Marketing the Church

churchapp

 

 

In the 1950’s Canada’s population moved from the center of the cities to the suburbs and so did the churches. As realtors like to say: “Location. Location. Location. Location is everything.” In 2014, the best location is whatever screen is in front of the religious “consumer.”

People are busy and do everything on the internet, from shopping to seeking help with a problem. The church that gets their attention will be the church that gives them something they will find useful. Forget about what you want them to do and think about what they would find interesting… not necessarily¬†your church. If you can give a person something that they will actually want and use, they will follow you forever and they will tell their friends.

It doesn’t have to be sexy, but it has to be useful. It has to simplify a person’s life, or make it less stressful. Put yourself in their place and think about something that you could really use. If you are a parent of young children or a senior citizen, you need to know the location of public was rooms in your town. But what if you were visiting a different town? Someone came up with an app for just such a need. Put “Sit or Squat” on your iPod and you will never be stuck again. There is a map and you even get to add your comments about the condition of the facility. Every time you use it , the first thing you see is a cover page with the name of the App’s creator. You bet people will tell their friends about it. It doesn’t have to say, come to church… they will know what church to turn to if they have a personal or religious need.

If an app is too much for you to consider, 26 % of apps are only downloaded and opened once, you can still make use of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram. Take a look at what is trending… what people in your city or neighbourhood talking about or interested in now. Join in the conversation. What can you give them that they will find useful? You probably have a list of what to do or who to call in cases of sickness or family distress. Perhaps a list of organizations concerned about climate change or in getting people out to vote? Maybe you will even have a list of public wash rooms within a 1 km radius of your church or a popular shopping mall?

What would you find simple, useful and stress reducing? Others are looking for the same things. Get it out there on the internet and people will tell their friends where to find it and more.

How to Grow Your Church

who

 

For years churches have been loosing touch with the younger generation. Now days, that could mean most people under the age of fifty. What can a church do to turn this around?

 

 

Forget about traditional advertising.

Start listening to people and building a direct relationship with them.

Have a good webpage and a social media presence.

Focus on who those people are: your true fans, and on how the church can connect with them.

Go to where they are, and where they are is on Facebook, twitter and You Tube.

Don’t look for likes on your Facebook page, but like their pages first.

Be active on every blog that relates to church activities, but don’t expect everyone to come to you.

If your twitter feed is nothing but announcements about coming events and no one is sharing your content, think about adapting your content strategy.

Get creative. You can answer real questions, and give customers a sneak peek into your church and into what it will look like in the future.

Above all:

  • deliver value
  • be open
  • be clear and consistent
  • create a mutually beneficial world

Find and nurture your true fans. Your heavy users will become evangelists for you and then you will begin to experience a network effect .