As your church grows, it can be a challenge to identify how the staff and budget need to grow with you. When your ministry expands, identifying these areas of development becomes crucial. If these areas don’t scale alongside your attendance, it can put a lid on your growth. This is what church market scaling is all about.
Marketing is one of these key areas that needs to scale as your church grows. If you have a church of 100 and you want to experience ten percent growth in the course of a new year, you only need to add ten people. But for a church of 2000, that’s 200 additional people!
Maintaining growth takes more and more work the larger your church becomes. Without increasing your marketing efforts, you’ll watch your percentage of growth stagnate—or even decline—over time. That kind of impact not only requires that your marketing budget grows, but also that you look for new ways to communicate with your community.
So, when do you know that you need to address your marketing? Here are four signs that it’s time to start scaling your church marketing efforts and some suggestions to get you on the right track:
1. Your marketing budget hasn’t grown with you
It’s no surprise that as your church grows, so does your overhead. You cannot ensure that you’ll maintain the attendance and income you need in order to run a church of 1,000 if you’re spending the same amount on marketing and outreach that you were spending at 500. If you’re growing, your marketing budget needs to grow with you, and your ideas need to become more ambitious.
How to scale:
Reach out to other churches that are your size and find out what kind of outreaches they’re doing. Churches are typically more than happy to share their information with you if it means that God’s kingdom will expand. Don’t be afraid to ask them about their marketing budget and what their marketing team is doing. You don’t need to learn in a vacuum, and there’s no reason to learn by trial and error if you don’t have to.
2. You’re not measuring your performance
When your church is smaller, you end up trying a lot of different outreach ideas and seeing what sticks. But if you’re not paying attention to metrics as you grow, it becomes hard to really know how your efforts are performing. It can be disastrous to keep pouring time, energy, and money into programs and ideas when you’re not really sure how they’re performing.
How to scale:
Before an idea is implemented, understand how you’re going to track its success. Setting clear goals and deciding upon metrics beforehand will enable you to know when something’s not working, and could even help you see what tweaks need to happen in order to make it more effective.
3. You’re bogged down in your approval process
As your church and marketing plans grow, it takes time to come up with good ideas, decide how they’ll be implemented, and get them ready to roll out. When your church is large, it can become a disaster if your approval process sucks up even more time. The more involved and unpredictable your approval process, the more difficult it becomes for your church’s communication team to have a clear understanding of how long anything will take. This leads to missing out on important, time-sensitive opportunities.
How to scale:
Hire a communications director and give them enough authority to make decisions. If you create a brand document with complete leadership buy-in, the communications director and the team have some established boundaries which can help release them to do their job more effectively.
Decide on your quarterly marketing strategies. When you’ve already approved the overall goals and direction, approving all of the marketing collateral (flyers, emails, posters, videos, etc.) becomes a lot easier.
4. You’re constantly creating new marketing
When you’re a smaller church, you’re doing a lot less marketing. It’s easy to create everything from scratch every time you do it. But as you get larger, you can no longer afford to start over every time you need to communicate something. It’s important that you decide how you’ll communicate about things and then stick to it. This not only saves time, but it also helps increase your church’s buy-in and understanding of key concepts and directives.
How to scale:
Whenever you have a new event, sermon series, ministry, outreach, or another big event, create boilerplate descriptions for them. Create a simple copy deck that people can use quickly and efficiently for flyers, emails, bulletins, and social media. Make sure these decks get used.
Scaling Is a Meaningful Challenge
You want to capitalize on your church’s growth, but it can be difficult to know how to scale to facilitate more growth. Don’t get frustrated. Dealing with this challenge is a sign that your growth is steady and strong. By investing in the time to scale your marketing, you’ll enable your church to take its growth to the next level.
To discover more about world-class marketing to forward-thinking churches, download the free ebook, Content Marketing For Churches, today.