You may think that just “having a Facebook page” and “a website that serves as a digital billboard” is enough to grow a funeral home. That approach might allow you to “check the box” about being online, but it will actually work against the growth of your business.
While Facebook and Google might want you to believe that their digital property alone can do it all, serving as a stand-alone online growth tool, what they aren’t telling you is that this approach will cost you business. Here’s why:
- Each of these online locations has a specific purpose – a business goal that it can help you accomplish. They are all valuable, but each one only serves a specific role.
- You can only achieve your larger business goal of building your brand and increasing at-needs and preneeds cases if all of your online tools are working together.
- Your competition, especially the big corporate providers, are leveraging these tools together.
The Big Disconnect Between Social and Your Marketing Strategies
The big disconnect happens when you don’t have a strategy that brings all the various tools together (website, Facebook, Instagram, email, digital ads, Youtube, etc.). What your social networks are good at is building a community and connecting you locally, but social networks don’t grow business very well unless they are integrated with other digital strategies. Your website should be the best first impression of your business, but if not connected to the other online tools properly, it won’t get many online visitors, or will get visitors that don’t become customers.
When we allow our online presence to be fragmented, the entire growth strategy can be shut down.
You can have an even bigger disconnect when you allow your brand to be presented in different ways in different digital locations. There is a best practice about how to use each social network and digital tool, but the company brand has to be cohesive across all of them. Online consumers expect to experience the same brand for your company everywhere they go. When your brand looks different, expresses a different personality, consumers are confused, or even worse, they simply forget you.
Consumers expect that the Target store and funeral home they visit online will offer the same experience when they go in person.
Many of the online tools are pretty good at starting conversations with existing and new customers. However, if those conversations aren’t joined by your staff then you are hurting your business. Fast responses to social comments and appropriate “thank you’s” for nice comments are the bread and butter of marketing. It’s important to bring these all together so that you can build and maintain trust with both current and future customers.
How to Find Your Digital Glue?
Defining how each social network or digital tool can help you, requires something like digital crazy glue. Similar to a good epoxy, digital glue requires these three parts to be mixed together. Here is the mixture you need.
Your brand is more than just your logo. It is what people come to believe about your business. That story is carried by colors and fonts and logos, but it also includes a unique voice and personality. Your brand needs to be consistent throughout all digital properties (and print and signage too). Having a brand guidance document that includes the graphics, but also the talking points and messages you always share with customers brings all of your digital together. ->Check out the Brand Guide
Because all the complexities of online marketing continue to become more and more demanding, the right software is a must for keeping it all in sync. We recommend a marketing and service suite that is built around a customer relationship manager (CRM). The way these connect is really important and can help you grow with both immediate and preneeds cases as a result.
The last piece of the “keep it together formula” has to include a plan for getting the right content in place. Why is content important? It connects all the various digital tools and keeps them going in the right direction. It is also the primary value that you share across the digital world – from websites to social media to email and beyond, content is really primary.
Effective content is not the stuff that is literally copied and pasted from one template website to another. If you look at the footer content in a large number of funeral home websites, you will see that it is identical. It must be custom content if you want to get value from it online.
Who is Going to Implement Your Growth Strategy?
You’ve got a lean workforce at your funeral home. The marketing role usually gets outsourced or handed to someone who has some experience with at least one of the digital tools. The real challenge is often the time and talent to put together a strategy and implement it effectively. Funeral directors have many skills, but like all professions, they don’t know what they don’t know about marketing.
->Let Story Collaborative help you bring it all together with a strategy + the team to get it done.h
Story Collaborative brings dedicated expertise along with best-practice marketing methods to funeral homes that build their brand and deliver growth for locally owned and independent funeral homes.