Today, things change fast. The information age created a world where more has been available to us than ever before. Never before have consumers been able to access such a breadth of information and use it to their advantage. Everywhere you look, people are using multiple devices to find out what they want to know and are making increasingly stringent purchasing decisions. What does this mean for your funeral home?
Well, it means that your online presence is more important than ever before. This includes more than just your website, too. Everything you do online can make a difference between making a positive impression on families and missing out on potential business. Don’t worry, though. You are in complete control and by investing in how your funeral home is represented online, you are investing in the future of your business. Here are some of the reasons to improve your online presence and keep your funeral home in front of the community.
Your Funeral Home Website Is A Great Place To Start In 2018
When it comes to engaging with the modern family, you must understand what they are looking for and HOW they are accessing information. Having a funeral home website is a great place to start, however it is only the bare minimum. Most consumers are now using mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets as their primary means of accessing the internet. So, it is now more important than ever to have a mobile-friendly, attention grabbing funeral home website that provides all of the necessary information to families with direct messaging and an appealing, functional design.
While it may seem like a lot to handle, you must consider the small improvements that you can make to your funeral home website that will have an extremely positive impact. In my research, I have found that people who visit your site will spend most of their time on the top navigation of your pages, making it extremely important to have your most important messages and call-to-actions front and centre. If people have to look around for the information they want, you have already lost them. Your funeral home website is a great opportunity to make that initial connection with families and if done right.
Know Your Community
Building an engaging online presence starts with knowing who you want to talk to. How can you possibly capture the attention of a consumer you are not familiar with? Getting to know these consumers requires understanding not only who is planning funerals today, but who will be planning funerals in the near future. That is what makes running a funeral home business so challenging in 2018, you have to cater to both baby boomers and millennials. I am not going to lie, knowing that these two groups are your target is just the beginning.
For baby boomers, you are most likely going to connect with them during their downtime, by offering them information that they can consume at their own pace. Millennials, on the other hand, access information literally ALL the time. If you want your funeral home to be successful online this year, you have to actively cater to both of these age groups. Be the reliable source of information in your community and make every effort to capture the short attention span of modern families. The truth is baby boomers are becoming just as tech savvy as their children, and with that are starting to become just as needy for the information they want. Is your firm prepared?
Understand The Importance Of Brand Identity
One of the ways to remain memorable and eye-catching is to have a solid brand identity for your funeral home. You have the power to control what people think of your brand and what they associate it with. So ask yourself, what do you want to be known for? What makes your funeral home different from the other firms? The answers to these questions should be the cornerstone of your brand and should play a central role in your online presence. If you have a strong tradition of quality service, make sure people know that. Maybe you have something new to offer families, make sure they know that. Once you have their recognition, make sure they do not forget about you. And the best part? You have all of the power. You get to decide how families see your funeral home and having an online presence that reflects your brand identity is the best way to do that.
Have A Clear Message
You could have a beautiful funeral home website and be active on social media all you want. However, if you do not have clear messaging, your online presence is going to fall short of what you are trying to do. Your messaging has to be simple, attention grabbing and informative. As I mentioned before, people have shorter attention spans now. They want what they want, how they want it and when they want it. When it comes to your online presence, this means you need to make it very easy for people to get the most useful information in the shortest amount of time.
Don’t quote me on this, but you have mere seconds to grab someone’s attention before you have lost them entirely. As a result, you should examine your call-to-actions and where information is laid out online. From the first moment they visit your website or social media channels, will consumers be able to tell who you are, what you do and how you can help them? If your answer is no, it is time for change. If you already do this, it is going to go a long way towards success this year and beyond.
Grab The Attention Of Your Community, By Any Means Necessary
At the end of the day, having a great online presence and grabbing the attention of the community you serve comes down to being memorable. For your website, this means making it easy for families to find the information they need so that they can contact you on their time, when they are ready. One key tip: provide as many options for them to contact you as possible. Give them the ability to call, email or fill out a form. Make it easy for people. Social media and other forms of digital marketing (Like search engine optimization) is a great way to drive people towards your website, and the great messaging you have made available. To leave you with some advice, take advantage of every online opportunity to communicate with the communities and families you serve. Help people become familiar with your staff, facility and service options. If you do, your online presence will be the reason you are successful, mark my words.
Even if you think that your funeral home already does this, there is always room for improvement. Likewise, if you have not yet started, it is never too late. At FrontRunner we take pride in being able to help funeral homes from around the world build a better online presence and being able to do that each day is why I love my job. I invite you to contact us personally so that we can work together to help you build a better future for your funeral home.
Brandon is the Marketing Communications Manager at FrontRunner Professional. He holds a Social Sciences degree from McMaster University and a Graduate Certificate in Integrated Marketing Communications from St. Lawrence College. His creative writing and innovative ideas bring new life to the company, FrontRunner’s clients and funeral directors world-wide.