Archives For easter



It feels like we just celebrated the New Year, and Easter is here already.  Of course it is actually a bit early this year on March 31.  But that only means we have to be on our toes to be strategic for Easter to be a way to welcome newcomers, casual attendees and friends / family that might be visiting from our of town.

One of the easiest tactics almost any church can utilize to spread the word about Easter Sunday services is Facebook advertising.

Not only is it affordable since you actually set the bid and budget caps for your campaign — so your expenses won’t go wild and out of control.

But Facebook advertising is extremely effective in reaching friends of those that are attending your church already.  This is where leveraging social networks for church outreach messaging is perfect.

FACEBOOK ADVERTISING ALLOWS YOU TO TARGET VERY SPECIFIC DEMOGRAPHIC GROUPS

Here is an example of an ad I set-up today for Liquid Church’s Easter Services.  You’ll see that I’ve been able to set-up 3 demographic factors — People who live in the US, live in NJ in particular and who are 18 years or older.

Facebook Advertising for Easter Demographic Targeting

 

The interesting part is that you have even more control of who sees your ad — I added two additional parameters to this Facebook ad campaign:

  1. People who are NOT already connected to Liquid Church’s Facebook page.  I am setting up separate messaging (ad graphics, headline, ad copy and click through URL landing page) for people who are already fans of our Facebook page.  This ad is for people who have not LIKEd our Facebook page already.
  2. Only people who have friends that are connected to Liquid Church’s Facebook page.  So, here I’m not just targeting anyone in NJ over 18 that’s not part of our FB page community.  This parameter adds the social element.  Our ad will show up ONLY if they have a friend that has already LIKEd our church Facebook page.

By adding these two filters, I can leverage the fact that anyone seeing this ad has a chance of already hearing about Liquid Church from their friend (or their friend’s FB timeline feed) or at least has someone they know that knows about Liquid Church (because they’ve already liked our page).  

In a way, this ad is helping to seed the “invite a friend” behavior we hope our own community members are going to carry out over the next week or so.

FACEBOOK ADS ALLOW YOU TO TALK DIFFERENTLY TO YOUR OWN COMMUNITY MEMBERS

If you’re following along, you’ll now understand that your ads for your current attendees (we can assume these are basically the people who “LIKE” your Facebook page) can be a bit different.

In fact, here is an ad set-up that is intended for people who already know about Liquid Church and is a part of our Facebook community today:

Facebook ad for easter services

Instead of a generic “come to Easter services” type messaging, we have the ability to help equip our own people to invite their friends and family.  This can be done by sending click throughs to a page on your website that has downloadable content to share with their friends.  What would you put there?  Things like:

  • Video invitation from pastor with social sharing or forward to a friend email link
  • Facebook cover image people can use for the week
  • 1-step tweet links like this one: http://bit.ly/clicktotweetabouteaster2013 (TRY IT!)
  • Social sharing friendly videos about Easter like this one called social media Easter

 

Are you using Facebook Advertising for Easter promotion?  What questions do you have about using Facebook Ads for church?

It’s Good Friday. And Sunday’s Coming.

Tim Keller put this weekend all in perspective: “Easter means that Christmas worked.”

Now that’s something to be happy about. 90 percent of people who celebrate Easter buy chocolate. You know those 90% of the people know there’s an upswing to all of this.

Perhaps the 10% that ain’t buying no chocolate need to hear a specific message that is imprinted in my mind every year when Good Friday comes around. . .

Tony Campolo’s famous “It’s Friday” sermon is a classic, and it just makes you wanna shout in response, doesn’t it?

 

It’s Easter weekend!

…Kind of like the Superbowl of Christian faith.

Holy Week. Lent. Good Friday. . . Easter. This is ground zero.

Some ministries plan elaborate spectacles and turn the sanctuary into an open house environment this one time each year.

This is definitely the easiest weekend all church members can invite a friend from work, school, family or even those strangers you have regular relationships with such as the security guard, bus driver, mail carrier, etc.

Why not take advantage of Easter claiming to be the happiest day of the year for Americans? Everything is in your favor.

easter-church-invitation-outreach-example

Besides using the major US holiday as an easy conversation starter, do your people have easy ways to describe your church?  What style would you characterize the worship service to people who haven’t been to church in ages (or ever!)?  How can people describe the lead pastor or the sermon messages?  And are you aware of anything else people routinely have trouble with when bringing up church with friends or co-workers? It’s the little things that many people need help with — For example, the logistics of explaining service times, location, directions, etc can be daunting to bring up.

The question of the day is: Are you doing everything you can to make it easy enough for people to invite a friend?

Here’s a great mailer I received from Liquid Church which has always been consumed with being an outward-facing ministry:

easter-church-outreach-invite-a-friend-postcard

easter-church-outreach-invite-a-friend-3

It was a great reminder to invite someone to church. And the message on the back reinforced the simple message I can use to convey when doing so — which is aimed at helping to set expectations in an easy 1-2-3 format.

But the best part of this postcard invite-a-friend mailer was in the simple detail:

easter-church-outreach-invite-a-friend

The card itself was perforated on one side with a pass-along mini-invitation card with all the basic information anyone would need to know about visiting Liquid.

This is a 5-star example of making it easy for church members to go out and invite a friend to church. Successful outreach follows the classic word of mouth marketing strategies — and this church marketing piece serves to provide tools to make it easier for people to share the message with others.


QUESTION: What does your ministry do to make it easier for members to invite others to church on Sunday?

As we continue through Lent season, Easter is around the corner.

So what types of consumer marketed products comes to mind in our commercialized secular culture with this Holy religious season?

Cadbury Easter Eggs?

Marshmellow Peeps?

Go on, keep thinking. . .

How about LOBSTERS?

I just got an email from a merchant with suggestions for a new spin on the whole Easter/Lent marketing thing:

  • TRY PUSHING LOBSTERS FOR LENT!

easter-lent-marketing

I’ve never thought about or even recognized any other product categories that have pursued LENT-based marketing.  Have you?

Legal Sea Foods is a premium product, and they certainly aspire to excellence in their business.  Their company is not a slimy or take-the-shortcuts-in-business type enterprise IMHO.  So shady business practices (or marketing practices for that matter) isn’t something which I normally associate with this company in particular.  (I have no idea if the founders are Xtian or not).  But I have to hand it to them that this one is quite creative.

As Legal Sea Foods tries to position themselves as a prominent option for “meatless Friday dinner ideas” —  Are they doing a service? Or are they exploiting the religious calendar?


Legal Sea  FoodsI guess the question is where exactly are the boundaries for merchants to engage with those trying to live out their faith.

If you are ready to condemn Legal Sea Foods, what about the explicitly Christian companies that push other types of promotional Lent/Easter related products — like the re-purposed rubber wristbands as Lent reminders that I recently received at church — are these companies equally guilty of exploiting this community too?

My one criticism that does come to mind is that if this is *not* a simple ploy to exploit the church calendar, it would have been better to see the click through landing pages (or even a section on their site) helping their customers to explore the topic of meatless dinner alternatives. . . How about some sea food recipes? Or customer stories of their own family traditions involving friday night fish fry’s for dinner, etc, etc.  Once they become an actual resource, and not just a salesman, the authenticity in their communications efforts can really shine through.

Please leave a comment below with your thoughts on this issue.  I’m very interested to see what you think!