In recent years, churches have improved the quality of their web content by introducing technologies that improve the performance of media users. We are still not fully aware of the business world, but most churches make better use of this truly blessed, inexpensive delivery system that provides instant gospel distribution throughout the world, as well as in the living rooms of our neighbors. Neighbor.
However, we do not live in the realm of dreams, where “if we build, they will come.” In the internet marketing strategy of many churches there is a fatal flaw. We don’t have one.
The Internet is a means of marketing, as is printing, radio, television and rumor (including evangelism). Each environment requires a unique vision, skills, and action plan. Unfortunately, most churches (and businesses – not just us) operate with outdated assumptions and information, which are then implemented by the wrong tools and the wrong staff.
Fortunately, this cloud has a silver lining. We can quickly learn to use internet marketing strategies to support our wonderful communicators, artists, and musicians who work with the Holy Spirit to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Internet marketing “simple”
Internet marketing isn’t too complicated. It follows the 80/20 rule, like most businesses in life. The first 80% of the material can be learned in a few weeks or even days. The next 20% can take the rest of our lives, but if the church implements 80% correctly, we will always be a head above the rest of the competing churches at the local level.
The obvious advantage of internet marketing for churches
Let’s take a real example of how Church Internet marketing works for us.
Last month, I searched three major search engines (Google, Yahoo, and MSN) how many times their users searched for information related to churches in the Greater Charleston area of South Carolina (z):
Charleston Church in South Carolina – 1523
Charleston Church, South Carolina – 242
Charleston, South Carolina, First Baptist Church – 221
Charleston Catholic Church SC – 221
Charleston Church SC – 126
Data extrapolated from Overture study data using comScore Media Metrix to be distributed to search engines
That’s 2,420 queries last month for a small subset of all search queries that people use. We get even more research when we look at the data on the suburbs, about the people writing “South Carolina” and so on. Of course, only the Lord knows where their church will be at home, but even if you don’t try, it’s like a parable in Matthew 25: 14-20, where we bury our talents in the ground.
I’ve launched some of my analytics tools on the top 10 websites that appear in Google on these queries. Most of them got into their high ratings, having a little common sense, and the rest were lucky. In fact, there are many larger and more “influential” churches in the area, which should be in the top ten search engines. This information is good news for our churches, because we know that for our church there are low barriers to entry and domination in this niche.
Embarking on such a revolutionary and often challenging task, many church ministers head to the priest’s house, Starbucks or somewhere else to wait for a little peace and quiet. Remember I said that internet marketing is easy? Let’s first look at our limiting thoughts and get rid of them all:
Remove obstacles to success
“We’re fine.” – I’m surprised that such a phrase is uttered by a company or a church, but it is so. I would like to ask these organizations the following questions.
How do we know what our potential is?
If we get a large number of unique visitors to our site, how polluted are our data by visits to current participants? Do we know how to define it?
What are the relevant user queries our site appears in the main search engines?
What quality and amount of referral traffic do we get?
Even if 100 people filled out contact cards every month saying they found us online, would we stop? A good steward would think, “Hey, maybe 200!”
“We don’t have any money.” Most of the Internet marketing strategies that start with churches are cheap or inexpensive. It’s not like we’re competing with mesothelioma lawyers and the industry. We work on our “sale process” and then move our ads to a paid domain. The second point is that we should start thinking like Christian business people – with the will to succeed. What is your ROI? If I had the opportunity to invest $1,000 in my business that would bring 1001 dollars, would I make that investment? I bet I would! If we start small, we will learn to accurately predict the ROI of internet marketing – it’s one of the few media places where you can do it.
“We don’t have time.” -Is it true, but it’s only because we use the wrong personnel to implement these strategies. God willing, I’ll talk about it in the next article.
“I don’t know what to do.” This means that we are ready to add another marketing technique to your church directory, which offers income limited only by electricity, and works around the clock without a break for coffee or toilet.
In the next article, I’ll address the biggest mistake even Fortune 500 companies make about Internet marketing strategy and how it’s fundamentally changing the way we think about attracting people online.