As churches are for the most part only locally accessible to their members, many of them tend to brush off any form of online content marketing and instead stick to the more conventional advertising methods of newspaper ads, radio ads, flyers, and signs. However, these same churches are missing out on many opportunities to reach out and spread the message of the Bible as they are not accessing the most popular “hangout” in the world today – the Internet. Your church not only needs their own site (we can help out with that, actually), but a good content strategy as well.
One of the best ways of promoting one’s church on the Internet is through the means of content. In its most basic form, content marketing is creating and sharing a piece of content, be it an article, picture, or video, on various online platforms without promoting a service, product, or brand but instead informing readers or viewers of relevant information they are seeking to stimulate interest and engagement.
This is one of the main reasons why promoting content online is so useful for churches – it does not sell but rather sparks interest without being pushy or sales-like.
As churches are not in the business of selling products or services, only spreading the message of the Gospel, it is a tremendous promotional resource regardless of whether or not they are targeting their local area or reaching out and expanding into different locations.
Why Your Church Needs Content Marketing
Besides helping your church to expand its reach and influence, content (blogs, articles, pics, posts, and videos) offers your current and future members with relevant content that keeps them interested and engaged, two crucial factors in preventing one’s church from becoming stale and boring. And additionally, one other benefit to content marketing is that anytime you make it easy for someone to understand the benefits of your product (or in this case, church) through well-produced content, you’ll notice that they’ll consider taking action. Videos, articles, and social media posts are going to be perfect tools to allow glimpses into your operations.
What is more, online content can reach those who otherwise could never be achieved through more traditional promotional methods. The most important role of a church is to get the message out to one and all, whether or not the audience resides in the vicinity of that particular church or not. Today, through the means of the Internet this is possible, and there is no better way to do so than through the method of promoting highly-engaging and relevant content online.
Three more essential reasons your church should employ content promotion are as follows:
- Community Creation: Content creation leads to community creation. Platforms like Facebook allow one to join local groups where one can share one’s content and messages. If one of your church’s promotional aims is to increase membership, there is no better way to do so then to provide quality content in the form of articles, videos, pictures, and posts on today’s social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
- Increasing Sermons: Most churches hold sermons once, maybe twice, per week, however, though the means of a website “online sermons” can be delivered daily. As more and more people read, listen, or watch these “online sermons” the more they want to hear. This will not only popularize your church but help to keep people’s faith strong which ultimately is the goal of all churches, regardless of denomination.
- Authority & Branding: Providing members and subscribers up-to-date news and messages turns your church into a reliable authority when it comes to Christianity. When people want to hear the latest news or have any doubts regarding the faith, they will turn to your church’s website, YouTube channel, or various social media accounts for solace.
How To Use Content to Promote Your Church’s Website
Now that you know why content promotion is so important for your church, you probably want to start employing it as soon as possible. The following three tips will give you a good starting point from which to launch your content marketing campaigns from.
This boils down to finding out what content your audience is asking for. It is not about creating and sharing what you like but providing what people want and need.
This can be achieved by asking subscribers and visitors to share and comment what they want to see, hear, and read. It’s as simple as that. So, don’t forget to leave a comment section on each of your blogs so that your readers can express their opinions and help you gauge what they are asking for.
Choose Online Mediums
To send relevant traffic (i.e., visitors) to your church’s website, you should consider using some form of social media.
Almost every online presence these days has a Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, or Instagram account, so that is an excellent place to start when considering where to promote your content.
The great thing about Facebook is that it allows you to specifically target only those people in your church’s locality. So, if your aim is to target only those people in your church’s town or city, it is possible to do so through Facebook Groups and through Facebook Ads.
One important caveat is to never share your entire blog post or video to a group or a specific demographic on Facebook. Instead, show a snippet and invite them to view the remainder of the content on your website. This will drive traffic and awareness to your site, and thus your church.
Without content, what will you have to promote? Blogs are still the most popular way to provide website visitors with relevant and engaging material, which is why you should blog on a regular basis and promote each blog on your social media accounts.
Do not, however, feel that you have to blog every day, especially if you think that you are not able to create creative and informative posts by doing so. It is more important to produce quality content over quantity content.
Many professional bloggers choose only to write one blog per week packed with insightful information, rather than provide “filler” material on a daily basis. There are even some big-name content marketers that do so only once a month, offering a large post filled with text, pictorials, and embedded videos.
Church content marketing is an excellent tool to supplement your weekly sermons and target those people who are interested in your church’s message.
Perhaps, the two most important things you can do when coming up with relevant content is gauging who your audience is and what your audience wants. This two-step process is relatively easy as you already know who your members are and can ask them what type of material they would like to see on your website.
After doing so, it is simply a matter of coming up with engaging material that is in line with what your community desires and then trying to find out similar people interested in the same message and sharing it with them through social media outlets.