Are you scrambling to find ways to get your name out there in the community without overrunning your advertising budget? It can be difficult to market appropriately in the funeral industry, but one way to become a common household name is by thinking in terms of community involvement.
Open your doors to other events. Many funeral homes are historical buildings with a lot of potential for local tourists and history buffs. Show off your beautiful venue by hosting other events like weddings or receptions. You could use your chapel for ceremonies and rent out rooms for dinners, parties and presentations. Just think about how many guests attend events such as these—they will all experience the beauty of your building while you get paid for providing an in-demand service.
Sponsor local events and advertise at community gatherings. Get your name in the high school’s musical playbill, add a float or car to the holiday parade, get a banner hung at the rodeo grounds or in the baseball field. Fund the sports team’s jerseys, put brochures and literature in the community center or senior center. Work with your local library. There are so many places that the people in your community visit often. Use that to your advantage! You could create branded merchandise like T-shirts, keychains, and pens to give away at events, parades, and other gatherings. Getting your name out there is the first step to becoming the foremost funeral home in the area.
Use your outdoor space for your own community events—fireworks, movie screenings, trunk-or-treating and bonfires are great ideas to get people to come to your location. Even if people are on the property for reasons that have nothing to do with the funeral industry, they’re still being exposed to the building and they’re experiencing firsthand how your company cares for the community. One idea we’ve heard before is holding an annual remembrance ceremony where community members can come together and celebrate the lives of their loved ones who have passed on. This could be a beautiful example of your services. You could offer grief consultation to guests, or it could turn into an educational event at which speakers discuss related topics and present on connecting concepts like grief or gravestones or gratitude.
Another strategy takes some real dedication, but can be invaluable when it comes to networking. If you want your funeral home to be an important part of the community, you need to be an important part of the community. Join a club or a team, run for community council, go to school board meetings and city days and become a familiar face. People trust those they know, and trust is vital to good marketing.
Find the perfect formula for your funeral home and marketing will become natural and even—dare I say it—fun.