Glass rosette

Church Marketing Resources

With a never ending list of social media apps, website integrations, marketing channels, and even live streaming services to choose from now-a-days, its hard to know what will help and what is going to be a waste of time. That's why we have gathered some tips and even a list of resources that could make a difference in how you reach your congregation, or better yet, GROW IT!

Website

Domains & Hosting

If you are just starting out, its easiest to purchase your domain from the same company that will be hosting your site. You can usually find package deals with different priced levels of services. from companies like Wix, SquareSpace and even SubSplash. Plus they offer template based websites that make it fairly easy for a novice user to figure their way around. Here's a good article that goes more in depth on domain names, from Wix.

Design vs Functionality

Its better to have a simple, clear design and information where people can find it easily, than a fancy, animated but cluttered or hard to read website. Square Space offers what feels like hundreds of template-based, plug-and-play options here.  These provide drag-and-drop design features that can be easily updated with the latest church outreach.

Navigation & Pages

Really though, keep it simple. You don't need a new page for every event or ministry. A paragraph or 2 about each thing is plenty, and list it right on the homepage. You really don't even need multiple pages, just have sections of the homepage dedicated to certain topics and then use "anchor tags" or "jump links" from your main navigation to "jump" you to the different sections of the homepage. It's really, all about listing how people can get involved with your church.  So put your contact info everywhere!

Think MOBILE FIRST!

Did you know that almost 51% of the internet searching was done by mobile phones in 2021? Only 47% of usage was from a desktop computer. The remaining 2% we will call "other". This include things like tablets, gaming consoles, smart TVs, or even certain {WHISPERS} "Alexa" models. Most of the website building companies offer a Mobile View in their Editor Programs. You should always be paying attention to what your edits look like on both mobile and desktop views.

SEO Bootcamp

We get it! SEO can be a tricky concept to grasp. But because Google pretty much runs the internet and one of the best ways for you to reach more followers of Jesus Christ is using the path that SEO provides on the internet... you are going to need it! We recommend doing some reading or watching some YouTube videos on SEO Basics. Here's a link great resource from Wix, The SEO Learning Hub. Lots of great topics to consider reading through.

Where to Spend the Money

If you have the means to do it, it can be very helpful to go the marketing agency route. However, it usually comes with a hefty price tag, even when some firms offer non-profit rates. But, we live in the gig-economy! There are plenty of local freelance marketers around that can give you the hands-on treatment of an agency for a much better price. After an initial investment of a solid branding guide, logo package & marketing plan you can usually lean on some of the tech savvy members of your congregation to make website updates and use other marketing channels as needed.

Other Marketing Channels

APPS

Apps are a great extension of your website and social media channels. They can range in difficulty to maintain depending on the developer and how much customizable control you want. SubSplash is a company that has made their own suite of products that offers multi-function sync-ability. Those are fancy tech words that mean  you can easily make one update in an easy to use web-based platform and the update would be pushed out to your website, app, social channels and can even send alerts, chats & texts thru your phone and the app. Did we mention they specialize in Churches? Check out SubSplash here.

Texting is Personal

Texting is one of the most intimate forms of marketing in today's world. With knowing that, we suggest using some of the text marketing options sparingly. However, texting can be very useful when following up with new prospects. Tip: Set-up your Contact Form on your website with a place for "preferred method of communication" and allow texting as a choice. Giving the person the option of communicating via text then opens the door for you to send those Sunday morning "hope to see you" messages. Do you think your church would benefit from from a text marketing service? You are in luck because Catalyst Church has partnered with Text In Church to give you a 60 Day Free Trail! Use this link to get signed up:

60 DAY FREE TRIAL: TEXT IN CHURCH

Social Media

Social Media is ever changing, and can be tough to keep up. This is where a group effort should be encouraged across your congregation. If people are out and about and post about something that's somewhat correlated to the Church, have them tag you in it! You can set up back-end controls that requires the admin to approve any post prior to it showing on your page, if you need a fail safe. This goes for all social channels. If people are tagging you in their posts, then it shows on your page and you look like you have fresh content, which is a win! Plus, a quick 15 or 20 second video of your Pastor saying a daily devotional or encouraging word a couple times a week and then pushing it out to all of your social channels, is a great start to always appearing to have fresh content.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is fun! The trick to emails is targeting the right people with the right messaging, in order to shine in today's cluttered inboxes. You have to have a subject line that catches people's attention in 5 to 7 words. There are some great email marketing products out there like MailChimp. You can also use free subject line testers like this one. Studies show the best time to send an email is early morning, between 5am and 7am, earlier in the week (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday). One of the worst times to send a marketing email is Friday or Saturday evenings. Boost your list of emails to market to by adding a "Subscribe to our newsletter" option on your website. By the way, have you subscribed to the Catalyst Church newsletter yet? Scroll down the page, or click here.

Other Tips, Tricks & Resources

You Need Multiple Logos

A good graphic designer knows that a new logo design is a big project, because its not just one logo, its usually 3 or 4. When commissioning a logo, make sure you are getting the following:

  • 1 - Full Color Logo

  • 1 - Single Color Logo meant for use on light backgrounds.

  • 1 - Single Color Logo meant for use on dark backgrounds.

Plus you might want to ask for a square and a horizontal one depending on the design. Having a square and a wider rectangle version will come in handy. You will also want to get a vector or EPS file of each of the logo versions along with a transparent PNG. Only having a PNG or JPG of your logo will not cut it! If you ever want to get some professionally printed branded merchandise., or decent quality printing of any kind, it will require a high resolution file. EPS or PDFs are your best options.

