Today we're going to talk about how to market your church for free.
We have three pretty solid strategies and you're just going to love this episode we actually deep dive in two of them and we teach you almost step by step on what to do.
Here are 3 strategies that you can use to boost your church presence and increase attendance.
Disclaimer these are not totally free. These take time and time is money.
- Have a solid social media strategy in place - We cannot stress this enough. You need to have a good mix of self promotion and value. We see a lot of churches just sharing their sermons and upcoming events without taking an opportunity to share value or engaging content. Educational content is a great and easy place to start. You can start creating videos, graphics, blogs, podcasts that educate people. Start with those frequent questions that non-believers have. Remember to start slow and build up your content strategy.
- Make sure your website is SEO optimized - The first thing people do when searching for a church? Probably do a Google search to see what’s out there. There are hundreds of articles and guides on how to optimize your website for search engines. Speed is a huge component of this. You can even browse our blog or podcast episodes and find some good information to get you started. In addition to that making sure your NAP listing is accurate throughout the web is very important.
- Leverage new tech, apps and software - Some examples: ManyChat, OneSignal, Canva, iMovie, Buffer. Using the latest technology will leverage your church into new heights. This will allow you to stay up to date with what other companies are doing to market their businesses. Try out some of these apps. A lot of them offer free versions that allow you to sometimes even have full functionality.
What do you think about this episode? We’d love to hear from you! Share us your suggestions, comments or questions. And we’d love to include that on our next show.
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Hope y'all enjoyed this episode! We'll see you guys next week for another episode of The Marketing Natives!
Christian [00:00:00] Welcome. Today we're going to talk about how to market your church for free.
Christian [00:00:06] We have three pretty solid strategies and you're just going to love this episode we actually deep dive in two of them and we teach you almost step by step on what to do. This is the Marketing Natives.
Christian [00:00:28] And Aaron. OK before we start.
Christian [00:00:35] I do have a little disclaimer. These are not totally free in the sense that I mean I think all of them. You don't have to mandatorily pay money but it does take time and manpower to market a church so that we have three strategies for you. And yeah. I mean they just take a little bit of prep time and like I said just it's there more strategies for you to implement.
Aaron / Christian [00:01:03] Yes. And what you're meaning by that is that the time is money. Yes time is money. Sweat equity nice basically.
Christian [00:01:12] Yeah. In order to I guess do some of these things you definitely need to have either staff in place or people willing to do it for free I guess.
Aaron / Christian [00:01:20] Volunteer volunteers churches churches are really good at getting volunteers. Yeah. So college students would be awesome for all these strategies. Yes they would be. All right. So number one is to have a solid social media strategy which is why we think that the college kids are going to be a great source for you. A lot of times actually this is a misnomer that a lot of people in college know how to do social media. They know how to play around on the apps and know how to use the apps. But marketing it is completely different.
Christian [00:01:50] So I think yeah I think exactly what you're saying is that they know the way around it but they might not know the best strategy to put in place. That's I think what we want to really hit with this is that we see a lot of churches one either have very little social media presence or when they do it's very self promotional stuff like always promotion like their sermons or upcoming events or things like that that don't really provide. I mean yes the sermons provide value to people but they need to just go a little bit further than just a sermon on social media.
Aaron [00:02:32] Yeah. And it should be fun too. There's a lot of fun things that go on with the church. So your strategy should be around. I mean I don't think we're saying that you shouldn't have your promotion of the of the sermon because that's crucial but you should also spend a lot of the time you know you could do behind the scenes or like testimonies that people are OK with the testimonies or you know doing fun things if you're volunteering to help kid feed kids in their church members doing like just different organizations that you can you could be technically it wouldn't be promoting but it would be showcasing what you guys do and how you like act on act in real life outside of just hey this is a sermon and just coming up with a strategy which I guess is really the most important thing is to lay out exactly what you want to do or pretty close to it like hey we want we know we want to hit these categories we know we do a lot of self promotion so let's change it up a little bit.
