TV and radio commercials, ads in the paper, and big billboard advertisements are all great ways to market your funeral home to the community.
But if you want to make your mark in the community and distinguish yourself from competitors, the key to standing out is simple — be human.
When dealing with any business — but especially funeral homes — people crave connection. They want a personalized, human experience. And it pays offs in the long run. By building personal connections with the families you serve, you increase your word-of-mouth marketing. That leads to an overall trust in your funeral home.
A 2015 Nielsen report on the global trust in advertising found that 83% of people surveyed trust “recommendations from people I know” more than any other type of advertising format.
To put it in perspective, trust in ads on TV and in the newspaper is only 63% and 60%, respectively.
So how can you take a more personal approach in your branding to build those person-to-person recommendations within your community? You can start by focusing on the upcoming holiday season. For many, the holidays are about being together with family. But for others, the holidays can be especially tough. Take this holiday season as an opportunity to establish personal connections with the families in your community.
Here’re a few ideas to get you started.
Hold a Fundraiser
One way to help build connections in the community is to host a fundraiser. It’s a great way to give back as well as establish a positive community presence.
There are a lot of good causes you can focus your fundraiser on:
- Gifts/toy drive for underprivileged families with children
- Collect winter jackets/clothes
- Run a food drive to assist community food pantries or a local church
Have a Holiday Potluck Dinner
Most families come together to share a family meal during the holidays. But a lot of people aren’t that lucky. Your funeral home can help build a sense of community by inviting families who’ve lost a loved one in the past year to attend a potluck dinner. You also could extend the invitation to a local church or a nursing home. A holiday dinner is a great way to connect with each other and cure loneliness this holiday season.
Hold a Holiday Remembrance Program
Many funeral homes already put on annual holiday remembrance programs. It’s another great way to bring families together to honor the deceased over the holiday season.
A holiday program is a simple gesture that helps families dealing with loss, and it’s a great way to stay connected with your community. For an even bigger turnout (and to cut back on expenses), consider partnering with another organization in your community.
Offer a Small Keepsake for Families
For families dealing with the first holiday season after a loss, a small keepsake gift can mean a lot. A memorial candle, a simple holiday card, or a personalized ornament are all great gifts to consider. It’s a simple gesture to show families that they’re in your thoughts this holiday season.
Make a Donation in Honor of Families
If you’re able to afford it, you could make a small donation in honor of all the families you’ve served over the past year. You can notify families of your donation by sending them a personalized letter. There are several charities to choose from and a comprehensive list can be found here.