10 Steps To Creating A Marketing Plan

I firmly believe that marketing is crucial to the success of any website and I really want you to succeed with your website. So, I want to help you to get things going with the online marketing of your site.

A good, effective online marketing plan is the first step in a successful online marketing campaign.  Creating the plan is something for which you should set aside some real time so you can adequately evaluate the various aspects of the plan and proceed with a realistic plan that can be done successfully.  Entire books have been written on developing marketing plans, so this article is, by no means, an exhaustive resource on the topic.  Rather this article is intended to help you move in the right direction and, most importantly, take the initiative to create a marketing plan and put it into practice.

Here are 10 steps to create a marketing plan:

  1. Prayer - We need God’s direction in all things.  So, begin by submitting yourself to the Lord and asking for wisdom, discernment, and creativity and for the Lord to guide you though this process.
  2. Set Goals - You need specific goals both to direct you in your marketing decisions and to help you gauge whether your marketing is being effective.
  3. Figure Out Your Finances - This is tricky because marketing really is an investment, not an expense.  You should get a return on your investment that is greater than what you spend (yes, even churches).  However, when you are first starting you can’t assume the marketing will effectively cover your costs.  So, make sure you can cover the expenses and then treat it like an investment.
  4. In-House or Hired Pros - Who is going to do the marketing?  To save on money you may consider doing the marketing in-house, but consider you and your staff’s knowledge, skills, and time when making this decision.  In-house may seem cheaper, but you could actually be worse off financially and in reaching your goals due to inefficient marketing practices, people not having time to properly implement the marketing, and unrealized gains.
  5. Choose a Marketing Strategy - There are a lot of ways you can market your website/organization, from SEO, to online ads, to social media and more.  Do some research and figure out what marketing methods will best suit your organization and help you achieve your goals.  If you are hiring a professional marketer, you can utilize their expertise when making this decision.
  6. Allocate Resources - This may be money, personnel, time, etc.  Even if you are doing the marketing in-house, there will still be expenses.  Even if you hire someone to perform the marketing, there are still aspects that will need to be handled in-house.  If nothing else, someone needs to be communicating with the marketer, but you will probably need to have someone tracking and evaluating the marketing, as well.  Figure out who is going to be working on the marketing and what they will need to do it effectively.
  7. Setup Metrics - Don’t ever just assume your marketing is working.  You need to setup a means of measuring how effective the marketing is.  This includes setting up analytics for your website to monitor traffic and goal conversions.  This may also include off-line tracking like asking visitors how they learned about your organization.
  8. Evaluate the Marketing - After the marketing has been started, you need to regularly examine the metrics you setup and evaluate your marketing strategy and practices.  Look for what’s working and what isn’t and adjust accordingly.
  9. Test, Evaluate, Tweek, Test… - Even effective marketing can usually be improved.  The best marketing plans include constant testing, evaluating, and adjusting.  This may be trying different ad text or targeting different keywords, etc..  You setup some tests, see what works best, drop/change what doesn’t work, and try to improve what is working.
  10. Prayer - Now as you move forward with your plan, pray the the Lord will bless your work and continue to guide you.

Alright. It’s time to do it!
I encourage you to set aside time over the next week get started on creating your marketing plan.  If you delay, you’re actually delaying getting more traffic to your site and reaching your goals.  So, don’t put this off.

At OurChurch.Com we are more than happy to provide information and resources for you to be able to achieve success with your website. In addition to information, we also offer services. So, if you do decide that you want to hire a professional marketer to do the marketing for your website, please take a moment to go look at the marketing services we offer and request a free, no obligation consultation today.

  • Have you developed a marketing plan?
  • Do you have any questions about developing a marketing plan?

Kurt Steinbrueck is the Director of Marketing Services with OurChurch.Com. He also serves on the leadership of Family of Christ Lutheran Church in Tampa, FL. You can find him on Google+ as .

11 Responses to “10 Steps To Creating A Marketing Plan”

  1. abidalilliane Mar 9, 2012 at 4:04 am

    These are really a helpful tips in creating the best marketing plan, before anything else we must be motivated and persistent in it, love for the work is a good option. in dealing with this we must plan our short term goals and long term goals before we do it. for us not to make mistake.
    baby eagle

  2. jethere Fuqua Mar 9, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    With the exception of prayer the course I took at college this year, was the same plan. The Courses was intitled: Marketing, and Small Business Management. When we add god to our plan and his direction, we can be more than successful.
    jefffuquamin.net
    Jeff Fuqua

    • Thank's for sharing your experience, Jeff. I guess you could say this blog is the equivalent of a college course ;) But seriously, if there's anything else that you learned from your experience setting up a marketing plan, I'd love ot hear it.

  3. Dr. Dan Schroeder Mar 10, 2012 at 5:00 am

    I appreciate the information you're providing. The bottom line that I'm looking for is the answer to this one, all-important question: How do we turn hits on the website into people in the pews? Our website is extremely popular, the sermons are getting read, and the videos are getting watched. I have my sermons on-line going back to the middle of 2004, and every sermon gets hit at least once every month. Our video podcasts get hit multiple times, even before they're posted on the website. Now all I have to do is get at least a small fraction into the building, and we're all set! Thanks, Pastor Dan (www.mightyfortress.us)

    • Hey Pastor Dan. This is probably the more difficult challenges churches face, especially those who are paying attention to their website as well as marketing the site and putting out great content to bring people in. Having sermons or even entire services (if you have copyright permissions) is a good thing to do, especially in video. It gives people a way to visit the church before visiting and makes them feel more at home when they do take the step to come through the doors. I see that you are already doing that. Great! Something you could try is to add a personal message at the end of podcast sermons where you invite people to come and visit. Calls to action can have a big impact. Something else many churches have found to be effective is adding a "New to Mighty Fortress" section that is specifically tailored to giving people the information a new visitor would want to find. One more thing you may want to consider is the presentation of information on your website. The Internet has shifted to being more graphically/video oriented and having less text. Too much text on pages that aren't specifically supposed to just be an article, can cause visitors to leave the site. You may want to take a look at the way the content of your website is presented to make it as appealing as possible for website visitors. An example of a site with good content presentation is http://www.kacc.com/

  4. We are in the middle of developing a content editorial calendar right now and want to make sure we have the right tools to measure ROI for our social media and digital marketing tactics. What do you recommend?

  5. Marketing planning is very important to keep up with successful marketing campaign. I really like the 10 steps shared and looking forward to follow each steps for best business product promotion. Thanks.

  6. Handy marketing plan creating tips been provided. Successful marketing planning is very crucial to make positive effect upon right type of consumers. Therefore here mentioned each tips are helpful regarding creating a solid marketing plan. Thanks.

  7. Yep, tips for online marketing are all over this blog.

  8. PPC marketing is usually quicker than organic SEO and SEO can become more cost effective. Often times, the best strategy is to start with both SEO and PPC. The PPC gets you into the search engines quickly and the SEO starts to build your site up in the search engines organically. As you site gets more authoritative and can rank for more and more competitive keywords, you may want to begin reducing the PPC to save on costs. Eventually, you may even be able to get rid of the PPC altogether, though it's best to test that before making that decision. Any marketing that has a positive ROI is worth doing.