While businesses and organizations have embraced digital marketing tactics, churches have been slower to adopt these methods. But to stay relevant and reach people in today's world, churches must utilize marketing strategies for church growth!
People are constantly scouring the internet and social media for information and connection, so your church will only reach them with a solid online presence.
This blog post will discuss seven essential strategies for how to market your church online so you can get your message out there and engage with people who need to hear the gospel.
7 Keys for How to Market Your Church Online
Church marketing is simply communicating your message. Digital marketing, in particular, can help churches reach new people online.
With the right marketing strategies for church growth, you can create a strong connection with new guests before they even step foot in your church.
Here are seven fundamental strategies to develop a marketing plan for church program services and events.
1. Design a Great Church Website
A strong website is crucial for any church looking to expand its reach. Your church's website is the hub for your online presence. It gives visitors a first impression of the church, shares the mission, and shows church life and culture.
A well-designed website must be easy to navigate, visually appealing, and technically sound.
It should include details about:
- Beliefs and mission statement
- Service times and locations
- Upcoming events
- Past sermons
- Ministry activities
- Contact information
But the goal for your website isn't just to look nice and have tons of bells and whistles. Be sure to design your website with local search engine optimization (SEO) in mind. This means people will be able to find you at the top of search page results and maps.
2. Develop a Strong Brand Identity
It's easy to feel overwhelmed when it comes to developing and executing your church marketing plan. But before you take off, you need to establish a strong brand identity.
Your brand identity should reflect the values and mission of your church, how you communicate with people, and how you present yourself both online and in person.
Brand identity isn't only about how to market your church online. It will influence how you answer the phone, how you write emails and social media posts, and even how visitors will be welcomed in your church.
On a formal level, you need to develop a style guide. A style guide includes visual elements like fonts and colors and written elements like tone and grammar. You might even include guidelines for public speaking and videos.
3. Create Engaging Content
Content marketing is key to your online church marketing strategy. Quality digital content helps spread the message of your church, build relationships with potential members, and provide value without asking for anything in return. Ultimately, content fosters a human connection and builds trust.
Some content examples include:
- social media posts
- articles or blog posts
- other downloadable resources
To be more engaging, create content that speaks directly to the needs and interests of your target audience. Also, experiment with different content formats and subjects and measure results. Then you'll know for certain what's working.
4. Understand Keyword Strategy
A strong keyword strategy is also essential for any church looking to grow its online presence. Keywords or key phrases are the terms people type in when they're looking for something, whether that's on Google or TikTok.
The right keyword strategy can help boost the visibility of your church and expand your reach as you understand what they are and how to use them. Keywords are definitely one of the crucial factors for how to market your church online.
Here are some tips on how churches can leverage keywords for their online marketing efforts.
- First, research the keywords that are most relevant to your church. Think about how people would search for churches, services, or events.
- You'll also want to think about how competitive the keyword is. Who else might be targeting this keyword? What kind of content will you need to create to rank higher?
- Maximize local SEO by including geographic terms such as city names and neighborhoods so that people near you can easily find you and you'll rank higher on Google maps.
- Once you have compiled a list of relevant keywords, make sure they appear throughout all aspects of your online presence—from website content to blog posts to social media posts—so that search engines can connect with your church.
5. Leverage Email Marketing
Email is nothing new. But you can rest assured email marketing is still one of the best marketing strategies for church growth! Emails can include upcoming events, information, and devotionals, and foster a long-term connection.
You can use email to keep your current members informed and engaged. And you can also start email communication with people from the first time they visit your website.
To encourage people to subscribe to your email list, consider:
- Creating an opt-in resource
- Inviting them to subscribe to a devotional
- Making your newsletter sign-up stand out on your home page
Email is one of the most personal and effective ways to stay in touch with people. You don't have to worry about navigating algorithms to be seen, you simply show up in their inbox.
6. Host and Participate in Events
Your church marketing strategy is ultimately about connecting people to God and each other. So events are the perfect way to attract new visitors and strengthen bonds between your church members!
Consider ways to reach out to your local community and invite them to church events. You can also create events for current church members, ranging from volunteer activities to social gatherings.
In addition, you can participate in local community events like festivals and fairs to spread the word about your church.
What is the marketing plan for a church program such as this? Here are a few ideas:
- You can (and should) advertise upcoming events using all digital channels
- Use digital methods to connect with people at the event so you can follow up later
- Host a digital event like a webinar, virtual Bible study, or live stream
7. Measure and Adjust Marketing Strategies for Church Growth
As you implement your marketing strategies and tactics, it's important to keep track of how they're performing. When it comes to digital marketing, the key metrics to pay attention to are how many people view your content, how many engage with your content, and how many convert (take a next step like joining a group or visiting the church).
Some areas where you want to track metrics, and types of data to look at include the following:
- Website: visitors, page views, time on page, etc.
- Social media: likes, comments, shares, profile visits
- Email: open rates, click-through rates
- Events: how many people attended and how many took a next step
When you effectively track your marketing strategies for church growth, you can ensure any dollars you put toward digital marketing are maximized and adjust your efforts to reach more people.
In today's digital age, churches must have a strong online presence to effectively reach and engage with their congregation and the wider community. When it comes to how to market your church online, the seven marketing strategies outlined above are sure to result in church growth!