Marketing in Ministry – Avoiding Pitfalls

Chris Miller, President of Miller Management, is the guest host of this week’s episode. He is joined by his colleague, Dave Gordon, station manager at Life 88.5.

marketing in ministry - avoiding pitfalls with Dave Gordon
Marketing in Ministry – part three

This month we will dive into marketing basics for churches. The first week we defined Marketing vs. Advertising and our guest gave his top 8 tips for good marketing practices. Last week, they discussed the 7 steps for storytelling. Today we talk about mistakes to avoid.

Avoiding the Pitfalls

The best marketing campaign is a combination of (say it with us) reach, frequency, and message. Your mission (what are we here for) and vision (what do you want to accomplish) should always be in the forefront of your marketing campaigns.

Brand & Budget

Don’t miss what the brand of your ministry is as well. Successful brands have a unique image. Why your constituents will pass another church (or a couple) before they get to yours. Lean into what makes you you and be upfront about that. Prefer hymns? Great, promote hymns. Prefer modern music? Awesome, promote that. Find what it is that you do really well, and let people know – that’s your brand.

Another mistake is not knowing your budget. Establish your budget, and know what you can realistically do with that amount. (For instance, your $200 budget is going to get you flyers, social media campaign, and maybe some phone calls to your neighborhood. But you aren’t going to get a radio ad with that amount of money.) Also know the full-scale of what your event is going to take. If you have a booth at a neighborhood block party, you need everything from signs out front, to booth decorations, to a relatable giveaway.

Signage & Follow-up

Speaking of signs, make sure that inside your building your signs are ready as well. Can a new person easily find the bathroom, kid’s ministry locations, and sanctuary? With that, once you have those people inside those doors, they need to be welcomed, get their questions answered, and leave with next steps. (Is that the next community event your church is hosting? Or maybe how to join a specific group to learn more about the church?) But they need to leave with something in their hand – physically or something they heard – that makes them want to come back.

Follow-up is another key investment. This might not even need money – it might be time or volunteers. If one of your core vision steps is learning people’s name, like the example in this episode, then you’d better be learning their names. Which is more of a time investment than monetary.

In Conclusion

Find specific ways to connect with your target audience. This segmentation is the best bang for your buck. Your target audience is ready for you – they just might know about you, yet. So you need to get to them. “It’s amazing how you will be able to share the gospel in ways you’ve never thought about.” – Dave Gordon

If we try to do too much or a little bit of everything, we end up being busy, but not very effective. So, we encourage you to find what is unique about your mission and vision, and lean into that from your website, to signage, to follow-up. That’s how you will avoid marketing pitfalls.

Join us next week as we conclude our conversation about Church Marketing as we discuss marketing specific events versus the whole organization.

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Special thanks to our guest, Dave Gordon, and our masters of all things Podcasting, Chris and Lauren Miller, for this third episode in our Marketing in Ministry series.