061 - Where to Spend Your Church Marketing Dollars - Leaders.Church


061 – Where to Spend Your Church Marketing Dollars

What’s in this Episode?

You look around at all these other churches in your community, and they’re everywhere. Every time you turn around, you see them. And then there’s your church, nowhere to be found. Where do these people get all this money to do this? And if I did have some money, where’s the best place for me to spend those dollars to be able to communicate what’s happening in our church? Well, stay tuned for this episode. That’s exactly what we’re going to talk about.

Read the Transcript

Dick Hardy 0:27
You know, I was talking to a designer who really had some great expertise in the ad side of things and the marketing side of things here, and I was working with a nonprofit. And we wanted to talk to this ad guy about the idea of doing a billboard buy in this particular area where the nonprofit was located. And this ad guy, a brilliant guy, but he could be arrogant in some sense, but he was so brilliant. He said, “that’s the dumbest thing in the world to do.” Now, if you happen to be a person who’s a billboard guy, or gal, just right through me with this, and we talked, and he began to help redirect us to a better use of our advertising dollar. And here’s the drill. We didn’t have an unlimited supply of money. I’m gonna bet you don’t have an unlimited supply of money. Yes, we know the Lord owns the cattle on 1000 hills, but you got a decimal point in your checking account and savings account, and how much money you spent for marketing is very defined. And what we want to do today is we want to talk to you about where a church could spend their marketing dollars, communicating the good that’s happening inside the church to those outside the church. So let’s get started with this. We do want to mention that in Episode 37, we talk specifically on how to market your church. And we did some general flyovers of some of the more specifics we’re going to do here. One of the things we do recommend is that a church start with 3% of their income going to marketing to advertise your church. Now, if you’re not at 3%, you may say, well, we’re just, we’re toast, we’re… no, you’re not. We really recommend you get between 3 and 8%. But you got to get to three first. And if you’re not there, start. Just start with something that begins to move you. Maybe a half a percent, 1%, 2%, 3%, get to that point, then you can begin to work yourself to 8%, but that’s a general look at the total amount of money you are spending on marketing, but we want to now drill into some specifics on where to spend your marketing dollars.

Jonathan Hardy 2:53
Yeah, and I think the key on all of this that we’re going to be looking at today is really about spending your money in a way that’s going to help you reach the most people, it’s going to give you exposure. So that way as people maybe are new to the area, and they’re looking for a church, or if they’re just wanting to explore faith in Christ, and they think, oh, we need to go to church, you know, I know what it’s like, just in my neighborhood, you talk to families and like, well, we know we need to get back into church because the kids need to be in church. So, you know, they, there’s all these different reasons, of course, why people need to do it. Well, so because people are at different points and recognizing their need to maybe try church out even though I know that, you know, well, they’re just…

Dick Hardy 3:35
For whatever their reason is…

Jonathan Hardy 3:36
Yeah. That if there’s exposure out there, for your local church, that’s going to increase the ability for them to come there. And see that exposure. And so that’s kind of the framework, what we’re talking about.

Tip #1: Make Sure Your Website is Up To Speed

Jonathan Hardy 3:50
And so now what I want to do is I want to jump into the first area where you want to spend some dollars for what we call marketing and that would be your website. Making sure your website is up to speed. It’s relevant and current with the way websites look today. You know, you remember the back in the 1990s you want to think back to the 1900s. You know, hard to believe that you know that’s so long ago now but websites back then look way different then websites look now. Interestingly enough, I still will go visit with church websites once in a while and I see this archaic looking website that’s not mobile friendly. It’s not, you know, it doesn’t look relevant with all the way other websites that people visit look. So think in terms of one of the websites you’re visiting on a regular basis now. And the way they look, does the church’s website look similar to that or not? Not I mean, obviously, the layout’s all different stuff, but just in terms of it being mobile friendly, it having a current look and appearance, design wise is, it relevant and current with just the trends of the day today. And so that’s important and the reason that’s important is because website is really, most of the time people are going to the website first. Yeah, before they’re looking at…

Jonathan Hardy 4:01
It’s the primary real estate for your church.

Jonathan Hardy 5:13
Well, yeah, it really is. I mean, you know, we talk about that, and we’ve done a lot of other discussions about that. Where now this is really the first place. People might drive by your church physically.

