“I can’t see the forest through the trees!”
As church leaders, it’s often hard to see the big picture, because we are stuck in the routine and details of our church. If you can resonate with that, this post is for you.
Through technology and great creativity, church marketing has changed quite a bit in the last couple of years. Here are the top three trends in church marketing that will get you on the right track towards growth and engagement.
Trend #1 – Video Through Social Media
Every major social media platform is trying to figure out more and more ways to make watching videos more native and easy on their site. Facebook now integrates video directly through the newsfeed where it used to only send users to other platforms. Same goes for Twitter. Not only that, but Twitter now owns Vine and Periscope. Facebook owns Instagram. Why do you think these companies are investing their time and energy into video? Because people love it, and they love it because it’s engaging.
You can learn more about other ways to engage your church on our blog.
Do you want to remind your church about your upcoming sermon series? Record a 15-second video on your smartphone and upload that video to Twitter and Facebook. Lastly, post it a few times over the course of the week at different times of the day. If you would like to have a real-time conversation with them through video, check out Periscope. Here are a few ways you can leverage Periscope in your church.
Trend #2 – Content Marketing
Content marketing has, for the last couple of years, been a big focus for many churches and organizations. Content marketing is all about attracting users online through relevant and valuable content and encouraging them to take a certain action.
Content marketing is, by far, one of the fastest growing marketing strategies for churches today for three main reasons:
- Churches are content machines by nature – Churches produce sermons, discipleship material, and Sunday School material all the time.
- Churches offer a solution – Salvation is a solution. In fact, it is THE solution. People are searching for it. Check out this graph that shows the trend of online users who are searching on Google, “What is salvation”.
- Content marketing is inexpensive – Content marketing can be totally free through blogs, social media, online videos, and online newsletters.
Bonus Tip: Before you do any type of content marketing, create a process for editing, distributing, and promoting your content. Then, adjust and optimize that process to make it as efficient as possible. Click here if you need help putting together a church marketing strategy.
Trend #3 – Experiential Marketing
Does your church offer a men’s breakfast? Does your youth group go on weekend trips to the park or to the mall? Does your church host a VBS during the summer? If so, then these are opportunities for experiential marketing. Churches have been doing events for a very long time. The trend is being intentional and strategic about positioning these events to those who do not currently attend your church regularly.
When you create opportunities like the ones mentioned, encourage your church members to invite their friends. These moments create wonderful opportunities for visitors to experience your church family. Sometimes, it’s easier for your church members to invite someone when the sole objective of that event is fellowship. This is a perfect opportunity for those who are intimidated or uncomfortable with a weekend worship service.
As someone who has worked as a marketer in both secular organizations and churches, I can tell you that church marketing isn’t easy. In many ways, it’s more difficult because funds are limited and people are extremely cautious when it comes to church. All of the above trends can be done for free, and they are all a form of inbound marketing. This means that your potential visitors are giving you permission to be in front of them.
To get the best results from your marketing efforts, you need a plan to stay consistent. It’s important to understand that one video, blog post, or fellowship event isn’t going to bust the doors open. Do yourself a favor, and put a plan on paper. I highly recommend that you use our free planning template to get started.