James: Today's show is all about big advertising campaigns when it comes to inviting people to church either on a regular Sunday or special events like Easter and Christmas. But basically what we're going to be talking about is traditional versus digital. So we're talking about should your church be investing time and money and energy into big giant billboards or you know postcards and things on billboards in like a Starbucks or a big mailer campaigns where you mail to 10,000 homes in your community versus doing online advertising through Facebook, Instagram and any other social media, even just Google ads. So let's dive in and talk about what are the advantages of each.

Joanna: As I'm continuing to say all week I want people to think digital first not digital only, but digital first when it comes to promo advertising in the community. So when we're talking about things like billboards that's a giant piece of printed paper we're talking about posters maybe people have a local coffee shop they could pin up posters in or a lot of churches are doing mail drops where you know 10,000 homes in the local area are going to get a printed piece. And we have done all of those things and many more in terms of print promo in the community. And I'll give some examples of how we've used it in a second in a positive way but when I think of digital first here's what I like and here's what I would want you to do help your leadership understand. The beautiful thing about digital promo is you can track it and it cost so much less. So rather than having a billboard for the whole month that you've committed to and cost thousands of dollars for a few hundred bucks you can reach thousands and thousands of people on a Facebook ad and you can target it. You can even go down to wanting to reach women who have kids who are between the ages of 28 and 50. You can go that specific and they live in this particular neighborhood and say they're interested in dogs and knitting. I don't know whatever it is you know really really narrow in you're in your reach and so you're not just reaching the generic everybody who drives by a billboard or the generic everybody the thousands of homes who are receiving your print piece and probably receiving it with lots of other junk mail and throwing it right in the recycling bin without even really actually touching it because they're just it's moving immediately into the bin without looking at it. If it's part of a package of all kinds of other ads they get on the same day. So with digital I just want to encourage people think about how you can target it really well. But more than that for your leadership and for yourself you can track the results you can see if people clicking on it. Are people going through to our website. Are people messaging with questions. You can actually track in a more meaningful way. How people are engaging and is your ad actually working. The only way from print ads in the community that you can know if it worked is if someone actually tells you. It's all anecdotal. Oh I saw the billboard, that's why I'm here. And it's hard to capture that information in a meaningful statistical kind of way. But with digital you can get real stats and data on how many people and how many places at what times of day clicked on your ad and if it's not working for some reason maybe you need to do it. You want to do a campaign for the month leading up to your major event like Easter or the week leading up if the first few days you see it's not really getting a lot of traction maybe you want to change the copy. You want to change the words a little bit. Right. Or maybe the picture isn't compelling enough so you're gonna change that look you can change. You can stop that campaign and start a new one. You know a few hours later you're learning as you go what's actually reaching people.

James: And I mean a billboard specifically is very much a shot in the dark in that what makes good advertising is something catchy and intriguing and unique and I think most churches aren't set up or prepared to be advertising agencies. To come up with something really catchy and unique that's going to really say oh wow look at that. That's something I'm intrigued by. So what you're doing is you are using what you know you're so you're putting up any kind of billboard that you think is going to work and you're really just kind of hoping for the best because that's all it is you're saying I hope someone looks at this. I hope someone comes to church and I probably will never know if they did because of this or you're just kind of spending money and hoping for the best which can work. But again I don't even know if it does or doesn't. I have my own personal opinions. I don't think it works.

Joanna: And I'm sure there are people who are like I know a story of you know there's a church in our town who has a "prepare to meet thy God" like literally this is one that I can think of in our city in Toronto. I drive by it off the highway prepare to meet thy God with a phone number below it. It's been there for years as this giant billboard I'm sure over time they've had impact of some kind with their scary statement. But its hard to measure, out of the millions of people who drive by it. How many have actually responded?

James: If you're doing digital ads you as a communicator can say to your leadership your boss I know that this amount of people have clicked on the ad and yet this amount of people have e-mailed us asking us questions you have real data to say it's making impact we are getting this amount of people that have seen the ad and it's made them curious. And hopefully they're going to come from it. And so it's definitely more data that you can at least use to reassure that you are not spending money unwisely.

Joanna: And we're thinking about small budgets we're talking about the target of this whole podcast is small organizations, churches and ministries. And so when you're McDonald's, billboards are used extensively but it's part of a larger campaign that same kind of promo is on television ads, it's on radio ads, it's in social media ads like Facebook ads, it's on the bus, like its everywhere.

James: It's everywhere because they have hundreds of millions of dollars to spend. This conversation is for churches that most likely have 500 to maybe a thousand, maybe two thousand dollars to spend on printed materials and or digital ads and that is a small amount of resources that you have to be very efficient with and get that message as far and wide for as cheap as possible. And so that's where I think the digital first yet printed stuff second really does come into play because you could very easily spend that entire budget on one print ad campaign that goes in the mail.

Joanna: That's it. So I would say for if you haven't done this before for an upcoming campaign or a big event that you're doing that money you would have spent to send mailers out to the whole community. What if you for one project took all that money or even half that money because it doesn't cost as much. And did it on digital and you can measure and see if it made a big impact and change in your results. Hope that helps. We'll talk to you tomorrow.