Nonprofit advertising campaigns aren’t usually the most exciting or engaging. In fact, they’re often depressing or make you feel guilty.
While these work on some people, your church could benefit by getting a little more creative. Just think about the types of advertising you notice most.
It’s creative and engaging. The message sticks with you. That’s the type of creativity your church needs to make your next marketing campaign more successful.
1. Answer Questions Before They’re Asked
How often do you get asked the same questions about the Bible, faith and church? If you’re creating ads or marketing material, answer those questions. For instance, you might have a Google ad that reads “We all have questions, but the Bible has all those answers and more.” It would link to pages on your website that help answer common questions and even has a place for visitors to submit questions.
This is an effective, yet creative way to get people to explore what the Bible has to say about common and even not so common issues.
2. Show The Truth
Sometimes, people just want to hear the truth about what your church does and why certain causes are so important. Give them that. Ask a few volunteers to create a short video or series of videos that show them in action. Talk to those you’re helping. Don’t use any gimmicks.
No, it’s not all glitz and glamour, but it’s effective. Most people expect to only see the best or the worst. Be more creative than that with your nonprofit advertising campaigns. Show people the truth and they’re more likely to trust you.
3. Hold Contests
Contests might not sound that creative, but it’s all about the type of contest you hold. Advertise scavenger hunts, trivia nights, writing challenges (essays, fiction, poetry, etc.), bake-offs and more. Your church’s contests can be online and/or offline. It doesn’t matter.
The idea is to get people involved. Advertising your contest online means people start sharing it. They invite others to participate.
4. Use Creative Google Ads
As a church, you’re eligible for grants from Google that provide you with $10,000 in free Adwords credits each month. So, get creative with your text. Be provocative, humorous or current. The idea is to be honest while still grabbing their attention. Try different types of text to see what works best for your audience. No matter what you do, try to stick with your church’s personality.
5. Offer Up Humor
Everyone loves to laugh. Faith-based humor gets the attention of everyone, including those who are still on the fence about what to believe. Think of it as the ultimate ice-breaker. Of course, it’s also one of the more creative nonprofit advertising campaigns to try.
Create a free ebook to give out or invite people to sign up for a humorous church newsletter. For instance, Ken Davis is a popular Christian comedian who tells funny stories and jokes that all tie back into faith somehow.
6. Give Inspiration
On the other hand, maybe you want to be less funny and more inspirational. Or, you can do both. Use your advertising campaigns to provide inspiration. For instance, you might have an ad that reads “Your light in the darkness is just around the corner. Find that light with an uplifting community of like-minded people.” This could lead to an ebook of personal stories from your members or a blog filled with inspirational content.
7. Let Kids Take Over
Sometimes, kids say it better than anyone. For truly creative nonprofit advertising campaigns, get kids involved. For instance, let them write your ad copy or host a weekly podcast where you ask kids questions and let them give you their take on faith.
The innocent honesty of kids is heartwarming, amusing and engaging. Don’t let kids out of your church marketing. They’re more than happy to offer their thoughts and words to helping the church grow.
8. Use Catchy Songs
Ever had a song get stuck in your head for days? Why not let that song be about your church? Create catchy songs to use in videos on YouTube. Not only will you get your message across, but the lyrics will stick with viewers for days. Make it catchy enough and it may just go viral.
If you’re struggling to find some creative inspiration, consider these 20 nonprofit marketing case studies and 17 creative examples of visual ad campaigns. Fast Company also offers advice and examples for standing out among boring nonprofit advertising campaigns.