Facebook ads for churches and temples and religious organizations

Facebook Ads for Churches and Temples

Are Facebook ads a viable way through which churches and temples can connect with their communities? If yes, what’s are the best approaches for doing Facebook Ads marketing for churches and temples? Hi, my name is Francisco, and I am the owner of Planet Marketing, a Digital Marketing Agency. My company specializes in Google Ads, Facebook Ads and remarketing. Over the years, I have worked with quite a number of religious establishments. Most come to me looking for help with marketing on the various digital marketing platforms that are out there. Today, I am going to share information on how churches and temples can effectively leverage the power of Facebook for reach out to their target audiences. This article is divided into the following sections;

Why Facebook Makes Sense for Marketing Churches and Temples

Does Facebook Marketing make sense for churches and temples? The answer is a big yes. In fact, I firmly believe no other digital marketing platform makes better sense than Facebook for marketing religious establishments. There are several reasons why churches and temples need to take steps today to start leveraging the power of Facebook. The following are some of those reasons;

Statistic: Number of monthly active Facebook users worldwide as of 3rd quarter 2020 (in millions) | Statista
Find more statistics at Statista
  • At the time of writing this article, Facebook had a monthly active user base of over 2.7 billion. You can check out the current statistics in the graph above from Statista. Those figures continue to grow on a daily basis. But what does it mean for churches and temples? Well, it simply means that there is a very high probability that a large majority of the people who make up your community have a presence on Facebook. The platform is, as such, where you need to be if you are hoping to connect with these people.
  • One worry for people when it comes to doing Facebook ads marketing for churches and temples is that they are going to have a hard time identifying the right people. How do you reach the correct audience on so vast a platform? Well, the good news is that Facebook is actually great when it comes to audience targeting. That gives any ads which you may create a very high chance of success. As you will see later, you are a provided with a host of tools that you can use to define and refine the target audience for your ads.
  • Another worry is that Facebook ads are expensive. However, that is hardly the case. In fact, it’s possible for your church to start advertising on the platform for as little as $5 per day. You could even spend less than that! Definitely, Facebook ads tend to be cheaper than the alternatives, including Google ads.
  • It’s possible for any determined person to learn how to run their own Facebook Ads marketing campaigns. As a church, you will probably already have people who have knowledge of what we are talking about here. These people can help you achieve your goals using Facebook ads. This article aims to get you well on the way to running your Facebook ads marketing campaigns.

Marketing Goals for Churches and Temples

It's important to point out here that churches and temples obviously do not operate as for profit organizations. The overriding concern for most other entities is to generate a profit. The same cannot be said of churches and temples. The following are a few possible marketing goals for churches;

  • To recruit new members to the church or temple. Growth is always welcome, even for religious organizations. In fact, growth is highly sought after.
  • It’s also possible for churches and temples to do marketing with the goal of fundraising. Most such organizations survive on charity from their members. Therefore, they need to occasionally reach out for help to keep going.
  • Perhaps you wish to get more people to your services. Or maybe you wish to convert people who have visited your church into members.

Marketing Options on Facebook for Churches and Temples

In this article, we mainly explore the option to create paid Facebook ads for churches and temples. However, that’s not the only marketing option that’s available on the platform.

In fact, you can give your religious organization greater visibility on Facebook completely free of charge. Paid ads are great, but they should be complimentary to your other efforts. The following are the options for marketing churches and temples on Facebook

Create a Facebook Page

Facebook Ads Marketing for churches and temples

Every church and temple should have a Facebook Page

Churches and temples have a lot in common with Facebook. Both can be regarded as communities. For churches and temples, the binding factor is religion. Facebook brings together people from various demographics, interests and behaviors.

It’s easy for churches to create vibrant communities on Facebook. And the effort doesn’t have to be paid. But how does this work? Well, the answer lies in Facebook Pages. Today, most churches and temples out there have Facebook pages. Facebook pages have the following uses;

  • You can use yours as a hub for interacting with people in your community. Treat your page just as you would your physical church. It should be used to engage people in discussion around religious and other matters.
  • Facebook pages can also be used to foster interaction between people in your community. Allow people to meet fellow church members on the platform. That way, they can become a true community because hey; people are already spending so much of their time on Facebook anyway. Why not simply harness that to bring them closer together.
  • Facebook pages can be great marketing platforms in terms of recruiting new members to you religious establishment. People will come there to read posts about your church or temple, or to have any questions that they may have answered.

Boosting Posts on Facebook

Boosting Facebook posts is one of the paid options for churches and temples that wish to advertise on Facebook. A boosted post is simply a normal post that you pay to reach a lot more people.

