Do you know that the average person is estimated to encounter between 6,000 and 10,000 advertisements per day? This number depends greatly on the person’s geographical location, time spent consuming media, and other factors.
No matter how you slice it, it is apparent that advertisements are a huge part of our daily lives. You may not even realize how much you actually consume advertising because it is not always so overt.
You see them on billboards during your morning commute
You see them on corkboards at your office or coffee shop
You hear them on the radio
You even see them when you’re procrastinating with Candy Crush
The unique thing about advertising is that it is not a method that will ever fall flat or lose its effectiveness. With the development of new media, there will always be the integration of new advertising. And with more businesses, startups, organizations, and churches popping up everywhere, advertising will only continue on the upswing.
While newspapers and radio stations continue to dwindle, other types of media are stepping into the spotlight. This means that advertising is taking on a different form than what we have seen 50, and even 5, years ago.
Not only has our new media to credit for this change, but it is also our society as a whole. Consumers are no longer content to blindly see an advertisement, trust the brand, and buy buy buy.
Our consumers are smarter, a bit more skeptical, and make informed purchasing decisions.
Cattle-call advertising no longer has the effect it once had. Personalized advertising is what truly can make all the difference. With the introduction of online advertising, we have finally made the necessary shift from selling to solving.
The advertising message is no longer about the product, but it is about the consumer.
You may be asking yourself a few questions:
How does this translate for churches?
Is advertising actually important for faith communities?
Is it worth the cost?
We want to give you a quick synopsis of how paid ads (specifically for Facebook) work, why they are important for your church, and how you can see small investments make a huge impact.
Why Paid Ads Work
The social media pioneer platform Facebook has over 2.8 billion users and counting. Think about how monumental that is - over ⅓ of the earth’s entire population is on Facebook!
Facebook has transformed how we are able to communicate with one another and truly revolutionized online relationships, both person-to-person and person-to-business.
Facebook isn’t just a place where you can see pictures of Aunt Peggy’s cats. It is a hub where businesses, organizations, and non-profits can build relationships and reach new audiences.
As Facebook has evolved, its algorithm (or the ordering and presentation of posts) has shifted in order to present the most relevant information possible to the consumer. Figuring out how to “crack this code” is obviously the #1 goal for businesses operating on the platform. There is no point in posting content if no one is going to see it.
This is exactly where Facebook paid advertising comes into the picture.
Facebook is a “pay-to-play” type of platform where businesses must rely primarily on paid Facebook media in order to get their content seen.
Facebook actually plays well with businesses best when they utilize their advertising.
Now that we understand why Facebook advertising is necessary, let’s talk about how to get started using ads for your church or non-profit.
Truly, you can turn any piece of content (video, media, post, etc.) into an advertisement. We wouldn’t recommend pulling an advertisement out of thin air though.
This would be the same as sending a general idea for a print advertisement to a newspaper and telling the advertising director “Do whatever you want with it - create the design, place it on any page you want, and print it on any day of the week. It will work!”
Advertising is not as simple as clicking a button and expecting the sales or leads to come rolling in. Advertising takes well thought out strategy that takes into consideration your company goals and audience needs.
Before you ever even consider swiping your card to post a Facebook ad, you want to layout some identifiable goals for your paid ad campaign. For example:
- Increase traffic to your website
- Generate new leads
- Increase the number of online church viewers
- Increase email newsletter subscriptions
You can even take it a step further and add in some quantifiable goals such as:
- Increase website traffic by 25% by the end of 2021
- Generate 20 new leads this quarter
- Increase the number of online church viewers by 50% by the summer
- Increase email newsletter subscribers by 100 each quarter
Keeping goals in mind is essential to justify spending money on Facebook ads. If there is no clear-cut purpose behind an ad, the likelihood of it generating the effect you desire it to will diminish.
There are 3 main marketing objective categories to choose from on Facebook:
Each of these categories has several different sub-objectives where you can choose the path you want your ad campaign to contribute towards.
Is your goal to promote your page, gain leads, increase website engagement, or get more video views? There are a ton of different ways you can approach an ad campaign but choosing a set objective will really help to hone in on a specific goal you want to achieve.
When you have a clear objective lined out, you will then want to consider your target audience. A target audience is simply the group of people you desire to reach, especially when it comes to advertising. Facebook makes it extremely simple to define your target audience and leverage your paid ads to reach them.
You can choose your audience based on a few categories:
For example, if your goal is to reach young families specifically, your audience targets would look something like this:
- Age: 24-40
- Gender: Male & female
- Location: Your Town/County/Region
- Language: Native language of your area
- Interests: Parenting, Parents of toddlers, (Members of mom groups, PTA members, likes page for local elementary schools, etc.
- Connections: Include those attending family-related Facebook events
Once you have a clear objective and audience for your paid ads, that is where you will want to figure out a plausible budget that aligns with your campaign goals.
This is the step in the process where we have to understand that paying for advertising is not a blind expense, it is an investment. As of last year, the average conversion rate for Facebook is at about 9.21%. In layman’s terms, for roughly every 100 interactions with your Facebook ad, about 9 of these interactions will turn into a lead or sale.
This conversation rate obviously translates differently to churches where you are not selling a product but are rather trying to generate more visitors online and in person.
Seeing the impact with Facebook ads on your church is a bit more complicated, but nonetheless, targeted ads can get the word out about your church to those who otherwise would have never heard of you.
Non-profits and Facebook ads are a different topic altogether. The primary goals for non-profits are spreading brand awareness and getting donations. Facebook ads have a ton of cool features for nonprofits to receive donations directly from the ads. The appeal of using Facebook ads for nonprofits, especially finely-tuned targeting ones, is great when it will leave to donations for the cause.
Once the objective, target audience, and budget are mapped out, ad creation can finally take place. There are 5 main types of media you can utilize for Facebooks ads:
- Image - simple graphic images
- Video - engaging, eye-catching videos
- Carousel - up to 10 images or videos (or a combination of both) with distinct links for each media
- Instant Experience - a full-screen video or image ad experience
- Collection - a combination of an instant experience in addition to other clickable features
The ad format you choose will depend on the purpose of your advertisement, and the money you are willing to invest into the specific format.
If you are trying to generate more visits to your website, a few great graphics and images will do the trick. But if you are trying to increase awareness and give viewers a peek into what your non-profit or church is all about, an instant experience is a great option.
The goal of any of our online content is to be so eye-catching that it immediately stops the scroll. This objective is especially true when it comes to Facebook ads. Ads should be so compelling that viewers don’t think of it as “just another ad” but as something worth engaging with.
When ads are done well, your viewers won’t even mind viewing them. They’ll be excited to watch your video or click through to your website, because you’re talking directly to them and addressing their needs!
Once all of the logistics are ironed out, this where you can leave it to the professionals!
It can get overwhelming to consider the design and schematic of an entire Facebook advertising campaign. As a Facebook Marketing Partner, our team at Pro MediaFire will help you create content, write copy, choose targets, and launch an entire social media campaign for you!
Through our church growth bundle, we can help your church grow with both paid and organic strategies. We want to help those who do good to do more and we believe we can help you do just that through a fire social media strategy!