10 Creative Ways to Market Your Church in 2023
The new year is a great time to reevaluate your church’s approach to marketing.
(And if you’re still asking, Is church marketing biblical? ….then you’ll want to check out this article on how the Apostles used a form of the Internet in the 1st century).
Post-holiday season, many people are looking to start fresh new habits that can help them get the new year off to a good start. This doesn’t just mean a regular gym membership, either. Regular church attendance can actually improve mental and physical health.
Not only that, but January is considered the most depressing month of the year…in other words, it may be when people know they need God the most!
Now is the best time to start thinking about marketing strategies for the new year. But you don’t have to stick to conventional methods like handing out flyers or creating a bigger and better sign to post on your building (although those aren’t bad ideas). You can also rely on digital strategies and community building to promote your church.
In the following article, we’ll look at 10 fresh ideas for you to promote your church in the community.
How to Promote Your Church in Your Community & Beyond
You already know that your church has the answers for your community’s greatest needs: material needs, loneliness, spiritual disillusionment, even church hurt.
The question is, how do you reach people with the message of your community?
There are two ways to think about this. Option A is to reach the people where they are (marketing experts would call this outbound marketing). Option B is to create a space that draws people in to where you are (experts would call this inbound marketing).
Both options for marketing your church are good. And both options are Biblical. Paul and the Apostles went to city centers to reach people with the gospel. And Jesus performed miracles, drawing people in towards Himself.
The following seven strategies rely on a combination of “outbound” and “inbound” strategies for churches–no matter how small your church (or budget) is.
10 Marketing Strategies for Churches
1. Build a social media presence.
Building a social media presence can help you reach people who might never have otherwise connected with a church community. If you have a staff member, intern, or church leader who is especially savvy with social media–and passionate about your church–you may want to build out accounts on platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok.
Remember, people are hungry for encouraging content and genuine wisdom. Social media can be a powerful place to encourage and instruct others with Scriptural truth.
2. Create a “referral” program.
One of the best ways to promote and grow your church is word-of-mouth marketing. In other words, invite others personally.
To encourage your church members to invite their neighbors, friends, coworkers, and family members to church, give them a fun incentive to reach out. For example, you can encourage small group leaders to create group “challenges” to invite 10+ people to a special holiday service. When everyone has completed the task, celebrate with a special party.
3. Start an add-on business.
For some people, the word “church” is immediately alienating. Whether they’ve been hurt by church in the past, or they feel like they don’t belong in a religious community, they’re unlikely to visit your community. But “coffee”? Yes please. Starting an add-on business like a pop-up church coffee shop, preschool, or even fitness center can be a creative way to draw people into your church community.
4. Get creative with QR codes.
QR codes have been around for nearly 30 years, but the rise of smartphone usage and no-touch technology have made QR codes standard for accessing information, registering for events, and even making payments.
It’s not difficult or expensive to create a QR code that can direct an interested visitor directly to your website. Make it simple for people to check out your church online, and publish QR codes on postcards, coffee cup sleeves, books, and even merchandise like t-shirts and hats (why not?!)
5. Focus on small groups.
Instead of focusing on inviting people to a weekend service, why not introduce them to your small groups first? For people who are unchurched, a weeknight Bible study might feel less intimidating than showing up to a church service. And for people who are already followers of Christ, a small group can be a better way to get them plugged into your community fast.
To market your small groups effectively, emphasize them on your church homepage, encourage participants to invite others, and promote small groups on your social media channels.
6. Live stream your services, small groups, and prayer meetings.
In 2022, it’s more common than ever to participate in online events. Whether someone lives several hours away or they’re unable to attend weekend services, an online event can be a great way to connect with a wider community and build brand awareness for your church.
Promote these events through your website and social media accounts–with just a couple clicks, any web visitor can get a feel for your church’s community, message, and ministries.
7. Create a free, downloadable resource.
Here’s an idea: Why not take a cue from online businesses, and create a free resource (like an ebook on evangelism, PDF guide on prayer, or audio sermon series) that interested visitors can download from your website? Not only do you promote Biblical values and disciple others digitally; you give people a chance to connect with your church before visiting a weekend service.
8. Host a free workshop, seminar, or program.
Create an event that’s designed to reach out to a secular audience, but that’s based on Biblical principles. Think about the needs in your community–broken marriages? Loneliness? Addiction? Financial challenges? All of the above? Your church has the answers.
Consider hosting a workshop, seminar, or program for people who need restoration and healing in a specific area of life, such as a Marriage Conference, Financial Wholeness Workshop, or Addiction Recovery Program. This kind of a workshop can be a great bridge for both believers and non-believers in your community.
9. Build an email list.
If you’ve got a great tool for contact management, then you can leverage your list of contacts for an email list. Then, use the email list to connect with church visitors with news about your church, event invitations, online devotionals, and letters from different ministry leaders. Your email list is one of your most powerful tools as an organization, and it doesn’t have to be limited to your church members alone.
10. Create an online course.
It’s easier than ever to create–and take–an online course, and churches have a ripe opportunity to use digital tools to teach others from the Word of God. Offering free educational content on topics like how to conduct a Bible study, how to lead someone to the Lord, and how to counsel someone through inner healing can be a wonderful way to provide value and promote your church. Again, the more digitally equipped your church is, the better.
Make Marketing Easy with Breeze
Without the right tools for managing your contacts, planning events, and creating workflows for church staff, you can forget about efficient marketing. When it comes to promoting your church to the right audiences on the right channels, you need a digital management system to make things simple.
Breeze can help you get off to the right start in marketing in 2023. With incredibly easy-to-use tools for managing member data, events, workflows, and more, Breeze delivers on its namesake promise. To learn more about Breeze, click here.
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