The barrage of advertisements competing for our attention on the internet and tv channels is at an all-time high.
The pandemic, the ensuing lockdown, and other restrictions have meant little or no in-person commerce. Businesses have no choice but to try and reach customers through digital devices. The moment one gets online, one is confronted with the sale of products or solutions funneled through target marketing with the aid of algorithms that monitor one’s viewing or browsing habit.
The restrictions have also affected the churches and have forced the majority who can afford it to migrate to digital programming. For the Christian congregation, they are spoilt for choice because they can now sit back at home and decide what church to follow regardless of the geographic location. This means some are gaining members, while some are losing members to other churches. While there are several reasons for the choices made by followers, one major factor is the visibility of online presence. It’s common knowledge that a marketing strategy for retailers is to locate on high streets that attract high human traffic. The same applies online, where businesses expend a lot of resources on tools that will continuously put their products on the customer’s face. For the church, an online presence is here to stay and so its leaders have to get creative and assign resources to ensure premium appearance in cyberspace. Here are a few ways to make this happen in a post-COVID-19 world.
1. Save funds and set aside a workable budget for online marketing and advertising.
There are more cost-effective ways to administer churches now. ChurchPad, for instance, gives you all the essential tools required to manage a church effectively and at a fraction of what it costs to run one using the traditional method. The system is structured in such a way that there is provision for churches of all sizes. You can visit https://www.churchpad.com/ to learn more. Savings from the administrative tools available can be applied to paid advertising on YouTube, Facebook, Google, Twitter, Tik Tok, and Instagram.
2. Set up a Digital Ministry Department.
It would help if you had a dedicated team to manage your online presence. If your online presence is not yet dynamic, then you’ll need to make it more interactive. And for this, you’ll need a dedicated team working several hours to manage content and ensure your online presence is replenished and refreshing. Nowadays, your website and mobile app are the windows to your church and give the first impression to would-be members. Are they welcoming? Are they engaging? Are they easy to navigate? Answers to these questions are especially important to the millennials who are always looking for ways to remain engaged.
3. Optimize your new or existing website.
It’s no longer enough to have a website for the sake of having a website. Make your website work for you by driving traffic to your virtual church. According to a company called VWO, “website optimization is the process of using tools, advanced strategies, and experiments to improve the performance of your website, further drive more traffic, increase conversions, and grow revenue. One of the most critical aspects of website optimization is search engine optimization (SEO)”. It is inexpensive because you are not paying for advertising. Read more at https://vwo.com/website-optimization/?utm_campaign=tof_ugc
4. Brand consistency is essential.
It may appear that the church is borrowing from the world when it comes to marketing, but the reality is that this method of getting attention is inevitable. Standing out in the digital space means you’ve got to have a brand that is recognizable and consistent across all your offerings. Your brand distinguishes you from others. There is an old marketing strategy called the “rule of seven,” which applies to this case. What this means is that it may take a potential congregant seeing your brand seven times before acting on it. The key here is consistency.
5. Produce short videos telling people about your church.
Something is endearing about a senior pastor introducing himself and explaining his church story – the mission, the values, how they started, where they are going. The same thing can be done for specific ministries within the church. These provide first-hand insight into what the church is about without physical attendance.