Social media has allowed us to connect with our communities on a deeper level than ever before. From live-streaming videos, to keeping your community up to date on events, to simply being a source of daily encouragement, it’s no surprise more and more churches have started implementing a digital outreach strategy that includes social media sites like Facebook and Instagram.
But, many churches fail to incorporate paid advertising into their strategies. We get it. “Paying” for advertising may seem scary, especially for a budget-restricted church. Thankfully, a few dollars can go a long way when using social media ads!
Here are 5 reasons your church should use social media ads.
Reason 1: Social media ads allow your church to be seen where the people already are and where the conversations are already happening.
The average person spends 135 minutes on social media daily. That’s 135 minutes your church could be reaching someone who may have never heard of you before! Of course, posting on your daily channels and keeping up with your organic, or unpaid, social media strategy is a great way to engage with your current community, but sometimes you need that extra little push. Paying for social media advertising allows you to reach new people in your community, who are already on social media. Just like you might find out about a great deal on a pair of shoes from Facebook, your community can find out about your church through paid advertising.
A great benefit of using Facebook Advertising (which also includes advertising on Instagram) is highly targeted ad placements. Using Facebook’s Ads Manager, you can target your audience based on where they live, what they’re interested in, how old they are, and more! By clearly defining who you want to reach, you’ll be more likely to engage with highly interested members of your community!
Reason 2: Social media ads are results driven and trackable.
With social media ads, you can easily track clicks, engagement (likes, comments, and shares), the number of people you reached, and how many times your ads were seen in total. Every action that is taken on your ad is measured and reported to you, so you know exactly where your money is going.
Because you can see what kind of interaction you are receiving, you can make changes and small tweaks to improve the performance of your ads. Or, if your ads aren’t doing well and costing too much, you can simply turn them off. Knowing where your money is going, how it’s being used, and how your ad is resonating with your audience is crucial for increasing visibility for your church.
Reason 3: Social media ads help increase website traffic.
There are many different types of social media ads that serve different objectives. The Traffic objective is great to use when you need to increase awareness about your church by giving more information that’s provided on your website. By directly linking your social media ad to your church’s website, you’re able to drive new users to your website. Not only are you increasing the awareness about your church in general, but now you’re attracting new visitors to your church website to learn even more!
This is where having a great church website is key. If visitors click on a great social media ad but your website is confusing or unclear, visitors will leave quickly and that’s wasted ad dollars. In the meantime, check out these tips to get your website visitor ready
Once you have new visitors on your website, you can target those visitors with ads called retargeting or remarketing ads. You’ll need to install the Facebook Pixel so that you can track this information. These audiences are great to use because you’ve already engaged with them at least once before, so you know they are interested in learning more. Plan Your Visit ads are perfect for these audiences.
Reason 4: Social media ads are cost-effective.
One of the greatest benefits of using paid advertising on social media is they are generally cost-effective. Because you have control over how much you spend, there’s never a surprise what your return on investment (ROI) will be. You can select a daily budget or a lifetime budget for your ads to help stay within your overall outreach budget.
Unlike print advertising, social media doesn’t require the high cost of printing and mailing. And because you’re able to track results and only get charged for real clicks and interactions, it’s much easier to measure who you reached with your marketing efforts. This is not to say print advertising is bad or outdated, though. Print advertising in combination with social media advertising is a great way to gain targeted exposure for your church and create multiple touch points with your audience.
Reason 5: Social media advertising is the easiest way to reach every age demographic.
Every age demographic is represented on social media- from middle schoolers to the elderly! Plus, most households have multiple social media users, giving your church even more exposure within a home.
Using social media ads also increases your chances of reaching younger audiences who may be unchurched. According to Barna, the percentage of Generation Z that claims to be atheist is double that of the general population. But something unique about this generation is they live on social media. Using social media ads is a great opportunity to introduce them, and their families, to faith in a post-Christian culture.
Ideas to Get You Started!
As you can see, social media ads are important and a must for church outreach, but you might be thinking, “where do I start?” and “what do I promote on my church’s social media?” No worries! There are many events that you probably already have planned that are ideal for online promotions and to get people interested in your church.
Here is a list of event ideas that would be perfect to get your social media strategy started or to freshen up your accounts with relevant ads for your audience (remember unlike posts, ads can be targeted to specific audiences outside the people who already follow and like your church). These ideas are just a few of the great ways to use social media ads for your church!
- Guest Speakers at Church
- Youth Group Events- Lock-Ins, Game Nights
- Women’s Ministry Events- Luncheons, Girls Night Out
- Men’s Ministry- Camping Trip, Basketball Tournament
- Young Children’s Program- VBS, Summer Camps, AWANAS
- Church Movie Night
- Upcoming & Current Bible Studies or Mid-Week Meetings like Alpha, Grief Share and Celebrate Recovery
- Upcoming Conferences or Retreats
- Worship Night
- Community Outreach Events- Serve The City Day, Helping the Homeless, Food Pantry,
- Missions Trips
- Christmas & Advent Events- Christmas Eve Service, Christmas Play
- Easter Events- Easter Egg Hunt, Easter Luncheon
- Fourth of July BBQ & Church Picnics
- Fall Festivals and Halloween Alternatives
- Special Sunday Services like National Back to Church Sunday
Using social media ads increases your church’s exposure on a platform that people are already on, helps your church manage results, increases your website traffic, is cost-effective, and helps you reach every age demographic. In the digital age, incorporating a paid advertising strategy into your overall digital outreach strategy is a must!
For some, paid advertising may seem overwhelming, time-consuming, and challenging. Let us do the hard work for you! With Outreach Everywhere, your church can reach your community with targeted social media ads that match your postcard mailings without even lifting a finger