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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.

Photos - Key to a Successful Church Marketing / Communications Plan

Wednesday, November 02, 2016
Photographic images are the basis of any successful church marketing / communications plan. The more relevant and appealing the better! Remember - 'a picture tells a thousand words'!!!

How often have you been inspired by a photo or image? The higher the content relevance of the image the greater the success should be. In any church marketing campaign it is the relevance of each component, which will decide the campaign's success. One poor choice can turn that campaign into a flop. A poorly chosen photo / image can lead to the viewer ignoring or not seeing the message on the one extreme, to being totally against the whole message on the other extreme.

The quality of the image is also important, yet this would also depend on the artistic use of it. Most often a quality photo of the chosen subject is necessary for success. Yet, sometimes a poorer quality, or artistically enhanced, image may be quite appealing in a specific circumstance. The product and demographic of the campaign would decide this.

The digital camera has opened up a whole new world for most people. The quality of many of these digital cameras is quite extraordinary now. The raw photo is often quite good, however add to this the qualities that software, such as Photoshop can add, and a whole new world opens up to even the least qualified photographer.

Of course, quality DSLR cameras, associated lenses, lighting apparatus and software such as Photoshop, will lead to considerably higher quality images in the hands of a photographer of merit. The marketing campaign will dictate the quality of image required.

Even the basic editing tools included with most Windows, Apple and Android products can enhance an image. Often all that is needed is a little cropping or light adjustment.

The smart phone supporting a large enough camera these days can become a part of a successful marketing plan. A smart phone with the appropriate apps downloaded will allow various images to take on that 'Wow' factor.

The digital camera allows for a large number of photos to be taken. Don't be a miser here. You will find that some photos work for you while others won't. Hence, the more you take, the more chance of that 'magic' shot. In time you will develop an appreciation of the number of shots needed to achieve your aim.
The moving video image also has a place to play. The photo image is more often used within a video for special effect.

The photo image is a key component of any successful marketing campaign within so many common media. When an image is used effectively it grabs the attention of the viewer and makes them take note. Use it well and that 'thousand words' will become part of your marketing campaign.

The 'Photos - Key to a Successful Church Marketing / Communications Plan' 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 - 7 Key Strategies

Sunday, October 30, 2016
Each Church Marketing Plan should be based on 7 Key Strategies:

1. Define what you have to offer
2. Define your target group
3. Budget
4. Personnel and Talents
5. Develop Marketing Aims and Objectives
6. Marketing Strategies
7. Evaluation

Sample Church Marketing Plan

1. Define what you have to offer
• vision and mission, personnel, basic underlying content and structures within the parish, pastoral and welfare support programs, facilities, extra activities, etc
• specific demographics targeted e.g. ages and groups catered for and their particular niche market
• future plans - programs, staffing, facilities, etc

2. Define your target group
• through various data, including surveys, observations, experience, gifts and talents available / needed
• proximity to / involvement with similar and / or churches and parishes
• any expansion - programs, facilities, staffing

3. Budget
• realistically support the marketing plan
• be flexible and open to growth and change as the needs arise
• continually develop over time through needs and experiences

4. Personnel and Talents available - including Church Marketing Manager

5. Develop Marketing Aims and Objectives - from previous information

6. Marketing Strategies

• Marketing Relationships
• Marketing Resources (including branding, advertising)
• Media Use
- Internet and other Contemporary methods
- Both for Free (Media Releases / Editorial, etc) and for
- Fee (Advertising)

7. Evaluation

• The plan should be evaluated at least yearly and appropriate adjustments made for the following year.
• Changes may need to be made throughout the year depending on changing circumstances.

The 'Church Marketing Plan - 7 Key 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.


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.



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