Marketing is usually looked at as a necessity for small businesses, but it’s also crucial for your church and community. If you are part of a church or non profit organization, marketing is for you too. Marketing by definition is defining your ideal client/member, and finding ways to better reach them. Let’s look at some great ways to grow your church using online marketing, and how to best implement them into your strategies.
1. Social Media
Social media allows you to reach potential new members where they spend their time the most. Facebook particularly is made for organizations that offer a service, and invite people into their facility, and thrive on word of mouth and thoughts of it’s members and visitors. Sounds ideal for your church doesn’t it?
Use a Facebook page to not only share information about your church, but also to make event announcements. Here’s the trick: Post event recaps, with photos or videos. Invite members and visitors to tag themselves or their friends that they brought. People love seeing themselves online, or showing that they were at an event, and they’ll share and comment and get the conversation going. Be fun, and engaging, and show your community why they’ll enjoy themselves and what type of expectations that they can have when visiting your church.
Use Facebook advertising to promote upcoming events. Only 16% of your existing Fans will see your posts, on average. So use Facebook advertising to really spread the word on your local event. For a few bucks, you can post event information, and boost your post to reach more people in your community. Have an event for married couples? Facebook will let you target only married individuals in your community, based on your demographic specifications. Have a VBS or Kid’s Day coming soon? Target parents only, and use photos of kids having fun to encourage them to bring their kids and participate.
Make sure phones are … On?
Most church services will encourage members and visitors to remember to silence their phone, which is a must-do for sure. But why not encourage members and visitors to check in on Facebook at your church? Most people have some type of smart phone, and a Facebook app that many are glued to throughout the normal day. Remind them that you would really appreciate them using the ‘Check-In’ feature on their Facebook app when they arrive at your service. This posts a quick update on their profile, showing that they were at your church. It also includes a link to let all of their friends know where they can get more information on the location, which in this case, is your church.
2. Local Search Marketing
Google search is used by most people when they’re searching for any type of service in their area, and this includes for your church service. Spending time to boost your local search results is a huge way to bring more visitors and potential new members into your doors.
Remember that most people do not search beyond page one on Google for what they are looking for. So make sure that your church is in front of searchers, and they’ll find you.
3. Video Marketing
YouTube has made is very easy and very inexpensive to begin video marketing for your church. Put your sermons online, or weekly announcements. The more, the better. Not only does video marketing and YouTube have broad search ranking benefits, but it shows potential visitors who you really are, and really engages them. Share your videos on other social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter, and encourages your members to share and post their comments to the video messages. You can film testimonies, events and church outings, and all for the cost of a simple camera.
These are just a few examples of using online marketing to grow your church. Whatever you choose to do, start with one or two, and be consistent about it. The stats below paint a picture of just how much your web presence matters when it comes to attracting visitors and potential new member. Good luck, and we’ll see you online!