Whatever product/service you are trying to promote, it is not much different than any other type of business or service. Like any type of marketing, you want to define the message that you want to get across and the target audience. Once you have achieved that, you can use specific media or marketing tools to try and convey your exact message.
Church marketing is not exactly a phrase that is very common because churches don’t want to be seen as “selling” religion. To stay relevant and exist in his technological world, any type of organization needs to have some level of branding and marketing. So, when used effectively, it does not need to be seen as tactless and if you are trying to add members to your church, marketing can be a powerful tool to help your ministry succeed.
Think of church marketing as a way to offer people a choice, it is a way to get interested visitors and offer people to explore a need that they may already have. We hope that by creating an effective church marketing plan, you can draw new people to your church.
Why should you market your church?
At the moment, there is a very large percentage of churches are have either a decline or plateau of membership. By using church marketing, you are not only trying to maintain your existing members but you are trying to find more people to be a part of your congregation. You need to ride the fine line between being tactless and being promotional.
To get started, don’t forget that you need a tool to email your church subscribers. Go ahead and explore how to create newsletters on a free account with Get A Newsletter, upload your contacts and keep reading to get tips to grow your ministry.
Table of Contents
You can click on the chapter titles to jump to the relevant section
Elements of Effective Church Marketing
1) Build a dynamic church marketing team
2) Create a ministry marketing plan
3) Make a lasting impression and turn visitors into members
4) Elements of effective church marketing #1: Build a dynamic church marketing team
The reality of any marketing strategy is that no one person can take on marketing on their own. In the case of church marketing, there are most likely like-minded individuals that are willing and eager to support your cause. Each individual can use their unique skills and talents to help you even if you don’t think you need it, all you have to do is ask.
Tips to create a great church marketing team:
· Paint a picture and call for volunteers: Like all marketing pitches, you need to make sure that your church marketing pitch is exciting and will attract people to help. If they understand the importance of effective church marketing, the more they want to be a part of it.
· Hand out a questionnaire to your volunteers: Asking simple questions about them and their skills will give you an understanding of the skills and limitations of each person. You can learn the skills that they can contribute and give you insight into how to motivate and reward them for their time.
· Praise and thank your team as often as possible: Like everyone, people love positive reinforcement. Especially if this is work on a volunteer basis, you need to motivate your team by showing them that their efforts are not going unseen. Inspire them, thank them, and compliment them so that they will continue to help.
2) Elements of effective church marketing #2: Create a great marketing plan
Like any other marketing strategy, the success of marketing is about creating a strategic plan before you even begin your outreach. It can make the work easier to plan and execute and the plan should include; a budget, calendar, and tools.
· Budget: This is an important element of any marketing plan. You need to understand the amount of funding in order to see positive returns on your investment. You need to track everything that goes on and perform an assessment so that you can keep your budget focused on the actions that work, saving time and money.
· Calendar/events: In this type of marketing plan, events can help with your message and your plan. They are a great opportunity to engage your community and help people connect with you, understand your message, and become involved.
Ideas for outreach events:
- Mother’s Day
- Movie Nights
- Potluck BBQ/Picnic
- Coat drives
- Community clean-up
- Shelter supper
Tools: This aspect is just a part of the overall budget that you can use for your efforts. You can use these to advertise your events and make your church known to your audience. It is important not to just focus on one type of marketing, you need to use as many approaches as you can. Some of the most helpful can include; postcards, InviteCards, banners & signs, and digital media.
3. Elements of effective church marketing #3: Make a lasting impression and turn visitors into members
You have done all the other effective marketing skills, but now once you’ve done that you need to make a good first impression and keep them interested. The way that you treat your members will have a significant impact on the people that are going to attend your church.
Marketing ideas that can help church marketing
- Visual graphics
- Style Guide
- Website/ Blog
- Email newsletter
- Social Media Advertising
- Community events
- Welcome your guests
- Word of mouth
1) Marketing Tips #1: Branding
Branding can be seen everywhere because it is considered to be a way of creating a name, symbol, or design that differentiates products. In this case, church marketing is not a product but it is something that people can possibly give their time, energy, and money too. The first step is to create a brand that familiarizes people with your church, it can also help you stand out.
While you are doing that, you can also include signage and that is important because your sign is the first impression for visitors and will be what your members see when they arrive at the church. It is important to include something well-designed in your budget.
