When it comes to beefing up attendance in the wake of a pandemic, church leadership will try just about anything. There are a few easy ways to market to a new audience and recognize first-time guests to your organization. Here are some tips from successfully growing churches.
It may seem obvious, but many local churches are dramatically underutilizing the power of social media. Paid or unpaid advertising on these platforms draws visitors by the thousands. There are few easier ways to reach mass audiences than through social media outlets.
Virtual services continue to grow in popularity as well. They are convenient and can easily be bookmarked or recorded. One caution with social media networking is that your website and virtual brand must be worthy of the traffic. If you plan to draw people to a website, it must be appealing and current. Irrelevant information or broken links can quickly derail progress in your online presence.
Word travels fast, even among the congregation. A current sermon series or new gift offered for visitors will be openly discussed. Distinguished branded gifts leaving a lasting impression on new guests and encourage a return visit. When the name of a guest or potential visitor is known beforehand, these gifts can be personalized for an added touch.
In addition to first-time or out-of-town visitors, remember to recognition existing parishioners. Resource tables and book or gift stores are a great way to increase awareness about upcoming events or the latest sermon series. The excess inventory can easily be converted into gifts for standing members. Depending on availability, once or twice a year, the overflow of unsold items can be repurposed as thank you gifts for faithful members.
Remember that advertising is not only acceptable but is also expected in the current social environment. People have many, many choices on where and when to worship. Promote what sets you apart from other worship centers in the area. Consider what you want to be known for, then advertise in a way that highlights those features. Show passersby what they are missing and entice their interest. Be sure that your message is clear and informational. There should not be any mystery about specific tenets or beliefs.