“How do you feel about marketing?”
When I am asked this question, my life literally flashes before my eyes. Literal colors, lights, sounds and a lifetime of experiences zoom through my brain and an explanation of my feeling becomes an almost impossible assignment. Almost.
Marketing is so complex, right? I’ll let you in on a secret… there is nothing to it!
Go ahead and re-read that sentence. I’ll wait.
Repeat after me… marketing is my friend. And when you are thinking strategically about growing your church, it is your best friend.
Marketing looks different to everyone. It’s an approach, a constant observation and an adaptation unique to the experiences of people and their need for what you’re offering (i.e., church). You already know why your product is valuable, now it is your job to inform people why your product is valuable for them. This is your opportunity to make your product memorable, captivating and important.
I react the way I do to marketing because it has made an impression on me. Marketing is your vessel to impression. Make it count.
Here are a few ways you can become effective at church marketing:
Know who you are targeting and keep your target consistent.
Know what you are communicating to your audience. Be accurate and familiar with the information. Repetition is key.
The call to action
Know the next step you want your audience to take and make the pathway clear.
Less is more
Don’t worry about saturating every marketing channel. Pick a few and do them well. The same goes for content. You can’t say your entire testimony, vision for the church and ten-year plan in one marketing piece. Pace yourself. Say what is important.
Aim small miss small
If direct mail has worked for you in the past, direct mail should remain your “go-to” until another channel has proven to be more successful. Become an expert at direct mail before you tackle billboards, etc. Your budget and energy will thank you.
Consider your core
Not everyone will agree with you. Let go of the ones that get away, remember the people you have and the people you still need to reach. Keep moving forward.
Marketing through social media is most effective for those who speak with an authentic and immediate voice. If being relational is a core value of your church then the tone of your social networks should also be relational.
Tell your vision not your needs. When speaking through a personal social network account it is also important to remember that your words are not your own.
They belong to the church you represent.
The difference between a follower and a leader is influence. Don’t just tell people what you want them to do, show them, and then teach them how to do it.