church advertising

CV Global Acquires Searchable.Church

I can't be more excited to share with you that CV Global has acquired Searchable.Church from our company.  While this might sound like more of a business exchange, I can promise you that this is way more of a ministry partnership.  

A little more than a year ago I got tired of encouraging churches to take advantage of the Google for Nonprofits program where Google offers churches $10,000/month in FREE Adwords Advertising (no joke!!!) and them not taking advantage of it.  I understand it's confusing and complicated, but it's over $100,000/year in legitimate value that ministries can take advantage of.  So, I decided to create a business solution that would do it for them.  Over the past year our team in partnership with Jen Miles has been able to help dozens of churches take advantage of this opportunity and spent more than a million dollars in Adwords campaigns helping churches reach more people in their community and throughout the world through Google search.  

About 3 months ago, I met Nick Runyon of CV Global at a meeting here in New York City.  We hit it off with a lot of likeminded ministry passions around technology.  He had a similar idea of what we were doing with Searchable Church, but his heart was not for a business initiative, but to give it away and help churches at no cost. With the team in place at CV Global it was clear that they would be able to take Searchable Church to another level not just helping dozens of churches, but potentially thousands of churches across North America and we quickly came to an agreement to transfer the platform under the umbrella of CV Global.

Moving forward, I can't wait to see what they do with it and how many churches they will be able to help.  Your church can get started today by simply going to Searchable.Church and signing up for a FREE account.  Seriously, there are no strings attached.  Just Kingdom minded leaders who see an incredible ministry opportunity that can reach people in such a unique way at such a unique time in history.  I'm grateful for Nick Runyan and the team at CV Global for pressing into the limits of technology for the sake of the Gospel and seeing this opportunity and making the investment to come alongside the local church in this way.

Facebook Ads for Churches

I began running Facebook ads about 7 years ago for a Young Adult Ministry that I led and I credit the ads to the exponential growth that we had growing from 20 college students to over 200 in less than 18 months.  Facebook ads allow you to target a very specific target audience in such a unique way.  It has continued to be foundational at Community Bible Church helping our Facebook page grow to over 750,000 likes reaching more than 1 million people each week as well as growing our online audience to over 12,000 each week from more than 150 different countries and territories.  I know that this growth would not have been possible without Facebook ads.  

It’s my belief that Facebook ads are the most effective advertising/marketing opportunity for churches.  They are very flexible and affordable no matter what your budget is.  For the Online Church Facebook page we spend $5/day and that’s the most we’ve ever spent!

Here are the 3 types of Facebook Ads that you should consider for your church, ministryor organization:

  • Page Like Ads – these help grow your Facebook page following and can be targeted by geographic area, friends of people who like your page, or those who like similar pages or organizations.  My suggestion is to primarily focus on geographic area and those who have friends who like your page.

 

  • Promoted Posts – these are created when you create a post on your page and you click the button to boost/promote the post.  These ads are valuable for key announcements or content pieces that you want to make sure that those who follow you and their friends see.  Things like new sermon series or Easter service times are great for promoted posts.

 

  • External Link  Ads – these ads can be used to drive people to your website.  You are often limited by what you can put on your Facebook page and you want to point people to your website to find out more about your church or organization.  These function much like a Page Like Ads, but take people to your website rather than your Facebook page.  These are more expensive than the other ads, but can be quite valuable in creating awareness of your church in the community.

Have you tried Facebook Ads yet?  If so, what have you found to be most effective through your efforts?

3 Questions with Kenny Jahng

Kenny Jahng is the Pastor of Media and Innovation at Liquid Church. He has a real knack and passion for advertising and is the man when it comes to helping churches and organizations reach their full potential and influence in marketing. He also has a lot of great insights when it comes to doing online church. Here are three questions I recently asked my good friend Kenny:

 

You're a man of many hats.  Can you share what all (or most) of those hats are and how you balance them all?

That's a great question! Being an entrepreneur at heart, my vocation includes multiple areas at the same time. Currently, I am part of the pastoral team at Liquid Church, a growing multi-site, non-denominational Christian church that meets across the state of New Jersey.  I am responsible for the Church Online campus, which has attracted thousands of attendees from over 150 countries this past year. 