Normally, such a post would have reached only those people in your Facebook community. If you boost the post, it goes beyond, which is a great way of spreading the word about your church or temple.

It’s debatable whether or not boosting Facebook posts is worthwhile. However, there can be no harm in trying it. Personally, I prefer creating actual Facebook ads. The amounts that are spent on both options are more or less the same. But in terms of performance, paid ads are better.

Paid Facebook Ads

Paid ads are the final option when doing Facebook ads marketing for churches and temples. As noted earlier, this is the option that we are going to be concentrating on here. But you need to note that none of the options that are given here should be regarded as being mutually exclusive.

Every church or temple should have a Facebook Page to bring people together under one banner. That’s the free option. On top of that, you can boost your posts to reach more people. You also have the option to create paid Facebook ads, which takes your marketing efforts on Facebook even further.

Facebook Pixel

Facebook Ads for Temples and Churches

Diagram of Retargeting

I have written quite a number of Facebook Ads marketing articles, and setting up Pixel is something that I like to talk about. Pixel is how Facebook does remarketing. And if you are not in the know, remarketing or retargeting involves using cookies to track people’s activities on a website in order to show them relevant ads away from that site.

As a church or temple, chances are high that you already have a vibrant website. Setting up Pixel helps you track what people are doing on the site. This enables you to show them relevant ads the next time that they visit Facebook.

Let’s say, as an example, that somebody visits your website’s donations page but they leave without contributing any money. If you have been using Pixel, it’s possible to follow this person to Facebook, where you can use ads to encourage them to make their contribution.

Creating the First Facebook Ad for your Church or Temple

Hopefully, the background discussion that we have had so far has primed you for the task at hand. In this section, I show you how to get started creating Facebook ads for churches and temples. Facebook ads are created in Ads Manager.

To get started, you need to have a Facebook Business Manager account and an Ad Account that's linked to the Business Manager account. 

These are things that you can do get too much trouble. So, I am not going to dwell on them much here. Once you have everything set up, you can begin creating your ad. The process is composed of 3 steps;

  • Choosing a Campaign Objective
  • Setting up your Target Audience in the Ad Set
  • Creating the Ad

What are Facebook Ads Campaign Objectives? 

Choosing a Campaign Objective is the first steps when creating Facebook Ads for churches and temples. A Campaign Objective is the definition of your overall goals for your ads. What is it that you wish to achieve for that particular Campaign?

To be fair, your goals can vary from one Campaign to the next, so it’s possible even for one enterprise to have different ads running on difference Campaign Objectives. Facebook provides you with the following 11 Campaign Objectives from which you are required to choose only one per Campaign;

  • App installs
  • Catalog sales
  • Lead generation
  • Conversions
  • Store traffic
  • Traffic
  • Messages
  • App installs
  • Video views
  • Engagements
  • Brand awareness

What’s the best option for Churches and Temples? 

Campaign Objective Facebook Ads for churches and temples

Choose a Campaign Objective for your Ad

It’s important to choose the correct Campaign Objective. For eCommerce businesses, I usually recommend Catalog sales, which works very well with Pixel to create dynamic Facebook ads. You can check out what I am talking about in my Facebook Ads for Shopify Stores article

Most people struggle when choosing Campaign Objectives. But there is no need for you to crack your head while trying to decide which to pick. As already noted, you can choose one for a particular Campaign and another for another Campaign.

As an example, you could go with Brand awareness. You can also go with Reach if you wish to have your ad reach the maximum number of people.

You can also opt for Traffic as your Campaign Objective. Perhaps you wish to have people who click on your ads directed to a page where they can make donations to your church or temple. That’s the Campaign Objective that we are going to go for here.

Setting up your Target Audience in the Ad Set

This is probably the most important section when creating Facebook Ads for churches and temples. First, it’s important to always know who you are trying to reach for each Campaign.

It doesn’t work to target everyone around the world. The great thing is that Facebook gives you a number of tools allowing you to define and refine your target audience;

Location

Where are the people who you are trying to reach with Facebook Ads for churches and temples located? Most of the time, churches are localized.

That means they can only reach out to people living so many miles around the physical location of the church. Perhaps that’s 5 miles around or even less. It depends on how big your church or temple is. 

It’s also possible to reach out to a wider audience if the church or temple in question is part of a larger grouping. Let’s say you are doing marketing for the Catholic Community in Idaho. In that case, you would need to have your ads delivered to members across the state.

