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Heartland Cremation & Burial Society: Utilizing Online Video & Social Media to Maximize Marketing ROI

Background: Heartland Cremation & Burial Society is the Midwest’s cremation specialist and one of the largest providers of cremation and alternative funeral services. The company is the first and only cremation and burial society to offer on-site cremation and the only cremation society licensed in both Kansas and Missouri. The mission of Heartland Cremation & Burial Society (HCBS) is to reduce cremation & funeral costs for HCBS members and their families.

visitors through the site--as well as two online videos about cremation and veterans benefits. Upon completion of the Media Site, Heartland needed to increase online visitors and measure results. The funeral service provider contacted Jennings Public Relations & Advertising (JPRA) to develop a strategic plan to drive traffic to the new site. JPRA leveraged social media relations to create online buzz about heartlandcremation.com. This strategy included -Social Media Relations: • • • •

Marketing Challenge: Heartland’s marketing challenge was to create an unobtrusive place for grieving families to research and explore funeral options. The funeral provider determined that the best marketing venue, for those with a funeral need, was the Internet. This conclusion was based on data suggesting that 73 percent of adults use the Internet and two-thirds of consumers research products and services online prior to making a purchase.

Solution: Heartland hired Prizm, an online video production agency, to produce a caring and compassionate videodriven website. Prizm transformed Heartland’s onedimensional site into a multi-dimensional Web experience by utilizing online video technology. This included a Media Site™ that incorporated interactive Web video, a Human Host™--a virtual host that takes

Search Engine Optimized (SEO, searchable content) press release SEO press release distributed via the Internet through PRWeb and an RSS feed Uploaded online videos on content sharing video sites with key words and links to the site on veoh, youtube, etc. Uploaded press release on content sharing news sites like digg, reddit, etc.

Results: Jennings Public Relations & Advertising achieved the following results by utilizing social media relations for Heartland Cremation & Burial Society: • • • • • •

Sales inquiries through the website tripled First quarter business of 2007 matches business generated in all of 2006 An increase from three requests per week to five requests per day Website hits increased from 747 in January 2007 to 30,811 in March 2007 when the campaign began Website unique visitors increased from 50 in January 2007 to 2,146 in March 2007 Bloggers have picked up the press release and are still writing about it three months later, in June 2007


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