In addition, I lead a strategic marketing advisory firm, Big Click Syndicate LLC, serving non-profit, cause-related, and faith-based/church organizations.  We help organizations with various social media initiatives, digital donor development campaigns and content marketing strategies.  I love helping teams to become more effective in their messaging so that they can engage with more people.  It's rewarding when we can help people use technology to scale the capacity for personal relationships.  Last, but not least, I'm a husband and dad to two kids which ensures that life is never dull and full of adventure!

 

You are a systems guy and have shared how much video content is distributed each week at Liquid Church.  How do you manage it all in an efficient way and what advice do you have for churches that want to do more with video, but feel overwhelmed thinking about live streaming, on-demand distribution, social media clips, etc.?

The first piece of advice for any church interested in video is -- it will become one of your highest ROI activities in terms of reaching and engaging with your staff, volunteers and community. Second is -- don't aim for accomplishing it all, all at once.  Go for incremental gains.  One project at a time.  One platform at a time.  Things get easier and you pick-up momentum the more you do it.  Lastly, just do it.  Remember -- Version One is better than Version NONE!

 

One of the pieces of advice you have given me over and over again is build and nurture that email list.  I find many articles about this for business, but not the church.  How should churches better build and nurture their email list or lists?

There are two key concepts which I teach my coaching clients about email from the start. 

1) Email is a conversation.  Not a periodical.  Even your monthly newsletters -- you need to start thinking of them as a vehicle NOT to serve the organization, but rather to provide WIIFM value ("What's In I For Me") for the reader.  No one likes someone who keeps talking about themselves and things that only pertain to themselves 100% of the time.  But that's exactly what you're probably doing with a lot of your messaging (especially your newsletters and donor correspondence). 

2) Start with an email-based "tour" of your church or organization -- I call this the 4x4.  If you had the opportunity for a weekly 4 minute call with someone for just 4 times before they decided to visit your church or not, what would you talk about each time?  You would forget the fluff and talk only about the most interesting, or most distinguishing facets from the other person's point of view, right? You'd probably leave it open on the last call for any questions or even an invitation to come on by sometime, right? Write out those conversations and turn them into an email. 

Use conversational language, not formal jargon and turns of phrases.  Use the word "you" vs phrases like "them" or "Smith City residents" or other generic ways to identify the individual reader.  How often do you read your incoming emails out loud with a group of people? So stop writing your emails as if someone is doing that on the other side.  Write an individual email that happens to be sent once to multiple people.  Not a single email that is being written to multiple people at once. 

Now you have your first email lead nurturing sequence including call to action ("just hit reply and ask me any questions you might have, or better yet, I'd love to have you come to a service soon.  Let me know if you are planning on coming on a given week so that I can make sure you have a fantastic visit!").  And #boom, you're done! Offer it as a "mini tour" on your home page and any other relevant pages across the site.

 

 

You can read more great thoughts by Kenny on his blog! And you can also follow him on Twitter and YouTube.

Facebook Ads- How I Started

I love trying new things, especially when it comes to technology!  About 5 years ago I began experimenting with Facebook Ads for our College Ministry with a budget of $5 a day.  I had already found Facebook to be a great ministry tool, but did not realize the hidden opportunity behind ads when it came to ministry.  My perception was that advertising online seemed like it was only for businesses and too expensive for a small ministry.  I was very wrong! At the time I was spending almost $500/month advertising in college newspapers and radio stations with fairly decent success by most standards.  I decided to try an experiment for a month and spend $150 of that budget on Facebook Ads.

I found that I could advertise to individuals in my city between certain ages with specific likes or whatever parameters I could filter through.  I was only charged when someone noticed our ad and they clicked to visit our website.  It didn't take long before we saw immediate impact and literally our ministry grew from 35-75 in just a couple months and then to over 200 over the next year. Our "brand" became recognizable around the city among all college students  and I was spending a fraction of the money than I did on print advertising.  I quickly pulled all other advertising expenditures and fully invested in Facebook ads.

My experience from running local ads 5 years ago has been a springboard to the global ads that I run today.  Facebook Ads have been the primary tool that we have used with CBC Online to reach into regions that would cost us thousands of dollars to minister to previously, but for pennies we can make a ministry connection with people from all over the world instantly.

Over the next couple of weeks I will share what I have learned these past 5 years in using Facebook Ads from reaching local college students to individuals in the Philippines, Indonesia, Pakistan, and the more than 100 other countries that we minister to on a weekly basis through CBC Online.

Have you tried using Facebook Ads yet in your ministry or organization?  What success have you seen?