It is important for a church to stand out in their community and to attract people to the gospel. Often marketing and branding are not really associated with churches, but there are a lot of Biblical principles in marketing, and branding and these tools can be used to attract people to the Gospel.
When it comes to churches, a budget can be everything. There are so many services out there these days for easy to create a design, websites, logo’s, etc. These services offer pre-built, out of the box solutions for small and startup businesses. But are these services actually effective in helping your organization succeed? Are they really bringing solutions to your marketing needs? Or are you going to regret using these services down the road?
Pros and Cons of Ready-Made Design
Graphic Design will make or break your ability to communicate your message to your community. A good graphic design will give you, and your organization the professional image that is crucial in today’s world.
The pros of ready-made design are that they cost less and are already designed. You can just pick and choose designs from a library and you already know what you’re going to get. Many of these services even allow for some minimal customizations.
The cons are that you end up with generic designs that may or may not represent your brand experience well. Graphic design is about solving problems and communicating your message. And every church has their own unique problems and messaging and its hard to do that with a design that was already created. Plus many of these designs were probably created to communicate someone else’s problems and then recycled into a resalable item.
Now there is certainly a use for some generic design work especially for simplistic pieces for social media and other small projects that may not need to have brand-specific messaging to it. A good example of this could be the holidays. Unless you are running a specific campaign for Thanksgiving you might buy a quick remade design to post on Facebook just to say Happy Thanksgiving.
Pros and Cons of Ready-Made or Cheap Logos
Branding is everywhere these days. And it is important to the growth of companies and organizations both non-profit and for profit. It’s even becoming more and more important to churches.
The only pro when it comes to going cheap with your logo is just that it is cheap. To start with branding is not a logo. Branding is “the experience that your guest walks away with from your church.”
It is the experience that brings your message clearly to your audience creating loyalty. A good brand experience is enabled by the colors, the logo, the slogan. etc. and the logo is the embodiment of the brand expressed in a simple intuitive visual. If you buy a logo that is pre-made then you are not going to have the research to know if that logo really expresses your brand. It’s like getting the cart before the horse. Cheap logo design services typically give you just a logo and no branding to back up that logo.
Another Con of premade logos is that many times these logos are resold to other companies making it impossible for you to ever trademark your brand and could end up in legal battles with other companies. And your brand should be unique. You should stand out from your competition not blend in. Each logo should be created from scratch keeping in mind the values and philosophy that a brand promotes.
It is strongly recommended that each church should acquire the services of a branding professional, who is experienced and know the importance of a visual identity for a brand.
Pros and Cons of Easy Build it Yourself Websites
For most churches, your website is where you convert web visitors to guest walking into your church Sunday Morning. In our digital age, your website foundational to all of your marketing efforts and must be effective in walking a guest through conversion into a member.
There are several services out there that offer easy to build a website that takes just minutes to put together and you don’t need to learn code or higher a professional. The biggest pro besides the cost of these services is the ability for you to make your own website how you want it without having to understand coding.
However many of these services have a limited number of themes and customizing options to choose from and the design may not match the brand messaging of your organization. DIY website makers are closed-source programs. Meaning, they do have restrictions in terms of customizations that you produce. Since some of the services are free, you can expect that it might work poor for your site. But also these sites are designed to be simplistic so if you intend to have any special functions you will be out of luck. Again design is about solving problems and communicating your message. Your website is one of the important tools that you use to reach your community it should be worth investing into to make it more effective.
Some of the DIY builders do not provide your website a complete backup. Therefore, if you want to move your whole website elsewhere, you might encounter several challenges.
The Question Here Should Be: Is your church worth it?
Maybe a pre-made design, a quick logo, and an easy website builder are for you. You have small needs and small expectations. You may have a small budget too. Or you may be a start-up church that is growing slowly. You understand a professional site is worth the investment but there is really no money in the budget.
On the flip side if you want to start off on the right foot going with a professional is your best option. In most scenarios having a professional create your branding and design your marketing materials and your website will help your church make a big impact, grow, and accomplish your goals of the site. Design, the right branding, and your website can truly affect the bottom line of your church so make sure you choose what is right for your church.