Praise Be! A Holier-Than-Thou Guide to Church Online Marketing
Over the past 20 years, church attendance in the United States has decreased by around 20%. Then, when the pandemic hit in 2020, many churches had to close their physical doors and transition to digital services.
If you’ve noticed a decline in your church’s attendance lately, it’s time to try out a new strategy: online marketing.
Since marketing online comprises several moving parts, it can be hard to know how to get started when spreading the word about your church. Have no fear; we’re here to help make it easier.
Keep reading to learn the best marketing tips to help you spread the word about your church to those in the community.
Before you even think about creating an online marketing strategy for your church, take a step back and set some goals. What is it that you want to accomplish with your marketing efforts?
For example, are you hoping to grow your membership, or do you want to engage with the members you already have better? How you approach marketing will depend on your answer.
Once you’ve determined what you want to happen, you can set some actionable steps to help you meet your overarching goals.
Create New Content
One of the best ways to get the word out about your church is to create new content that can easily be shared online. This is where you have the chance to get creative.
You can focus on any (or all!) of the following types of content:
- Writing blog posts for your website
- Recording podcast episodes about different spiritual topics
- Creating short videos for your website and social media accounts
- Creating eye-catching graphics to share on social media
- Writing regular email newsletters to send out to members
Focus on creating content that current members will find useful and content that will resonate with non-members. Don’t forget to encourage your members to share the content on their own social media platforms to keep spreading the word.
Set up an Online Giving Portal
Your church relies on donations from members and other community members. Are you making it easy for people to donate money to your cause?
Ensure that your website has a secure, online giving portal so that members can donate.
You may find it too difficult to set this up yourself, so you can ask a tech-savvy member for assistance or reach out to an online marketing agency for help.
Take Advantage of Live Streaming Platforms
Thanks to platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, it’s now easier than ever to live stream videos to an online audience. Take the time to live stream services for members that can’t make it to the building. Even once the pandemic ends, this will offer more opportunities for sick or immobile people to feel connected to the church community.
Once the live streams are over, don’t forget to make them available for future viewing on your website and social media accounts.
Look for Church-Specific Marketing Programs
Marketing, at its core, works for all industries. But, the approach you take in creating marketing strategies differs based on your industry and target audience. For example, the online marketing strategies that work for a clothing store might not work for a church.
Keeping that in mind, look for church-specific marketing help. For example, you might use church software to help manage email lists and keep track of donations. As the software is designed to help churches succeed, it’ll have features to help you make online marketing easier.
Similarly, if you realize that online marketing is too much to take on yourself, you might search for online marketing companies that only work with churches. They’ll have the proven skills and strategies to help you reach your goals.
Don’t Ignore Social Media
The simple truth is this: If you’re not using social media, you’re missing out on engaging with your community, members and non-members alike.
At a minimum, your church should have a Facebook page. But, consider also creating Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube accounts as well. And, if one of your goals is to find younger members, you might create a TikTok account as well.
Once your platforms are set up, create a content calendar and schedule posts, either directly or through a scheduling tool.
Posting regularly is great, but don’t forget to also engage with your followers too.
Make Sure to Use Google My Business
When you search for a business online, have you ever noticed that more information about the business appears on the right-hand side of the page?
Generally, you’ll see the business name, contact information, location, and hours of operation. This is all managed through a free tool called Google My Business. Through a Google account, you can set up the information for your church so that anyone who searches for it will see a quick overview.
Make sure you keep it up-to-date, updating your contact information and service times as needed.
Don’t Take a Set It and Forget It Approach.
Online marketing is constantly changing, with new tools and strategies coming out every day. So, while it’s important to get into a good groove with your church marketing, you don’t want to get into a rut with it.
Change up your strategies once you realize something no longer works. Take the time to invest in online marketing courses, so you never feel like you’re out of the loop on what’s happening in the marketing world.
By revisiting your strategies often and making adjustments as needed, you’ll find more success in your efforts.
Online Marketing Is Key for Church Growth
You can’t afford to ignore online marketing for your church if you want to help it grow. Use the tips we outlined above to get started, and don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.
As a result, you’ll see more engaged members and a growing church family.
For even more tips on helping your church thrive, read through our other articles before you go.