Effective church marketing strategies for retaining and attracting members go beyond print and leverage the power of digital media

No matter your religion, churches of all shapes and sizes rely on one big factor: attendance. You need people to show up, hear your message, and participate in the congregation.

Likewise, if you’re already bringing people into your church, you have to figure out how to retain them.

It’s usually not enough anymore to rely on word-of-mouth and printed flyers to bring people to your church. It’s time to move beyond old-school marketing and develop new church marketing strategies for retaining and attracting members. Remember, while a church can be many things to many different people, the business of funding is essential. And all businesses need customers and money to survive.

A solid website is a solid church marketing strategies for retaining and attracting members

When people are looking for things, where do they go?

Yep, Google.

If someone Google’s “churches in your town,” you want your fantastic website to pop up, easily provide them with all the information they need, and welcome them to visit your church.

As you venture into digital marketing, your home on the web should be ready for visitors. First impressions are everything, so you want your church’s website to be informative, easy to use, and attractive.

10 ideas to kick-start your church’s digital marketing efforts

Facebook- 10 Digital Church Marketing Strategies for Retaining and Attracting Members of All Ages1. Create Facebook events.

Your church is likely so much more than weekly services. Maybe you have regular bible study classes, fundraisers, festivals, or field trips. Whatever “extras” you have going on can become their own Facebook events. First, they make it easier for you to gauge public interest and second, when people select that they are “interested” or “attending,” the event will pop up in their friends’ timelines—notifying even more people about your event.

2. Communicate via email.

Build a database of parishioner emails, then start communicating important messages you need to get out there. Don’t overdo it (you don’t want them to unsubscribe), but think about a weekly or monthly newsletter. Bonus: Email is also an excellent way to drive traffic to your website.

3. Create a YouTube channel.

Record inspiring sermons or the music performed at your services. YouTube has more than 1.5 billion users who live all over the world. That means in addition to reaching your local area, you could find followers from everywhere who would want to hear your message (and maybe donate to your church).

Appeal to the next generation of worshippers with an Everwall social media display at your next church function.

4. Use targeted online ads.

Is there a specific demographic you’re hoping to reach? Maybe you want to attract millennials with young families, or you’re seeing a gap in attendees between 40 and 50. Online ads—like on Facebook, Instagram, or Google—allow you to send very targeted messages to a specific group of people. That means if you’re making an effort to spend a little money, you can feel comfortable knowing that instead of casting a wide net, your message is only being delivered to your target audience.

Social Wall- 10 Digital Church Marketing Strategies for Retaining and Attracting Members of All Ages5. Mount a social wall.

If you really want to increase your social media presence and entertain your congregation in the process, a social media wall either inside or in a hallway can be the ticket. It keeps track of the social discussion surrounding certain hashtags (that you can create) and can be a fun way to poll the congregation or have a little contest in real-time.

6. Build a mobile app.

US adults spend an average of 3 hours and 35 minutes per day on their mobile devices—and whether or not they’re using them, their smartphone is usually on them at all times. Consider developing a mobile app for your church that keeps users up-to-date on your calendar, special events, or news. You could even have a section that lets them make their weekly monetary contribution digitally.

7. Do a Facebook Live video.

Give your social followers serious FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) by showing them what they’re missing during your services—live. The videos also save when you’re done, so anyone can watch them later if they can’t catch you live.

8. Host a Twitter chat.

Is there a specific topic you think your parishioners would love to talk about? Create a hashtag for everyone to use and run the chat via Twitter. Church marketing strategies for retaining and attracting members can even overlap here because you can pull the chat into your social wall and let other folks follow along.

Podcast- 10 Digital Church Marketing Strategies for Retaining and Attracting Members of All Ages9. Post an Instagram story.

Have an interesting guest? Or want to build hype for an event? Use Instagram stories to reach your younger parishioners. You can get creative with short video clips, filters, and graphics.

10. Create a podcast.

Podcasting is really popular right now, and there seems to be an audience out there for everything. If anyone in your church has a great personality and plenty to say, work with them to create a podcast that will get your message out.

These are all excellent church marketing strategies for retaining and attracting members, but don’t be afraid to get creative and think of new ways to engage your parishioners all the time. One of the best parts of utilizing digital marketing is that you can also stay on top of social conversations to find out what your members care about, what’s working, and what’s not working. Just listening will give you so much insight into points of contention that may be alienating or driving away certain groups—and you can begin to take care of those issues immediately.

Want a private social wall? SMS (text) and MMS (multimedia) means everyone can join in. We offer SMS in 17 countries (the US and Canada support MMS, too). Start building your social wall today.