Warren Bird wrote an excellent article published on Leadership Network’s site about how Westside Family Church, Lenexa, KS has been using free Google advertising to connect people with their online church. Regardless of what you think about virtual churches, the article is very insightful from a marketing and communication standpoint.
Chances are, however, that your church doesn’t have a virtual campus. So, could this work for regular “brick and mortar” churches?
To gain more insight on this I got in touch with Jason Morris who is the online campus pastor for Westside Family Church, Lenexa, KS and the person leading their Google AdWords campaign. I asked him some questions to help clarify some things for “brick and mortar” churches that may want to use free Google advertising to reach people in their communities.
Paul Steinbrueck: First of all, way to go with all you’re doing to impact people and build the Kingdom of God through Westside’s online campus. I’m a big proponent of churches using AdWords and Facebook Ad to reach people, and this is the first I had heard about Google’s non-profit program.
Paul: How much AdWords credit did Google give you?
Jason Morris: Google grants us up to $329 per day budget of free AdWord advertising. The limitations are that you can only use Google display text ads (not pictures and no display partners) with a maximum CPC of $1. Same limits on the number of ads and number of campaigns as paid ads.
Paul: Do you know if that’s standard or what other churches might expect to receive?
Jason: That’s the basic non-profit grant, I would expect every church to get the same.
Paul: Has the success you’ve had using AdWords to draw people to the online campus affected the way your brick and mortar location uses AdWords? If so, how?
Jason: Yes it has, since we use the ads to invite people to the online campus during the service only. When we’re NOT broadcasting, we use the ads to invite folks in our offline geographic reach to the church website.
Paul: Do you have any advice for those folks who might want to use AdWords to advertise their physical campus?
Jason: Google grant AdWords don’t perform the same as paid ones because of the max $1 CPC…it’s a matter of tweaking your keywords to get the traffic you’re wanting. The best ones we’ve done were to base keywords off of a series that the church is doing that points to the website or for special community events. Generic church keywords usually get outbid by other paid Ads in the area…depends on how many other churches are doing the same thing.
The cool thing is since the ads are free, you can experiment!!!
Paul: Thanks Jason! I appreciate you sharing your insight!
Jason: Thanks man!
To learn more about how your church can get free advertising from Google, see Google for Nonprofits.
Has your church used free advertising from Google? If so, what additional insight can you share? If not, is it something you’re going to pursue?