Browse
Content Marketing Basics for Churches

Content Marketing Basics for Churches

Posted January 19, 2016 by Jerod Clark

Content marketing is a perfect fit for churches. It’s true. It might sound like another generic business term to you, but it’s at the core of what you’re already doing. So let’s dive in and take a look at the basics of content marketing and how it can help you better reach your community.

 

What is content marketing?

Here’s how I look at content marketing. It’s creating something of value that helps win mindshare so when people are ready to make a decision they turn to you. In a church setting, this means you’re providing relatable advice for people in need. By doing so, when they’re ready to come to church, or take the next steps in being more involved, they engage your church because they trust and value what they’ve already received.  

 

How do I generate valuable content?

You’re already doing it. Isn’t that great? Churches are content factories. By nature, Sunday mornings are a time when pastors and staff are creating experiences to help people live better lives. Many times all it takes is a little reformatting and repurposing. The key is always keeping audience need in mind. What are the felt needs of someone turning to your church and how can you provide insight that others can’t?

 

What’s the right platform?

A three-point sermon on reducing prideful behavior can become a blog post on your website or part of an email devotional series. A great quote from your pastor added to an image would work well on social media. There are plenty of creative ways to repurpose content. The right platform depends on where your audiences hang out. Websites, social media, email, video and downloadable ebooks are all popular outlets.  We also wrote this post a while back on intentionally working repurposing into your communications planning that might be helpful for you.

 

Does content marketing work for reaching my members, too?

Absolutely. Developing content that’s relevant to your congregation, and sharing it with them over the communication platforms they use, will help you be a greater presence in their lives. It builds their trust in you and makes them more committed to the work your church is doing. The more they engage and are delighted by the content they receive from you, the more apt they are to share with their friends. Most content marketing is easily sharable, giving your members a simple way to be an ambassador to their friends. Word of mouth is the strongest invite tool your church has. Content marketing removes barriers for members to share content and start conversations with friends.

 

What are the challenges?

Content marketing isn’t magic. It’s a content stream that has to be consistently fed. You also need to be intentional about identifying audiences you want to reach, creating appealing messages for them and repeating the process. For the most part, copying and pasting from one format to another won’t work. It takes thoughtful editing and trimming for message simplification. The good news is, you’re likely doing some levels of content marketing already, but the challenge remains in tying all the pieces together so they share a cohesive message.

 

How do I measure success?

Success is going to look different for any organization. The key is identifying goals before launching a communications project and picking the right matrix for measuring those objectives. So for social media posts, you might put emphasis on the number of shares or retweets. Maybe your goal is to do content that leads to people signing up for your email list. If you’re focusing on visitors, make sure part of your assimilation process is asking how they found out about your church. Whatever your hope, find a way you can statistically identify whether or not you were successful.

 

More than six years ago, when we started Church Juice, I had no idea there was something called content marketing. We launched with the goal of providing churches with best practices to help them better reach their congregation and community. From the early days we’ve tried to keep you in mind and watched what topics were in tune with your current needs. And guess what? This project grew (and continues to grow). It is an entire project that would be considered content marketing. Hopefully this give you a little example of how this type of system can work for a church. 

Filed under: Marketing

About the Author

Jerod Clark

Jerod joined ReFrame Media in 2007 and built Church Juice from scratch. He poured all his passion for branding, marketing, and messaging into the ministry, publishing e-books, blog posts, and speaking at conferences to help churches energize their communications. He also served as ReFrame’s in-house graphic designer. Before beginning his work at Church Juice, Jerod was a local TV news reporter. In 2016, Jerod stepped away from the ministry to pursue interests in marketing and communications on new horizons.

Don't miss a post

Join our email list

Comments (0)

Leave a Comment

Share your thoughts about this blog post with us.
All fields are required.

Recent Posts

How to Run an Effective Team Planning Meeting
How to Run an Effective Team Planning Meeting
0

Posted December 6, 2018 by Carrie Evans

A yearly planning meeting can help your team align, have fun together, invigorate your vision, develop a communications plan, and break down ministry silos.
Getting Strategic With Your Church Blog
Getting Strategic With Your Church Blog
1

Posted December 4, 2018 by Joe Gallant

I get asked, “Should we have a blog on our church website?” My usual answer is a helpful “maybe!” Let’s explore some of the common pitfalls, and some helpful strategies for making the most of a church blog.
Why Branding?
Why Branding?
0

Posted November 30, 2018 by Tyler Rominger

A good brand (and brand strategy) can bring a sense of purpose and focus to an otherwise rudderless operation.
Brand Guide Examples
Brand Guide Examples
0

Posted November 22, 2018 by Bryan Haley

Here are some great examples of brand guides. Use these examples as inspiration as you develop your own guide.
Who Are You?
Who Are You?
0

Posted November 20, 2018 by Joe Gallant

What does it mean to brand your church in the digital age? Here are some helpful tips on creating and applying a brand across multiple formats. Hint: it’s about more than a logo!
Logos Don’t Have To Be Literal
Logos Don’t Have To Be Literal
3

Posted November 15, 2018 by Jerod Clark

A great logo for your church is one that reflects who you are; it doesn't necessarily need to be literal.
Branding is Not a Bad Word
Branding is Not a Bad Word
1

Posted November 13, 2018 by Chris Hunt

Brand isn’t a bad word and your church can make good use of branding principles. Good branding is authentic and consistent. It’s easy to overthink your brand, so keep it simple.
Why Your Church Needs a Brand
Why Your Church Needs a Brand
0

Posted November 6, 2018 by Robert Carnes

Branding can feel like a bad thing within the church. In reality, that’s not the case. It’s not in the Bible so why do we need to talk about it? How we represent ourselves can impact who we’re able to build relationships with.
What is Branding?
What is Branding?
0

Posted November 1, 2018 by Bryan Haley

Whether you realize it or not, your church has a brand. What is a brand? What can you do to help your church’s brand?
After the Event
After the Event
0

Posted October 30, 2018 by Joe Gallant

You've followed all of Church Juice's tips for planning a church event. Promotion has begun, logistics have all been organized. There's a real buzz around the church and community, and people are excited about attending. So what now? How do you plan for after the event has taken place?