Marketing your church online

Growing your congregation is a goal for churches of all shapes and sizes. The more members you have, the more opportunities to build a community, advance fellowship and spread the good word.

Traditional outreach methods continue to have a place for religious organizations, but it's important to look at modern media strategies to connect with people of all ages.

Consider this: 77 percent of Americans own a smartphone, according to the Pew Research Center. A whopping 94 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds own one, as do 89 percent of 30- to 49-year-olds. Older Americans are also connected through a smartphone, with 73 percent of 50- to 64-year-olds owning one. Even seniors are embracing smartphones, with nearly half (46 percent) of people 65 and older owning one.

These numbers don't even consider the number of people who own computers, tablets and other digital devices! The message is loud and clear: Your church needs to market through various digital media channels. Here are some categories to consider.

Website:

Your website is an important place to focus your marketing efforts. Having a website that is current and easy to navigate makes it simple for prospective members to discover what makes your congregation special. You can provide insight into your church's culture, values and offerings. Keep in mind, imagery is important on digital mediums, so be sure to include high-quality pictures on every page. Additionally, consider starting a blog and have various staff members contribute to it regularly to showcase the leadership team.

Social media:

Having a broad social media presence helps you connect with current members as well as prospects. It's important to post regularly (once a day for large congregations and once a week for smaller). Facebook is probably the most popular social media platform for churches, although some have Twitter and Instagram accounts as well. Assign one point person to manage the account as people may send messages and comments that require a response. In addition to the organization, you can consider having a church leader start a page/account to connect with people as well, such as the pastor or youth leader. Even groups like Bible study or mission trips can create their own social media pages and connect them to the church to create a robust social media offering.

Video:

If you have the capabilities, producing videos is a wonderful way to showcase the best of your church. Use a platform like YouTube and Vimeo to create videos and then cross promote on social media and your website or blog. You can even embed certain videos at the bottom of your email signature so that when staff send out messages, the video is easily accessed by recipients. Finally, make sure that all videos are easily shareable so people can click a button and send to friends and family. Sharing will certainly help you market and gain attention of potential members.

 

To learn more about how a directory can be a marketing tool for new members, contact Lifetouch today.

 

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