Jul 21, 2022Six steps to promoting your church event online

Six steps to promoting your church event online

Gary Allman Three-minute read.   Resources

How to publicize an event online can be puzzling. Here are some simple steps that will get you started and help your event succeed.

Your basic choices for promoting your event online are one or several of the following:

  • Your church website
  • The diocesan website and New Spirit Update
  • Facebook Event listings
  • Facebook posts
  • Instagram posts
  • Tweets on Twitter
  • Local online event listing services.

If you need any help in promoting your event, please check the steps below, and if you get stuck and need more help please contact me — communications@diowestmo.org, Direct: (816) 226-4887

Offline, you can include your events in your bulletins, newsletters, in emails, on noticeboards, and you can circulate Event Flyers (see the note below on event flyers though).

Let’s begin with the “quick-start” four-step version

  1. Create an image (16:9 aspect ratio) for your event to catch people’s attention
  2. Write your event copy — describe your event.
  3. Create an event on Facebook (Note creating an event is not the same as creating a post)
  4. Share your event

And that’s it. Sounds simple? It is. However, as with all things, there are a lot of details that help make your event promotion more successful. Let’s step through this in more detail, and add in a couple of more steps.

Six steps to successfully promote your event.

1. Create artwork for your event.

You can use a free tool like Canva (canva.com) to create your artwork. It helps to include some basic information in your event artwork:

  • Event title
  • When
  • Where

Try and keep the design simple. There is a whole list of free stock image sources that you can use here.

Please be sure that you have the right to use an image before you use it. Just because someone else has used a picture or graphic doesn’t mean that you can use it. When an image is touted as ‘Royalty Free’ it doesn’t necessarily mean that there is no cost involved. It just means you can buy a license to use it. There are businesses whose sole purpose is to track down unauthorized use of images and send you an (often hefty) invoice.

If you can, Keep the event title short, clear, and meaningful. Don’t be tempted to use Bible, other quotes, or clever titles that people may not understand. The best event titles tell the reader exactly what to expect. If your title is too long, you can often shorten the title itself by adding a tagline.

Create your artwork in a 16:9 aspect ratio. leave plenty of space around the edges. Remember to include your church’s visual brand. Don’t know what it is? Ask someone. If no one knows, then now is a good opportunity to get together with your rector or priest in charge or vestry or bishop’s warden to create and document your church’s visual brand.

I’ve included links to the diocesan and The Episcopal Church’s visual brand guidelines below, which also set out how you can and cannot use their branding.

Your final image should be at least 1920 x 1080 pixels which will work for a Facebook Event cover image.

2. Create a second version of your artwork

This is optional but recommended. Create a second version of your artwork in a 4:5 aspect ratio (1080 x 1350 pixels).

This size will work on Instagram and Facebook and anywhere a ‘portrait’ image can be used. For example in a bulletin or church magazine.

If you want to print a full page Letter sized version go for 2400 x 3000 pixels this will leave some white space around your image. For a full 8”.5” x 11” poster with good quality printing, you will need to create an image of a minimum of 2550 x 3300 pixels. That size excludes ‘bleed’ — a printing term for creating an image larger than will be printed to allow for inaccuracies in the print process.

3. Create your event copy — Describe your event

Detail what, when, where, who the event is for, and what people should expect.

Don’t forget to include any special requirements or limitations. If your event is a training event, tell people what knowledge they will gain and how this might benefit them.

4. Create an event on Facebook

Creating an event is not the same as making a Facebook post! Here is a link to how to create and manage an event on Facebook.

Use your event copy as the description, and the 16:9 aspect ratio image as the cover image.

If you are working with other churches or the diocese to promote your event, make sure to include their pages as co-hosts.

Tag your posts with #dwmo, whether they are on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter

5. Post details of your event.

Use the 4:5 aspect ratio image and your event description to create additional posts about your event on your Facebook page, and re-post every few days. Encourage people to share your posts.

Tag your posts with #dwmo, whether they are on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. This is important. If you do this we will see them and share them. If you don’t, because of the Facebook ‘Algorithms’ we probably will not see them and so cannot share them.

Use the 4:5 aspect ratio image and the description to create additional posts on Instagram and Twitter.

6. Get your event shared.

This is worth repeating. Tag your posts with #dwmo, whether they are on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. it is important. If you do this we will see them and share them. If you don’t, we will not see them and so cannot share them. Facebook (and Instagram’s).

Submit your event to be included on the diocesan events page. Email details to communications@diowestmo.org.

We will include any event that is of interest to several churches or the wider community. We do not promote regular services or holy day services. But, if, for example, you are starting a new series of evensong services or introducing a new service, we are happy to announce those changes.

Please note Event Flyers are not acceptable for inclusion in the diocesan event listings. We do make them available to people on our website, but, unfortunately, very few people bother to share them.

Boost your event. Facebook would love to take your money and put your event in front of more people. If your event is particularly important you may want to give it a try. $20 is a good starting budget, and see how well that goes. Instagram would love to boost your posts too!

Encourage people to share your posts, and share other churches (and diocesan!) events on your page and in your personal accounts.

In conclusion

I personally find getting a clear and concise title one of the most difficult steps, followed by ideas for artwork that will work. Creating the Facebook events, posts and sharing them is just a matter of working through the various Facebook forms.

If you have any difficulties and need help, please contact communications@diowestmo.org Direct line: (816) 226-4887

Gary Allman was the Communications Director with The Diocese of West Missouri from March 2014 through June 2023.

Updates

  • 06-08-2023. Email Links updated.
  • 07-22-2022. Added a link to the diocesan bulletin and flyers page, fixed a couple of typos and added a couple of clarifications.

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