If you have a ministry or church ready to help change peoples’ lives, you first need to get them in the door. And these nine foundational ministry marketing ideas will help you do just that!
Unfortunately, if you build it, they may not come! You have to intentionally reach out with your message, connect with people, and draw them in.
So, how can you engage people through traditional and digital media? We’ll cover that question and more as we walk through your core strategy for ministry marketing.
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9 Ministry Marketing Ideas
If you had unlimited time and resources, you could try every trick in the book. You could invest significant dollars in traditional media like radio, tv, and billboards and jump on every new and emerging social media platform that pops up.
But what’s ultimately worth your time? And what will build a solid marketing strategy that will outlast the trends? Here are nine foundational marketing strategies we think all ministries and churches need!
1. Word of Mouth
Nothing is more powerful than a personal recommendation. Word of mouth tops the list of most effective (and least expensive) ministry marketing ideas.
Before you try anything else, ensure that you firmly establish a “culture of invitation” in your church or ministry. Create a sense of ownership, community, and openness, so everyone involved feels equipped and empowered to invite.
And you need to make it easy for them to share clear information and digital and print tools.
Your ministry website is most people’s first impression, so it needs to be top-notch.
Remember that your website isn’t an online brochure with every piece of information under the sun. Instead, it should serve a specific purpose: helping people find you and getting them to take the next step.
Regarding websites, SEO (search engine optimization) is key to having your site show up at the top of search engine results pages.
Here are a few key elements your site should have:
- A clear and concise message that communicates what your ministry is all about
- Engaging photos and videos
- Easy navigation
- Social media integration
- A way to sign up for your email list
- Contact information
- Up-to-date events calendar
A blog is central to a solid marketing strategy for ministries. For one, it can improve your website SEO (as mentioned above).
A blog provides an easy way to share your message with a broad audience, connect with readers, and build relationships. And, perhaps most importantly, it provides quality content that can be shared by others, further extending your reach.
You can post prayer guides, devotionals, ministry updates, testimonies, resources, and more. Your blog writing can also be a source for social media content.
Yes, it seems like people complain about getting too many emails these days, but email is still one of the most effective ministry marketing tools available.
Email connects you with interested people who have subscribed to your list. You can send them regular updates, announcements, event reminders, and more.
Some secrets for effective email marketing:
- Well-designed and engaging
- Keep it brief and clear: short sentences, paragraphs, and overall message
- A compelling and catchy subject line
- Includes a call to action
- Finally, track your metrics to see what works best with your audience
5. Text Messaging
Text messaging is one of the newer ministry marketing ideas for churches, but it’s a quick and easy way to stay in touch with people. Furthermore, stats show SMS has a 98% open rate compared to email!
You can text reminders, announcements, updates, or check in to see how someone is doing.
Most people have their phones with them at all times, so your message will be seen right away. This can result in higher open and read rates but also feel more invasive and personal. To avoid spamming people, make sure they opt-in to receive messages and be courteous about when and how you use text messaging.
6. Social Media
Whether you love social media, hate it, or have a volatile love-hate relationship with it, the reality is that billions of people are on social media daily. And you want to reach them!
Social media is continuously evolving. It can require a huge commitment of time and resources to stay on top of the trends. So make sure what you’re doing has a good return on investment.
To be effective on social media:
- Create a content calendar with a strategic plan for what you’ll share.
- Figure out how to repurpose content across platforms or in different formats.
- Focus on just a couple (even one) platform, don’t spread yourself too thin.
- Be authentic; your content doesn’t have to be perfectly polished to be effective.
- Be engaging and always respond to comments.
7. Traditional Media Ministry Marketing Ideas
Don’t forget about good old-fashioned print and broadcast media! Traditional media is still a great way to reach people who might not be active on social media or have internet access.
You can use traditional media to share your ministry’s story, promote events, or run ads. However, keep in mind that this can be costly, so you need a solid plan before committing.
Examples of traditional media include:
8. Print Materials (and QR Codes)
Although the world is digital, there’s still a place for print materials. Printed materials can be a great way to promote your ministry to put in peoples’ hands or if you’re exhibiting at an event or out in the community.
You can use good old-fashioned postcards, brochures, and flyers to share your contact information. Include QR codes that people can scan to be taken to your website or social media platforms.
Just make sure your print materials are high quality and eye-catching!
9. Community Involvement
Ministry marketing is all about reaching people, and one of the best ways to do that is to get active in your community. You want to make sure you partner with local organizations and get listed in local directories.
But, in addition, we don’t want to become so digital-dependent that we forget the value of being face-to-face with people!
You can look for opportunities to:
- Volunteer at local events or organizations
- Partner with other businesses or ministries
- Serve on a local board or commission
- Attend community events and meet people
So there you have it! Nine ministry marketing ideas to help you grow your church. As you can see, some of these take more time and effort than others, but all of them are worth exploring. The most vital thing is to remember your purpose: stay focused on serving people and reaching them with your message!