I Hate Marketing!
I know a lot of pastors and church leaders that hate marketing. I was once one of them. For some it’s the idea of marketing. It seems wrong to spend money on getting noticed when there is so much need in the world. For others it just seems daunting. It seem like you need years of training to do it right. I’m sure there are other oppositions to marketing out there.
The point is, you don’t have to hate marketing. Really, you shouldn’t hate marketing, especially as a church. We need to get people in the door, to our events, or even just knowing who we are so we can’t point them to the message of Jesus.
For those of you who think, “I just can’t do it. I don’t have time to learn it all!”, I have some good news! Everything is marketing! Everything you do sends your message out to people. It’s true that you may need to learn how to extend the reach of your message or how to package your message better, but you’re already on your way! There are three things you need to do to begin the journey from where you started to great marketing.
Craft Your Message.
We all know that the Gospel never changes. We also know that the mandate of the church handed down to use from Jesus Himself is to spread that message and make disciples. That being said, I’m not talking about the Gospel.
Your message is what you’re about. How are you going to fulfill the mission form Heaven? Are you all about reaching the lost in your community? Or do you want to reach out and make your community better by helping those in need?
Whatever your story is get it set straight. Create a mission statement, vision statement, and values. Make what important to you known to others. By doing that you’ll begin attracting those that want your message to be their message.
Solidify your brand
Branding is important, even for churches. You want people to recognize who you are instantly. Whether they’re scrolling through their social media feeds, driving by your church sign, or getting an invite card, you want them to make the connection.
Connections are so important. The people you’re trying to reach need to recognize you before they know who you are. Imagine this…Someone gives out one of your invitation cards to a friend. Next your ad pops up on that person’s social media feed. They head out to a coffee shop and noticed a poster of an upcoming event at your church. As they’re driving home they pass by your church and notice your sign and think, “Maybe I should check that place out.”
Why now? Well, their brain has recognized that they’ve seen that logo with those colors somewhere before. In fact, their brain has seen it multiple times. Then their brain has this conversation.
“You know what? I’ve seen that stuff several times and it’s all over the place. It must be important. Maybe I should pay attention to it.” And so it does. What you’ve done with your branding is programed its importance into their minds. Good branding isn’t just about great design, it’s about consistency.
Find your Audience
As much as we, as churches, would love to just reach everyone everywhere, we can’t. You already know who you are as a church. What kind of music do you do? Is your message style old time preaching or sit on a stool teaching? Is your atmosphere oriented to suits and dresses or suited to jeans and t-shirts? Whatever you want to be, be it. When you know that you can find your audience.
Who are the people that look like you? This is the part of marketing that gets rough for churches. We want to be all inclusive and we absolutely can be. Even your marketing can be. Your marketing can be inclusive and still geared toward a specific audience.
You’ve got to define your audience so you don’t spend a ton of money getting your marketing in front of people that are unlikely to respond to it. Defining your audience isn’t exclusionary its making sure your money is spent well.
Marketing can be rough, but it doesn’t need to be. Start with these three things and you’re on your way to move from hating marketing to loving it!