Modern society is saturated with various forms of traditional advertising everywhere we look—from social media posts and digital ads to billboards and TV commercials.
That inundated playing field can make it difficult for church leaders who ask themselves what church marketing is, what church marketing materials consist of, and how you do it effectively.
The Lead Pastor helps believers across the globe encounter God, build his kingdom, and see him glorified. One of the key ways we can help people like you do that is through promoting your church to a wider audience, which furthers his mission and sets you up for long-term church growth and success.
- What Is Church Marketing?
- What Is The Purpose Of Marketing For Churches?
- Types Of Church Marketing
- Church Marketing Strategies
- Church Marketing Best Practices
What Is Church Marketing?
Church marketing is a strategic communication strategy that promotes your church's mission, vision, and culture to those who currently attend your church and those you hope will attend in the future. You can use many avenues to do this effectively, including social media, digital marketing, or content marketing strategies.
What Is The Purpose Of Marketing For Churches?
Marketing a product or service in the secular world is simple: Create a sense of need in people to make them believe they need your product or service to live a better life.
But when it comes to church communications and promotion, our aim should not look like the rest of the world. Rather than trying to create a feeling of insecurity in potential church attendants, we should try to create an inviting presence that glorifies God and draws them in. From there, we can extend an invitation and wait expectantly for God to provide.
So before you start thinking through how to market your church, pray that the Holy Spirit will help guide you through the process and continue to open doors for you to reach as many people as possible through authentic and God-glorifying marketing.
Types Of Church Marketing
There are many different kinds of church marketing, and they all serve different purposes. With the sharp rise in media consumption since 2020, the most effective marketing outlets include social media, email, and digital ads. Let’s look at how each type of church marketing could benefit your church.
Social Media Marketing
Did you know that the average person in the US spends over 2 hours a day on social media? By creating social media accounts on platforms like Facebook or Instagram and engaging with it regularly, you can reach a large swath of people.
Social media marketing can feel like an insurmountable challenge for some. Ideas on executing church social media marketing can include posting about a sermon, an interview with a ministry leader, or a church event.
According to Oberlo, the number of email users is set to grow to 4.6 billion in 2025, making up more than half of the expected world population. With email marketing being such a popular medium, you can use it to improve church engagement. It’s affordable, simple to manage, and a great way to build community organically.
A great way to ensure you keep growing your email list is by having an email sign-up sheet at church gatherings so that new visitors can provide their information for future use. You can use email to discuss everything happening at the church, from events and announcements to encouragements and prayer requests.
Other forms of marketing for your church can fall under the larger umbrella of digital marketing. The beauty of digital marketing is that there are so many different mediums. Digital marketing can help you improve your search engine results, allow congregants to contribute, and share your church with potential visitors.
Digital marketing includes blogs, podcasts, newsletters, video series, and Facebook ads or a Google ad. We suggest starting with one digital marketing strategy and expanding it slowly over time.
Church Marketing Strategies
Now that you know the “what” of church marketing, let’s turn our attention to the “how.” This part can feel a bit more overwhelming, but to ensure you don’t get buried under a mountain of social media advice, ask yourself a few simple questions:
- Who is your church?
- What do you value?
- How are you different?
Once you determine the answer to these questions, you create a specific and unique identity and can start marketing that identity to your target audiences. For more church marketing strategies, read this article by fellow contributor Cody Perez.
Church Marketing Best Practices
Now, let’s get to the practicals. Here are a few ways to put this information to use as you start your church’s marketing journey.
Establish Your Church Brand
Before you start outward-facing communications, you need to know who you are. In other words, you need to establish a brand. A brand is an intangible essence of your organization, not just what you do.
A strong brand starts with a clear church marketing strategy and can include many assets like shared language, designs, or even a church logo. Not sure if your church has a brand? Start by reading this church branding guide. Once you’ve solidified a brand, then you can start marketing.
Your church marketing efforts can be the most creative out there, but they can get lost in the shuffle if you're not consistent. This attention deficit phenomenon results from many factors, including our brain chemistry and new media algorithms. But consistency is one of the best ways to get around that and become more memorable.
So when you’re thinking about marketing, whether it’s social media, email, or otherwise, a way to ensure consistency is by creating a weekly communications plan. Designate certain days of the week to post, send an email, or launch your podcast episodes. And be sure to cross-promote each element on your church website.
Designate a Role
These days, marketing isn’t a niche industry. It’s a multi-billion dollar industry that is part of the average person’s daily life. As such, a church shouldn’t set marketing aside and hope it somehow comes together on a whim.
Whether in a paid or volunteer capacity, hiring a point person to run your church’s marketing will be well worth it. Not only does that take another item off your plate, but it also ensures that someone with the gift of marketing can use it to glorify God and build the kingdom.
All For His Glory
Church marketing can feel at odds with the Christian walk. After all, the printing press didn’t even exist in Jesus Christ’s time, let alone social media, digital ads, and commercials! But when used appropriately and in the right capacity, it can be for his glory of great use for your church’s longevity and growth.
If you’re looking for new ways to bring your church into the future and grow your congregation, the Lead Pastor has plenty of resources for you. Start with this guide on communicating with your congregation, and let us know what you think!