4 Reasons Your Funeral Business Needs A Digital Ambassador

By Peter Billingham

Have You Ever Thought Or Said These Words?

  • I do not understand all this FaceTweet stuff!
  • I do not know a blog from a podcast!

  • I am just too busy!

  • Does my funeral business really need be online? 

  • Isn't it all about personal service face to face with a customer?

These are all too often the comments I hear when talking with Funeral Directors and Funeral Celebrants about the importance of developing an online presence for their businesses.

In this post, I want to share an idea that I have.

I want to ask for your feedback on the development by Death Goes Digital to establish a Digital Ambassadors Program for the funeral industry. This could be the answer for many companies to develop an online "voice" for their brand. This could be the way that you get your business   consumers as they search the web for information.

I want to know what you think.

The Vital Need For Your Funeral Business To Have An Online Presence

In previous posts, I have argued for the vital importance of being online in the funeral industry. Traditionally, people would contact a Funeral Director when they lost someone they loved. The subject of death is not discussed unless it was necessary. Then only in the hushed tones of uncomfortableness. No longer is that case.

The growth around the world of Death Cafes is intriguing to see. In more than 2,000 locations around the world, people gather to drink tea, eat cake and talk about death and end of life planning? There is a surge of growth in online websites and mobile apps to store your photos, videos and final wishes that you want to happen after you die. Before I Die Walls are living art in cities across the world. The proliferation of conversations around death during Dying Matters week in the UK. All these point to the necessity of those in the funeral industry to stay with the trend, if not ahead. Many are behind.

When I speak to Funeral Directors and Celebrants, many are so busy with work that they fail to see the need for change. They miss all around them the change taking place. When suddenly, not too far in the future, it will catch up with them big time. 

Good News For Customers - Bad News For Funeral Directors!

Digital disruption is happening large scale in many "High Street" businesses. The latest to catch my eye this week was Yopa. (Where do they get those names?) Yopa is an online estate agent that sells your house at a fraction of the cost of a local estate agent or realtor at a fixed price. Here is their TV advert.

It's A Sign Of The Times!

What struck me most was the line in the advert that went:

Good news for sellers, bad new for High Street estate agents.

Accompanied by Rob Orbison singing 'It's over, it's over, it's over!! Moreover, a wood chipper churning the For Sale board of High Street estate agents! Oh dear ....!

The truth is digital disruption is impacting all industries. The funeral industry is no exception. Those in the know predict by 2020 50% of businesses in the FTSE 100 will not exist.  Moreover, 50% of those that firms that will be in the FTSE 100 index by 2020 don't even yet exist!

What Can A Funeral Business Do?

You are too busy, I know. It is a challenge to get new business and to serve the customers you have. Let alone be involved in building an online presence. My idea to meet this need is to launch a Digital Ambassador program for Funeral Directors.

What is a Digital Ambassador?

 In your business, you will already have staff that are prolific on social media, a fiend on Facebook and talent on Twitter. They are always hunched over their mobile phones posting this, tweeting that. They may not always be your youngest staff members, but probably mostly are. Right now, you get fed up with them always seemingly on their phone. They cannot seem to be separate from them. What if there was a way that you could utilise that energy for your business instead of for their "virtual friends?" I think that way forward could be for you to appoint a member of your staff to as a Digital Ambassador. 

A Digital Ambassador is someone who:

  • Thinks that mobile technology and digital tools can be used to become more effective at communicating with customers and marketing the business. 
  • Is interested in learning about new technologies and social media.
  • Likes to help other people.

The Digital Ambassador for your funeral business would:

  • Write blog posts
  • Create and post social media onto the companies Facebook and Twitter pages
  • Update the Website
  • Check page rankings for search results
  • Monitors the online reputation of the funeral business
  • Set up and send E-newsletters

And many more vital roles that will need to be part of your online funeral business requirements in the next few years.

My idea is to start building a community of like-minded people from Funeral Directors and Funeral Celebrants across the world. To learn new skills through online training sessions, coaching, one to one mentoring, and mastermind groups how to grow the online presence of a funeral business. 

What do you think of this idea? 

4 Reason Why A Digital Ambassador Would Help Your Funeral Business

By having a dedicated member of staff working on your online marketing and reputation, this critical work would get done.

  1. If digital marketing is no one's job, it gets sidelined and forgotten. 
  2. Investing in your staff builds loyalty and rewards commitment to your business.
  3. Starting now and slowly allocating a little time, it would allow your funeral business to develop, grow and market itself in new ways. As digital disruption becomes normal across the funeral industry, you will be ahead of the curve.
  4. It could be the way that you gain a strategic advantage over the competition in your region.

I Want To Hear From You!

What do you think? Is this something that your firm would be interested in? Do you have staff that you could allocate some time to each week to grow in their knowledge and skills for your business?

Please write to me - drop a comment in the box below and let me know your thoughts, I would love to hear from you?

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Who comes to mind in your funeral business when you think of a member of staff who could be your Digital Ambassador
 

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