HOW TO BRING PEOPLE IN WITH A CHURCH MARKETING PLAN
Church attendance has dipped to an all-time low. As little as 20% of Americans now regularly go to church. This is obviously a spiritual issue, but there are also practical things churches can do to respond to this rapid decline.
To combat this huge drop in attendance, modern churches should consider developing and implementing a church marketing plan. Why? Isn’t marketing for the ‘secular’ world? Marketing is for anyone with something of value to say and share.
In the past, going to church was for more than just committed Christians. It was a way of life. It was engrained in culture. But things have changed.
Today, families are busier than ever. Some companies require their employees to work on Sundays. And churches now find themselves competing with other activities for participants.
Getting the attention of people in your community and bringing visitors into your church is a powerful opportunity for evangelism and outreach; an opportunity to share the love of Jesus. And it is harder than ever. A strong church marketing plan can help.
With this in mind, here are a few guiding principles to get started with a church marketing plan of your own.
DEVELOPING THE RIGHT CHURCH MARKETING PLAN
With the right church marketing plan, you can reach people you previously had no access to. You only need to get to know today’s communication media and how to utilize it.
IDENTIFY YOUR CHURCH’S BRAND
Who are you as a church? How do you serve God and His followers? How do you help them find Him?
Identifying your brand sounds like something that only internet start-ups do. In reality, every organization has to identify their brand. Establishing your brand is your first step in establishing how you serve those who attend your church.
To find your brand, make a list of your church’s priorities and values. How do you view certain passages from the Bible? What meaning do you extract from them and present to your congregation?
MAKE A CHURCH.ORG PROFILE
After you identify your brand, you should make a Church.Org profile.
Church.Org acts as the Yellow Pages for churches. People who are looking for a church can search Church.Org and see a list of local churches.
In order for your church to be included on Church.Org, you have to register. When you register, list your church’s name, denomination, and contact information. Church.Org includes a Google Maps-powered map of your church for easy directions.
BUILD YOUR WEB PLATFORMS
Most people use the Internet to find information. Because of the shift to digital searching, every organization should have a website. That website should be attractive to look at and easy to navigate.
Maintaining a website doesn’t just boost your online presence. A well-developed website boosts your credibility as a reputable church to go to.
A website also presents the opportunity for search engine optimization. Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process by which particular techniques influence search engines’ algorithms. Put simply, good SEO makes your church show higher in Google search results. Efficient SEO influences search engines to rank your site higher so more people can find it.
Common SEO tactics include keyword usage, backlinking to internal and external links, and posting high-quality content. Starting a Church-Org can also bolster your search engine rankings.
In addition to maintaining a website, operating accounts on popular social media sites is a must. Having a presence on Facebook and Twitter furthers your reach to potential congregation members. Always remember to interact with your followers when they comment!
CREATE A BLOG
Many web hosting sites, including WordPress, let you create a blog space on your website.
Blogs are important tools in terms of SEO. Making a variety of high-quality, optimized posts bolsters your search engine ranking.
Maintaining a blog also provides an opportunity for outreach. Most blogs include a comment feature for readers to leave comments about your posts. You should reply to all comments left on your posts to increase your engagement.
Increased engagement could help lead to increased congregation membership.
Do you know of another great church marketing technique? Tell us in the comments below!