Churches are constantly looking for new and innovative ways to stay connected to their congregation while trying to find ways to reach new people. This can be challenging since churches may have a target audience spanning three generations, making it difficult to figure out the best way to communicate with people effectively. This article will discuss 9 effective marketing ideas for churches that are easy to implement, at little or no cost, yet will reach people of all ages.
Create an onsite blog for your church
Some of the more successful church marketing tactics utilize an onsite church blog. This should be different than what is presented in a sermon each week. Church blogs can take several forms but should be a different and unique way to connect with the congregation or give those currently not attending the church a way to become more familiar with the church, it’s purpose and vision, and its congregation. One approach is simply to provide a weekly message from the pastor, speaking directly to readers in a more conversational, personal way. For those readers, there is a more direct connection to the pastor, which creates a sense of familiarity. Other churches may use their onsite blog to talk about the week’s events or upcoming sermons. The idea is to draw readers to the website and provide them with useful information to connect them with the church. Be sure to share your weekly blog posts on your social media channels as well!
Send out a weekly church newsletter
There are typically many different events happening at church throughout the week, from sermons to classes to events. Sometimes it’s hard for people to keep track of it all, so a weekly newsletter is a great way to keep the congregation informed in a consistent, timely fashion. A newsletter can highlight the upcoming week’s sermon, showcase a recent event, or remind people of classes that they may be interested in. Give people an opportunity to sign up for the newsletter on your church’s website, as well as adding a link to your church’s social media pages to help them stay connected. There are several email marketing programs that are free, including MailChimp, so staying connected with your congregation won’t cost you anything but your time.
Create a Facebook page for your church
Churches are about community and sharing. One of the best social platforms for this is Facebook. This platform can be a powerful tool for churches looking to stay connected with their congregation while potentially reaching new people outside their church. A great article that discusses creative ways for churches to use Facebook is “6 Simple Ways Your Church Can Use Facebook Better!”. Suggestions include using Facebook to promote events, posting Bible quotes, and sharing photos. Facebook can be a powerful tool for churches and can be used in many ways to reach people and create a sense of community.
Take advantage of photo sharing websites
There’s a reason people say “a picture is worth a thousand words”. Have someone in your church take pictures of different events and share them on photo sharing sites such as Pinterest, Instagram, and Flickr. Not only can you share photos from church-related events, you can even post Bible verses or other inspirational quotes. All of these websites are free to create a profile on, and adding images is easy. Just be sure to add an interesting description to each image, with a link back to your church’s website. Bible verses are exceptionally powerful in encouraging people to share with others. It’s yet another way to not only engage your own congregation but reach others as well to make them aware of your church.
Google AdWords for Non-Profits
A little-known marketing option for many churches is Google’s AdWords for Non-Profits. This program allows qualifying non-profits to create a Google AdWords account at no cost to the church. There are certain requirements that need to be met, and it demands a certain amount of monitoring and managing of the account to keep it active, but for churches looking to expand their reach online, this is a viable option to look into.
Using church videos
Videos are becoming one of the most popular ways to reach audiences, especially the younger generation. While there are churches that have sophisticated video capabilities, even streaming their sermons online, your church doesn’t have to invest a lot of money to create a video. All it takes is a phone or digital camera capable of shooting high-definition video. These videos can then be shared on a dedicated page of your church’s website, used in the onsite blog, as well as posted on YouTube or Vimeo, which are both free to use. Videos are extremely effective in reaching a wide range of people, and are very shareable, helping your church reach more people online.
Get a church app
There really is an app for everything! Apps are yet another way to connect with a congregation, sending out weekly or as-needed messages to subscribers in a timely fashion, using bite-sized information to engage people. One of the more popular apps out there for churches is Subsplash. Unlike most of the other suggestions in this article, Subsplash does come at a monthly cost, but the cost compared to all the features this program has to offer churches makes it well worth the price. This app offers the ability not only to send out timely messages to your congregation but can integrate with your website to share even more information. There’s also a giving feature so people who have the app can send money to the church right from their phone, which easily offsets the price of the app itself and makes giving convenient for church members.
Post sermon notes online
People consume content in different ways, and sermons are no different. While many churches provide a way for people to take notes during sermons, for those who were unable to attend church that week, posting sermon notes online allows church members to stay connected and informed. These can be as simple as a PDF, or perhaps even a blog post. Other churches create a PowerPoint of their sermon for the week and post that online. There are several ways to share sermon notes online. Find the option that works best for your church and keep people connected.
Share your church events with local papers
Most local papers have an event calendar and make it very easy for churches to submit their upcoming events online or even to the print version of the newspaper. Take a moment to look at your local paper’s options for submitting events. It’s a great, free way of getting more exposure for your church, and can expand your reach into the community. If you have a big upcoming event such as a community charity event or baptism, you should also reach out to the religion or faith reporter at the paper to make them aware of the event. You can even write a press release about your church’s upcoming event.
There are many ways a church can market themselves without spending a lot of money. Create a marketing strategy to use some of the suggestions above and effectively market your church.
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