5 Ways to Refresh Your Community Marketing Materials

Unlike business marketing, which focuses on how to convert leads into sales and ultimately turn a profit, marketing for your local church requires a different approach. Of course, you want to build an awareness of your church in the community and form relationships that make people feel connected and invited as they walk onto your campus.

The main objective of a church marketing plan, however, is not to cram the sanctuary with bodies and fill the offering plate with cash—it’s to be a place of ministry that can renew people’s souls.

Despite this goal, many Americans have a mistrustful opinion of the Church’s honesty and ideals. In fact, 58 percent of respondents in a 2018 Gallup survey rated the ethical standards of clergy members as average or poor. This is the lowest public opinion of the Church on record since 1977.

If you’re ready to be part of a solution to restore the church’s original mission and earn trust with the local community, create an authentic connection with fresh marketing.

Engage in Conversations on Your Social Media Networks

Based on data published in 2018, 84 percent of churches in the U.S. are active on Facebook, but only 16 percent are active on Twitter and 13 percent on Instagram. Of those churches who do have a social media presence, 87 percent use these networks to communicate internally with their members, and 86 percent use them as an external marketing tool to interact with people outside the church.

While social media has become a more popular tool for church marketing in recent years, some of these platforms like Instagram and Twitter are still untapped resources that you can use to mobilize and broaden your influence in the community.

Refresh your marketing: Take a fresh approach your social media efforts by starting a dialogue with people who might have questions or are curious about what the church stands for. Participate in chats, ask questions, and post videos sharing your experiences.The more open and responsive you are on social media, the more authentic, relational and human your church will be seen as.

Attract New Members with Print Materials

We may be living in an era of digital transformation, but print marketing is not irrelevant. Because today’s audience is often saturated with online videos, graphics and 140-character tweets, research shows that people tend to experience a higher level of emotional response and mental recall to print media than digital content, according to USPS and Temple University. What’s more, there’s increased activity in the desire and value center of their brains, making print a valuable tool for church marketing.

Refresh your marketing: If you’re not sure where to start, consider the 10 most searched print marketing categories for churches, according to MyCreativeShop’s guide for creating a church marketing plan. They’re ranked in order from most to least popular:

  1. Flyers
  2. Brochures
  3. Bulletins
  4. Door hangers
  5. Postcards
  6. Business cards
  7. Newsletters
  8. Posters
  9. Banners
  10. Hard signs

Print some fresh branded materials for your own church, and use them to drive action from within the community.

Give the Worship Service Bulletin an Inclusive Update

Once you gain the attention of people in the community and persuade them to attend a Sunday morning worship service, the next action step is to leave them with a strong, memorable impression on your campus.

This can be done with church bulletins, but make sure to avoid printing information which relates to members and excludes newcomers. The bulletin should be an extension of your welcome committee, so view it from the lens of a first-time guest who is unfamiliar with your culture and mission.

Our friends at Effective Church Communications suggest that your bulletin will show that you don’t care if your bulletin:

  • Don’t bother to tell people what’s happening at the start of the service.
  • Is filled with jargon terms that newcomers wouldn’t understand.
  • Contains schedules without explaining the events.
  • Tells visitors to contact staff, but doesn’t include contact info.
  • Includes a large graphic encouraging donations or pleas for nursery help.

Refresh your marketing: The content of your bulletin should be transparent and descriptive. Each person should know what to expect during the service itself, and also understand how to connect outside of Sunday morning attendance.

Create an E-Newsletter and Invite Attendees to Subscribe

The average open rate for church emails is 25.5 percent, with a click-through rate of 2.9 percent, and an unsubscribe rate of just .13 percent, according to Linchpin SEO. These metrics beat several other large-scale industries such as retail, software, nonprofit, travel, or health and fitness, so don’t miss this opportunity to refresh your community marketing.

The good news is, it’s inexpensive to send regular emails. What’s more, once you create a template,all you haven’t to do is update the information for each send, which takes minimal time.

Refresh your marketing: Publish a monthly e-newsletter and then send it to subscribers through an automated platform like MailChimp. This will serve as a point of connection to update both long-time members and casual visitors on all the happenings at your church for the entire month. You can include mission trips and youth retreats, along with guest speakers and sermon previews.

Launch a Facebook Ad to Promote Your Outreach Events

With limited marketing and communications budget, you may be hesitant to use Facebook Ads. While this tool does cost anywhere from $.50 to $2 per click, the return on investment (ROI) is worth the investment.

Consider, for example, this 2018 case study of a church who spent $61.58 on a Facebook Ad campaign to market its annual Fall Festival outreach. Pro Church Tools explains that for less than $100, this promotion generated 8,000 unique impressions and a total of 162 website clicks. The regular church membership was only 120 people, but as a result of this Facebook Ad, 500 attendees from the surrounding area came to the Fall Festival. This outreach almost quadrupled the normal rate of attendance.

Refresh your marketing: Use Facebook Ads to promote Christmas or Easter services and other high-traction events geared toward the community. Use the features available to target these advertisements to specific age brackets and location radiuses so you can make the most of this opportunity to grow your community.

Refresh Your Marketing

Now is always a good time to find gaps and opportunities with marketing and refresh your efforts. Use these ideas to connect with the community, open yourself up to new faces, and ensure that every experience of a potential or current parishioner is special and inclusive.

Be part of the church marketing community.

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