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Church Marketing Tips For The New Year

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Focusing on Marketing Trends Can Help Your Church Grow
Church Marketing Tips for the New Year

Visibility is one aspect of marketing that won’t change—regardless of the year. Marketing before and after a digital transformation revolves around how parishioners see your church. Focus is crucial—and that can be a challenge. The bigger the church, the more diverse the parisioner base.

While data is making it easier to target consumers, it’s a massive undertaking to discern valuable information from the volume of data available. How do you stay focused, create conversations, and increase conversions? It’s a big question, but paying attention to what’s on the horizon can offer insights to growing your congregation and keeping existing members, engaged, excited, and encouraged.

  1. Increased focus on customer experience. Customer experience is the heart of marketing for every industry. While it has always been a marketing focus, today’s churches—at least the successful ones—have embraced customer-centric philosophies to create effective marketing strategies and positive transformations.
  2. Emphasis on analytics and measurement: Talk of measuring marketing has been on an endless loop lately. With confessions from Facebook and others about how their data doesn’t tell a complete story, what we do have is less than stellar. It's best to use data for trending, as opposed to "exact" conclusions based on hard numbers. Expect your church's business objectives to tie back to profit, revenue, congregation growth, and overall brand happiness.
  3. Lean on the new marketing lieutenants: marketing technologists and data scientists. To make the first two trends on this list work, church leaders must be data-driven. As churches aim to connect email, social media, and paid, owned, and earned marketing strategies (among others), they must incorporate technology needed to implement and support it.
  4. Personalized everything. As we work to individualize everything from Coca-Cola cans to shoes, mass customization has transitioned into personalization. For some churches, this will mean ensuring touch points are specific and individual. For others, it’s simply streamlining the purchasing process and making it more responsive.
  5. Better video content…and more of it. Yes, content is still king, but the kind of content that rules the web is changing. Social content, reviews, blogs, papers, and eBooks are all still crucial aspects of marketing, but video will be the rage moving forward. Considering the success of games like Pokémon Go, expect virtual and augmented reality to take us into the future. Brands that fail to incorporate visuals and videos will be left by the wayside.
  6. More social media marketing. We need to change the way that we think about social media. Social media strategies should market less and sell more. Often, brands use social media to blast highly generic content—content that people are ignoring. Social media should be personalized too, and it’s not too hard to accomplish. Use social media for the frontline marketing of sales and services. Use it to engage with consumers, not blast messages.

Of course, the items in this list aren't the only things to watch for when considering your church's marketing strategy for the coming year; save room for the unpredictable and unprecedented. Sometimes they can be the most benefical tools in your church's marketing toolkit.

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