How Exactly Can a Funeral Director Create High Quality Content?

Posted April 18, 2018

7 min read

Content can help you educate and inform existing and prospective families. (By “content” we mean blogs, text and visuals on your website, infographics, resource guides, e-books, pamphlets, brochures, emails, newsletters, direct mail pieces, videos, webinars…and more!)

When done right, content can:

  • Drive traffic to your website
  • Help families start to consider end-of-life issues
  • Help families to grieve
  • Help families know more about their options
  • Brand your firm
  • Build your reputation and show your expertise
  • Help you to stay connected to families for a lifetime

So what should you know about creating content? Here is a 3-point checklist.

1. Start with a strategy and stick to it

Just like any marketing effort, be sure you know your objectives and tangible goals. At minimum, your content plan and/or strategy should also answer:

  • Where you will be creating content
  • How you plan on distributing your content
  • Who you are creating it for (be precise!)
  • Why the content will be valuable for families/the community
  • Who will be involved in the content creation process
  • What’s the advantages and disadvantages of our strategy, targeting, and positioning?

A “hub” of content for many funeral homes is often their blog. “Blogging is a must for funeral homes,” says Courtney Gould Miller, COO, Legal Counsel, and Head of Digital Strategy at MKJ Marketing. MKJ Marketing assists thousands of funeral homes, cemeteries, crematories, and death care industry suppliers to help them accomplish all their marketing objectives.

They also offer cutting-edge educational seminars and training programs designed specifically for funeral service and death care professionals.

Gould Miller is a “go-to” resource in digital marketing for funeral homes and cremation businesses, leveraging MKJ’s digital marketing offerings to drive traffic and generate pre-need and at-need leads from search marketing, social media, blogging, email marketing, and online ads.

Gould Miller learned just how valuable a blog and driving online traffic was during her time as a lawyer at O’Melveny & Myers in Los Angeles, California—years prior to her current role at MKJ.

“As a lawyer, I wrote a blog. It was focused on my practice, which was actually Chinese law,” says Miller. Clients started reading the helpful, educational articles that showed her experience and expertise in an easy-to-read, enjoyable format.

Eventually, as her blog gained popularity, she started speaking to others about the value of blogging.

“Blogging was just starting to be discussed in the industry. From there, I ended up speaking at PFDI, Preferred Funeral Directors International,” adds Miller.

The takeaway for her: no matter your industry or profession, people want to read informative, actionable content that’s well-written. If you create that kind of content, people will listen!

In the end, Miller went on to create content for MKJ’s blog, and she continued to teach others about how to leverage a blog.

“Keep in mind there’s such a lack of information about funeral planning, funeral practices, cremation, and more today. So, blogs—or other forms of content such as articles, resources, etc.—fill that gap. This is content that is really important to consumers in choosing funeral homes,” she says.

MKJ’s marketing research even supports that assertion. “In focus groups, we repeatedly find consumers say about our clients’ blogs, ‘Wow, what a resource. I would definitely read how to write an obituary or what to wear to a funeral or what to do to comfort a friend,’” adds Miller. To see examples of MKJ Marketing’s client blogs, visit Krause Funeral Homes’ blog and Cypress Lawn’s blog.

2. Ideate on what will be relevant and educational to customers

Just as Miller showed her expertise through a blog as a lawyer, funeral directors can embrace how a blog can help show your expertise and unique perspective. “It’s a way to position yourself as a resource to families,” explains Miller.

But keep in mind the content you create should not be about you. Rather, the content has to be instructive or enlightening to families. It may sound obvious, but a major mistake people make when they start to blog is to only focus on topics they want to write about (or read about), which tend to be too industry-specific rather than consumer-focused.

Not sure where to start so you can create quality content that’s considered pertinent and engaging to families? Consider the following:

  • What are common questions families ask about funerals, death, or end-of-life issues?
  • How do you help families before, during, and after funerals? What resources do you already have in these stages? Which resources do you wish you could offer?
  • What do you routinely share with families when it comes to your offerings?
  • What kinds of guidance and support do you offer families after a funeral? (How could that be captured via content?)
  • What do you wish all families knew when it comes to pre-planning or planning a funeral in general?
  • What information should every family know before meeting with you, ideally?

These are just a few examples of questions that may inspire content that would be informative to families.

It’s not about sharing a diary and it’s not about “selling” to your families; instead the focus is on showcasing your valuable knowledge and expertise. Before creating every piece of content, you should try to think like your families. Then, before ever hitting publish, you can ask: does this help the consumer? Is this written with their experience in mind?

3. Hire help to fill the gaps

Now that you have a sound strategy and your content is solving families’ potential problems, it may be time to hire an outside firm for help.

Your team may include any or all of the following, depending on your needs:

  • Designer
  • Developer
  • Writer
  • Editor
  • Strategist
  • SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Specialist
  • Media buying specialist
  • PR

A content team—which can be one of these areas or can include all of these areas—can help you with: ideation, choosing the type of content you’ll create, the production of the content, any optimization, distribution/promotion, and measuring after. This is just a glimpse at some of the services offered by MKJ Marketing, which was the first marketing firm in the funeral profession. “At MKJ, we have all the expertise in-house to make your all your marketing, including online, represent the quality and expertise of your brand,” says Gould Miller. (As a true partner to clients, they were also the first to create television ads, and other high quality videos, for funeral homes at an affordable price.)

A few reasons you may hire outside marketing support: First, if your firm’s team doesn’t have the capacity to create content to begin with. Second, you may look outside your firm if you need to kick-start your marketing efforts. Also consider how outside help can sometimes be more efficient than your team could ever be. Last, they should be bringing a specific specialty to your firm, helping to stay on top of trends and best practices so that you can showcase your expertise and firm in the best light possible.

One of Gould Miller’s many tips for when hiring outside marketing services? Be sure to share what’s working and what’s not working in the firm. Also share what you are hearing from customers and what their experience is like with your firm. That’s where everyone can really get involved with marketing, says Miller. “All of that information can really inform our strategy, because it should never be a “one-size-fits-all” approach,” she adds.

Looking for more marketing inspiration? Gould Miller hosts MKJ Marketing’s podcast, “Next 10” on Funeral Radio, interviewing guests and discussing where the next decade in funeral service will take us. And be sure to check out MKJ Marketing’s blog, full of the latest marketing tips and trends to help your firm compete. Funeral homes and cemeteries can even request a free Digital Report Card to learn how their online presence stacks up, and where to focus time and resources for growing call volume.

Improve How you Communicate, Collaborate & Coordinate

Finally, you can take your work with you thanks to CRäKN! As the simplest way to manage your funeral home, CRäKN gives you access all your information anywhere, anytime, without having to download any software.

CRäKN will transform how you manage, track, and optimize the entire funeral process for your families. Learn more about CRäKN today.

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