Christmas is coming. Soon. Your community knows this because everything will start to scream it. From the lights, to the signs, to the songs, to the ads. It’ll be everywhere. This is why it’s the perfect time to engage your community and reach outside of your church with the Christian message that “Jesus was born for them”.
NOTE: Churches that only concentrate messaging internally (to congregation) will usually begin to stagnate. If we concentrate on a growing community we’ll often bring that growth inside.
I’m not suggesting that we should woo people from other churches; instead, I’m strongly suggesting an evangelistic effort to win people to Christ. It can be done! Here are 5 steps:
* Decide who your Targeted Audience is.
Just because Jesus was born for ALL, doesn’t mean you should try to reach everyone. Instead, pinpoint an audience that will listen to you. God’s put you into a community and in that community, there’s a subset that is aware of you and respects you. The ironic nature of marketing is: you’ll reach more by reaching out to less. Perhaps it’s homeless people who you’ve been helping through your pantry ministry. Or maybe it’s the parents of the youth who play in your basketball league. Choose a small group and clearly define it.
* Consider how they want to engage with Christmas.
Once you have this smaller targeted group, imagine how they view Christmas. How is your church uniquely qualified to interact with them for Christmas? The homeless group? What about a gift opening morning around a Christmas tree? Basketball Parents? How about a Christmas tournament?
* Talk benefits to them.
Now consider why they’d want to interact with you. What’s their benefit? How about “We’re your family when yours isn’t around” or “This Christmas, let your kid’s basketball gifts shine”. Build your messaging around the benefits and talk directly to your targeted audience.
* Control the Campaign.
Control your keywords, benefits, design, colors, fonts, and call to action. Ensure every ad or promotional item feels the same and drives towards the same “big ask”. Know your goals. Is it to have a large attendance at an event? Or maybe it’s just awareness. Or it’s a connection to them. Set measurable goals so that you can rejoice when God blesses.
* Target Social Media Ads to them.
The easiest promotional tool right now is social media. Based on your targeted audience, set up promotional ads on facebook and/or twitter. As you answer the questions for the targeted ads, you can see how truly targeted you are with your Christmas campaign. NOTE: some audiences aren’t on social media (i.e. the homeless) so you’ll need to consider how to reach them differently (i.e. flyers distributed directly to them).
The key takeaway? Stop trying to reach “all”. Instead, saturate a targeted audience with a message they’ll actually listen to. Even the Christmas angels only appeared to the shepherds on the hillside