Choose where you wish to have your Facebook Ads delivered

Choose where you wish to have your Facebook Ads delivered

For this example, we will assume that our church is located on South Ocean Boulevad, Boca Raton, Florida in the United States. We wish to have our ads delivered to people living 5 miles around the physical location of our church. We will target people living in this area and not others who may have passed through the area in recent days.

Gender

Gender is another option for audience definition when doing Facebook Ads for churches and temples. It mainly applies for businesses and entities dealing with gender specific products.

It’s also possible for churches to use this option. Maybe you are trying to reach out to victims of domestic abuse in your community. In that case, you could choose to have your ads delivered only to women.

Age

To which age ranges are you reaching out with your Facebook Ads? It’s possible for you to define this here. For churches and temples, this setting can be different depending on what you wish to achieve at that particular point in time.

Languages

Some businesses and organizations may be looking to target people who speak a particular language. Perhaps your community is composed mainly of Spanish speakers and these are the people that you are targeting with your ads. If that is the case, you can do so in this section.

Detailed Targeting: Demographics, Interests and Behaviors

So far, we have defined an audience that’s pretty broad. We have said we will be targeting people in the community in which we operate. These should fall within a specific age range. Optionally, they should speak a particular language.

All that is great, but it leaves use with a rather wide target audience. That can work to our detriment in terms of the performance of our Facebook Ads.

Fortunately, you can narrow down on your target audience in the Detailed Targeting section. Here, demographics, interests and behaviors are used to really zoom in on the people that we are targeting. For this example, we will be reaching out to people who have expressed an interest in the following;

  • Church service
  • Catholic church

Alternatively, you can target custom audiences

Facebook ads for churches and temples

It's better to target custom audiences

Note that the above audience is rather thin. It's better to target a custom audience. That way, you can have your ads delivered to people who have interacted with your site in one way or the other. Perhaps they check out the schedule for church services. Or maybe they visited your donations page. The great thing is that the are people who are familiar with your establishment, making it easy to reach out to them. You can use the following sources for your customer audience;

  • Your website (as tracked through pixel)
  • You can upload a customer list
  • It's possible to have an audience based on app activity
  • Offline activity
  • Facebook page
  • lead form
  • Video
  • Instagram account

Budget and Schedule

The Budget and Schedule section can also be found in the Ad Set. It’s another section on which you need to work on. I usually advise people to try as much as is possible to retain control of their spending.

You don’t want to have Facebook continue deducting money from your account even when you no longer want to have a particular ad continue to run.

But how do you maintain control? Well, you do so by setting up start and end dates for your Campaigns. Let’s say you have set up your account to spend $20 per day on Facebook Ads and you wish to have the Campaign run for 5 days, it means you will have spend $100 on your ads by the end of those 5 days. So, you know exactly what you are spending at any given point in time.

Creating your Facebook Ad

We come to the section where we create the Facebook Ad for our church or temple. All the work that we have been doing so far is important. However, it will mainly be in the background. What people will see is the ad itself, so you need to make it good.

Remember though that you only have a limited amount of time in which to make an impression. Facebook advises that video ads be no more than 15 seconds long. Anything longer than that, and you will lose the people that you are targeting.

The challenge here is that people go to Facebook for reasons other than the ones that you are looking to foist on them. They go there to gossip with friends and family. The aim for your ad is to put them into another frame of mind, which can be a challenge. 

Ad formats

Facebook allows you to create video, carousel and single image ads. But which format is the best when doing Facebook Ads marketing for churches and temples? Well, you can use any format that you feel is the best. You are also free to experiment around with your ad formats. Keep doing this till you have stuck the right formula.

Primary Text

Make your primary text short and punchy. People do not have the time to waste trying to read loads of text. Facebook is mainly about visuals. So, these should be given greater prominence in your ads. Otherwise people will not respond in the desired way. I usually advise people to keep Primary text at one line. Two lines at most.

Summary

That’s how to do Facebook Ads Marketing for Churches and Temples. In this article, I showed you why Facebook is the right platform for marketing religious organizations. I also showed you all the marketing options on Facebook. Of note was the fact that you can get started for free by creating a Facebook Page for you church or temple.

You also have the option to do Facebook Paid Ads. Regarding these, creating a “real,” ad is usually better than boosting a post. Whatever the angle that you take, it’s clear that Facebook is great for advertising churches and temples. It the ideal platform for reaching out to people within your church’s community.

If you want to learn more about creating Facebook Ads for your business, feel free to sign up for my Facebook Ads marketing mini course. It's free, and you get lots of videos and other learning materials to get you well on the way to becoming a Facebook Ads Marketing guru.

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