My Account

Church Marketing Blog

Church marketing personnel need to be up-to-date with the latest church marketing strategies and resources to successfully implement the church / parish marketing plan. This church marketing blog enables church marketing personnel to engage in blog discussions relating to the church marketing issues of today. The 'Church Marketing Manual for the Digital Age (2nd ed)', 2011, by Bryan Foster, forms the basis for most of these blog posts.

Top 10 Free (or Inexpensive) Church and Parish Marketing Strategies

Thursday, September 22, 2016
Free, or Inexpensive

A successful church and parish marketing plan and budget will need to incorporate most of the top ten free church marketing strategies if it is to be successful. The top 10 strategies can be free, or at least relatively inexpensive, depending on the church / parish’s present arrangements.

By effectively using the media and the church / parish website, there should be little expense activating these top 10 strategies, especially when the digital option is the primary method used, instead of hardcopies. If it can assumed that the parish has a website, which can be managed by the parish personnel, as well as a front signboard and a good digital camera, then these strategies can be implemented for free or little expense.

The first strategy is in itself free, yet is also reliant upon a number of other key strategies to be implemented successfully – ‘Word of Mouth’.

Top 10 Free Church / Prish Marketing Strategies

1.    Word of Mouth
2.    Quality Preaching, Engaging Liturgies and Active Pastoral Care / Social Justice / Youth Programs
3.    Social Networking Sites e.g. Facebook, Twitter, You Tube
4.    Professionalism of priests and staff in action and appearance
5.    Church / Parish Website and Blogs
6.    Use of the Media - both traditional and contemporary – including editorial, images  and advertising
7.    Information Sessions - night and day times – including faith / theological education, open days, prayer sessions...
8.    Newsletters and Flyers - digital (hardcopy where needed)
9.    Front Signboard
10.  Cross Information (within the parish e.g including through the school/s)

The number 1 strategy, ‘Word of Mouth’, is dependent on those espousing various views about the church / parish being well informed. To do this, the next 9 strategies have an important role to play.

The church / parish needs:

•    to have a high quality liturgical, prayerful and pastoral life, along with an openness to meet the needs of all parishioners
•    acknowledgement of the place of social media in today’s digital world
•    an easy to use professional website
•    the ability to engage the local media so that the good stories are told to the whole community, and even the negative stories being told with the church's’s professional approach for solutions being seen in a positive light,
•    openness to various visits to the parish
•    the acceptance of the place of the digital flyers and newsletters.

Conclusion

Free key strategies are often the best approaches to marketing your church / parish. When there is a professional website and the parish community has a positive attitude toward the parish and what it offers, along with what the digital age can offer, then a free, or relatively inexpensive, church / parish marketing plan is possible. This approach can also work when the attitude of the community is not as high – however, there may need to be a need for various forms of paid advertising to counteract such negativity. The best church / parish marketing plan would incorporate most of the free top 10 strategies for marketing your church or parish.

 The 'Top 10 Free (or Inexpensive) Church and Parish Marketing Strategies' blog post written by Bryan Foster, author of Church Marketing Manual for the Digital Age (2nd ed), - the paperback and ebook manual for Church communications and marketing personnel - 304 pages of easy to read and implement summarized points, which allow for a considerably large number of quality stategies and examples to be detailed and available for church marketing personnel - with copyright remaining GDPL. Book available from Amazon.com and Createspace.com and all good internet bookstores.


Church Marketing Plan - 5 Key What, Why and How Strategies

Thursday, September 15, 2016
Devising an effective church and parish marketing plan is essential for any successful church and parish community - know what it really is, why it is needed and how to develop and implement one for success - know the 5 Key strategies.

A. Overview

There are a number of crucial aspects which impact on this plan:

Planning
• Manager
• Budget
• Support Structure
• Evaluation


A successful plan is a lot more than the logo, stationery and newsletter. It should also be careful to avoid 'dressing-up' the institution in a way which cannot be supported.

The right person / people, managing the right marketing plan, being given a realistic budget and support and using continual evaluation techniques and feedback are high priorities for a successful marking plan. Often tough decisions need to be made. However, it is absolutely critical to - be well prepared!

Big or small church and parish budgets can both have varying degrees of success. Know your market and its needs and develop plans accordingly:

• A longer term plan often eases that initial budget constraint.
• Success often leads to more success.
• Decision makers become open to more appropriate budgets.

B. Who needs a Marketing Plan?

All professionals, businesses, institutes and services need one. Informing the community is seen by most to be an important aspect of their mission. It also leads to the best promoters of the product / service, etc.

C. Analysis of the Marketing Plan

• Parish Priest ultimately responsible for the plan.
• Based on the Vision and Mission Statement.
• Used to market to the community. The community includes all people who know, or those who you want to know, about the church.
• Strategies used within a defined budget.
• Inform all stakeholders, and other targeted groups, of the benefits and successes.
• Informs about aspects which may be of interest / products, etc.
• Needs to plan for issues which may arise of a controversial nature.
• Inform and emphasize the real nature of the parish and the direction being planned for or presently implementing.
• Realistic budget is an integral part.
• Relatively inexpensive when viewed in the terms of the potential gains made - reputation, etc.
• Benefit from the combination of views of staff and other parishioners, etc, associated.
• In the initial stages of developing the first real plan it is often best to include a variety of interest groups for gaining ideas and suggestions about how best to market. These thoughts may then be used as felt necessary.
• The principal office holder needs input and has the overall responsibility to implement the plan.

