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How Advertising Works

What Is Facebook?

At the turn of the 21st century, just about everybody got the newspaper. Early in the morning, delivery people brought the paper to almost every house and apartment. Newsstands kept the papers ready for sale in huge stacks. Restaurants sold them for 25 cents a copy out of metal boxes found at their entryways. The boxes had see-through windows displaying that day’s cover and headlines. If you stayed in a three-star or better hotel, the paper would be dropped in front of your room’s door, usually hitting the floor with a thud that would wake you up. In many cities, there was also an afternoon edition of the paper.

Newspapers were printed on larger-sized paper than you see today. And the papers were satisfyingly thick—especially the Sunday edition, which was filled with great news content, special inserts, and lots of advertising. Yes, it seemed like everyone got the newspaper, everyone read the newspaper, then everyone recycled their newspapers because recycling was common in 2000. Indeed, newspapers were everywhere, and everyone thought of them as the media of record.

Here’s a partial list of the many things you would typically find in a newspaper in the year 2000—especially in a big, thick Sunday newspaper:

● World and national news.

● State and regional news.

● Weather.

● Local news and stories of interest.

● Pictures of local folks.

● Opinions and editorials.

● Wedding announcements and anniversaries.

● Obituaries.

● Comics and other sections devoted to humor.

● Puzzles.

● Gossip.

● Sports.

● Items for sale by readers.

● Real estate ads.

● And, most importantly, business advertising.

2000 was Newspapers’ Peak Year

According to the Newspaper Association of America, the industry reached its sales peak around the year 2000, amassing $67 billion in advertising revenue in that year. By 2014, however, ad sales had plummeted to $16.4 billion, reflecting a major loss of readers. That’s a 75% decrease in ad sales and, no doubt, sales and readership are down even further today. What could be behind this amazing and dramatic decline, and why are today’s newspapers so small and thin? The availability of online news has contributed substantially to the circulation drop in printed news, and the ease of digital delivery has created strong new competition. However, the two milestones that have played the most significant role in the newspaper’s decline are the following:

1. The opening of Facebook to everyone aged 13 and older with a valid email address, on September 26, 2006.

2. The invention of the iPhone/smartphone, which was Time magazine’s Invention of the Year in 2007.

Today, everybody seems to have their head buried in their phone, calling or texting friends, reading content, listening to music, watching and making videos, taking and sharing pictures, playing games, and interacting with apps. According to Andrew Lipsman of comScore, Inc. (Lipsman, 2017), the average person spent 2hours and 51 minutes on mobile devices in 2017, and according to The Motley Fool (Levy, 2018), the average device user spent a whopping 41 minutes per day on Facebook.

Facebook is a free social networking website that makes it easy for users to connect and share with family and friends online. Here’s a partial list of the things that Facebook users share on the platform:

● World and national news.

● State and regional news.

● Weather.

● Local news and stories of interest.

● Pictures of local folks.

● Opinions and editorials.

● Wedding announcements and anniversaries.

● Obituaries.

● Comics and other sections devoted to humor.

● Puzzles.

● Gossip.

● Sports.

● Items for sale by readers.

● Real estate ads.

● And, most importantly, business advertising.

Note that the newspaper and Facebook lists are identical! People can access Facebook on various electronic devices. They can access it on their laptop and desktop computers and their tablets, but the most common delivery system is the smartphone. Do you know anyone without a smartphone? Maybe so, but it’s probably just one or two people. So, as previously noted, the key takeaway from this book is:

“Facebook is Your Local Newspaper”

Back when the newspaper reached just about everyone, it was the indisputable leader in local media. Your funeral home may not have been happy with the cost of advertising or the costs to families who wanted their loved ones’ obituaries printed in the paper, but you had to admit that the newspaper was incredibly powerful, effective, and convenient.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could have that power, effectiveness, and convenience available to you again but at much less cost? You do! It’s called Facebook. By discovering Facebook’s role in the media mix and understanding how thousands of people living around your funeral home habitually read it multiple times a day, you will want to embrace the metaphor that Facebook is now your local newspaper. By advertising in Facebook as described in this book, you’ll be able to persuade, inform, and remind Facebook users about how important your funeral home has been to the rich history of your community and how the people who work in your funeral home are passionately committed to providing valuable services to the families in your care.

To learn more about How Facebook Works For Funeral Homes, visit our website, postandboost.com.