Christian [00:03:23] Yes. I think I think a good starting off strategy would be to do exactly that. Aaron mentioned categories in there and just look at a week Monday through Sunday and figure out OK what do I want to post on Monday as far as my category. So maybe on Mondays you post maybe a little behind the scenes of either some activity that you have coming up or maybe you're changing the stage to something new decorations or something. So Monday could be behind the scenes Tuesday maybe you don't do anything Wednesdays. Maybe you could do. I don't know a clip from the sermon from last Sunday and Thursday. Maybe you do a throwback. I don't know maybe you know have to do a throwback every single Thursday but maybe once a month you do a throwback Thursday and you post a picture from way back when maybe you've got churches older and newer church it wouldn't make sense but if your church is older than you can do a throwback maybe a picture maybe you can talk about you know some kind of story from when you began the actual church. So there's a lot of different things that you can do throughout the week in terms of those categories you know like the behind the scenes a clip from a previous sermon maybe even a picture with a Bible verse. Those usually do.
Aaron / Christian [00:04:43] Oh my gosh that is so great and inspiring so yeah. People love that.
Christian [00:04:48] Yeah exactly. People can relate to to a lot of those and it'll definitely promote a lot of sharing and commenting within your post which is something that you really want to do with your social media strategy is to promote an engagement within your posts. So think about just even asking a simple question. It's probably one of the best ways to to engage people on especially on Facebook just literally type a question and publish that you don't have to do anything fancy graphics not even a video like just published a question people can't help themselves to answer that. Yeah exactly. So you always want to be providing always lead with value. That would be. The main thing here. Have a solid strategy. Figure out your categories or things that you want to share throughout throughout the week. And then start small. I think that's another big thing. It's like you don't have to do every single social media starting out. Maybe you start with just Facebook for the first 3 6 months a year even just to get really good at Facebook.
Aaron [00:05:55] Yeah and I guess one other thing for that too like going back to the quotes that Christian was talking about is to I think answer. Well the number one thing that I see whenever I go to a website or if I'm looking at a church or anything is that what I believe or what we believe. That's usually when people are looking for a church they want to know that they're aligning like oh I'm going to a Baptist church or if I'm going to whatever it is they want to know what your belief system and answering those questions on social could probably be a little controversial. Some people may jump in there but you could always hide those comments and it would be really cool just as you you know depending on who you're going after maybe going after new believers or people who are not believers and answering questions that they may be having like hey you know what how did the world start or you know what am I supposed to do with my friends who are you know they don't have the same beliefs as me etc. and answering those questions in like one minute form and just really just sparking and conversation where you can hey there on social media you don't have to come into the church now here's a safe place or a somewhat safe place that you can go back and forth and have comments and like you know there's probably going to be a very strong answer or a very strong opinion on one side of the other but that's social media wise.
Aaron / Christian [00:07:15] Facebook loves that and I was reading an article actually the other day about how controversial topics are or posts are some of the most popular on on Facebook where you have a very strong difference of opinion between people. People just love to share their opinion.
Aaron / Christian [00:07:36] Yeah they like Trump rocks. No Trump said it's like you know if you just put anything like we put on our social media right now like you know can't wait for the wallet to be finished. Like no matter what we believe for real people would be saying you know or I knew I believed in you guys that would be the most engaged post we've ever done. Oh hands down. I know he'd probably have to close our agents. Yeah. Guys. All right. Number two here. Let's move on.
Aaron [00:08:03] How do we spend a lot of time on number one but it's super important. Number two here is to make sure that your Web site is FCO optimized so its search engine optimization and we've actually mentioned it a little bit earlier. The number one thing that probably people do is they look at your beliefs but they have to get there first. They're looking on the Internet they're not necessarily going to go to a Facebook page and be like hey what is this church post about like. They don't necessarily care about that they want to know what they believe. They want to know the structure of the church the structure of how the sermon or not sermons but services go and they're gonna look for you on Google. So if you don't pop up just like any business it's going to hurt you because they just never get to you and never find out how amazing you are.
Christian [00:08:45] Yeah. And I mean we've seen a lot of churches now take their sermons live on either social media you to other platforms sometimes even TV so you don't necessarily have to target when it comes to to SFO. You don't have to just focus on your local community. Obviously that helps tremendously but there's a huge opportunity to just go global literally with with your FCO and like Erin with saying within within social media about answering those questions you can do the same thing by starting a blog or just starting a video series where you post it on your Web site about answering those does frequently asked questions sharing your culture your culture values your beliefs within your Web site will definitely help especially like new believers who are just looking and searching for those things to stumble upon your church and they could still join your church even if they're not in the same town or state. That's something. Yeah. So I think there's a huge opportunity for for expansion when it comes to that especially within your Web site and taken advantage of. What exactly are your audience or maybe new believers or even current believers or what are those questions that they're asking and answering them either. Like I said blog post or video format.
