I firmly believe that marketing is crucial to the success of any website and I really want you to succeed with your website. So, I want to help you to get things going with the online marketing of your site.
A good, effective online marketing plan is the first step in a successful online marketing campaign. Creating the plan is something for which you should set aside some real time so you can adequately evaluate the various aspects of the plan and proceed with a realistic plan that can be done successfully. Entire books have been written on developing marketing plans, so this article is, by no means, an exhaustive resource on the topic. Rather this article is intended to help you move in the right direction and, most importantly, take the initiative to create a marketing plan and put it into practice.
Here are 10 steps to create a marketing plan:
- Prayer – We need God’s direction in all things. So, begin by submitting yourself to the Lord and asking for wisdom, discernment, and creativity and for the Lord to guide you though this process.
- Set Goals – You need specific goals both to direct you in your marketing decisions and to help you gauge whether your marketing is being effective.
- Figure Out Your Finances – This is tricky because marketing really is an investment, not an expense. You should get a return on your investment that is greater than what you spend (yes, even churches). However, when you are first starting you can’t assume the marketing will effectively cover your costs. So, make sure you can cover the expenses and then treat it like an investment.
- In-House or Hired Pros – Who is going to do the marketing? To save on money you may consider doing the marketing in-house, but consider you and your staff’s knowledge, skills, and time when making this decision. In-house may seem cheaper, but you could actually be worse off financially and in reaching your goals due to inefficient marketing practices, people not having time to properly implement the marketing, and unrealized gains.
- Choose a Marketing Strategy – There are a lot of ways you can market your website/organization, from SEO, to online ads, to social media and more. Do some research and figure out what marketing methods will best suit your organization and help you achieve your goals. If you are hiring a professional marketer, you can utilize their expertise when making this decision.
- Allocate Resources – This may be money, personnel, time, etc. Even if you are doing the marketing in-house, there will still be expenses. Even if you hire someone to perform the marketing, there are still aspects that will need to be handled in-house. If nothing else, someone needs to be communicating with the marketer, but you will probably need to have someone tracking and evaluating the marketing, as well. Figure out who is going to be working on the marketing and what they will need to do it effectively.
- Setup Metrics – Don’t ever just assume your marketing is working. You need to setup a means of measuring how effective the marketing is. This includes setting up analytics for your website to monitor traffic and goal conversions. This may also include off-line tracking like asking visitors how they learned about your organization.
- Evaluate the Marketing – After the marketing has been started, you need to regularly examine the metrics you setup and evaluate your marketing strategy and practices. Look for what’s working and what isn’t and adjust accordingly.
- Test, Evaluate, Tweek, Test… – Even effective marketing can usually be improved. The best marketing plans include constant testing, evaluating, and adjusting. This may be trying different ad text or targeting different keywords, etc.. You setup some tests, see what works best, drop/change what doesn’t work, and try to improve what is working.
- Prayer – Now as you move forward with your plan, pray the the Lord will bless your work and continue to guide you.
Alright. It’s time to do it!
I encourage you to set aside time over the next week get started on creating your marketing plan. If you delay, you’re actually delaying getting more traffic to your site and reaching your goals. So, don’t put this off.
At OurChurch.Com we are more than happy to provide information and resources for you to be able to achieve success with your website. In addition to information, we also offer services. So, if you do decide that you want to hire a professional marketer to do the marketing for your website, please take a moment to go look at the marketing services we offer and request a free, no obligation consultation today.
- Have you developed a marketing plan?
- Do you have any questions about developing a marketing plan?