Founded in 1873 and sitting on over 160 acres of land, Beechwood is the National Cemetery of Canada and also our National Military Cemetery. Beechwood offers funeral, burial and cremation services and is supported by the non-profit Beechwood Foundation.
A few years ago, we were approached by Beechwood in order to help them modernize their marketing and communications. The bereavement industry is known for spending the majority of their marketing budgets on traditional marketing channels like print and radio ads. In order to connect with a modern audience on mobile devices, Beechwood wanted to see if they could do things differently. Instead of spending budget on activities with little attributable return on investment, Beechwood wanted to see if they could embrace digital and content marketing strategies in ways that would create an attributable, positive return on investment.
We developed a series of five main user personas for Beechwood’s products and services that include specific target demographic segments and cultural groups such as military families.
Once we had a clear understanding of our target audiences, we developed a full content strategy for Beechwood, mapping out top, middle and bottom of funnel content for each persona.
To support Beechwood’s new focus on content and community, beechwoodottawa.ca was redesigned and launched with the Hubspot Marketing Platform fully integrated. Key features of the new site include pages for each of the communities they serve and Beechwood events to increase engagement.
We also built a robust online memorial system allowing individuals to post pictures, leave comments and notes of remembrance for their loved ones, purchase and send flowers, donate to different charities and obtain memorial service information in a clear manner.
Beechwood is owned by The Beechwood Cemetery Foundation and operates on a not-for-profit basis. As a means of increasing donations to the foundation, we created an online donation platform integrated with Hubspot that would allow users to make a donation to the foundation and/or other Beechwood initiatives directly through the website and obtain a custom tax receipt.
We designed a series of ebooks that are available for download on Hubspot landing pages so that we can better track and convert website visitors into leads. For example, we helped create an ebook about pre-planning that is featured prominently on the website and used in digital advertising and social media campaigns.
Upon launching the new website, we also updated the designs for many of Beechwood’s marketing materials including their quarterly magazine: The Beechwood Way, various community brochures, banners and bus shelter ads.
In order to assist in their community outreach and event marketing, we sourced a number of unique promotional products including umbrellas, notepads, envelopes and paper cups. We even designed a custom bean bag toss game.
Within a year of launching the new website and Hubspot integration, Beechwood has recouped their entire investment in our services from additional revenue. Their online content offers have converted between 8% and 25% of people who view the pages, which in turn has generated an increase in foot traffic and over 1750 new leads for Beechwood’s sales staff to follow up with. Beechwood has also been able to move away from third party services, leading to a yearly cost savings of $50,000.
Since launching a custom online donation platform, more than 60% of donations to the Beechwood Cemetery Foundation are received digitally as opposed to through the mail.
Director of Marketing, Communications and Community Outreach