by Eric Dye
Church marketing is a very tricky conversation point. There’s a very delicate balance between evangelism and strict advertisement to boost numbers and programs. As communication measures grow and increase we increase our methods of connection and improve ways to reach people. So how do we keep ourselves from getting lost behind the signs; from making the signs the point and forgetting why I put them there in the first place? The answer relates to intent. We post signs to create contact points. Not to pull people to your building or event but to reach out and help.
Taglines in Printed Media
Marketing companies use printed materials as a way to pull you in and get you to purchase a product. Church marketing is supposed to work differently. It’s not so much a pull as a reminder or a tagline. Use church signs and banners as a contact platform. They don’t need to be out on the street or stapled to every telephone pole. They work best when placed where you are working. Use a banner for your volunteer booth that outlines what you’re doing and has a tagline listing who you are. Use flyers or business cards that are free to take but aren’t pushed. It doesn’t seem like the smartest marketing for products but what you’re raising awareness for isn’t a product but a service. Pushy services are never well received.
Follow the same tactic online as you do offline. Use your print media and church signage to connect offline interest to your online services. Whatever media or networking features you use can be made apparent using offline materials. Online services from e-mail to social media (or just your website) are great for getting information out to the people who want or need it but they have to know it’s there first. Print links and invitations to follow your streams onto your print media. Tie the two together from the beginning so people are connected when they need to be. Advertise ways to connect at the event so that when you talk about the event they’re part of the planning instead of just another invitee.
Print and online marketing should never be at odds. Push or pull marketing work for their respective products. When what you’re trying to reach out with is a service then you need to demonstrate contact points. Consider each of your banners to be less of a “call now” infomercial and more of a “call me” business card.