6+ Video Marketing Tips for Funeral Directors
Posted June 19, 2019
9 min read
Video can be a highly impactful way you can educate families and build trust with them. Video content is very persuasive and it also humanizes and helps you to tell compelling stories.
What’s more: so many social media channels are pushing video content and helping you by serving it to more people than purely-text or visual-only posts. Knowing you can generate a ton of interest and engagement with this form of content, here are 6 tips to help you be successful with video marketing:
1. Decide your format
A great place to start is to know the purpose behind your video. Are you trying to share the history of your firm? Are you educating families on a particular issue, topic, or FAQ? Or are you explaining one or more of your service offerings?
That can help narrow down the type of video you want to create, and the kind of behavior or action you want to happen after watching the video. Ultimately, you can have a variety of videos for your funeral home, but this can help you start to narrow your focus.
HubSpot has created a comprehensive article that details many of the different types of videos that are effective marketing pieces. A few of those formats include:
- Brand video: This video might be a part of a larger campaign your funeral home is running. Based on that larger theme, this video is likely aimed at driving new family inquiries or increasing awareness in the community.
- Event-driven video: This type of video is aimed at increasing awareness and visibility for an event. Or, if it’s an event recap, you might be highlighting the success of the event, which can help you market your next community event.
- Educational video: A video can help you explain offerings, explain misunderstandings or myths you face, and it can help you put your expertise on display. It’s not about selling; it’s about showing and educating people on their options.
- Explainer video: Similarly, this video is intended to show a solution to a problem.
- Animated video: Animated videos can be a great format to show and explain ideas, concepts, or problems and solutions. These ideas tend to be abstract, but the animated video can be great at getting the takeaway or the solution across effectively.
- Live video: Whether it be a presentation, a Q&A, a talk, a panel discussion, or tour, this often gives people a behind-the-scenes or “exclusive” feel when they tune-in.
2. Honor your story
Many times, the value you are delivering is in form of the story you are telling. If you’re showing the history of your firm or what makes you unique, the way you’ll connect with people is through the story you share.
A few tips:
- What do you wish people knew about your firm? Why should they choose you? A compelling answer to these may be the start of your story!
- Share your history and how that’s shaped your values or your approach. Often your story is rooted here.
- Hone in on the emotions you are trying to evoke. Talking about those emotions can help you pull out key details you want to include in the narrative.
- Recognize what is interesting and compelling to you, versus what is interesting to families.
- Think about what you tell families when they ask questions about your firm. The questions you hear might be areas of opportunity for you as you tell your story.
- You don’t always have to start your story in present day. It may start at the beginning (when the firm started), or perhaps it starts in the “middle.”
- Get honest and vulnerable. That’s where many stories are born.
- Be mindful of what you show, versus what you say/tell. It is video, after all, so make sure you show as much as you can, being mindful that most stories are so powerful because of the emotion they evoke.
- Aim to have a clear beginning, middle, and end to the story.
3. Start with a strong hook
Since you only have a few seconds to capture people’s attention, don’t overcomplicate the start of your video.
A good formula to stick to is to quickly tell viewers what’s to come—whether that be visually, with audio, or a combination of those methods. Once you start with this strong hook—one that tells them why exactly they should keep watching—now they are interested and will stop scrolling (2).
4. Don’t neglect the details
Once you put all the work into creating your video, the work isn’t done.
If and when you upload your video to YouTube, Vimeo, Instagram, your website, Facebook, or wherever it will be shared, do your best to optimize every detail of how the video will be shown to viewers.
This list is by no means comprehensive, but here are a few areas to be sure to look into:
- Create or add a video thumbnail. Many times you can upload a specific thumbnail for your video or you can select an existing screen to act as your video thumbnail (or cover). Choose a screen that will entice people to watch the video. Many viewers will only see the thumbnail, and from that image alone, they will decide whether or not they will hit play and watch.
- Create a compelling title for the video. Usually the file name of your video will need to be replaced with a compelling headline that shares exactly what the video is about. It should be concise, but also informative. If you upload a series of videos, consider using a consistent format or style for each video.
- When appropriate, add subtitles to your video if you haven’t already. Today, as much as 85% of video on social media platforms is viewed with the sound off (3). Be prepared for your video to be played with the sound off, and if they are interested enough, then they may turn that sound on.
- Take the time to add a description to the video. If you upload to YouTube or another platform that gives you time to add a text description, don’t treat the text portion as an after-thought, as many make the mistake of doing.
You spent so much time on the video, you also want to be sure the caption or the description is just as thought-out and strategic! Generally, you want to craft text that helps people find the video, learn in basic terms what the content of the video is about, and you want to entice them to click play, or to continue watching to learn more. Make sure your first few lines of text get to the point. Use search-friendly, natural-sounding language when you can.
5. Include an appropriate call-to-action
What’s the desired outcome you want from your video? When you documented the purpose of your video, that was likely captured. If you want people to reach out for more information, do you prompt them to do so? If you want them to visit your website, do you make sure your website is listed or linked for them to easily click through? If you want them to share, do you encourage a visual or prompt that suggests they do just that?
The point is that you want to include an appropriate “call to action” that urges and encourages people to take the desired action you want them to after watching your video. A few other examples of potential calls-to-action you may have include:
- Follow your page/channel
- Subscribe to your channel
- Comment or share the video
- Email the video to a friend or loved one
- Watch other content you’ve created
- Sign up for an upcoming event
- Sign up for a blog or newsletter to continue to get content from you (1, 2)
Remember, the call-to-action isn’t always about having them call you for a sale right at that moment. Instead, with many videos, it’s often more about engagement, awareness, and building a community for your funeral home. In the long-run, that builds loyalty and can result in new business for you.
6. Make sure you distribute your video
Be prepared to put a good deal of effort into how you share your video content. What you want to avoid: creating a video, and then putting in on your website, and forgetting to share it anywhere else ever again!
Think of how you can best share your video on all your social media channels. That doesn’t mean to share it the same way, at the same time, across all your channels.
Instead, find out how to tweak and possibly edit your video for each channel, if you haven’t already done so. Then you can use descriptions and captions that are best suited for each platform.
In many cases, you can tweak and repurpose a video and it will feel like new, fresh content when you share it across your various platforms.
Think of other opportunities you have to share your video over time. Do you have a blog post where you can do a text version of the video, but also link to the video itself? Or can you use an audio-only version somewhere?
Do you have partners that would be willing to share the video or a version of the video on their blog or in their social media channels? Is the video worthy of sending to local media outlets? Or, do you have an email list that would be appropriate to reach out to with a version of the video?
Again, you don’t necessarily want to do all of these at one time or within a condensed period of time; instead, be strategic about how you can best share your video content, across channels and platforms, over time.
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