Easter Marketing Plan for your Church (Newsletter 4-2)

Easter Marketing Plan for your Church
Church Plant Marketing

Easter is right around the around corner! In this article, I am going to teach you an inexpensive online marketing plan focused on the Easter holiday to get you in front of church shoppers.

Don’t be overwhelmed!! This plan is a buffet, you can pick what you want if some of these items aren’t quite in reach for you yet. This is the Easter marketing plan we are going to use at our small church so I promise that everything I write in here is completely doable.

Step 1: Your Core Building Blocks
Be sure to start here before doing any of the marketing outlined in the next section. This is where all of your visiting traffic is going to land and where people will make the decision to visit your church or not!

Blog Post or Web Page
While this page will definitely include information on the Easter service, you really need to view this as a one page website for your church. Many church shoppers aren’t going to take the time to browse your entire website to find the information they need. Let them make their decision with a single page view.

If you are able to write blog posts that live on your church website, do this as a blog. If your blog lives on a different website or you don’t have a blog, just build this as a new page on your church website.

Applying some basic information on this page is critical!!!

• Page title should be “Easter Church Service in [CITY]-[CHURCH NAME]” For example, “Easter Church Service in Loveland-Crossroads Church”.
• Repeat that phrase in a sentence near the beginning and end of your blog post.
• Add the date near the top of the post (April 20, 2014)
• Next, give the essential information they will want to know about the actual service that day:
• Service times. Front and center.
• Embed the Easter invite video from the pastor (Covered under YouTube below)
• How long is the service?
• Do you have a kid’s ministry program during the service?
• Where is the church? Directions and parking.
• Finally, let them know exactly what they are getting into so they know if your church is a fit. You can find more details on this topic in my post titled, “What To Include on a Church Plant Website.”
• What if I’m not fully on board with this Christianity thing?
• What is the format? (Worship time vs sermon time vs hanging out time)
• How do people worship? Hands in the pockets vs clapping vs hands in the air vs dancing in the aisles?
• How big or small is your church?
• How long has your church been around?
• What is the denomination, affiliation, etc?
• Include a few pictures of your people, the inside of the church, and kids ministry

Easter Invite Video on YouTube
Consider this section “extra credit” for your Easter church marketing! You can create a powerful personal connection for the church shopper by filming a 30-60 second video inviting them to join you on Easter. It doesn’t need to be fancy or professionally produced… just grab your iPhone and film yourself saying these key points:
• You are invited to join us for Easter
• Nothing strange will happen during the service
• What to expect – 75 minute service – Sing three songs, hear to the message, share communion, sing two more songs, and we’re done
• Your kids will have a great time
Post the video to your church YouTube channel with the title “Easter Church Service in [CITY]-[CHURCH NAME]” and recycle some of the content from the blog post to fill out the “About” section.

Step 2: Let’s Find Some Church Shoppers!
OK, are you still with me?! If you completed the steps above, you are ready to get out there and start generating some traffic with your online marketing plan.

Remember, the list of tactics below are like a buffet. You don’t need every single one of these to see success. Most of this will move pretty quickly if you’ve done it before, but I will include links to other church marketing posts I’ve written in case you need some extra coaching.

Church Website Links
It will be a lot easier for Google to find this post if you provide a few links to the blog post on your church website. Here are some recommendations:
• Home Page (best) – Add text somewhere that reads, “Easter Services in [CITY]”
• Home Page – Add a graphic for your service with the Title Text and Alt Text reading, “Easter Services in [CITY]”
• Sermon Series Page – For your April 20th sermon, add text reading “Learn more about our 2014 Easter Services”
• Event Page – Create an event titled, “Easter Church Services in [CITY]” with a link back to your blog post.

Online Event Websites
Online event websites are the quickest way to score a first page search result on Google. Plus, it’s free!

There are two types of event websites out there: Those that will post your event automatically and those that require a human editor to review everything before it goes live.

