Have you ever planned and planned an event at your church only to have 12 people show up? What a disappointment! Your initial instinct may be to not hold the same event in the future, thinking there is a lack of interest within your church body. But, have you ever considered that your methods of church marketing might have been the problem instead? Here are a few mistakes you may have made that, if improved upon, could make your next event a highly-attended success.
1. “Selling” the Event
This may sound counterintuitive, but hear me out. When promoting your next event, don’t make your advertising only about the event. Make it about the benefit for the attendees. I’ve learned that people only participate when they know there is something in it for themselves. Here is an example. When creating your flyer, email, or website banner for this summer’s VBS, don’t use the headline “Vacation Bible School.” Instead, make your message “A Fun Way for Your Kids to Connect with Jesus this Summer!” Then throw in that you’re holding VBS and all the details. In this example, the first headline is trying to “sell” the event and only explains what it is. But the second headline does the job of telling why someone should want participate. And that’s what really connects and draws the desire to to be a part of your event.
2. Being Inconsistent
A key principle in any advertising is being consistent in every campaign. Often times we don’t put in the necessary time to plan out advertising for church events and we end up with haphazard communications that are confusing. When planning the communications you’ll do around your event, look at it as an advertising campaign and draft a plan that will help you clearly explain the details of the event. In your plan, brainstorm a theme and stick with it. Choose a headline or tagline for your event, select an image, and select a font and colors. Carry these design and text features throughout every avenue you use to advertise the event. Also, create a timeline. When will you send email, promote on your website, post on social media, etc? As a bonus, once you have your timeline in place, you can repeat it for future events as well.
3. Missing Your Audience
In our parents’ and grandparents’ churches, there were bulletins and announcements from the pulpit – two basic ways to communicate the church’s happenings. And, these two were only worked if people were sitting in the pews. Today, we have tons of other options to reach our church goers that are available every hour of every day. Email, websites, social media, apps, and texting have all increased our opportunities to connect. Try using each of these sources of advertising and see which ones work the best with your church. You may want to choose several forms of communication so you can reach a larger number of people, but make sure you stay consistent!
What are some other mistakes you see churches making in marketing their events?