Are you looking for ways to increase engagement with members of your ministry and connect with new congregants at your church? In this week’s PosterMyWall free class, Jemal Mosley, CEO of Mosley Media Marketing and AV director at Bethel Baptist Church of White Plains, NY, shared several church marketing ideas that he says most churches haven’t discovered yet — or aren’t using to their full potential.
Best of all, these tactics can be deployed in-house without the assistance of a marketing agency.
1. Create strong content to send a compelling message
Jemal said that the cornerstone of an effective marketing campaign is compelling content that attracts your audience. Here are some of Jemal’s tips for creating an effective design:
Brand all of your designs
“Branding is key to good promotion. When people see your branded content, they’ll immediately know what to expect because they’ll draw on their experience with you in the past,” Jemal said.
A well-branded design will integrate your standard set of colors and fonts and include your logo.
If you don’t have a logo for your church yet, it’s time to create one.
Customize to make the design your own
Jemal makes sure every design he creates is unique by moving elements around, resizing things, and deleting things. He also adds his own images and videos. By the time he finishes, his designs only have a slight resemblance to the original template.
Add a QR code
Adding a QR code to your flyers and promotional designs will help you direct people to where you want them to go, whether it’s your website, a livestream, or your social media pages. You can also link a QR code to your email address or a registration link. The possibilities are endless.
“These days, people don’t have the time to do their own research. So you’ve got to make the process quick, easy, and accessible for them,” Jemal said. People can simply scan a QR code with their phones and get to the page you want them to.
Address your target audience with a clear message
After you’re done with the design process, ask yourself: Is this design targeting your core audience? If the answer is yes, you’re good to go. But if you feel like your message isn’t clear, take a few minutes to rework the design before you finalize it.
Add visually-dynamic graphics, photos, and videos
“Visuals are important. They’re what stick to people’s minds after they’ve finished seeing your content,” Jemal said. If you aren’t able to shoot your own high-quality images, use stock images such as the ones in the PosterMyWall photo and video libraries.
2. Be consistent in your promotions
Once you’re done with the design and creation process, it’s time to start promoting. Jemal stresses the importance of being consistent in your promotions. This means you have to be consistent with your branding, fonts, colors, and image styles.
Consistency increases recognition and memorability – and as a result, increases customer loyalty.
For instance, if you’re posting flyers for an event in your church, use the same design – or another version of the original design – on the graphics you promote the image with on your social media.
3. Stream your worship services
With many people switching to online communication and learning, even post-pandemic, it’s becoming increasingly important to utilize digital avenues to reach your ideal congregants.
Jemal’s platform of choice for streaming is Zoom.
“The great thing about worship services via Zoom is that you can reach people who aren’t regular church-goers or who previously attended another church. Many people prefer to attend a service from the comfort of their homes and will appreciate being able to join you without making a lot of effort.
You can even use Zoom for church meetings, workshops, Bible study, you name it,” Jemal said.
Improve the branding of your online events by creating a custom Zoom background. This could be a background that repeats your logo, a photo of your church, or even a graphic that promotes an upcoming event.
For instance, if you want to promote an upcoming retreat, create a version of the retreat flyer to use as your Zoom background. Remember to move the key elements to the sides so they’ll still be visible when someone is sitting in front of the graphic, and eliminate any unnecessary copy or elements to make sure your main message stands out.
4. Leverage Google Business to gain exposure
You can use Google Business to increase your church’s visibility online. First, create a free Google Business account. That will create your profile. Add details, including your hours, address, web address, and contact information.
Be as specific as possible because your profile will show up when people search for churches online – and you want to be sure to provide them with the information they need.
Google Business also allows you to create posts and add events. Jemal repurposes his flyers and posts them to Bethel Baptist Church’s Google account. When people search online, the event graphics show up as well as the directory listing.
Once you’ve posted your profile and a couple of event graphics, test it out. Create a search on Google and look to see if your profile and information appear. If anything looks odd or out of place, you can correct it by going back into your Google Business account.
It also helps to encourage your congregants to leave reviews on your Google Business profile. These also show up when someone searches online. Higher ratings will move you to the top of the list.
5. Use video to capture and hold your audience’s attention
“When it comes to digital marketing for churches, if you want to encourage the viewer to stay with you and listen to what you have to say, do it with video,” Jemal said.
This is very important in an age when people are able to engage in what Jemal calls “sermon surfing.” If someone doesn’t like what you have to offer or if you fail to engage them, they’ll simply move on to another church. And with so many ministries online, competition for congregants has become increasingly fierce.
Jemal said that PosterMyWall makes creating video content very easy. He often takes advantage of his PosterMyWall Premium subscription to add eye-catching video backgrounds to his designs.
For more complex videos, Jemal relies on PosterMyWall’s video slideshow tool. He shared an example of a template with a video slideshow that he was able to customize into a video commercial for his church. Although he started with a template promoting televised football games at a bar, after he swapped out the messaging, copy, videos, and images, the final graphic was 100% his own.
“It’s easier than you think,” Jemal said.
6. Resize your content for different platforms
At the beginning of this article, we talked about being consistent with your promotions. The fastest and easiest way to do that is by using PosterMyWall’s one-click resize tool to copy your design into another size or shape background.
Let’s say you want to share the flyer you put up in your church as a cover photo on Facebook, but your flyer was a vertical design, whereas Facebook photos are horizontal.
Resize it by simply selecting the new size, copying the design, and re-adjusting the elements to fit your new format. That’s it. You’re done.
7. Enhance the church sanctuary experience with visual content
Jemal’s favorite technique for preventing sermon surfing is to create slides and visuals that he projects on a large overhead screen during the service. This enhances the experience both for people sitting in the sanctuary and for people watching at home on Zoom.
The full range of visuals Jemal creates includes promotional slides to increase event attendance, videos or photos of people who are participating from home, compelling mood-setting nature videos, and bible quotes to enhance the pastor’s key points.
One of Jemal’s specialties is his 5-minute pre-service warm-up videos where he combines welcome messaging, dramatic video, promotional messages, and trivia quizzes to get everyone engaged before the service even starts.
“The quizzes keep people intrigued. They keep them wanting more. They’re also a great way to get people to open up their Bible and brush up on historical facts,” Jemal said.
Are you ready to ramp up your church marketing?
Now that Jemal has shared some of his top tactics for engaging congregants and growing your ministry, it’s time for you to try them out for yourself. Try some or all, and experiment until you discover what works best for your congregation.
Bonus: Download church marketing templates plus Jemal’s worksheet to help plan a video slideshows quiz.