Marketing & Ministry

By Julie Ruark | Mission-focused web designer and marketing strategist.

Does your ministry have a marketing plan? Christian marketing is not manipulative or inauthentic. A marketing plan focuses on communicating a clear message to more people. “You are the light of the world”, Jesus says in Matthew 5:15. In the digital world, what does it mean for your ministry to shine? How will the light of your message reach the unreached?

One way I believe God is redeeming a part of this pandemic, is by pushing the church to exist outside of four walls. As most churches shut down, effort was made, by many for the first time, to live stream services. Many started asking God: “If we can’t meet in person, how will we build a thriving online community? How will we welcome new people?”

Marketing is more than advertising. Marketing is outreach in action. If your outreach is online, who can you reach? You can reach anyone with an internet connection. How can that connection lead to transformation?

3 Elements of Effective Ministry Marketing

  1. Recruit a marketing team
  2. Create a ministry marketing plan
  3. Create a follow up plan that’s personal

What’s Working Now?

It’s been a season of experimenting and learning for all of us. Here are a few practical ideas for you and your team that I can share:

  • Make an easy-to-find, easy-to-navigate website a top priority. Review your website from a first time visitor point of view. What are they looking for? Don’t shy away from photos of staff and leaders, and make it easy for visitors to connect with a real person.
  • After you create a Facebook Page, create a Facebook Group. Announce and welcome new members who join the group by name. It’s great to be noticed, acknowledged and celebrated!
  • Can you meet with a new person 1-on-1? Can you find out what their needs are? Share your vision and purpose and invite them to join your group’s mission?
  • Offer more opportunities to connect with the group. Ask them if you can add them to an email list, invite them to the FB group, add them to a FB Messenger group.
  • Offer more opportunities to connect with you. Friend them on FB and LinkedIn.
  • Give new visitors a gift
  • Send a personal thank you email the next day after they’ve attended an online event, or send a handwritten card
  • Send a personal email inviting them to the next event
  • Text your visitor after a few weeks to check in
  • Meet up for a walk
  • Personal connection is critical, but you can also use group email newsletters for announcements if it gets to their primary inbox in predictable ways (Every Monday, for example)
  • Manage your energy well! You don’t have to post on every social media platform! Choose one and post frequently.

What’s One Thing You Can Do Joyfully?

Marketing doesn’t have to be a frenzied flurry of activity. Thoughtful, purposeful, consistent communication can be a joy-filled endeavor. We can be a part of what God is doing to reach the isolated and connect them with community. How are you being inspired to take action? Prayerfully consider any steps you can take to strengthen your ministry’s marketing. This is a season of opportunity!

Your sister in Christ,