D. Be ethical...

Apart from being unethical, more than likely, any unethical aspects would eventually become apparent as being incorrect to the stakeholders and others. This would have an adverse impact on the group's / institute's reputation and hence targeted group and community's involvement.

E. Simple or Complex?

The plan may be as simple or as complex as needed to achieve the desired outcomes. The plan is needed whether:

• a presently has a large sales / product / service base or
• it is about to re/open or
• it is losing market share.

 

The best time to market is when it is successful. At this stage there are so many approaches which may be taken to highlight the benefits. However, it usually becomes an issue and a necessity when sales or numbers involved are dropping, or when competition is opening need by or improving themselves. At this stage a specifically targeted program is required. Don't be caught out!

 

The 'Church Marketing Plan - 5 Key What, Why and How Strategies' blog post was written by Bryan Foster, author of Church Marketing Manual for the Digital Age (2nd ed), - the paperback and ebook manual for Church communications and marketing personnel - 304 pages of easy to read and implement summarized points, which allow for a considerably large number of quality stategies and examples to be detailed and available for church marketing personnel - with copyright remaining GDPL. Book available from Amazon.com and Createspace.com

 and all good internet bookstores.


e-Flyer / i-Flyer for Church Marketing

Wednesday, August 17, 2016
e-Flyers / i-Flyers are issued electronically whenever some important news or event is forthcoming. When these appear on the church internet website the term i-Flyer is more accurate. Brevity and presentation is the secret. These should form an integral part of any church / parish marketing plan's strategies.

Theme

A specific theme for each flyer needs to be apparent e.g. Holy Week, Advent / Christmas, Social Justice Programs, Youth Events or Aged Care Developments, etc.
Other themes may be linked from the e/i-flyer, but best not to distract from the main theme. Most of the content and images visible should be based on the main theme.
Be aware that having a general themed flyer to promote the church will often say to the reader that the parish needs more people. Many people react against this.

Frequency

Due to the ease of production and success that these flyers invariably bring, it is important not to overdo the frequency of email-outs and / or website postings. It would be hard to imagine the need for a frequency of less than fortnightly – so that the readers do not develop a blasé approach to the e/i-Flyers.

Purpose

The purpose is to inform the parishioners, potential families and other interested parties of the advantages of your church to the community through its ongoing prayer-life, communal activities and developments.
This should create a positive discussion. The prestige of the parish should be raised or confirmed. Interest should be increased with potential new families to your church and parish.

Distribution Methods

There are two main ways to distribute the flyers:

•   e-Flyers are emailed: from parish or third party production
•   i-Flyer on the church internet website.

Other topics covered in this section in the Church Marketing Manual for the Digital Age (2nd ed) 2011 are:
•    Email-outs
•    Production of e-Flyers
•    Email Database
•    i-Flyer Webpage
•    Layout
•    Size of e/i-Flyer
•    Production - including the Offsite Option

The 'e-Flyer / i-Flyer for Church Marketing' blog post written by Bryan Foster, author of Church Marketing Manual for the Digital Age (2nd ed), - the paperback and ebook manual for Church communications and marketing personnel - 304 pages of easy to read and implement summarized points, which allow for a considerably large number of quality stategies and examples to be detailed and available for church marketing personnel - with copyright remaining GDPL. Book available from Amazon.com and Createspace.com

 and all good internet bookstores.


e-Books for Church Marketing Research or for Communication with Parishioners

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

E-books are a great addition for church marketing personnel in the digital age - to offer the detail often lacking in everyday marketing campaigns.

The e-book can be used for research by church marketing people or as a marketing strategy for communication with parishioners. This latter variety may hence be considered as a large e-newsletter.

For research

A high quality e-book would have between 300-400 A4 pages, whereas an average e-book would be a minimum of about 200 A4 pages. Poor e-books would be below 150 pages - unfortunately, too many internet authors fit into this lower category these days, and hence make it difficult for the good authors to be seen as highly creditable in the marketplace. These books would be written with the purpose being to inform the reader in a detailed way of how to achieve whatever the aims were being offered for each church marketing e-book.

For publication

Page numbers are irrelevant if the main purpose is to inform parishioners in more detail about various topics of interest eg. a detailed overview of the year from various perspectives including financial, liturgical, pastoral, doctrinal, social, etc., and including many photos for interest.

e-Books can be continually updated and uploaded to various websites for placing in the internet market. This is a huge advantage over everyday hard-copy textbooks, which usually take many months before publication!

My suggestion for the most successful way to succeed with giving thorough detail in the marketing field is to write the e-book in a summarized point format. This allows for a large variety of topics to be covered. It also allows for the reader not to be overawed by copious amounts of words on each specific point being made. Summarized points are often more easily read and often easier to interpret and understand. The page layout is also far more conducive and attractive and therefore should appeal to more people and hence be more successful overall.

Always remember that a picture (photo) tells a thousand words.

 The marketing e-book is becoming very quickly a necessary marketing tool for the contemporary marketing personnel in today's digital world. The detail it gives can be very successful when combined with an appropriate writing format - particularly the summarized point format.


The 'e-Books for Church Marketing Research or for Communication with Parishioners' blog post written by Bryan Foster, author of Church Marketing Manual for the Digital Age (2nd ed), - the paperback and ebook manual for Church communications and marketing personnel - 304 pages of easy to read and implement summarized points, which allow for a considerably large number of quality stategies and examples to be detailed and available for church marketing personnel - with copyright remaining GDPL. Book available from Amazon.com and Createspace.com



Recent Posts


Archive


Tags