Your Image File Names Matter

Ever heard of "Geo-Tagging" your images? Well, Google wants you to use it whenever you can. Your photos have metadata tied to them which Google uses to make a digital map of the world. Very "Big Brothery", we know, but the truth is, if you have a smart phone, its likely already doing some of it, without you even knowing. So, why not use it to find more followers of JC?! Here's a simple web tool to geotag photos online.

Quick Tip: use this simple template for your file names: 
Church_Name-City-Event-Location_Keyword

File SIZE Matters too!

Here is a great website to resize images and compress the quality so your website will load faster. Check it out here.

Graphics & Helpful Free Resources:

What Makes Good Content?

  • Write about what really stands out to you about the church.

  • Make it personal. Share part of your journey. This is a great way to share part of your personal testimony, but keep it brief and upbeat.

  • Use words/language that everyone understands and can relate to.

  • Feel free to make it fun, use emojis, etc.

  • Write like you are visiting with a person who has never been to a church before.

  • We love 5 stars! - Ask for Reviews!

  • Don’t worry about perfect grammar and spelling. In fact, if it’s too perfect a review can sound fake.

  • Use a free Google Review Link Generator (Very Important!) Check this one out.

More Keyword Help!

Ubersuggest is a website that helps you generate keyword ideas for your content marketing strategy and production. With the free keyword tool, you can generate an unlimited number of suggestions for free and take your content creation to the next level while increasing your website's chances of ranking against the competition. Click here to see if it can help you!

More Helpful FREE Resources:

  • Google Ad Grants equips nonprofits with up to $10,000 per month of free search advertising. Connect people to your cause with ad grants

  • Google Workspace for Nonprofits: Solutions for collaboration and productivity at no cost. Enable your teams to work together, share knowledge, and make an impact from anywhere.

  • YouTube Nonprofit Program: Tell your story with the power of video on YouTube to better connect with supporters, volunteers, donors, and more.

  • Grammarly: Makes sure everything you type is easy to read, effective, and mistake-free. 

Social Media: A Closer Look

Why Social Media?

Your online presence is your digital front door! And just like your real front door, it needs to be maintained and above all, welcoming. There are 3 main ideas to keep in mind to help your social media and online presence:

  1. You have to be present

  2. You have to be likable

  3. You have to be able to reach your intended audience.

Having a presence on social media platforms can help you build a trusting and authentic relationship with people. It allows you to push out content that people can interact with and feel connected to, by commenting and using platform "reactions". This also allows you to have a conversation with your audience. Likes can lead to trust, and trust leads to people feeling compelled to visit in person. People are more likely to visit you when they have had an enjoyable experience or conversation with you on social media.

Facebook Insights

Everyone you are trying to reach is online!

On average, Facebook users spend 35 minutes per day on Facebook. There are 2.5 billion monthly active users, and 74% of users visit the site daily.

Facebook User Demographics:

  • Men on Facebook: 54%

  • Women on Facebook: 46%

  • Ages 18-24: 18.2%

  • Ages 25-34: 23.6%

  • Ages 35-44: 18.1%

  • Ages 45-54: 13.7%

  • Ages 55-64: 11.1%

  • Ages 65+: 11.1%

As of September 2022, 23.6% of Facebook users in the United States were aged between 25 and 34 years, making up Facebook’s largest audience in the country.

Opening The Digital Front Door

What does your church look like from cyberspace? Everyone that is looking for a church, is looking online 1st! So you need to answer 2 questions:

  1. Why does your church exist?

  2. Do you want to reach your communities for Christ?

Once you have the basic answers to those, you can start to connect the dots between Corporation, Marketing & Branding. Social Media can be that connection! Just think about it, 2 billion people are on social media platforms every day, with an average of 3-4 hours PER DAY! This is a huge opportunity to reach believers and create even more, but understanding how to connect can be key. You need to understand your target audience, which includes their goals and values, their sources of information, and their challenges and pain points. That means meeting them where they are and adopting new ways to connect.

Instagram Insights

On average, Instagram users spend 53 minutes a day on the platform. There are 1 billion monthly active users, and 42% of users visit the site multiple times per day!

Instagram User Demographics:

  • Men on Instagram: 51%

  • Women on Instagram: 49%

  • Ages 18-24: 25.9%

  • Ages 25-34: 27.3%

  • Ages 35-44: 17.8%

  • Ages 45-54: 10.9%

  • Ages 55-64: 6.5%

  • Ages 65+: 4.4%

As of June 2022, 27.3% of Instagram's audience in the United States were aged between 25 and 34 years, making up the largest portion of the platform's audience in the US.

STREAM, STREAM & STREAM SOME MORE

Treat your online worship service as a thread of connection with those viewers. You shouldn't be looking to sever the thin line, but rather turn it into a rope that can make the ties thicker.  Leverage those opportunities! "Come Together!" Use your social media and YouTube channels to stream your weekly services as well as special events and create even more engagement with your online community.

Glass rosette

Thanks for subscribing!

pm&m (3).jpg

Michael Murray

Founder of REACH

pastormike@catalystvt.org

  • Recently Retired Senior Pastor of Catalyst Church on Raceway Road in Jericho, VT

  • Graduate from Church Marketing University (2022)

  • Founder of REACH - Church Marketing Management Services

  • Associate Pastor at New Beginnings Christian Church (2007)

  • Marketing Associate at Sysco (2004)