We live in a church-going culture, and yet church marketing is one of the most overlooked aspects of church ministry. If you’re looking to grow your church, then it’s time to start thinking about church marketing! Marketing isn’t a dirty word – it’s just the process of telling people about what you do. We are called to reach the nations!
In a church marketing plan, church leaders need to be intentional about where they want to grow. You can’t just market to people in the church—you need to think about who you’re trying to reach. If a church has “lost” some people and wants to reach out to them, they may have more success by advertising on Facebook or Instagram than by leafleting at the mall.
Every church is different, and church marketing can take many forms. Some churches use their facility according to the needs of the community; for example, providing space for an afterschool program while at the same time hosting a preschool in their church building. Other churches provide counseling or social services, such as counseling at church or helping children from troubled homes.
In church marketing, content creation is key! Worship services are great for a church’s own members who may not be interested in church life or might only come to church on Sundays because that’s what they’ve always done. But if you want people to hear the gospel message and explore how it applies to their lives—whether new believers or regular attendees – you need to do more. You’ll want church marketing materials that showcase what you have in store for your church members, potential church attendees, and the people of this community.
Content creation will take many forms. From an online perspective, you’ll be looking at podcasts, online videos/livestreaming, social media, and even the text and images on your church website. Online advertising could also be considered – Google or Facebook ads, for example.
For offline, you might consider leaflets, posters, adverts in local newspapers, or even just a sign outside your church.
Whichever you go for, be sure to use inclusive language and avoid Christian-ese. People outside of church might not go through “seasons” or “be out of the blessing” – they might just have times where they feel down. Be encouraging and accepting.
Here are a few church marketing pointers:
-Start with the church’s plan. It should include what church they want to reach, and how church leaders will know if they’re succeeding. What do you hope people will walk away with? This is your goal for church marketing! Know that this process can be slow – it might take years.
-Know your church’s strengths, and use them! Know what you can offer to the community that other churches may not be able to. If a church has “lost” some people because it hasn’t changed with the times or isn’t culturally relevant, then maybe church marketing should focus on outreach strategies – either through advertising or content creation.
-Keep church marketing in mind for everything! It should be a part of your budget, even if you think it’s not something that will grow your church or is too small to do anything with. Church marketing can take many forms. Don’t forget branding and graphic design to help people remember who you are.
-Always remember what the church stands for. Your church should be a place where people can grow in their faith – church marketing needs to reflect that, and your church’s strengths need to go beyond just “worship”.
Write your ideas down and calculate the budget needed for each idea. Try to understand how long each idea will take to action – designing a poster may take a week, getting it printed and delivered may take longer…and then getting the poster up in the right place could take longer still, depending on who needs to do it!
Create a 6-month plan to take action on at least one of these ideas, and make sure you schedule it to fit in with the calendar. Optimize your marketing for times when people are more open to coming to church, such as Easter or Christmas.
If you don’t plan properly, your marketing may become ineffective. The key is to stay consistent and remember to look after those who already come to church regularly too.