In 2013, the Pew Research Center reported that only 37% of all Americans attended church on a weekly basis. Being a country where a majority of the people follows Christianity, this is merely a number. Another study reports that there are roughly over 350,000 churches. Flyers or Postcards, or simple website presence does not bring the crowd of people you need in your place of worship anymore, in today’s digital era people look digital platform. This is why Digital Marketing is very essential.
Marketing your church or congregation is not like any other growing business as they are not a business looking for profit at all. Churches mainly concentrate on adding and attracting people to their services unlike business who use digital marketing for sales.
Online marketing for churches is entirely different, and here is how you can spread faith and attract worshipers through Google first page ranking, social media, YouTube and website platforms.
Create a website that leaves a positive impression
Churches need to create an impression and lead faith throughout all generations, and your website is what holds you onto it. Before visiting your church, people tend to go through your website and making a solid impression through your site is crucial for them. The first and foremost thing to keep in mind, is adding enough basic information that people generally search for.
Here are few basic details you have to include on your website:
➤ Time of service and Church Closing Timings: If people are not sure when you start your service, how can they join you? Mention the time of the services you have along with opening and closing times of your church too, number of services, as some people prefer praying alone instead of attending services.
➤ Location: A lot of churches fail to mention the exact location and just add in the area or city. Give the viewers the exact location of your church with details and directions.
➤ Give a brief of what to expect: There are a few questions that arise in people’s minds when looking to join your congregation. What is the ethnicity of your Church? How do people dress? What to expect in your services? Finding answers to all these questions on your websites will make viewers feel more comfortable that they actually show up.
➤ Information on special retreats: Mention on your website details of any retreats or special services happening in your church or married couples.
➤ Don’t forget the kids: Churches are one place that people come as a family, so don’t forget about the kid’s faith too. Add in details about Vocational Bible Schools or regular Sunday classes. Mention whether you have care for the toddlers while parents are attending the service.
➤ Contact Information: Mention all you contact details: Email, Mobile, and Landline.
Make Use of Social Media
This digital era calls for social media marketing as well, register your church into various platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter etc. Keeping your audience engaged is really important to actually make something out of your social media account. Constantly update stories and posts related to your services, or post Bible quotes or questions related to biblical verses. Check your inbox regularly and answer as regularly as possible. One more advantage is people tend to “Tag” your church during your services; this further lets their followers to check out your church as well. Ask preachers or guest speakers to post on their social media accounts if they are preaching at your church, this will also attract new worshipers to attend your services.
Blogs are a major source to skyrocket your online engagement. People reading your blogs will click on your website and potentially lead to attending your services. If you are wondering what I can possibly write for a church blog, here are a few blog Ideas for churches:
✔ A list of Biblical chapters – must reads
✔ Testimonies and personal stories
✔ Answers to frequently asked questions
✔ Interview a preacher
Podcast and Videos
People tend to look into videos more than regular posts and pictures, with YouTube being the second largest search platform next to Google; your YouTube presence means a lot. Regularly update videos, at least on a weekly basis. You can post videos of sermons, or short biblical stories and keep your subscribers engaged. During your services you can also do a live podcast of your service online through YouTube and your social media accounts. These live podcasts can later be saved and posted as videos for people to watch. Don’t forget to share the links and details about your podcasts on your social media accounts.
Email marketing never fails, as all of your recipients are already people who have visited your church and are of faith. Constantly updating about various services and keeping them posted on various drives and volunteer work will make sure to keep them returning to your church.
While following these digital marketing strategies, keep in mind that, no matter what you post and what people look for in a church is faith and honesty. Make sure to never post anything in a sales pitch tone and don’t ask for money online, as this might create a wrong impression of your congregation. Use these strategies for thriving your Church for the years to come.