If you lead a church, or run marketing for a church, and are searching for guidance when it comes to crafting an effective digital marketing strategy, we’re here to help you create compelling marketing that can help your church be found and chosen online.
Like the rest of the world, the pandemic forced churches to go online. For many churches, this move was completely foreign and some churches chose to not pivot at all. Regardless of where your church finds itself as the pandemic slows, getting an effective digital marketing plan in place can be a huge help in bouncing back and even growing!
For any business or church, building a powerful online presence is key to helping your organization make an impact in today's world.
Read on for the three best places to get started with digital marketing for your church.
Platforms like Facebook, Instagram and YouTube make it easier for your congregration and potential attendees to feel personally connected to the church and with each other.
Social media is a go-to research tool for most brands and churches. When individuals and families are looking for a new church, social media will undoubtedly be their first stop--especially with younger generations! Having a vibrant and up-to-date social media presence signals that a church is active in its community and is serious about reaching people where they are--and that's online!
Long gone are the days of sharing information door to door or solely by word of mouth. Social media is a kind of digital-word-of-mouth that can't be ignored. Due to the pandemic, churches were forced to pivot sharply and use sometimes unfamiliar technology to continue their services and pour into their communities. If a church was without a social media presence, the decentralization that the pandemic caused quickly highlighted the importance of staying connected online through social media.
In addition to staying connected with your congregation, the pandemic gave people the freedom to explore new churches. This research and exploration is still going, so make sure you're giving followers and researchers your church's full experience! Show off what your services look like, advertise events and utilize live streaming during your services to make sure interested visitors know what to expect before they step foot into your building.
Ultimately, when you're crafting your church's social media presence, you want to make sure you are presenting realistic expectations so that visitors feel as comfortable as possible when they join for an in-person service.
Whether you're planting a new church or revising your established church's online presence, investing in local search is a must to help your church be easily found online.
If an internet searcher is interested in finding a local church to attend, they want their search results to be targeted to what is nearby. From there, they will explore websites, reviews and social media accounts and make their decision. If your church doesn't rank in search results or populate on a map when a user makes a query, it's losing potential congregants to churches who have a strong local search presence.
It's important that your church's information be the same across every search engine. This helps build trust with searchers and with the search engine algorithms. The minimum information available on your business listings should include your address, service times, website and phone number.
Rake in Reviews
People aren’t likely to visit your church without researching it online beforehand. A church's online presence is the new church lobby so it needs to be up-to-date and user friendly. Individuals and families will make decisions about your church based soley on its online presence. Reviews are a large influence in whether or not searchers will end up visiting your church.
Reviews provide first-hand knowledge from current and past attendees. Reviews can be displayed your church's site, Google Business Listing or social media. If your website and social media presence are spectacular but your reveiws are spotty or nonexistent, that's a red flag to an online user and your church most likely won't be chosen.
Are you actively encouraging visitors and established congregants to leave reviews on your online platforms? If not, start today! Otherwise, your church's online presence may not be developed enough to motivate people to visit your church! Learn more about the review process by reading this blog.
Staying informed about the complexities behind churches' specific marketing needs allows you to stay connected to your current congregants, draw in new attendees and grow your local presence. The pandemic brought seizmic shifts to the church space, but it's possible to move with the tides and keep your church relevant.
Growing your online presence is easier said than done and that's where RevLocal can help! We want to support you in your church marketing endeavors! Make sure to get in contact with one of our digital marketing experts to learn more about how RevLocal can handle your church's digital marketing.