Every church needs a well thought out church marketing strategy to keep members coming back on a regular basis while gaining new members.
While word of mouth is useful, it shouldn’t be your only marketing strategy. Why? Your members might have great intentions, but be horrible marketers.
Luckily, marketing is usually budget-friendly. The main things you’ll need are time and of course, eager volunteers.
Embrace Social Media
Social media isn’t something your church can ignore. If you were to ask your members how many of them use social media on a regular basis, you’ll quickly see just how important it is. If your members are using social networks, potential members are using those sites too. Social media is ideal for connecting with members outside of church and growing your church overall.
A few quick tips:
- Create a regular posting schedule for any network you choose
- Have clear guidelines on what’s acceptable in posts and comments
- Have volunteers to moderate and answer comments
Keep Your Website Active
A church website is even more important than social media. If you only have time for one thing in your church marketing strategy, make it a website. Your site allows you to show up in search results for people looking for local churches. Your blog helps you connect with people throughout the world looking for guidance on certain topics.
However, your church website isn’t useful if it’s not active. Google loves sites that upload useful content regularly. To make the most of your site:
- Upload a new blog post at least once a week
- Upload your sermons
- Add a member forum
- Create a welcome guide for new visitors
If you’re not sure what an active church website looks like, find inspiration with our post on the Top 100 Church Websites of 2018.
Host Events Outside Of Sunday Services
When everyone is busy, it’s hard to do much more than Sunday services. However, this also makes it difficult for anyone except your members to connect with your church. Not to mention, your members might not feel engaged if they only interact with the church on Sundays.
The solution is simple and makes a great addition to any church marketing strategy. Start hosting events outside of weekly services. These can be special ministry groups that meet throughout the week, volunteer opportunities, community meet and greets or anything else that sounds fun.
Some great resources for getting more involved in the community and engaging your members include:
- 50 Ways To Take Church To The Community
- 52 Ideas for Your Church This Year
- 7 Tips To Increase Engagement To Improve Church Attendance
Gather Feedback From The Community
Don’t underestimate the power of your members and the local community for developing your church marketing strategy. If what you’re doing isn’t currently working, survey your members and send out volunteers to ask random people a few questions about what they’d like to see from your church.
Use the feedback to better hone your strategy to make your marketing efforts more effective.
Engage With Newsletters
Paper newsletters are great, at least for your members. However, what about people who just visit your website? Even if they don’t attend your church, regular website visitors may still tithe using online options. Keep them coming back to your site by getting them to subscribe to your church’s online newsletter.
Add a clear call-to-action on your website along with a few bullet points of what’s included in your newsletter. Send one out weekly with links to resources, important notes from the past week’s sermon, upcoming events, links to recent blog posts, a weekly study guide and anything else you think visitors might want. Go ahead and create an engaging newsletter today and watch your church’s reach grow.
Give Members The Power To Market
Word of mouth is still highly effective, but only if your members have the tools they need. Give your members guidance on how to approach the subject. Going up to a random stranger and saying “Hi, come to my church” isn’t quite enough. Hold training sessions to help them better answer questions and start up conversations.
Consider creating business cards or welcome cards with your church’s website, social media account and address on them. Hand these out to your members to share with people who may be interested.
Get more people to come by your church and engage your current members at the same time by hosting meetups. These might include classes, discussion groups or just friendly gatherings over a common interest. They don’t always have to be church-related either. For instance, host an art class for adults once a month or let knitters come together weekly.
Advertise these meetups on social media, your website or on sites like Meetup.
Take time to carefully create a custom church marketing strategy and don’t be afraid to revise it as you discover what does and doesn’t work for you. Start marketing today with your own highly effective church website.