Dick Hardy 5:23
Normally, they’re gonna drive by your website first.

Jonathan Hardy 5:26
Yep, exactly. And so that’s why that’s important.

Dick Hardy 5:29
Let me, let me mention on that, Jonathan, one of the things that I’m amazed that churches miss is that they they don’t have Google reviews on their website. And it is so easy to do. I’m just tell you right now. Do an exercise, get your phone out and just type in churches in your town. So whatever town is, and see where your church lands, because I’m telling you, somebody like Jonathan’s neighbors, that’s what they’re going to do first. I mean, if they have a relationship with your neighbor. Fine. But yeah, the churches in Kansas City, churches in Boise, churches in Miami. See where your church comes up. Unfortunately, most of the times, your church isn’t gonna come up. But you could get there, if you’ll get Google reviews. And all you have to do is one by one starting to ask people in the church to go write a review for you. And give you a five star rating. You get those five stars and boom. You got to be on the first. If you’re not on the first page, you don’t exist. But that’ll put you on the first page and then start moving you to the top.

Tip #2: Spend on Photography

Jonathan Hardy 6:36
Yeah, that’s a little bonus tip right there. So then the second area where you want to spend some marketing dollars is on photography. And so if you have people that are gifted with photography, in your church, you know, capitalize on them and use them from a voluntary standpoint. You want to get good quality photos of people in the church, not just a bunch of stock photos. People know when you’re looking at a website with stock photos and so this is going to be on the website this might be something you put on social media this might be you know, you might have other uses of it, but you want to have good photography of your people and have it be a representation of, of really the church and so you want to make sure that you do that. If you don’t have volunteers who are good and can get good quality, then this is where you may need to hire someone. You might want to spend a little bit of those marketing dollars to find someone because it’s so important.

Dick Hardy 7:28
Well, and I can tell you, the two of us have become a believer on this. Ryan Wakefield over at Church Marketing University talked about this here a couple years ago, we’re just in conversation, oh photography, yeah it’s important, but I need to tell you, he’s made believers out of us, that when you really begin to put focus on this and I’m telling you, you got generally, let me tell you what it’s gonna be, generally a younger female in your church, who’s an amateur photographer and they want to get better and they’ll do a great job for you. Getting you footage that you will absolutely love. In fact, we talked about this is Episode 33, Four Habits of Growing Churches, and photography is one of those four habits, so I just want to give a little reinforcement there.

Jonathan Hardy 8:09
And then we have some tips on how to maximize your church photography on our blog. And so if you go to the leaders.church/blog, I don’t know the exact site URL, but go to the leaders.church/blog. Then there’s a search bar there where you can search and just type in church photography. And then we’ve got the blog. It’s kind of like a whole breakdown tutorial of things to be thinking through and doing to help you get that photography that you need for the church.

Tip #3: Spend on an Invite Video

Dick Hardy 8:09
You know, and another thing that just dovetails right off that photography, Jonathan is to get a great, what I call, invite video. And it is not… When you talk to churches I normally recommend to be the lead pastor.

Jonathan Hardy 8:49
Yes, agreed.

Dick Hardy 8:50
Normally the lead pastor, although the older the lead pastor gets, you will want to create the images of younger families in the church, because the younger families are the ones most likely to make it. First of all, most likely to be on the website looking for a church. So, while it’s okay to be 50, 60, 70 years old, you want to be sure that your video is showcasing younger and younger families.

Jonathan Hardy 9:15
You might have some if it’s the older pastor.

Dick Hardy 9:17
You want to showcase…

Jonathan Hardy 9:19
Some footage.

Dick Hardy 9:20
B roll of younger families.

Jonathan Hardy 9:24
This could be pastor and spouse too, I might interject.

Dick Hardy 9:26
Certainly, certainly. And you may have spent a little money on this. And to make it… it’s got to be really, really good. You know, you can slap yourself up against the wall and just shoot a video, but make this good because you’re talking. You’re talking to Jonathan’s neighbors he’s talking about and you’re talking to them. They’re thinking.

Jonathan Hardy 9:50
Is this the place I want to start attending?