2) Marketing Tips #2: Visual Graphics
Not only do you need to create branding that will be good for your brand, but it needs to be appealing. If you are not able to create one, you can hire a professional to create a design that conveys the message of your church. Make sure that you get your idea across of what you exactly want, work with them through the whole thing, and don’t settle for things that you don’t like or need.
3) Marketing Tips #3: Style Guide
Get your graphic designer to help you create a style guide. A style guide is a set of standards that a brand uses to ensure consistency for any assets about design. It can help any staff member and volunteer of your church to put forward materials that may stand out to everything and everyone else.
4) Marketing Tips #4: Website/Blog
Technology is a major part of everyone’s lives nowadays. When people want to say updated, all they have to do is go online. This is why a presence online is a must if you want your church to be part of the community you are in. Make sure that your website has all essential and important information about your church so that people are able to navigate it easily.
You can also add a blog to your website as a way to personally involve the members of your congregation and provide them with articles and information. The content that you provide can be shared on social media and give people searching for a new church a gateway into your ministry.
You can record regular and special church services on low or no-cost digital media for people that cannot physically attend church services, but what to tune in to a live podcast. Be sure to provide active links on your website and social media sites to bring viewers to your videos and audio recordings.
5) Marketing Tips #5: Email newsletter
For more information about creating your email newsletter and what to include click here.
Writing a newsletter is a great way to remind people about what your church has to offer. It keeps your existing members informed and it can include information about upcoming events, new members, ministry happenings, etc. You can send your newsletter through email and can also be added to your website and through social media.
6) Marketing Tips #6: Social Media
Having a social media presence is a great and positive addition to the news feed of the members of your congregation. It is important to figure out who is the right person to be your social media liaison. Figure out a schedule where you can have an effective way to reach people and gain more followers. Some ideas for social media content would be:
- Facebook live videos
- Instagram videos
- Links to content on your website
You can also sign up for paid advertising through social media sites to reach a specific demographic to determine your effectiveness. With paid advertising, you can target specific neighborhoods, local markets, and a relatively attractive demographic to make your church viable and boost membership.
To see how social marketing can help in any situation including this one, click HERE
7) Marketing Tips#7: Promotional Materials
This might seem a bit strange but using graphics and getting your materials printed is a great way to get your church name out there. Things like t-shirts, bookmarks, etc can be beneficial for the outreach of your community basically anything that can be handed out or mailed to your congregation.
8) Marketing Tips #8: Advertising
Creating an ad with important information is also another way to reach out to people. Whether it be a print ad, radio ad, or video ad, you need to send a message that is beneficial to your marketing plan. Instead of just information, maybe send a personal message from your church.
9) Marketing Tips #9: Community events
Events are an effective way for the community to be aware of your church. Create different events to engage different audiences like families, parents, etc. After every event, talk with your team and figure out what worked and what didn’t because it can affect the future of your marketing plan and whatever decisions you make.
Another way to create an outreach event would be to help at a church soup kitchen and clothing banks because it can help the less fortunate and it is also a way to bring people into the church even though they may not already be a part of it.
10) Marketing Tips #10: Word of Mouth
An effective way of marketing your church and getting the word out is by people telling others about it. You should create a good environment so that they can talk to their friends, neighbors, and coworkers about the great experience that they had. You can also obviously gather information from guests, not existing members to understand outside perception of your congregation. You can also encourage church members to invite family and friends to get involved.
Another way to get a point across through word of mouth is through traditional/electronic bulletin boards. It keeps members and visitors aware of events or promoting your brand.
After visitors have come to your church, the days following are important to connect with them. It is important to make the contact personalized, try not to use formed letters, and solely rely on electronic communication. Some ways to do that can include; making a welcome call, sending a personal thank you note, and texting your visitors if they provide their contact information.
It is important that they understand that they are not just a number for your congregation, they are part of a community that cares about their well-being.
Using these ideas can help increase your chances at ministry growth, but you should also understand and be aware of every aspect so that you can handle things that change over time. It is very important to monitor your marketing efforts. You also need to have a good team of people working together to create marketing ideas that will help your church marketing and your community well.
Take your time asking your staff, leadership, and churchgoers about the effectiveness of your techniques and materials because whatever you do is focused on them and has a positive impact. It is also important to evaluate what you are doing every 6 months so that you keep your methods current.