If churches want to give hope and grow, they must first get found.
Sending out a mass mailer is OK, but people don’t carry around mailers when they are trying to find a church. People do carry around their smartphones.
And people use smartphones to do much more than a mailer ever could. We look for directions, we look for video, we look at what other people say, we look to get deeply personal questions answered and more.
So having a digital presence is not only important for getting found, it is important also for engaging people and even measuring how the church is doing at digital marketing and communications.
Digital marketing for churches can’t be overlooked.
But what does digital marketing look like for churches?
Check out our infographic for a few ideas:
And this is just a start.
Here are a few other digital marketing ideas for churches:
Seriously consider investing in Facebook Ads and Google Adwords. These work.
Create YouTube videos that tell compelling, visual stories of the work you’re doing.
Create a mobile texting campaign—either a text-to-give campaign or as a way to share essential updates—allowing people to opt-in to mobile text messages.
Create an inspiring and educational Instagram feed, sharing stories of the work you’re doing.
Create a podcast that is engaging to on-the-go listeners and gives them tangible takeaways.
Create an email newsletter.
Create quick bites of valuable content, accompanied by excellent images, and share them across digital platforms.
Create a Q&A tweetchat that happens once a week or once a month and answers common questions around specific topics.
Host a monthly livestreaming show on Facebook Live.
Publish a Facebook page for each church location so that local addresses and service times will show up in Google search results (you can control posts to each location page from the main page).
Create an excellent Google My Business listing.
Partner with influencers who are willing to also to work alongside you in your mission and perhaps share photographs of their experience.
Contribute online articles to the media, giving readers a clear picture of a problem they may not deeply understand and ways it can be solved.
Conduct a media campaign around a specific trend, issue, launch or event.
Guest blog on high-traffic websites (Christianity Today is an example).
Devote a special section of your website to pictures or video from your audience and their involvement with your church or nonprofit–perhaps attending special events or doing on-the-ground work. Link to it from your home page so website visitors can get to it quickly. This gives people an idea of what it’s like to be involved in your ministry.
Ask volunteers to post pictures of themselves working with your ministry. If they’re a donor, perhaps ask them to shoot a 10-second video using their smartphone telling why they chose to donate to your organization. Give them a special hashtag to use so people can easily find these posts on Instagram or Facebook.
Promote any user-generated content. Make it a campaign. You could even turn it into a contest. Have fun and leverage digital content marketing to make champions of your audience.
Consider creating a Facebook Messenger chat bot that allows you to get important pieces of content to many potential donors quickly, chat one-on-one with people and answer questions and recommend donor levels to people based on their responses.
For Christian-based companies, consider developing a Facebook Messenger chat bot so you can share product content, make product recommendations, interact with people directly and allow them to purchase your products from within Messenger. If you have an event coming up, you could even use the bot to allow people to purchase tickets and add the event to their calendar.
Use augmented reality to encourage people to interact more with your church–like groups signup or helping children memorize scripture.
Pick three or four ideas that your church can reasonably implement so it can get found–like a great web page, great Google My Business listing and great Facebook page (or multiple pages if your church is multisite). You might consider boosting a few of your Facebook posts to reach people in your local area.
Work hard on those digital marketing tactics until your church is doing them really well (you’ll know you’re doing them well when you measure your results in Google Analytics).
We’re on a mission to go (Matthew 28:19). So let’s go, get found through digital marketing and give hope.