Church Marketing 101: Creating a Church Marketing Plan
Why is church marketing important? It may seem a little taboo to think that churches need a marketing strategy because it makes it almost feel like a business in a sense. But marketing your church and having a plan in place is imperative to church growth.
When you’re thinking about how to spread the word to not only get people to join your church but how to share the gospel with as many people as possible, you’ll want to tell your story. Who is your church? Make it real. People want to know what your church’s vision and/or mission is. In your marketing, explain why people should attend, join, and get involved. More people will want to do this when they understand your story as a church and how you’re serving others.
Most potential attendees aren’t going to simply show up to church on Sunday without doing some research beforehand. That’s where creating an effective church marketing plan comes into play. Not only do you want to attract new members, but you want your current congregation to feel connected and engaged as well.
Here are some factors to consider as you build out your church marketing plan:
You’ll want people to be able to easily recognize your church. One way to do this is to establish specific branding. Create a logo that will be used throughout promotions, on your website, and everywhere in between. When people see it, they’ll instantly recognize and associate your church with the logo. Choose a color scheme that is syndicated throughout your marketing materials. Even image choice plays into branding. Do you want photos and graphics to be people-centered? Nature oriented? A combination? No matter what your team decides, having consistent branding through logos, graphics, and colors will make a difference.
With billions of people around the globe utilizing social media every day, you definitely want to implement a social strategy into your marketing plan. Be sure your church and ministry are on various platforms, like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Depending on the age and demographics of your congregation, different platforms will have more appeal to various groups of people. Of course, post consistently and authentically, but also consider using paid advertisements, particularly for larger events or holidays, like Christmas and Easter. Don’t forget that you can also engage a large online community through livestreaming and posting your sermons on social media.
Your church website plays an integral role in being an inviting space for newcomers and members alike. Before somebody attends a new church for the first time, they will more than likely browse the web for more information. So, you’ll want your website to be informative, easy to navigate, and notify visitors of any upcoming events or ways to get involved. CloverSites can help you create a user-friendly, church-centered website.
Similarly, your church app is a great tool to get your congregation involved. They can utilize it during service to give online or view sermon notes. You can post church announcements and events that will entice attendees to keep returning and get further involved. With Clover, you can integrate the Ministry One church app to connect with your community.
Though much of the younger generations prefer to receive their news and updates via social media, many people still favor email communication. Consider setting up a consistent email marketing strategy that informs your congregants about upcoming events or provides a link to the sermon they may have missed. Don’t underestimate the power of email and newsletters, as many people will refer back to these to find information from the message on Sunday, or they may want to find out more about how to get involved in midweek ministry.
A great way to attract more people to your church to receive the good news of Christ is to offer events, even ones that are more laid back and not full of church jargon. There are many people who will attend an event who wouldn’t necessarily step foot inside a church building on a Sunday. This could be what gets them in the door to realize they actually do want to continue to attend. Add event registration to your website and promote on social media and through email.
More than just Sundays, outreach is a great way to get members involved in volunteering and to also bring awareness to your community about your church. Consider ways to bless the city in which your church resides. The more your community sees your church serving and being a blessing, the more likely they are to also want to be committed. Sundays are like the huddle for a football team. Outreach and midweek ministry are where your team gets to go out and make plays.
Consider implementing a blog within your church marketing system. Many times, people are browsing the internet for answers, ones that your church can supply through written blogs online. Then, tie in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategies, like keywords and back linking, in order to drive more people to your church website. Once there, they can find out more about your church and learn when/where to attend and how to get involved.
Though direct mail might seem more outdated with all of our access to technology, many people still enjoy receiving letters and postcards in the mail. Consider using printed mailers to invite the community to join you for major holidays like Christmas or Easter or any other big events your church might host.
Word of Mouth
Don’t forget about the tried-and-true method of word of mouth. The majority of people who try new products or attend events do so because somebody they know told them about it. Get your congregation involved in the process and encourage them to invite a family member or friend to join them for church or an upcoming event.
Church marketing doesn’t have to be intricately complicated. Start by implementing one process at a time and see how that impacts the number of people attending on Sundays or coming to midweek events. Of course, the more detailed your plan becomes, the more you’ll want to have in place, like a promotion schedule and where (which platforms) and when you’ll be marketing. Remember, you’re not just inviting people to a mediocre event, you are encouraging them to participate in a life that has been purposed for them by God. When you are passionate about your ministry, the marketing comes easy.