Churches do a lot of great things, but very often people don’t even know about it. This is why churches need to think about how to make people aware of what they do and build their church brand.
The digital age has provided many low cost tools that can help get the word out. The challenge becomes getting up to speed on the latest technologies and using them as communication tools.
“Branding aims to establish a significant and differentiated presence in the market that attracts and retains loyal customers.” Business Dictionary
There are many tools available that will help you build your brand but the first step is creating a look and feel for your church that can be communicated through several different tools.
6 Tools to Help Build Your Church Brand
1. Church Logo
Your church logo communicates a lot about your church. If you don’t have an official church logo, or if your logo needs to be updated, there are many ways to give your logo a face-lift – without breaking the bank.
If you’ve never used Fiverr, it is a great website that provides lots of great services for 5 bucks! The reason they are so cheap is that most of what they are selling is templated, which means they merely have to change the information. The end product might not be the most original but if your logo needs updating or if you don’t have a logo, Fiverr is a great place to start.
As your church grows and resources increase you can hire a professional freelance designer at sites like Upwork or CrowdSPRING. You can view their profiles, portfolios and ask them to bid the job for you. Just remember the more information you can give them the easier it will be for them to create what you are looking for.
When my family and I moved, I found my current church by doing an Internet search for churches. And I decided to visit because the website was professional, informative, and easy to use. People will judge churches by how their website looks. Its website represents the organization’s culture and style. Take the time to create a site that’s current, informative, and easy to use.
If you don’t have a website, do a little research and check out the sites of other churches. Set your bar high and dare to look at the website of the large church down the street. It probably has more resources than you, so don’t feel discouraged by what you see. Rather, get some ideas for creating your own site.
If you have a website built 10 years ago, it may be time to give it a face-lift. The technology has changed a lot, and the look and feel of websites is constantly evolving. Try to stay current since your website may be the tool that either brings visitors to your church or sends them away.
3. Internet Presence
An Internet presence is critical in this digital age. There are lots of free online directories that can help people find your church.
You should list the church on as many free online directories as you can. Here are a few you can set up accounts with and make sure your information is accurate.
Many of these sites pull information from various sources, and they don’t verify the information for you. You need to check it out and make sure the information is accurate. Here are a few of the most common directories you might want to make sure has a listing for your church.
- Yellow Pages—yp.com
- Google Places—google.com/local/business
- Bing Places—bingplaces.com
Blogging is a form of giving back and engages others in topical conversations. Creating a church blog is a great way to interact with the congregation and share biblical concepts every day of the week. For example, writing a blog post on Monday about the Sunday sermon that goes deeper into the topic can provide supplemental teaching for members.
As you build your church brand, use your blog to communicate using the same format, feel and style.
5. Social Media
Social media is how most organizations communicate with their followers or customers. Take the time to learn these tools and create a plan to use them for your church. This is a short list of social tools just to give you a starting point:
Facebook is a social phenomenon used by millions of people worldwide to connect to each other. Every generation now looks at Facebook, and churches should take advantage of this tool to interact with its members. For instance, a church can create a Facebook page and connect with members, share information about specific outreach or ministry events. Create a page and encourage members to become part of the community.
Twitter is a 140-character message sent to cell phones, making it quick and timely and is a great way to keep in touch with members.
For example, the youth pastor can tweet a daily scripture to youth, or the volunteer office can tweet a call for needed volunteers. The uses are endless so use your imagination and start tweeting!
Instagram is a great tool for sharing pictures. Use this tool to share pictures of kids in children’s church, highlights of church events, or participation in church programs.
Pinterest is another picture-sharing site. Use Pinterest to share helpful articles and information about your church. You can create boards to share information. For example, pin a blog post highlighting your vacation Bible school with pictures of the kids participating.
The YouTube generation is strong and growing. This new phenomenon in communication has rewritten the rules for marketing, advertising, and public awareness. The sight and sound generation has redefined how we communicate, and video is the tool of choice. YouTube has some interesting statistics:
- YouTube has more than 1 billion users
- Every day people watch hundreds of millions of hours on YouTube and generate billions of views
- People upload 300 hours of video to YouTube every minute.
- Half of YouTube views are on mobile devices. And mobile apps can help give your church members quick access to church videos.
These statistics are staggering and the numbers grow every day. With the video capabilities on most phones, shooting a video and posting it to YouTube is quick, easy, and free!
So why would a church want to use this phenomenal tool? Or the better question might be why wouldn’t a ministry take advantage of YouTube.
Here are some ways to use YouTube videos in your church:
Senior Pastor Introductions
A YouTube video is a great way for visitors to get to know the senior pastor and staff members. The senior pastor can share the vision and plans for the church and put it on the church website.
YouTube videos can be incorporated into a church’s website to gain exposure and credibility for the church. This kind of strategy can help engage potential visitors in what the ministry is doing.
Churches can use YouTube to recruit employees. Using video of current employees to describe the value of working for a ministry can help spark interest in potential job candidates.
Video is a quick and effective way to describe the benefits of participating in a church program. Whether it’s helping with the children’s ministry or serving the seniors of the church, a video can help recruit volunteers for these programs. This is especially helpful when launching new ministries.
Many churches rally around a cause, and a video describing the support for a philanthropic effort can help solicit donations for the same cause. For instance, if a church operates a food bank, it could create a video showing the lives it affects and the importance of financial support.
YouTube is also a great avenue to show off ministries within the church.
The same promotional video that historically would have run on television can now run on the Internet, and it’s a much less expensive way to get the word out. For example, a video showing the great things the youth program does could create an interest in the program.
People go to the Internet to find information, and a video description of a service or ministry offered at your church is an excellent way to get the promotion in front of many eyes. And the great thing about YouTube videos is they don’t have to look professionally done, and you can create them for minimal cost.
As we’ve seen, there are many technologies and tools you can use to get the word out. Don’t get overwhelmed, start with one, master it, and expand to other tools. The church does great work and taking advantage of all the new technologies today is an exciting way to keep the public informed of what your church is doing.