Why Facebook Ads on Zynga are Good for Churches

zynga-facebook

If you haven’t heard, Facebook recently announced that they will start displaying ads from their ad network on social gaming site Zynga.com.  It has created a fair amount of buzz with tech pundits due to the implications this move carries.

From a consumer perspective, seeing Facebook ads on Zynga is not a pleasant experience.  Most people see ads as a necessary evil and the fewer we see the better.  We want our Internet experiences to be a cheap as possible (ideally, free), but we don’t like seeing ads clutter up our favorite webpages.

However, from a church leadership perspective, a move like this is a good … very good … thing!

A Good Thing

If there’s one thing most church have a poor handle on, it’s marketing.  If you’re in a church large enough to have a decent marketing budget, you likely struggle over where to spend those dollars.  If you’re in a smaller church with little or no budget, you probably don’t think much about marketing, passing it off as just one more way you can’t compete with the big churches in town.

However, regardless what size church your in, online advertising makes sense.  Nearly everybody today goes online for one reason or another.  That’s true in rural and urban communities, in rich and in poor, and in virtually every corner of the world.  And online advertising comes by at a cheap rate with an effective means of tracking.

Facebook has made waves with its advertising model which allows marketers to target ads to very specific groups of people.  This is all thanks to the plethora of personal information all of us freely offer up to Facebook via our profiles, likes and regular posting activity.  Frankly, the precision to which you can segment your ads blows Google’s advertising model out of the water.

The only problem is how limited the ads are – people have to actually log on to Facebook to see them!  With the growing amount of mobile activity on Facebook, fewer and fewer people actually log on to the website anymore.  But that could change soon.

While Facebook so far has only announced a partnership with Zynga, something they claim has been in the works for a long time, the door has been opened to a much wider audience.  Bloggers and website administrators are constantly looking for ways to subsidize their work through ads, and many would love to partner with Facebook.  With Facebook moving toward expanding its ad network, it has shown that the technology is in place and people are getting interested.

If your church hasn’t explored online advertising, check out Facebook today.  Having the ability to target people in your community with certain interests (or that aren’t already connected to your page) can pay off big.  Hopefully we will see continued expansion of Facebook’s ad network.

Have you thought of advertising your church on Facebook?

If you have, what was your experience?

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Chris Ruddell

I'm an Associate Pastor in the United Methodist Church and I serve as a trustee for Saint Paul School of Theology, with campuses in Kansas City, MO and Oklahoma City, OK. I'm also the author and creator of Church Tech Blog, at www.churchtechblog.org and the founder of Church Phone Apps at www.churchphoneapps.com

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