Ad on Facebook Triggers Jump in Church Website Traffic

Post a Comment » Written on October 7th, 2009     
Filed under: News
MUSKEGON, MI (October 7, 2009) – Misty Diller likes numbers, especially when she see numbers that show how effective and relatively inexpensive Renovate Covenant Church’s social media advertising campaign has been.

“I love looking at the analytics,” says Misty, who earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing at North Park University and is married to Renovate’s pastor, Dave Diller. The couple planted the church, which has an average attendance of about 150 people, less than two years ago.

The congregation pays for church advertisements to appear on Facebook pages of users that Renovate leaders have targeted. If people click on the advertisement, they are taken to the church’s website. Other social media operate in similar fashion.

Churches can target their audience based on information that Facebook collects from users’ profiles. Renovate limits the ads using criteria such as age, interests, and distance from the church.

The church can pay for the ads based on the number of impressions—the number of pages on which they appear—or the number of times people actually click through to the website.

Advertisers set a daily budget, and the advertisements stop appearing when the budget has been met. “It’s super easy to support,” Misty says.

Being able to access the monthly data gives Renovate an idea of how effective the advertisements have been. That kind of information is not available when they advertise through direct media or newspapers, says Misty.

In September, the church had a target group of 20,000 people, and the advertisement appeared on 700,000 pages. The analytics showed that 300 people clicked through and spent an average of two and a half minutes on the congregation’s website.

The church paid roughly $80 for the month. “It’s a way for a church without a lot of money to get their name out,” says Dave.

Of course, having the right advertisement is important, too. When the church changed theirs in September, the number of people clicking through jumped 56 percent.

“It was 100 percent new people,” Mistys says. “I was shocked.”

The church changed the ad to highlight a simple mission statement—“Love God, Love People.” The congregation’s name was on the ad, but it was not the prominent element.

Misty does freelance work with churches and other businesses to help them develop ways to drive traffic to their websites, often referred to as search engine optimization. Developing strategies and using social media sites has become essential to drive people to an organization’s website, she says.

Renovate also uses its podcast as a means of evangelism, as well as a way of serving the congregation. “We know how many people subscribe and how many listen off of the archives,” Misty says.

The church has used newspapers and direct mail, as well as other creative forms of marketing. Congregation members put up yard signs in their lawns that promoted the church’s fall kickoff.

Dave says getting people to attend a church is easier if they have heard about it multiple times. He adds that using Facebook and other forms of marketing is important, but personal contact is ultimately the best form of evangelism.

Misty heartily agrees, but she still likes looking at the data.

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