4 Ways Technology has Changed Marketing for Christian Businesses

One of the most critical dimensions of a business is branding and marketing. It is imperative that you get your name out to the public and distance your christian company from the competition. When business owners have to wear multiple hats, marketing typically takes a back seat. In order to stand out and become a leader in your industry, you need to create a strong marketing plan, have experts review it, and then execute successfully. Once launched, you must review results and make changes to stay at the forefront of your market.

Traditional marketing practices of the last 30 years have been a constant, allowing you to set your annual plan, post your goals, and implement your marketing strategy without too much research into new advertising mediums.

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In today’s world, marketing has been influenced first by technology, and then by social interaction and feedback (by way of technology). In order to plan your marketing strategy, your christian company needs to research the new advertising outlets. Some of these marketing changes include:

  1. Pay As You Go Advertising – In the past, advertising was purchased and placed prior to results. Even if you are a wizard at tracking your marketing, you have to make an educated decision on where to allocate your marketing dollars. This was, and still is a viable option, but digital marketing has changed the rules. Now you can purchase Pay Per Click advertising that allows you to pay only when a customer clicks on your link and visits your website. Coupled with a larger marketing strategy including the traditional avenues, this can be an effective way to quickly increase your website traffic.
  2. Social Marketing – Having a presence for your business on all social networks has become a viral marketing trend. It is a necessity but cannot be entered into blindly. A good Social Media Marketing plan along with a strong, branded presence can bring success. While traditional marketing is you speaking to your customers, social marketing for a christian business is centered on your customers speaking to you, and your interactions with them. It will increase customer satisfaction and lead to increased brand loyalty.
  3. Options…Options…Options – With internet and mobile marketing, as well as other technological advances, you are now inundated with marketing options for your christian business or christian organization. Yellow Pages, Radio, Billboards, etc have been replaced by Mobile Advertising, Email Marketing, Website Business Directories, Local Marketing, Deal of the Day, Social Marketing, Pay Per Click, and so on. The toughest part is that each of these mediums include a boatload of companies touting their successes. Including some of the newer marketing options into your current plan is essential, but must be done with extensive research. When you are weighing your options, make sure to base decisions not only on volume of traffic to your advertisement, but on whether the traffic is relevant to your business, and whether the visitors are in a buying position.
  4. FREE Content Marketing – About 10 years ago, traditional marketing was starting to slowly morph from a “BUSINESS” to a “CUSTOMER” mentality. The key to this focus is offering relevant, free content to your customer base, and the public. When educating customers on various topics (keep them relevant to your industry or business brand), you will be giving them reason to keep your business name at the top of their list. When they are ready to buy, you have created a rapport and your christian brand is at the top of your new customer’s list.

Technology has drastically changed how a christian company can market their business and stay relevant. When you create and implement your marketing plan for 2012, be sure to include some web marketing strategies to tie into your traditional marketing. Also, keep in mind that as you go “social” and provide content, consistency is the key. Do not create a presence and then let it sit abandoned.

How has technology affected your marketing plan?  Has it increased ROI?

Originally posted by Dan Detwiler on Fri, Dec 09, 2011

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How to Market your Christian Business

Have you seen the poll by The Barna Group? The Barna Group is a research company that focuses on the intersection of faith and culture.  I find this research to be extroadinary. It talks about the American consumer marketplace being a patchwork of markets.  It goes on to say that many brands have achieved success by identifying and reaching pockets of consumers among many variables, including ethnic factors.  This is not to say that they ignore other factors, but it says companies have been successful marketing specifically to ethnic factors, i.e. Christian consumers.

In summary, this poll taken in Feb 0f 2011, found that 42% of Americans are more likely to buy a product or service from a company that manages its business according to Christian principles, while 3 % were less likely and 51% said it made no difference.  In the same poll they found that 37% Americans are more likely buy a product or service from a company that promotes the Christian faith, while 3% are less likely and 58% said it makes no difference.

So what does this mean for the Christian Business owner? Given the above, it could be concluded that when marketing dollars utilize a means that would identify a business that manages it’s organization with Christian principles and/ or embraces and promotes the Christian faith, they would have a higher percentage of success when determining return on investment. Christian Businesses would do well in targeting advertising mediums that produce a vehicle to meet this need.

Originally posted by Richard Criste on Wed, Nov 28, 2012

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Using Social Media Platforms and the Importance of Visual Content

With 532 million status updates on Facebook per day, (MBA.comA Day in the Internet) the way a user portrays their information via social media is extremely important.12-12-12

Given the explosion of social media over the past decade, individuals have countless options to display information, express their interests, and communicate with others. Social media platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest have capitalized on this growing market and have provided great tools for users, especially those who are visually driven. With this growing market comes the challenge for users to post information that is eye-catching and concise.

Let’s start with Instagram. The idea was born in 2010 when two Stanford University graduates with  a love of photography decided to make the task of  taking and editing photos easier on their mobile  devices. Now, two years later Facebook purchased the program for 1 billion dollars, which allowed the  company to become more user friendly with their  photo sharing capabilities.

Around the same time as Instagram, another photo sharing company was born. This company,  popularly known as Pinterest, is a virtual pin board  site that allows users to pin photos of what  interests them. Once the photo is pinned the user has an option of choosing what pin board they  would like to place it on. As with many social media platforms, users can follow others, re-pin photos, and like them. While Facebook hasn’t purchased this social application yet, users can sign in to Pinterest using their Facebook account. From there, users have the option of syncing their Facebook with Pinterest that posts updates on their Timeline every time a new photo is pinned.

With all of these social media applications available, people need the ability to digest information quickly and determine its importance. So much is posted daily in the social media world, that information can be overlooked if a post is not thoroughly executed. A study done by Social Media Today concluded Facebook posts with photos received the most Comments, Likes and Engagement. Photos can grab the attention of a user quickly and are able to convey more information than just using text without an image.

As you think about what you are going to post next on your social media platform, remember the impact of photos. Just one image and a few words can convey a bigger message than just a lot of text.

Originally posted by Patricia Goedeke on Wed, Dec 12, 2012

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