Let’s start easy with the auto-posting website. Add your Easter service to the following websites:
1. Facebook – Create an event from your Church’s Facebook Page.
2. Craigslist – Submit an event listing on your local Craigslist board. This is one of my favorite church marketing tricks, Google eats these things up in our market. Make sure your event title is “Easter Church Service in [CITY]-[CHURCH NAME]”.
3. Yelp – Using your personal profile, submit a Yelp local event.

Next, submit your event to local newspapers and news websites. Heads up!!! Many of these require 2-3 weeks advance notice to publish your event.
• Regional Newspapers – This is the big daily paper in your market
• Local Newspapers – These are the 10-page papers that show up in your driveway once a month
• Television News Channels – Many TV stations have “neighborhood” websites with event calendars
• Online News Websites – Patch.com is a good example
Your goal with these online event calendars is to use their SEO clout to sneak to the front of the search engine results. Make sure you are always linking back to the Easter service blog post you wrote… not to the homepage of your church website.

Social Media for Easter Marketing
You should be sending content out to your social media channels during the two weeks leading up to Easter.

Facebook Posts – Don’t be shy about asking your congregation to share the content you post to Facebook. Most people would much rather do this than hand a postcard to their next door neighbor! Here are some ideas for content to share:
• Add a picture of a community group every couple of days. Be sure to tag everybody in the photo.
• Post a picture of your kids ministry lead preparing the lesson for Easter Sunday.
• Upload the invite video from the pastor we talked about above.
• If your church builds a nice looking Easter graphic, share it as a photo.
If you don’t have a Facebook Page for your church, read my article titled, “Should My Church Have a Facebook Fan Page.” (Hint, the answer is yes!)

Facebook Events -After you build the Facebook event mentioned in the “Online Event Websites” section, be sure to get people to RSVP. An event with a lot of RSVPs can touch an enormous amount of people. Here are some strategies to make this big:
• Personally use the “Invite” button to invite your Facebook Friends that are members of the church AND who you would like to personally invite to Easter service.
• Ask your leadership team and other social members of the church to use the “Invite” button on the event as well.
• When making your weekly announcements during the service, ask everybody to RSVP to the Facebook event.
• Ask people to RSVP in an email sent out to the church.

Twitter – Whether you love or hate Twitter, it definitely needs to be part of the Easter marketing plan for your church. Focus on the ideas of #Hashtags, which allows people to search by keyword. Share some tweets leading up to the event with the hashtags #Easter and #Church, combined with hashtags of the city your church is located in. As an example:

We invite you to join us for #church in #Woodinville this #Easter.

There are people out there who will actually find a church by searching hashtags on Twitter. Crazy, right?!

Google+ is barely a social network, but it is an important step towards getting your church noticed by Google. Share these two items either on your church Google Plus page (preferred) or on your personal Google Plus page.
• Blog post describing your Easter service
• Invite video to your Easter service from YouTube

Paid Online Advertising
This is moving out of the “free stuff” area of church marketing. If you have some budget set aside for church marketing, I would definitely do either of these options over paying for a display ad in the local newspaper.

Google AdWords is my preference. This lets you pay to show up in the search results when people type in a specific phrase (Easter service, church) in a specific geography. These are worth the expense because you know the person is specifically looking for a church on Google when they click your ad.

The other paid option is Facebook Advertising. One way to use Facebook ads for Easter is to promote the Easter Service event you created a few steps back. Facebook will serve up your event in the news feed of people who have RSVP’d, limited by geography. This tactic can be touchy for some people… that’s why I prefer to pay for Google AdWords and only use Facebook for the free stuff.

Following this plan, church shoppers are going to find out about your church plant in time for Easter and feel comfortable enough to bring their family for a visit. If things go well, maybe they’ll finally find a church to call home thanks to a little bit of online marketing on your part.

The above article, “Easter Marketing Plan for your Church” 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.”