Bill A Johnston is Owner/President of Post and Boost, Inc., and is a Funeral Home Facebook Expert. You can reach Bill at 336-516-9163.

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Boosting Post on Facebook

Why Should Funeral Homes Give Money To Facebook?

Why Should Funeral Homes Give Facebook Money?

Funeral Home Facebook Expert Bill A Johnston explains why Funeral Homes should give Facebook money. 

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Boosting Post on Facebook

Should Funeral Homes Post Obituaries On Their Facebook Page?

Should Funeral Homes Post Obituaries to their Facebook page?

This is a question I get all the time. The answer may surprise you! 

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5 Mistakes Funeral Homes Make on Facebook

Mistake #1

Are you thinking people are visiting your Facebook page just like they visit your website?

They don’t!  People will go to your website to quickly and easily find an obituary because that’s one of the things it’s designed to do.  Facebook is different. Facebook users are going to their newsfeed and reading posts by friends and business pages like yours. Rarely do they go to your business page.

We did a snapshot of 10 pages we manage with more than 1,000 likes and spending around $250 a month on Facebook advertising. For every 1 person that visited a business page, a “post” from the page reached 28 people. Said differently, in this study, more than 96% of these Facebook users learned about an obituary or their funeral home in their newsfeed.

What do we do? The objective is to get in your ideal Facebook user’s newsfeed! We create posts that tell the story about your funeral home brand, your people, and your services. After creating target audiences, we boost those posts to the thousands of people who live around your funeral home.

To learn more about How Facebook Works For Funeral Homes, visit our website, postandboost.com.

Bill A Johnston is Owner/President of Post and Boost, Inc., and is a Funeral Home Facebook Expert. You can reach Bill at 336-516-9163, or by email: bill@postandboost.com.


Categories
How Advertising Works

Do You Know How Advertising Works?

As a 25-year veteran of the radio industry, I have vast experience in knowing how to make radio advertising work. It’s no different than any other form of mass media including TV, newspapers, and billboards. Every campaign should be properly written and adhere to Four Pillars of Successful Advertising1 (i.e., how advertising works).

  1. Reach.

You have to consider if the advertising campaign will reach enough people in the market that you serve. The key thought here is reaching a “critical mass.” According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are 863.8 deaths per 100,000 population per year (National Center for Health Statistics, 2019), so if you’re an operator in a market where there are 100,000 people, and assuming about 30% of the market is in our target demographic of adults 55+, and assuming they make the majority of funeral purchases, then your universe is around 30,000 people.

If you’re buying advertising that reaches only 5,000 people in the demographic, then this is not a critical mass because theoretically, within that group, there would be only 144 death calls. If your funeral home does 500 calls a year, then 5,000 would simply not be enough. A critical mass in this example might be at least 20,000. The key thought here is you should feel confident that the number of people you’re reaching on a regular basis is large enough to “move the needle” in the direction of advertising success.

  • Frequency.

If the ad appears only once, it won’t be effective. In the old days of media, there was a “Rule of 3,” meaning that if you reached enough people at least three times in any given week, the ad would work. But today, when consumers are bombarded with 3,000 to 5,000 advertisements in a single day, the “Rule of 3” may not be enough. Still, it’s a great place to start. In the example in the “Reach” paragraph, if you reached 20,000 people at least three times in one week, that would be an excellent week of advertising.

  • Consistency.

This is the second biggest weakness in most local advertising campaigns. Far too often, advertisers will use “try and buy” advertising. They may think, let’s try this for a month or two and see if it works. However, if you want to reach enough people enough times a week, your campaign must continue for several months or, in the funeral industry, several years.

  • Copy.

This is the biggest weakness in local advertising campaigns—changing copy on a regular basis to keep the ad fresh. In my radio days, we used a “Rule of 40,” meaning that when an ad ran 40 times, it needed to be replaced with a different ad. Changing ad copy is relatively easy on radio, but not so on television because of production costs. Changing copy can also be done easily in newspapers, but it’s very expensive on billboards—unless you’re using electronic billboards.

This was an excerpt from my book, “Why Facebook Works For Funeral Homes and Everything Else Doesn’t”.  For your own copy, CLICK HERE.

To learn more about How Facebook Works For Funeral Homes, visit our website, postandboost.com.

Bill A Johnston is Owner/President of Post and Boost, Inc., and is a Funeral Home Facebook Expert. You can reach Bill at 336-516-9163, or by email: bill@postandboost.com.