They’re so much more than clickbait. Discover how digital display ads can help your funeral home stay top of mind with your community.

By Tracie Martin

Tuesday night in your town, someone’s son got a midnight call about his father. This morning, their neighbor scrolled obituaries on Facebook and started thinking.

Every day, at any time, someone in your community discovers they need the kind of services only a funeral director can provide. In this critical moment, you want your funeral home name to pop up when they ask the question: “Who can help?”

Experienced funeral directors know: To get that coveted top-of-mind placement, you need thorough market saturation – your funeral home name, tucked into any and every place your families are spending time. But if you think you’ve got your bases covered with a website and some direct mailers, you’re missing one of the most cost-effective marketing tools available today.

Read on to discover how digital display ads can help make sure your funeral home is the first name people think of when they need end-of-life services.

Growing brand awareness ranks as the #1 marketing concern for businesses in 2020.

Stand Taller in the Community

­For need-based providers, like funeral directors, the business that has the strongest presence in the community wins. It’s why funeral directors all over America sponsor pancake suppers and place billboard ads. None of these things work alone, but together,­ they create the kind of impression that helps tip a decision maker in your direction.

Today, though, “Where people are spending time” means a lot more than just the time they spend walking around town. Because most of them are spending so much more time inside. Even before the pandemic, 97 percent of people learned more about a local company online than anywhere else (SEO Tribunal). Covid-19 has only accelerated these trends.

Luckily, the internet has you covered.

“When included in a marketing campaign, digital display ads make consumers feel like your brand is ‘everywhere,’” says Courtney Gould Miller, Chief Strategy Officer of MKJ Marketing.

Think of digital display ads as your online billboards, placed right where your community spends their time right now: on their own screens.

This kind of in-your-face presence translates into direct results. The average digital display ad has a click-through rate of .5 percent (SmartInsights.com). That might seem low, but remember: CTR measures how many people click after they’ve viewed an ad. For each click your ad receives, 200 other people saw it, with all the same branding value of any print ad.

That’s a lot of people.

And because most digital display ads placed by a funeral home are hyperlocal and Zip-focused, those people who saw your ad are 200 community members, not random internet searchers.

In other words, these are the same people you place a church bulletin ad to reach. And you’re reaching them with an ad that shows up in their news feed whenever they look at it. Unlike a direct mail piece, another household member can’t throw it away before they’ve seen it.

Building brand awareness and reach was the #1 reason businesses placed a digital ad in 2020.

How Will I know It’s Working?

To understand the true value of a digital display ads, it’s important to remember that their impact, like many of your marketing efforts, is cumulative and assistive.

Digital display ads act as boosters for all the other parts of your marketing platform. In other words, those 200 people who saw your ad are now more likely to:

• Visit your website

• Search for your funeral home on Google

• Register for a pre-planning seminar.

It doesn’t matter whether they actually clicked the ad or not—your name is still crossing in front of their eyes. “You don’t get a click-through rate at the Labor Day Parade,” says Ryan Thogmartin of Disrupt Media. “But you still show up and wave anyway. Digital ads work the same way.”

The same way, that is, but better. Some digital display ads can even find – or re-target – people who’ve already visited your website, or locals who are searching around any number of end-of-life topics. You want to find people in your Zip code online right now searching for memorial music? Google can do that. And with Google processing 40,000 searches per secondthere’s a lot of people to find. Your local chamber of commerce directory can’t beat that.

Oh, and if you want anyone in your metro region to see an ad for your funeral home while they’re reading online obituaries: There’s a digital display ad for that, too.

"You don’t get CTR at the Labor Day Parade, but you still show up and wave."

Ryan Thogmartin, CEO, Disrupt Media.

I’m sold. What next? 

Placing a digital ad can be as easy as a quick call to Google (yes, they really do have a phone number), but marketing professionals agree: If you want to get the most benefits from your ad buy, consulting with someone knowledgeable is helpful. “Partnering with a company that knows these mediums can allow you to have a strategy and defined goals,” Thogmartin says, so that “the money spent is used more efficiently, with a better return.” Gould Miller agrees: “You need to make sure you’re getting the brand awareness you’re looking for.”

Want more advice on how to use display ads to build your brand 24/7/365, with returns you feel across your entire marketing budget? Contact your marketing agency or email us at [email protected]