Aaron [00:10:09] Mm hmm. And there's probably I mean there's most churches probably do not have the staff or the ability to you know in Texas we have a church almost everywhere on every corner and a lot of them. You know there's a lot of people that go to church here but most places I would assume don't necessarily have. They may have a marketing coordinator but they don't. CEO guy they don't have it. You know they're not something specific who's working on their FCO but there are certain tactics that you can do it they're going to make your website pop up a lot easier. And the good thing about it too is that if there isn't a lot of competition it's not gonna take a lot for you to start moving up in rankings. So we want to talk about a couple of those things. No. Maybe no one Google likes us a lot. As for your websites fast so if you're just if your Web site is loading really slow and the way that you can tell that is just you know go google a speed test for your Web site and Page Insights.
Christian [00:11:03] I think that's what the caller just Web site page speed test.
Aaron [00:11:07] OK. So just search for something like that and you'll find something in it. A good rule of thumb is I think what their standards are is you want to be like five seconds or below or something like that really like even low salary. Yeah yeah. So if you're low loading slower than 3 seconds you could be getting like you know not deemed but it's definitely not helping you. But at that site speed is so crucial.
Christian [00:11:29] Yeah absolutely. I think one of the most important things when it comes to two sites speed or something that we see a lot are images and things like that on the site. So content that just takes a lot of space and there there are a lot of free tools out there to optimize images. You know JPEGs or PNGs. Again you can do a simple google search of you know JPEG optimizer and you'll find a lot of free tools where you can just put your images in there and then download it as a smaller file size so you can use that our new Web site. So just a little tip that will help tremendously when it comes to two speed and loading. Beyond that I mean there's just maybe a few things that you can do for free but really you will have to reach out to to some experts to really help you shrink down your seconds and then you start getting into coding and and just different things and different components that are a little bit more advanced.
Aaron [00:12:24] Yeah. And that to clarify in that if at all possible if you're uploading if you know the difference between a JPEG or PNG don't upload a PNG we actually we had a Web site earlier that we're auditing earlier this week rather and everything was like a PNG like it was a very large image.
Christian [00:12:42] Yeah yeah. So I mean Dave isn't the end user pretty similar but it's I guess a rule of thumb or the recommended you know thing to do would be to do a JPEG anytime you can. And the only reason why you should use it PNG would be if you needed a transparent background for your image like a logo or something. Yeah. Or anything that has text. So maybe if you have an image or maybe some kind of flyer or something maybe a PNG would be a little bit sharper when it comes to text. But JPEGs are definitely recommended for just any type of photo.
Aaron [00:13:15] All right and the last thing for the SCO is nap and we're not talking about going to the nap which would be kind of cool. It's called a nap because it's just an acronym for name address phone number. Very simply said You just need to make sure the name of your business the address of your business and the phone number of your business are consistent across all platforms. So could you use Google as your your anchor there and just say OK what it looks like on Google that's what it should look on our Web site that's what it should look like on Facebook anywhere else and just make sure that it's very consistent. Some people like oh I got a different address Oh I got a different phone number oh it's bit branding LLC Oh it's branding like you need to make sure that everything is consistent throughout and just doing that one change over time will definitely help you start ranking.
Christian [00:14:03] Yeah. And we're talking about even sometimes even doing like every rating drive for like these are just smaller things like that also matter. So just make sure that you know all the way throughout the web your your name address and phone number are accurate. Absolutely.
Christian / Aaron [00:14:30] Holiday week horn. It was my mind has been up all the way. All right. So this is the part in the episode where we tell you guys a little bit about us.
Aaron [00:14:40] Talk a little bit about some things that we have going on. And today I want to tell you guys about a video production. We have not ever talked about that or we haven't talked about that for a while yet because we last week we had a guest and just last few weeks we were talking about websites which this is crucial. And the reason what I'm talking about video production is that on your Web site the best way to tell your story is not text it is it is good to have text. You should have both but have text but to have a video that tells people who you are what you do why you do it and how you're the best at it. Sometimes it makes sense for you to do these nice interviews and these nice behind the scenes shots but really what we want to do is to showcase who you are and make and make people make decisions like oh wow these guys are awesome or oh this insurance company is amazing or this roofing company which seems trusted. They can't get that necessarily from just text but they can see that. And if he had some good video testimonials that could also help you tell that story. So if you are in need of a video you go to your About page on your Web site right now. You're like a whole I don't know if I have one if you go there and you don't have a video then you need to reach out to us a couple of ways you can do that. Go to our Web site. BitBranding dot SEO that's co burning dot co or Gord Instagram or Facebook and everything on social media is at that branding BTB. And while I was going to say that go the I.T. BRCA and Dynegy and find out they are just you just a and then we can at least steer you in the right direction so that you can get high quality video to tell people your story to.
