Dec 15, 2005

Use Web forums to draw people to your church

Use Web forums to draw people to your church
by Chris Forbes

OK, news break – the Internet is not a fad and is not going to go away. So why not learn how to use the Web to benefit your church's outreach?

Web forums represent a tremendous opportunity for free marketing. And the internet is a powerful marketing tool that can help your ministry stay in constant contact with people – if you know how to use it.

With little time and effort, and no money, you can post links to your church, talk up your programs, and even submit news releases to the most popular Web sites in your town. Often, the information posted is "live" in a matter of seconds and available for others to read.

Think local as you post your information on the Web. A helpful marketing principle you need is understood from an old saying, "It is easier to be a big fish in a small pond, than a big fish in the ocean." Your Internet ministry marketing can easily become a "big fish" in your local area with a little research and action.

Many national and global sites exist on the Web. Choose the ones people in your town are most likely to use. When getting on the Web, use the local media as much as possible. Look for local, popular Web sites. The most popular sites often are those from local newspapers or television stations. And they usually have an ample number of links to local Web sites.

A ministry marketer said he recently discovered the number one Web site in his city featured free forums and bulletin boards. After a simple registration process, he posted information about his ministry on that bulletin board absolutely free. The marketer even posted a link back to his ministry Web site on it. Now, thousands of people who use that Web site also have access to his information.

Action point:Find those local, popular Web sites. They might be the local newspaper Web sites, or local radio and television station Web sites. Explore these sites and see if there is a forum where you can post your church's link and event information on a regular basis.

If you're not Web savvy, then your action point is to get savvy or find someone who can help you.

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