Marketing to pastors, ministry directors, and other Christian leaders can be tricky. Whether you’re a faith-based organization or you simply have a product or service that benefits church leaders, this is a group of influential people, and it’s important to get your messaging right.
Here are four tips for how to market your product or service to church leaders.
1. Know your audience
It’s always important to know your audience. But it’s not as simple as identifying if the people you’re talking to are “church leaders.”
You may be talking to a specific subset of church leaders, such as executive pastors or children’s ministry directors. It’s important to think about how someone’s particular role changes what kinds of examples to use or situations to highlight.
It’s also crucial to know whether you’re talking to church leaders from a specific faith tradition, or if your audience is a broad group. When your audience all belongs to the same tradition, speaking their language can be a valuable way to demonstrate that you know who they are and understand how their beliefs influence their priorities. But with a broader group, you need to be wary of straying into theological territory.
If you haven’t already, creating personas is a valuable exercise to help you think like the people you’re trying to reach.
2. Speak into their unique challenges, frustrations, and desires
Whatever their position and whatever their tradition, church leaders tend to share some common problems and goals.
Every church leader wishes they had more time to focus on the aspects of ministry that matter most to them. If your product or service reduces the time they spend on a task, your messaging could encourage them to imagine what they could do with that extra time.
Ministry also involves heavily investing in relationships, and many pastors and church leaders worry about staying connected to their families. They want to be effective in their ministry and available to the people they’re leading without sacrificing relationships with their spouses and kids.
Every church leader wishes they had more resources to invest in their ministry. More staff or volunteers to expand their capacity. And an insatiable desire to continue growing personally.
Knowing your specific audience will help you home in on more frustrations and desires you can tap into, but the more you can connect your product or service with the unique challenges of ministry, the more effective your messaging will be.
3. Avoid using faith-based language to drive sales
When you believe in what your organization does, it’s easy to talk about how important your product or service is to your audience—in this case, church leaders. Every brand should aim to be honest and avoid manipulative marketing. But it’s extra important if you want to market to church leaders. If a pastor feels like you’re using the Bible or their beliefs to manipulate them into a purchase, it doesn’t just mean that they’ll never buy from you—they may use their platform or authority to influence others to avoid your brand, too.
4. Focus on how you can support their mission
Every church and every ministry has a different mission. But many of the key components are the same. So you don’t have to know every audience member’s mission to talk about how you can help them reach their goals. Even with a broad group of church leaders, you should be able to communicate how your brand supports their overarching goals. If you can keep the focus on what they’re trying to accomplish, your pitch will be a lot more compelling.
Engage your audience
Church leaders are always looking for products, services, and resources to make them more effective. And that’s one of the things that makes advertising to this audience so appealing. It doesn’t matter if you’re a well-known brand or not—you just need the right lead magnet and a good hook.