Christian [00:16:23] There's a great ad Aaron grasses. All right. So our third thing that we have here for you is to leverage new tax apps or an ad or software. A lot of businesses are you know especially us. We're a marketing agency so we're always on top of you know new things that are coming out and a lot of businesses are too.
Christian [00:16:44] So I mean churches are in some sense businesses as well. So you should just be looking out for what other people are doing online with their Web sites or social media things like that. So for example some examples of these apps and software is many many tapped would allow you to to create a messenger bots on your Facebook Facebook page for example. So they have obviously a lot of these have paid accounts but you can do you know the free one to get started or even just use a free one. Definitely. Another thing would be something like one signal which will allow you on your Web site to do push notifications. So maybe people want to sign up for new content or new blog posts that get published on your Web site. So they just click accept on the one signal notification that shows up when they go to your Web site. And those people will get notified whenever a new blog post is published.
Aaron [00:17:51] I think the next thing is when. So once you have the technology side I think this next one is not necessarily a technology it's just like the better version or an easier version for you to make designs on your site like Photoshop which sometimes can be sent out sometimes it is more advanced. Absolutely. But you can get 90 percent of it for free or night. You can get 90 percent of the way rather by just using using something like Canva. And I feel like a lot of people or a lot of businesses now that we've talked about it a little bit more not just us but just that has been around. Canva has been doing a good job so you may already know about Canva but maybe haven't used it. It is not intimidating it's super easy to use you can do a lot of things with it and it will help you with scheduling thing or not scheduling but will help you with creating good graphics and stuff for your social media for your Web site. I mean really anything in flyers anything that you can think of it can all be done inside of Canva. And for the most part we'll do almost everything that Photoshop does and it's absolutely free. We have a cool home page too.
Christian [00:18:58] Yeah yeah. I mean they do offer like paid like graphics and images but you really don't need any of that stuff. They even offer templates for you to create flyers publications and things like that. So it's very easy to create things. Another good creator tool is a movie that comes with with Apple computers which essentially allow you to put videos together for free social media. And another thing would be like something like buffer who to to help with that number one thing that we mentioned which is the content strategy social media content strategy. So those two tools will allow you to post effortlessly to all your social platforms. And what we're seeing here with this new tech and apps and software is we think that a lot of churches don't necessarily use these or they're late to the game when it comes to using a lot of these. So always you either have someone on staff that's technologically savvy and it's always looking for those new things that you can implement and test because that's the biggest thing here is a lot of these tools are great and they're awesome but they might not necessarily work for you and your marketing strategy. So always just be testing new things that are coming out.
Aaron [00:20:18] Yes. Yes it's absolutely key and we hope you got a lot out of this episode. I know we took a deeper dive into the strategy and then we all talked about tools and then optimizing your web site. I really do think this is a complete package to really help your church or boost your boot your business your business boost your church and to reach more people. So we want to thank you guys for listening to this episode. If this is your first time in your church go don't worry. We talk about other social media stuff on our other episodes and we also have special guests who come on. So it's all about marketing. And it really is. We try to make of most the episodes are pretty short. So you guys can get to work and get there on time and or finish your treadmill run whatever you're doing. So make sure that you hit the subscribe button and what that means are whenever you get subscribed rather it means that you're going to get a notification when episodes come out. A lot of our stuff is about new tips or tactics of what's going on. So it is very timely. So if you subscribe you get to be ahead of the competition on when you see some. Thing. And if you've been listening for a while please leave us a honest rating or review over on i tunes and we will be checking that weekly. And if you do leave us a review we will give you a shout out. You can plug your business you can say what's up. What it matter. We'll just give you a shout out on the podcast. Super simple.
Aaron [00:21:42] All right we will talk to you guys next week, bye.