notebook and pencil

 

Written by Jenny Goldade

 

Couldn’t make it to all the sessions you wanted to at the 2019 ICCFA Convention? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with our recaps!

 

Below are a few of the informative sessions and speakers we attended at the ICCFA Convention.

 

DIY Facebook & Social Media Marketing

This session presented by Robin Heppell focused on your funeral home’s social media marketing strategies.

 

Be Consistent Across All of Your Social Media Platforms.

Your funeral home’s social media accounts should all reflect your brand. Use the same profile and cover photos, as well as the same meaningful username that’s easy to identify as your funeral home.

 

Share Original Content That Engages Your Readers.

You can share obituaries to your funeral home’s social media pages, but don’t stop there. Having a blog on your funeral home’s website is a great way to have original, engaging content to share with your social media followers. You also can help families share obituaries to their own social media profiles by providing directions on your website.

 

Repurpose Your Content.

Make the most of your funeral home’s content! There are four main ways people take in content: watching, reading, listening, looking. You can meet all of your followers’ needs by repurposing a blog post into a video and including captions. Or repurpose a blog about funeral planning into an infographic.

 

From Clicks to Cases

Presenter Andy Lopez shared how your funeral home can create an effective digital marketing strategy.

 

Create an Effective Digital Marketing Strategy.

Your funeral home needs to have an effective content marketing strategy in place. This can include educational blogs, videos to humanize your funeral home, and social media post and ads. But don’t feel like your funeral home needs to take all this on yourself. You can find a digital marketing partner that will get to know your brand and target audience.

 

Don’t Forget About In-Person Interactions.

However, you can’t just focus on a good digital strategy and forget about in-person interactions. Your staff should be trained to know how to talk to people who are coping with a loss. Things like using the appropriate language and tone of voice can make all the difference to someone grieving a loss. By having a training program in place, you can make sure that your staff is meeting and exceeding your expectations.

 

The Pains and Gains of Entering the Hispanic Market

This session presented by Salvador Perches discussed how to cater to the Hispanic market. With the Hispanic population in the U.S. increasing, your funeral home needs to be prepared to meet their funeral wants and needs.

 

Cater to Their Needs.

If there’s a large Hispanic population in your area or if it’s expected to increase, you need to know how to cater to them. Not only should you learn about their funeral traditions, but your staff should also consider learning Spanish or hiring a Spanish speaking employee. You can take an online course or class at a local college to get started.

 

Learn Their Funeral Traditions.

Although traditions vary depending on specific demographics, which you should research for your own community, some typical funeral traditions are longer viewings and personalized funerals with food and drinks. Families may bring dishes to pass or would want a catering option. For example, Lopez shared the story of a family who turned a casket into a cooler for drinks. This idea might not be right for everyone, but there are endless personalization ideas.

 

Follow the Money: How Deathcare Businesses are Investing in the New Future

Presenter Doug Gober shared ways your funeral home can remain successful in the future. He highlighted three ways your funeral home can invest in the future:

 

1. Invest in New Opportunities.

Take advantage of new ways to get involved in your community. For example, several funeral homes are investing in event centers so they can become the go-to business for celebrating life’s special occasions. Whether it’s celebrating a life, marriage, or another significant event, your funeral home can embrace the opportunity to grow.

 

2. Invest in Your Funeral Home.

Find innovative ways to invest in your funeral home, such as building a crematory or expanding your services to offer green funerals or pet funerals. With the funeral profession and your community constantly changing, you want to make sure that you’re keeping up and not falling behind.

 

3. Invest in Your People.

Most importantly, invest in your people. Make sure that your staff has all the training and knowledge needed to be successful. And don’t be afraid to bring on new members to your staff and collaborate with professionals, whether it’s a celebrant, grief counselor, or adding a therapy dog to your staff.

 

Keynote Speaker: Mindy Corporon

Keynote speaker Mindy Corporon shared her personal story with tragedy and how your funeral home can work through it.

 

If one of your employees experiences a tragedy, it’s important to have a plan. Of course, it’s impossible to plan for tragedies, but you can have a general plan in place. For example, you should have a meeting with the person before they return to work and invite a mental health professional to the meeting, as well. People often go back to work too soon, so they’re there physically but not mentally.

 

Corporon said that you should practice ABLE: ask, believe, listen, and encourage. For ask, don’t just ask them “How are you?” Instead, ask “How is your brain?” Believe what they say to you and if they feel they need more time or want to come back to work. Make sure to listen to them and your other employees in the office.

 

Finally, encourage and support them. For example, if their loved one died of cancer, your staff can show your support by participating in a cancer fundraiser walk together.

 

Did you attend any of these sessions at the ICCFA Convention? Let us know your thoughts by commenting below!

 

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