’s typically best to do so only when you’ve made a close connection with a family member and feel she would be very interested in spreading the word about your funeral home.

As for the testimonial itself, make sure the family member providing it understands that you’ll need to keep it concise — and be sure the family member signs off on the finished copy before it goes live. A rambling, unfocused testimonial isn’t very effective for funeral home advertising, so some editing might be needed. It’s imperative that everyone is kept in the loop throughout.

  • Use your FAQ to promote your business

Here’s something many local businesses already know: The Frequently Asked Questions area on a website isn’t simply there to provide information. It’s a promotional tool. It gives you a place to put your best foot forward, show your authority and experience in death care, and convey caring and candor.

All the language in your FAQ should focus on those goals. Use the space to put potential clientele at ease, knowing you’re prepared to handle all their needs and to do so professionally. It’s one of the best ways to “communicate” before ever speaking with anyone in person or on the phone.

Additionally, a FAQ is a great way to break down exactly what someone can expect throughout the process. Grieving family members aren’t always ready to speak with someone immediately, so having that information explained step by step provides them a very helpful blueprint.

  • Don’t be afraid of photos and video

Professional photos of you, your staff and your business go a long way toward attracting clientele and driving case counts. It might be a cliché, but it’s true: A picture really is worth a thousand words.

Video also can be effective. You could have someone interview you for a video about your thoughts on considerate death care and why helping families through challenging times is so important to you.

As with photos, the more professionally these are shot, the better. They should be well lit and recorded with clear, crisp audio. Posting an unattractive, amateurish video on your website can do far more harm than good. But good-looking video can be a substantial boon for your funeral home advertising.

  • Answer questions/be an authority

This is a less common avenue for online funeral home advertising (because it technically isn’t advertising at all), but it works. You can indirectly volunteer your expertise on a subject — in this case, death care.

On sites such as Quora, you can answer questions people post about burial, cremation, and so on. By providing thoughtful, authoritative answers about these questions, you position yourself as an expert in the field. And doing so provides SEO for you and your funeral home in the process.

You can take this a further step by listing yourself as a death care expert on sites such as Help a Reporter Out (aka HARO), which matches experts with reporters writing stories. And you can also inquire with local television news stations about doing interviews regarding death care matters. These are wonderful free publicity opportunities that help promote your business.

  • Sponsor local events/sports teams

At Ring Ring Marketing, our business is all about online advertising and marketing, but we know well that offline promotion reaps benefits as well. Some funeral homes seem reluctant to do local sponsorships and related types of community outreach, but I think it’s a great idea.

Granted, some events might not conform well with having a local funeral home on a T-shirt or billboard, but most work just fine for this purpose. And if you’re sponsoring a local sports team or community theater group, you can always use pictures and news from that on your website.

That’s a great way to crank up content on your site, which improves its organic search rankings while also showing off your community involvement and investment in local activities. It lets you combine offline and online funeral home advertising in a way everyone can appreciate.

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