When people hear about branding, their thoughts often turn to logos, designs, and the like. Also, some may view Church branding as a form of “carnality.”
However, creating a brand for a Church is not carnal. In essence, your Church’s brand is how people perceive your Church. This includes things like your mandate, vision, mission, the first impression people get when they visit your Church in person or online, the language and tone of your communication, and more.
All of these elements play a crucial role in the administration of a Church or ministry. Ultimately, the success of a Church is based on obedience and faithfulness to God. We can see this in the Letters of Jesus to the seven Churches in the book of Revelation.
It’s important to note that branding may be a significant aspect of a company’s success, but it’s not the same as dealing with God’s assignment. This doesn’t make branding irrelevant to Churches and ministries, however. Branding is a crucial aspect of setting up a Church structure.
This article will focus specifically on creating websites, increasing social media visibility, and other digital engagements for Churches.
When setting up a digital presence, whether it’s a website, social media accounts, live-streaming, or other digital engagements, it’s important to understand your Church’s branding strategy, identity, and tone. This will guide your interactions and engagements online.
To achieve this, it’s important to meet with your Pastor or the head of your ministry to discuss the following:
- Your mandate and vision: When God calls someone, He gives them a mandate to fulfill. This extends to the digital world as well.
- How to achieve this mandate online: Discuss with your Pastor or head how to fulfill this mandate in the digital world.
- How people should identify with your Church online: This goes beyond people identifying with you as a Christian or God’s servant (which is assumed by default), but what kind of tone, colors, and other elements do you want people to associate with your Church online?
- Your language and culture: Churches and ministries have their own unique language and culture (the way of doing things in a particular ministry).
When creating a Church or ministry brand, it’s essential to understand the dynamics of spiritual impact related to the growth of your ministry. Brands do not grow your Church or ministry; faithfulness and obedience to God’s calling do. Branding is simply helpful in giving your Church or ministry a shape online and offline.
Now, let’s look at some branding tips for Churches and ministries:
Church Branding Tip #1: Develop your Souls Persona
God did not send you to everyone. You have a message for a specific audience. Creating a Souls Persona is the best way to know your audience online and where they are.
The name souls persona was coined from the words Buyer Persona. A phrase used by HubSpot to represent a targeted audience of prospective buyers
According to HubSpot, “a buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal buyer based on data, interviews, and some educated guesses. It’s essentially a definition of your ideal buyer presented in a way that sounds like it’s talking about a specific person.”
If buyer persona is targeted to buyers and businesses, then Souls persona is targeted to lives in the digital world.
Business is for profit, but whatever we do in the digital world as Christians and church are to reach out to lives for Jesus.
Therefore, Souls Persona is a semi-fictional representation of a targeted soul in the digital world.
In your journey in the digital world, either on social media, websites, blogs, podcasts, emails, YouTube and more, there is a need for a souls persona to give you direction in your online activities.
In preparing your souls persona, you will learn better about your audience and the best way to deliver God’s message.
For creating a souls persona, you can use this Xephas Souls Persona Guide to make yours.
Church Branding Tips #2: Branding Identity is Very Important
Now, this is important. It is the visual element of your Church or ministry. The logo, colours, and designs. It will make you stand out from others.
God can be specific in giving directions to His stewards. Some founders received the colours, logo concept, and other branding identities from God.
So, you must understand these things about your ministry creating a brand.
Knowing what you are sent to do and the message you are solving in the digital world is key to developing a brand identity.
- Your mandate
- Your vision
- Your values
- Your personality
- Your tone of voice
Before you can determine all these, you should ask yourself or your pastor or head of your ministry the following questions.
- Why am I doing this business?
- What problem is this ministry solving?
- What specific audience are we targeting?
- If you could describe the mandate of this ministry in one statement, what would it be?
Your branding identity includes
- Colour Palette
All these will give life to your website, social media pages, and other digital engagements of your ministry.
Church Branding Tips #: Get a Website
In this part of the world (I mean in Africa), we don’t believe a website is vital for your ministry. A website is essential to your journey if your focus is the digital world.
A website is your online office for your ministry. An office that never has closing hours. Recently, we have web bots that attend to people visiting your website even when you are sleeping.
Church websites are essential because we are in a digital age. People find it easy to visit your website and search for information or download your materials for personal study.
WordPress and Wix have made it easier to design a website yourself. You don’t need to be an expert to get your business website. You should visit our academy to learn how to create a website without coding.
All you need to do is get a domain name and hosting, install WordPress, and then design your website.
Church Branding Tip #4: Have a Strong Social Media Presence
Social media has recorded consistent growth in numbers for over a decade. Though some platforms are at their peak of development, others are coming up with unique ideas.
Having a solid social media presence will help your church brand. How? You can easily communicate your message to millions of people through social media.
The best space to communicate your brand identity is through your social media space, and with consistency, you will be known for what you offer.
For example, a Youth Ministry will be known for youth content if they keep using its social media to communicate its message.
Some social media platforms to consider for your church in 2023
- Discord (for community)
- Instagram Reels
Church Branding Tip #5: Consistency is Key in Branding
Your message, mandate, mission, and identity should be repeated, and you should be consistent with it.
In some mega-churches in Nigeria, I can only recollect their vision and mission statement because I have repeatedly heard and seen them on their website, social media pages, and other digital materials.
Consistency makes people know what your church or ministry stands for. Here at Xephas and Oluwaseun Cephas Digital Ministry (OCDM), our mandate is to Take Jesus Digital. We write it everywhere, and we are known for that.
- Brand Color Palette
To be consistent in your brand visual, it is advisable to choose a four-colour palette: one primary colour and three secondary colours.
- Brand Logo
Also, make your logo appear in different variants. Horizontal and vertical layouts, your colours should also be embedded in them.
- Brand Images
As regards your brand images, consider which image collections are suitable for your church or ministry brand. For a church brand, it is advisable to use the pictures of your members as your brand images. You can use them on your websites, social media, bulletins, and other digital materials.
Church Branding Tip #6: Make Brand Guidelines
Brand guidelines are like your Bible. The authoritative book about your brand. It is a document containing every tiny and vital piece of information about your brand. It can be helpful in decision-making and educating online members about your church, ministry, and message.
In simple terms, it communicates how your brand should be represented worldwide.
Your Church brand guidelines should include
- Your Church vision and mission
- Your Church values
- Your Church tone
- Express information about your logo and how the logo should use it
- Your colour palette and how they relate to your brand
- Photography and imagery
- Your souls persona
These brand guidelines will help your graphic designers, social media managers or pastors, or any other person responsible for visualizing your church to make creative decisions and help your communication department to communicate your message to the digital world.
Church Branding Tips #7: Build a Brand Strategy
Finally, on these church branding tips, build up a strategy. That is your short-term and long-term plan to achieve your goals.
We have talked about consistency on social media, your brand identity, creating a website, creating a souls persona, and many other things. With a strategy, they will be easier to achieve.
With a strategy, you can grow.
It’s time to audit your ministry brand.
If you are the head Pastor, do a personal audit of your existing brand and make the necessary changes.
If you are the head of your media team, discuss this with your pastor because you need to know the depth of what God handled in their care before replicating the same online.
Check if your Church brand has an identity or strategy. Dismiss the misconceptions of church branding you have held dear over the years. It is time to make some changes to your ministry.
Church Branding or Ministry Branding is not carnality.