Two Men write their marketing plans on a whiteboard.

 

Written by Jacob Terranova

 

Marketing today evolves at an incredibly fast rate. We’ve seen more changes in marketing in the past 2 years than we’ve seen in the past 50 years.

 

You can be sure that 2018 will bring about even more changes and trends in marketing. How will these new trends impact your funeral home’s marketing plan? Let’s break them down below.

 

Purpose-Driven Marketing

Experts are saying that purpose-driven marketing will be the future of modern marketing, listing it as one of 2018’s marketing megatrends. But what exactly is it?

 

Ann Gynn at Content Marketing Institute calls purpose-driven marketing “a way for a business or brand to bond with a target audience based on their shared needs and interests — including interest in supporting a worthy cause.” Studies show that people are loyal to local businesses that have a purpose, especially among younger generations.

 

The good news for funeral homes is that purpose-driven marketing should be an easy trend to adapt and embrace. It essentially means being actively involved in the welfare and betterment of your community — something many funeral homes already excel at. But purpose-driven marketing takes it one step further. As Gynn later states, purpose-driven marketing also involves “creating content around their efforts in a way that will both engage their audience and drive them to participate.”

 

That means your funeral home should not only seek out ways to be actively involved in the community, it should commit to telling engaging stories about your positive community impact. Download our free guide on community involvement for a year’s worth of ideas to engage your community.

 

Let’s say your funeral home already has a community-driven purpose it’s committed to. How should you go about sharing your positive stories in engaging ways? That actually leads us to our next big marketing trend for 2018.

 

Social Media Marketing

Some funeral homes have been dragging their feet when it comes to social media marketing. But 2018 is the year social media marketing is expected to change the game for local businesses. A report from Infusionsoft found that 71% of small businesses plan on using social media content to acquire new leads.

 

Their social media channel of choice? Facebook. 75% of respondents said Facebook will be a key part of their social media strategy.

 

And Facebook is a smart choice for funeral homes looking to share their purpose and community-driven stories. It allows you to build a following by sharing stories, pictures, videos, and engage in conversations with families in real time.

 

Revival of Retro Marketing

Here’s another interesting trend expected for 2018. The return of “retro” marketing, specifically direct mail and billboard advertising.

 

Business2Community lists billboard advertising as one of their top trends for small business marketing this year. They state that “the format is becoming more flexible and relevant, as well as successful at driving online traffic.”

 

Direct Mail also is seeing somewhat of a comeback. New studies show that:

  • Direct mail has a higher response rate than email marketing.
  • It’s viewed as more personal, more trusted, and more preferred than other marketing efforts.
  • And here’s an interesting stat. The overall volume of direct mail being sent to people has declined drastically from 2008 to 2016. That means mailboxes are less crowded than ever, giving your funeral home a unique way to stand out from competitors and engage families through the mail.

Paid Search Marketing

For small and local businesses — like a funeral home — paid search is an extremely successful method of driving traffic to your website, marketing new services, and ultimately increasing conversions and leads.

 

Because of how effective paid search marketing, such as Google Ads, has been for small business, you can expect to see some big improvements and better features roll out this year.

 

Google Ads alone plans on releasing at least a dozen new changes — all of which will make it easier for your funeral home to reach new families this year. To get a head start, download our free guide on PPC advertising specifically for funeral homes.

 

Marketing Automation

Ok, so we have all these new marketing trends. And we know what you’re probably thinking. As a funeral director, your free time is already nonexistent, how can you ever expect to implement these new trends? Well, you’re not alone.

 

One of the biggest challenges for small businesses has been finding the time for marketing. But that’s expected to change in 2018. Marketing automation — the process of automating marketing efforts to reduce workloads, improve time management, increase marketing efficiency, and ultimately bring in more traffic and leads — is expected to get easier and more effective this year.

 

Check out these 6 reasons why your funeral home should start using marketing automation this year.

 

Is your funeral home ready for 2018? See the difference a modern website can have for your funeral home. Call us today at 866-372-9372 or fill out the form below for a free live demonstration!