wsFJP_k" /> Spiritual Poems by Nicholl: Thoughts & Prayers to Encourage & Convict: Church Marketing 101 in 5 Steps Or Less

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Church Marketing 101 in 5 Steps Or Less

As Twitter (an Internet micro-blogging website) becomes increasingly more of a social phenomenon, there is a lot of emphasis on drawing new followers. Churches have been the precursor for a lot of things, so it is no surprise that they are doing everything in their powers (and budgets) to amass new followers.

Let's be clear, it is a lot easier to get hundreds or even thousands of followers on Twitter than it is to do so at your local church. That being said, if you were going to build a playbook on how to get new followers into your church, I would be looking at these steps to begin to get your church on the road to success.

Step 1. Focus your efforts! There is a reason that advertisers go after the 18-34 year old market. We have been taught that this is the demographic that has disposable income. And that may be true. But the real answer is that this is the time when consumers (and church goers) develop their brand identity. Surveys show that people generally settle on their faith sometime between 24 and 36. Faith based efforts shouldn't be any different!

Step 2. Be prepared by doing your homework and have something of value! A survey found that 62% of 18- to 34-year-olds consider themselves spiritual, and another 43% have prayed in the past two months. If you get that and most of your church messages/programs are for another demographic, you may be missing a great opportunity. If your current audience is other than this for lack of a better term "sweet spot", don't forget them. Just make sure you also have something of value that will interest and then inspire that target market for longer than just a visit.

Step 3. Meet them where they live. Social media is increasingly getting everyone's attention. But it is "the" big attraction for the demographic you are going after. I love what Tony Stewart with LifeChurch says about how his church "meets that at their place of need" So you should be thinking how you can interact with these folks. Tools such as Twitter and Facebook make that more possible. Those same tools put you on a more level playing field with the mega churches. It begins to build the relationship. Maintain the thought that a relationship through the age of 36 will probably result in a lifelong relationship.

Step 4. Be prepared to do more than just social media. You can start a relationship through social media. But you can't rely on Twitter and Facebook (and those are just a few Web 2.0 outlets) to do it all. Just like you success on the internet is rarely done with one website or model, church marketing is no different. You are going to have to have all of your oars rowing in the same direction at the same time. Check out what the United Methodist church is doing with the 10thousanddoors campaign! While your church budget may not currently afford network television and radio ads, print, text, email and outdoor events are totally in your realm. Just scale it down to what you can afford. But keep this in mind. Better to do one in excellence than 3 that comes off as lame or less than excellent.

Step 5. Keep in mind marketing can only do so much.. Your marketing and promotional efforts make a commitment that when someone attends your church, that the church experience they have is going to be better than going somewhere else. If marketing got them to the door, there job is done. They then hand it off and the rest of the church has to live up to the promise. Failure to do so will have wasted the time, energy and monies that marketing spent to get them there.
Want to learn more about church marketing? Or did you read something here that you want to discuss more? Perhaps you have a project that you need help on or at least want to bounce ideas off. We are there for you!

We welcome your feedback at Unity Church Marketing. Or follow our tweets on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/johnpanico

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