Dick Hardy 9:52
Yeah, starting to think about I need to get my kids in to. I want to take my kids to be with you. And so maybe you gotta spend upwards to $1,000 on it, now you may go up and say, oh, we’re gonna get that. Well, let me tell you something, you’ve got to put the best foot forward.

Jonathan Hardy 10:09
Well, and you, you are a master at talking about the return on investment. A lot of times we don’t think about church ministry and ROI, but you you spend $1,000. All it takes is one new person to attend a church.

Dick Hardy 10:23
Well, sometimes a half a person.

Jonathan Hardy 10:25
Well, true. Depending on the…

Dick Hardy 10:26
A half a person to a full person. What’s a half a person? To pay for that. So I mean, it’s a slam dunk decision to me, because the return on investment is that good in a period of one year.

Jonathan Hardy 10:40
Yeah. Yeah.

Dick Hardy 10:42
And I’m telling you, we’re not advising you to do things to only get one person in a year. Way more than that. So anyway, kind of got excited.

Tip #4: Spend on Social Media

Jonathan Hardy 10:49
I know. I know. Then the fourth thing so far, we have website photography, invite video. And then the fourth thing is social media. So you know if you aren’t on social media as for your church, then you need to start there. But if you are on there, then you might even throw a little bit of marketing dollars toward it. So that might be boosting a post, that might be doing some sort of Facebook ads. And you know, we could dive deeper on another discussion about that. But the point is, you want to be able to do stuff like that, to be able to get that exposure. This again, all goes back to exposure, the more people can see, you know, what, what you’re, you know, what’s happening in your church and you’re communicating what’s happening inside, you know, that’s going to help them whenever they’re thinking about coming to church, or whether they’re new to the area, whatever the case may be, that’s going to help them see, you know, what’s going on and help them.

Dick Hardy 11:45
Social media is social. It’s not your bullhorn. So if you think, oh, I’ll just use social media and go make announcements. That’s a loser. You want to be social, which means you’re gonna have to pay attention to it and interact with people. Again, you see this illustration of some neighbors of Jonathan’s? Yeah, you know, they’re thinking about it, they go on, they post something, talk to them now. And that’s the great value of social media.

Church Marketing Conference

Dick Hardy 12:09
You know, we’ve got something rolling up here. Here in the next two episodes here of Church Tips. We’ve got our guest, Ryan Wakefield, referenced Ryan earlier with Church Marketing University. And he has put together a church marketing conference, which is free to you. And I’m excited about it. He allowed Jonathan and I to be part of it. And on September 29, and 30th, there will be a live conference free to you and your team. So you go to leaders.church/conference, leaders.church/conference. We’ll have it in the show notes and just request your free ticket and then you can access all the content. Jonathan and I put together a presentation talking about the calendar year of recruiting volunteers and leaders that set you up for, frankly, they set you up for all areas of church, but specifically, we’re going to be drilling in on how you get these leaders that are going to help you market the church and move the church forward. So yeah, we are really, really excited. I mean, they’re gonna, that I’m telling you, Ryan told us the other day about the, I mean, they’re going to talk about the guest experience. They’re going to talk about reviews, they’re going to talk about their boot camps, search engine optimization, I mean, you name it. This is the first of its kind. It’s gonna be a great conference, leaders.church/conference, you will not regret jumping in there.


Jonathan Hardy 13:32
So yep. Okay. Well, the four things again, just to recap of where you want to spend your marketing dollars to help you reach more people would be the website, the photography, the invite video, and then the social media. And then again, don’t forget to sign up for the conference that Dick just mentioned, to go to leaders.church/conference, and you can get all signed up and you can be ready to go. And so yeah!

Dick Hardy 13:54
We certainly would encourage you to jump on and subscribe on any of your podcast platforms and rate and review us. We’ve got a review from Pastor David, it said, “Church Tips is a tremendous leader for the church. It’s out front leading the way in helping pastors and churches move forward in fresh and powerful ways.” Wow, thanks Pastor David. In fact, if you rate and review us, we will probably uh, you know if we really feel good about you that day, read your review and get it on the Church Tips podcast. Anything else, Jonathan?

Jonathan Hardy 14:27
That’s it. Thank you so much for being with us today. We look forward to seeing you next time. Until then, be blessed.

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