Market Smarter, Not Harder: Focusing on Your Target Audience

In order to effectively market your church, you need to know the people on the other end: your target audience. Many churches make the mistake of trying to market to everyone but, in the wise words of Seth Godin, “Everyone is not your customer.” On the surface, reaching as many people as possible might seem like a good marketing plan, but it will only stretch your resources too thin, spend extra marketing money and costing your church people from joining your church. Get the most bang for your buck by aiming marketing strategies toward a well-defined target audience. Here’s how to get started.

Step 1: Define Your Target Audience

Ask yourself who the typical person is for your church and what they might be like. You should consider details such as age, gender, denomination, income, geographic location, hobbies, and more. Do some market research and look at whom similar churches are marketing to.

Step 2: Identify Your Target Audience’s Need

Think about what need your church fulfills or what sort of solution it offers your people. Why do they need your church? How will it improve their lives? Most importantly, think about what makes your church stand out from other churches in your area. What are you offering your target audience that other churches haven’t?

Step 3: Focus Your Marketing Strategy

Once your target audience is defined, go through the current marketing strategies that your church uses and make sure they are aimed at and appeal to the right demographic. Don’t focus on getting your church in front of the largest audience, focus on getting in front of the right audience. Adjust the language used in your marketing campaigns to address the audience’s needs that you identified.

Step 4: Monitor & Optimize Your Strategy

Don’t just create some social media or email campaigns and then call it a day. You should be constantly monitoring your results and adjusting your efforts accordingly. Different audiences respond better to different strategies. From email to social media to text campaigns, try out different platforms that your target audience might use. Constantly update the language and graphics that you’re using to see what performs best.

Step 5: Gain Return & New Members

Remember that your target audience is made up of both current and potential members. Focusing your strategies to zone in on a specific group doesn’t eliminate the possibility for new members, it just ensures that your church is reaching the right people. By paying attention to your data, you’ll learn more about your audience that will allow you to both grow your following and increase your engagement.

Church and marketing success all comes down to knowing who your target audience is and what they like. Marketing to the wrong audience can be very costly and can even confuse the actual target audience. As long as you stay true to your core audience and anticipate their needs, new and old members will always be able to find you.