Leveraging word of mouth marketing is such a natural fit for ministries-- When you have a great story to tell, people naturally want to share it with everyone they know. But how can ministries be more intentional about getting people to spread the word?
- Find your brand loyalists
In the ministry world, these are typically people who just recently came to Christ. They are so on fire about what God is doing in their lives & the impact of your church, they're telling everyone they know.
- Give exclusive access and special privileges
In addition to new believers, your biggest volunteers are often your best advocates. Identify these folks and form a special team so they can get the "inside scoop" from church leadership on upcoming events, plans, etc. [This team could also work well to execute points #3-5]
- Respond quickly to comments and feedback
Jeff sums it up well by saying, "If you're a loyalist, there's nothing worse than a company that doesn't value your input." Granted, this does NOT mean the church should be run from the pews. But keeping a finger on the pulse of your core will go a long way.
- Monitor and reach out proactively
Don't just wait for people to approach you. Be intentional about connecting with those already out there and affirm their commitment. Talk to your ministry leaders--who's heavily involved? What stories have they heard "from the field"?
- Give brand evangelists a voice
This goes a bit with point #3-- true advocates love knowing they are helping to shape the story. Don't just engage them, but help them to co-create the experience by giving input. This could mean brainstorming outreach ideas, topics for message series, creating street teams that help spread the word, etc.