Ryan Wakefield Church Marketing University

Ryan has many years of experience working in the trenches with the local church. He served various capacities at James River Church and was the Creative Services Director from 2006 – 2010. Ryan graduated from Evangel University with a major in Biblical Studi... read more

Let’s face it, creating church ad campaigns can be overwhelming. Perhaps you have been in a position where you witness what seems to be every church in your area experiencing massive success after paying a fraction of what you paid for your ads. With so much already on your plate as a church leader, it’s challenging at times to really invest in a strategy that will see your ads thrive. 

John Erik Moseler once stated, “When people go to a mattress store, they are not looking to buy a mattress! They are in the market for sleep.” Your goal as a church is not simply to bring people into your building, but to spark a sustainable, lasting impact in their lives.

Here are some thoughts to consider when determining your paid ad strategy:

Keep your Facebook ads effective.

Social media used to be the way of the future. The future is now. People are constantly swarming toward new devices, looking for new ways to connect via social media, and crave to be updated on the status of the rest of mankind. While this trend can be extremely unhealthy if used irresponsibly, the social media world represents a bundle of opportunity for the church from a marketing standpoint. The tricky thing is, there are many churches that are experiencing stagnation in terms of growth, while spending large sums of money on facebook ads.

Two things to remember regarding facebook ads:

  • If your original post/ad did not spark enthusiasm or gain traction, do not throw gasoline on a fire that isn’t lit. Throwing money at content that is missing the mark is not the answer.
  • Limit your campaigns to a geographical radius. This radius should include your church location and it’s near surroundings to ensure that people who live locally are targeted, rather than people from out of state or farther. There’s nothing worse than realizing that someone three states over is getting your church’s ad!

Refrain from becoming a “me monster”.

It can be very tempting to default your campaigns to simply revolve around the events that you are running. As you already know, the goal is beyond getting people in the building. The more you talk about yourself, the less inclined a guest is to be interested in what you have to say. Make your content a conversation that families will want to join, not a bullhorn that simply blurts out a list of announcements. 

Take advantage of a multi-channel strategy.

The best marketers in the world today don’t play fair. Every Facebook Ad, instagram post or new landing page they create is a piece of a larger puzzle where they all work in concert together. Start with your ultimate goal in mind and leverage your various marketing channels to hep you achieve that goal.  

Prioritize your follow up system.

After you have had a major event, what are you doing to follow up with the people who attended? We’re constantly advocating that the win for your church is not just an event, but long-term discipleship as a result of that event. Your post-event follow up strategy is what brings it all together. Whether you are retargeting through Facebook Ads or even implementing a text message follow up sequence, guests will feel the most welcome (and apt to come back) if you make communicating with them a priority. 

If you want to learn more about these strategies, check out the featured video above from my talk at the PushPay Summit last year. This year’s PushPay Summit is coming up next week in Dallas, so let me know if you’re going to be there. I’d love to meet up! And, when registering be sure to use the code SOCIALCHURCH. 

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