Church Marketing and Communications Round Table Pt 1

During the month of March we have been focusing on online marketing.  My goal is to provide useful information for you and your organization to be able to better market your website in order to achieve your goals online.  So, I thought it would be helpful to hear from some marketing and communication staff at a few churches as to what they are doing regarding the online marketing of their church to see what they have found to be effective and what isn’t.

I sent out an email with 12 church marketing / communications related questions.  I’ll be posting the responses I received in 4 posts over the coming weeks.  So, let’s get started…

Participants:

Steve Fogg - Steve is Communications Manager at Crossway Church in Victoria, Australia.  He has been a graphic designer, creative director and director over the years.  He is passionate about sharing with the world what he knows about branding, communications, marketing and all things digital.

Brandon Cox - Brandon is Lead Pastor and Church Planter at Grace Hills Church in northwest Arkansas.  He also serves Rick Warren and Saddleback Church as Editor and Community Facilitator for Pastors.com.  In his spare time, he dabbles in the world of branding, communications, and design.

Josh Burns - Josh is the Director of Web & Social Media at Park Community Church in Chicago, IL. He has several years of experience in church communications. He also has a passion to see these new media tools used within the church to order to better communicate the Gospel and create biblical community. He blogs his thoughts on all things involving social media and communications in church at www.JoshBurns.net/blog

I want to thank Steve, Brandon and Josh for taking the time to share their experiences and advice.  Now, onto the first questions…

1) Do you engage in online church marketing? If so, what forms of online marketing do you use (e.g. SEO, Adwords, social media, online ads, etc.)?

Steve Fogg - We use social media, Facebook primarily, Twitter and Google+ is now online. Looking at Pinterest as an opportunity in the future.

Brandon Cox - At Grace Hills, we utilize online church marketing very heavily, especially its social aspects. We do very little paid advertising, reserving our ad dollars for Facebook only, but we have active Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google Plus profiles and pages.

Josh Burns - We currently don’t purchase any ad space anywhere (Facebook, Google, etc.). We do however use social media to market our church as well as SEO on our website.

2) Have you done any SEO for your church and its website? If so, can you describe some of what you have done?

Steve Fogg - No we haven’t done any

Brandon Cox - We implement quite a few layers of SEO for our church website. We’ve optimized <title> tags to be keyword rich and to include local, community names where possible. We’ve made sure to use a logical page hierarchy and a good sitemap. I also personally utilize my author biographies on various blogs for which I write to point back to Grace Hills using good anchor keywords such as “new church in northwest Arkansas.”

Josh Burns - We do implement SEO on our website. This is done through keywords. Our web developer/host have implemented this into our website for us.

3) Have you performed the marketing initiatives yourself (in house) or hired a marketing firm to do them for you?

Steve Fogg - We do most of the marketing ourselves and hire external designers if needed

Brandon Cox - We’ve handled everything in house thus far.

Josh Burns - For SEO our external web developer/host organization has done this for us. Although we do all of the social media marketing ourselves.

In our next set of questions and answers we will look further into what has been most successful for churches and how they track their success.  You can read their responses and join in the conversation at “Church Marketing and Communications Round Table Part 2

Discussion:
All round tables are best when they are a true discussion.

  • Do you have any questions or comments about the responses here today?
  • What about you and your church?
  • Do you engage in marketing your church?  If so, what do you do?
  • Have you done SEO for your church’s website?
  • Do you perform your church marketing in house or have you hired someone?

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 “Church Marketing and Communications Round Table Pt 1”

  1. PaulSteinbrueck Mar 14, 2012 at 11:39 am

    I'd be curious to know from Steve and Josh… since your church is putting so much time and effort into social media but not doing any SEO, is that because you believe social media is that much more effective at helping you accomplish your mission than good search rankings? Or do you know (or assume) you're already at the top of the search results and so SEO isn't necessary?

  2. I am a minister and a student at Daymar College. I have a college degree in Website design and I am earning a business admin Bachelor's. I don't think that churches today are using the web to the full advantage for Christ, but I garentee that the enemy is pro-active with all medias. I have been arguing for years the need for every church and ministry to have a working website, but there are those who will never change and harevt the protential of technology.

  3. The priorities at HBT include; the Word, performance, and SEO. We also have pages on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus. I would like to clean up the Graphic’s using CSS to save on performance. Help is appreciated. Blessing!

  4. nice. It’s educational. ty

  5. email me

  6. Paul, to be honest the lack of my input about SEO isn't because it's not important, but because its on my list of a million things to do and sometimes things fall in between.

    I think SEO is important. It's getting the time to think about it, and do it.

  7. Great post, Kurt….! This is so important but so many churches don’t make the effort to do it even when it’s really not that hard to do.

    • PaulSteinbrueck May 1, 2013 at 6:47 pm

      Thanks for reading the post. In the future, please post your comments with your name rather than targeted keywords, so I know your comment is genuine and not simply a link building campaign.

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