Sun. Feb 28th, 2021

Communication and Marketing Plan for a New Church Plant
Church Plant Marketing

(Note: These suggestions will work for an existing church too!)

IS IT POSSIBLE TO HAVE AN INTERNET PRESENCE FOR YOUR CHURCH PLANT BEFORE THE SUNDAY SERVICES EVEN START?
In this blog post, I am going to walk through a marketing plan that will help a church plant start connecting within their local community and to build up their marketing channel momentum prior to launch. A church does not need to wait until their doors are open before they start building up their online presence.

Start With One Blog and One Video Per Month
People are going to want to know how things are coming with your church plant. At least once per month, I want you to write a blog post to provide your family, friends, and potential attendees with an update on what’s happened in your church plant over the past month.

Planting a church is a fascinating story and an important way for you to start planting seeds in your local community. This update can include things like:
• What’s new?
• Where are you struggling?
• Where do you need help?
• Where are there opportunities to connect right now?
Be authentic. This is not a sales pitch for your church, this is more like a journal entry that you allow other people to read. As you accumulate these month by month they’ll also create a very interesting historical look back to your church’s origins.

So, let’s talk about the technical delivery on this one.

Blog Post
Your blog should be posted on your church website. If your church doesn’t have a website yet, it’s time to very seriously start thinking about building one. Your new church website can be as simple these three pages just to get off the ground initially:
1. Home page – Big fat picture of your logo
2. About page – Share your vision for the church, give your contact information, share your social media channels, and let them subscribe for email updates.
3. Blog page – Let them see how things are coming along.
Your blog post should be written in your own voice and include pictures to help make everything a reality for your readers. From an SEO perspective, be sure to include the name of your city, state, and church name as appropriate within the post.

YouTube Video
Now it’s time to do a little bit of recycling. Shoot a video of yourself that basically recites what you just wrote in your blog post. Take the video using your cell phone and don’t worry too much about production quality. The goal is to let people see your face, hear your voice, and connect with you as a human being.

If you haven’t created a YouTube channel for your church, now is the time to do it. Setup is simple and free, and this is going to be one of the cornerstones in your church marketing plan down the road.

Upload this video to your church YouTube channel. Make sure the title and description includes the name of your church and the city/state… start leaving those breadcrumbs for Google to increase your odds in the search engines in the coming months.

Tie the Video and Blog Post Together
And now the important part… just like it shows in the graphic, your blog post and update and video update need to co-exist.
1. Embed the video in your blog post. Don’t worry if you are duplicating information between the two, just include them both. Most blogging platforms make dropping a YouTube video in your blog post very easy.
2. Link to your blog post from the YouTube video. Any time you post content to YouTube it should ALWAYS link back to your website. You can add a hyperlink in the video description by typing http://www.yourwebsite.com. in the description. YouTube will automatically create the hyperlink even though you won’t immediately see it while you are typing.
Does that make sense? It’s the same strategy I used in this blog if you look at the video up above and look at the description on the YouTube video page.
Sharing Your Pre-Launch Blog and Video Content
This is important… writing the blog and filming a video is not enough. In my day job I’ve dubbed the term “post and pray marketing”, which means you should just pray to the powers that be at Google that your content will magically show up in the search engines. Any content that you develop should be distributed using a marketing plan similar to what we describe below.

As a future church plant, you need to be thinking about your communication channels. These channels are all of the ways that you will be able to reach out to people attending or interested in your church. Email is not enough. Facebook is not enough. The printed weekly bulletin is not enough. Every person consumes information differently, or more specifically, is going to ignore just about every piece of marketing you throw at them.

Here is what I recommend to market your monthly church plant update.

Email Marketing
It is essential to start building up your email distribution list because this is one of the most effective ways to reach people.

Your email can be short and sweet. Just provide a couple of sentences explaining what they’re going to see in your blog post and use this as a chance to get them to follow your church on Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook Personal Account
Your friends, family, neighbors, and other contacts are all going to be interested in hearing this update. While you never want to use your personal Facebook account to repeatedly thump people in the head with a bible, posting a monthly update on this major journey you are taking is completely appropriate and highly recommended.

Facebook Church Page
Here is another one of those building blocks you’re going to need. If you haven’t already done so, head to https://www.facebook.com/pages/create/ and create a page for your church plant.

Now I’ll be honest… at the time I’m writing this post Facebook is starting to be a pretty lousy tool for businesses to use to engage with their customers. However, if you can start getting people to follow your Facebook page, it opens one more communication channel. Facebook can work wonders to promote events, purchase local advertising, and to reach out to friends of friends of your “followers”.

Twitter Personal Account
Again, share the journey with people you are connected to through Twitter. If you aren’t comfortable with Twitter or just don’t like it, skip this step. Twitter is a time commitment and requires ongoing engagement, so don’t tweet as a person if you aren’t going to go all in.

Twitter Church Account
Having a Twitter account for your church is another one of those building blocks you should get in place. You can get away with a little less engagement on your church account, just be sure to include hashtags of #church and #{your city} so your content is discoverable.

Google Plus
Google Plus is not a social network and shouldn’t be viewed that way. When you post your content on Google Plus, you are doing so for Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Sharing your content here is a just a good way to start building up your internet presence.

These posts will be made from your personal Google+ account. Until you have a physical location for your church, it is pretty difficult to set up a business account.

I would recommend setting up an alternating month strategy… in even months you share the link to your blog post, in odd months you share the link to your YouTube video. You’re just flirting with Google at this point.

Summary
I hope that church planting pastors will find be able to build from this model as a way to build up their internet presence with a local community several months ahead of when their new church launches.

The above article, “Communication and Marketing Plan for a New Church Plant” was written by Church Plant Marketing. The article was excerpted from www.churchplantmarketing.com web site. October 2017.

The material is copyrighted and should not be reprinted under any other name or author. However, this material may be freely used for personal study or research purposes.

This article may not be written by an Apostolic author, but it contains many excellent principles and concepts that can be adapted to most churches. As the old saying goes, “Eat the meat. Throw away the bones.”

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