Did you know that 33% of churchgoers found their current place of worship online? Church marketing has changed. While word of mouth remains a major driving force behind new attendees, you have to take a well-rounded marketing approach to keep membership high.
We’re going to outline church marketing strategies that incorporate:
- Online marketing channels
- Offline church advertising ideas
If you want to find success in marketing your church, the first step is to know your audience.
Know Your Audience
- James is a 31-year-old man who works six days a week and doesn’t have a family. He wants to attend a church that offers offline and online service options because he’s often exhausted on Sundays.
- Jennifer is a 42-year-old married woman who wants to find a church that caters to families and offers Sunday school so that her kids can learn more about God.
You can dig deep into your current membership data to truly pinpoint who your audience is comprised of and how you can best reach them.
Digital Marketing for Churches
Digital marketing for churches should be at the top of every church’s list when trying to attract new members. You can reach every demographic possible online, but you also need to be everywhere at once. Promotion on one online avenue leaves off too many potential members.
What do we recommend? Start integrating all or a combination of the following into your church marketing plan.
Social media marketing
Church marketing on social media is a fast way to get in front of your audience. You can opt for:
- Organic social media marketing
- Paid social media marketing
Organic methods involve starting up your own profile or page and then creating content. You’ll need to attract followers, and this means posting often. You may need to post:
When you hold a service, don’t be afraid to livestream – people will watch. We recommend that you select one social platform and master it before moving on to additional ones. Even if you opt for paid social marketing, you’ll want to promote your own profiles so that you can stay connected to your audience.
Facebook, Instagram, Snap, TikTok, X and the rest all offer advanced targeting and filters to ensure that your ads get in front of the exact audience you outlined earlier in this article. You can create engaging ads that show off your church and pay to have them seen by specific demographics.
Email marketing for churches works great when you collect current and potential members’ email addresses. You can use this opportunity to:
- Create email series that nurture readers
- Alert members to recent updates
- Convert more readers to join your church
If you don’t have an email list yet, you may be able to purchase ad space on someone else’s list. For example, you may be able to sponsor your local government’s monthly email, allowing you to get your message in front of potential church members.
Search engine optimization starts with your site’s optimization. Churches must focus heavily on their website solutions. You should have a section that shows off your new church chairs, a blog, sections that show:
- Event calendar
- Pastor or priest
- Community events
- Past sermons
You’ll also want to work with an SEO company that will begin helping you rank your church’s website. If someone in the local community begins searching for a church, you want to be one of the top results on Google.
Content marketing will also play a role in this optimization, and it’s something we’ll discuss more in-depth shortly.
One of the easiest yet most expensive church growth strategies is to use online advertising. You have countless options here, but a few that work very well are:
- Paid advertising on Google and similar sites to have your church displayed for leading search queries in your area.
- Advertise on local websites and even pay to be listed on their site or in their marketing material.
- Sponsor events and be sure that your church’s name will be listed on the event’s page.
You can take any approach to online advertising you like. In fact, all of the methods we’ve discussed up until this point are online-related.
If your congregation doesn’t know the first thing about online advertising, hire someone to do it for you. You can create viral marketing campaigns that are edgy and intriguing enough that you entice potential members to either come into your congregation or join in on a live stream.
- Blog posts
- Social media posts
- Any digital asset
Once you craft the content, you’ll need to get it in front of your audience. You can create a post about staying faithful in a marriage, share insights from scripture and then market this piece through paid and social advertising.
If your content is well-optimized, it may even drive organic search traffic to your site.
Engage with your local community. You can do this in many ways:
- Sponsor events
- Hold events
- Engage with community members
- Create social programs
Churches rely heavily on the local community because these are the individuals who will be attending your church.
Partnerships and Collaborations
Church marketing ideas should bring people together. You can come together through business partnerships, where local companies will promote your church to others. Collaboration can also help and is mutually beneficial for all parties.
For example, you may collab on:
- Social media
You can also join forces with local food banks and help cook meals for the community. If you want to partner with groups like Habitat for Humanity, it’s a great method of engaging with the community and making a major difference locally.
The key to partnerships and collaborations is that you need to be willing to take the necessary steps to seek out these opportunities.
Measuring and Analyzing Marketing Success
Using the church marketing strategies above can help you grow your congregation and succeed with your church’s mission.
However, it’s important to have measures in place to analyze the success of your strategies, such as:
- A/B testing to see which ads or web pages work best for your audience
- Analytics to gauge whether your membership is growing
- Ad campaign conversion rates and total ad spend
Measuring your success is a crucial step in the marketing process because it will allow you to better understand which marketing channels are offering the best return. If your social media spending results in barely any new members and it’s your top expenditure, it may be better to reallocate those funds elsewhere.
If you follow our tips above, you’ll have more than enough marketing ideas to create an amazing community for your church. For even more insights, check out our church growth strategies which delves deeper into ways to increase your church attendance