Unfortunately, we are still currently living amidst a worldwide pandemic when this article was written (July 2020). Yet, even before the pandemic, worship centers around the nation were making strategic digital investments such as church billboards to better connect with their current congregation—and expand their reach both near and far. It doesn’t matter how long you have served your community, digital church billboards must now be part of your growth strategy. Here are a few investments you should consider:
Digital Church Billboards
Traditional changeable single letter signs, are how many churches display quotes, scripture, and essential messages. While effective, these signs are limited because they can be a hassle to swap out, meaning most messages remain up for an entire week. By upgrading to digital church billboards, you can rotate between a variety of messages. For example, your daily quote, upcoming services, upcoming events, daily events, and community outreach to name just a few.
You can also target your messaging by the time of day, such as posting a welcome message as your congregation arrives to service, or posting a congratulatory wedding message to the bride and groom, for evening services. Digital church billboards come with easy and intuitive software, and the messaging can be updated remotely.
If you rent out your church for weddings and special events you can design custom signs for your non-secular guests. Think beyond traditional text and post photos, videos, and custom designed graphics. Order a variety of church billboards such as an over-sized option to place along the roadway, and a few smaller signs placed strategically on your grounds. For example, a digital directory in your courtyard or lobby and smaller signs placed outside your primary worship and event rooms.
Digital Church Services in a new era
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It used to be that only megachurches could afford to record and broadcast their weekly services, but that’s not the case anymore. Especially now, as the corona-virus has led many churches to transition to digital services who hadn’t seriously considered live streaming in the past.
The audio and video equipment required to record services is increasingly inexpensive, even smartphones and notebooks can be used. Broadcasting has never been easier as you can live stream your service on YouTube and Facebook and keep a permanent library of services on your website and social media platforms.
In addition to recording and live streaming worship services, many churches are utilizing Zoom to host their meetings, engage with church employees, counsel congregation members, maintain community outreach, and to connect church groups—like the youth group and other clubs.
Digital Newsletters & Email Marketing
The younger the congregation the less useful your church phone tree is. Even if there is a generational gap and you continue to print your newsletter and communicate to some members by phone—digital communication is essential.
Invest in an email marketing tool such as Mail-chimp or Send-in-Blue to add your congregation to your monthly newsletter. Then create separate email lists for your church clubs and groups. This may be in addition to your ongoing group emails, chats, and text messages.
We’ll talk a bit about social media marketing below, but your email marketing tool can also be used to stay in touch with community members interested in your church and amenities.
Social Media & Social Media Marketing
An increasing number of congregations utilize social media, with Facebook being a top pick. The goal is to do more than just post your upcoming schedule but engage your congregation and connect with your community. For best results hire a social media marketer or assign a member or employee who has an in-depth understanding of how to use social media. If they are willing to learn, you can find inexpensive social media courses online.
In addition to posting to your page at least a few days a week, explore your options in social media marketing. Facebook groups are also a great way to seek out new members for your congregation, or just talk with people with like minded ideas.
The key is in getting creative and breaking your target audience up into a handful of key demographics. Think beyond attracting new congregation members to identifying community partners, expanding awareness of your community outreach programs, and targeting prospects looking for corporate event rentals or wedding rentals.
Each ad will link to your website, contact form, or a landing page that funnels them into an email marketing list so that you can reach out to them directly. Social media ads campaigns start as low as $5 each so it will fit easily in your budget.
To remain digitally up to date, you must read through your website text at least once per quarter to ensure that your content is current. This goes beyond updating your church calendar to ensuring that employee profiles, contact information, outreach programs, and the text on every page are up to date. This includes adding new photos and swapping out your banner graphics to highlight upcoming events, important announcements, and to share fun new content.
In addition to keeping your website text current, schedule a website redesign at least every 4 years. Even if the look and feel are similar, website design standards change frequently so if you go longer than 3 or 4 years it can negatively impact your search engine results and the user browsing experience.
Brand Reputation & SEO
In addition to your social media marketer, an expert in search engine optimization (SEO) will create a strategy for both organic (free) and inorganic (paid) SEO. They will ensure that you are delivering a cohesive digital message and that your digital channels are appropriately connected. For example, they optimize your Google My Business listing—which is a specialized skill set. Look for an SEO expert or team who also helps with reputation management. This is the process of ethically optimizing press and reviews and minimizing negative press and reviews.
Want To Learn More About Digital Church Billboards?
As you can see, there are a variety of digital investments required to remain current, competitive, and connected. If you would like to learn more about digital church billboards we invite you to reach out to Mega LED Technology today!