How To Build a Total Online Church Presence

total online church presenceAt DayByDay Church Marketing, we believe every local church is uniquely gifted in its ability to share the gospel and multiply disciples who make disciples. There is a distinctive audience who is waiting to hear that message as only your church can tell it.

In this context, church marketing’s purpose is to help you reach those who will best respond to how your church shares the gospel.

And one of the best ways to do that is through creation of a Total Online Presence as taught by John Jantsch, founder of Duct Tape Marketing®.

While we are always cautious about treating a church or ministry like a business, many of the strategies we implement as Duct Tape Marketing Consultants will serve your church quite effectively.

At its most powerful, marketing is a well-integrated system whose parts function as a seamless whole. As a Certified Duct Tape Marketing Consultancy, DayByDay Church Marketing exists to help you put marketing in the service of your church or ministry.

While each church is unique, there is a model that provides the most reliable way to efficiently lay a foundation from which you can grow your online presence.
Your online church presence is the linchpin of your marketing system. And while each church is unique, there is a model that provides the most reliable way to efficiently lay a foundation from which you can grow your online presence.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll outline how to build the online presence that best enables you to reach the audience most suited to your church or ministry’s unique way of fulfilling the Great Commission.

Our hope is to provide you with the big picture thinking behind the system. This “Strategy First” approach enables you to make better decisions about what online tools and tactics will best serve your church’s mission, vision, values and goals.

Today, we’re going to provide a quick overview of the various components that make up your church or ministry’s Total Online Presence™.

church online presence1 Your Content Platform:

We take a strong “Listen First” approach when it comes to producing content. Understanding the conversation the people you want to reach are having about their faith (or lack of faith), about Jesus, and about your church is the first step.

The content you produce helps you get found and begin a conversation with the audience most open to your message and story, and who you are best suited to serve.

Build a sound content platform and all your marketing efforts will be enhanced.

Start by building a “social listening station” using tools like Google Alerts, HootSuite, TweetDeck, Trackur, Social Mention or Sprout Social.

From this point you can gain insight into your audience, other churches, ministries, and important groups, such as key journalists.

You can also begin the important task of understanding what motivates your audience to find you by doing keyword research.

Think of keywords being like chapters in your total body of content plan.

Use tools such as Google Keyword Tool or Wordtracker, to help you show up when people search online for a church or ministry. Create blog posts around these chapters, and create an editorial calendar to fortify your content platform.

Once you start consistently creating content, you can produce valuable short bible studies, FAQs, and eBooks that form a pivotal element in how people come to know, like, and trust you.

organic-seo2 Organic SEO:

Having someone type a search phrase that is key to your business and finding a blog post or page from your site is the ultimate payoff and, long-term, may be the difference between the success or failure of your content initiatives.

Search Engine Optimization can be complex and time consuming, but will pay off in more website visits from people who have entered a key search phrase that lands them on your blog post or web page.

Most organizations can generate significant results by you focusing on just three elements.

Produce keyword rich, educational content – we covered this above, but search engines live on blog posts and other educational content.

Make it easy on the search engines – Make the on-page elements, such as your blog titles, URLs, ALT image attributes, subtitles and internal links, work for you.

If you use WordPress, the Yoast SEO plugin is a must-have! This plugin helps you easily optimize every post and page on your website and blog with very little effort.

It also will produce an XML sitemaps that make it easy for search engines to grab your latest news and information.

Check out Search Engine News for a great primer on writing for SEO.

Draw lots of links naturally from other sites.

Simply writing great content will start this process, but so will writing guest posts (like I’m doing here), uploading content to places like YouTube and SlideShare, making thoughtful comments on other blogs, submitting online press releases and amplifying your content in social networks.

email-marketing3 Email Marketing:

Most churches and many ministries underutilize email marketing, because they associate it with spam.

But there’s a great practice used by reputable businesses that can help you build an email list of people who are eager to hear from you, and contribute to your church or ministry.

It’s called a “double opt-in.” This is a process that asks someone who’s entered their email on your site or landing page to confirm they want to receive emails from you.

Most autoresponders, like Mailchimp, Aweber, and Constant Contact allow this option and also provide clear instructions on every email you send how the recipient may unsubscribe from your list.

An engaged email list, eager to hear from you, is the most valuable marketing asset you can build.

500 responsive email followers trumps 2,500 Twitter followers every day when it comes to actually promoting the things that engage your audience. Focus on building a list of email subscribers that want to hear from you and social media will become a tool set to help you do more of that.

social media

4 Social Media Marketing

This is certainly an area where you should consider strategy before tactics. The first step is to understand how your ideal audience uses social media and how you can use social media to somehow serve them better.

If you do that, you’ll provide immediate value to your audience.

Create Twitter lists of influencers and active social participants you want to reach and add their social profiles monitoring and add them to your church management software. Add a tool like Rapportive to your email.

Then claim and build your profiles on Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube, Picasa, SlideShare and Pinterest.

Your plan to work and engage your audience in all of these networks may not be clear yet, but the first step is to claim the free real estate so you can start exploring.

Start by sharing and re-sharing your and other people’s content. Building connections and discover best practices in each individual network, so you can begin to amplify your content and start finding ways to drive audiences to your eBooks, study guides, and newsletter.

plan your advertising5 Online Advertising:

Many churches and ministries waste money on advertising and then conclude it doesn’t work.

Pay per click advertising can be very effective when done right. One of our favorite things about it is that a platform like Google AdWords and Facebook allow you to test your thinking a dollar at a time.

Here’s our take on how to make ads pay – Use your ads to drive content awareness instead of simply to sell.

Drive Facebook users to obtain a copy of your eBook or a free study first and then stay in touch.
The basics of PPC are this: Use lots of punchy, vivid copy, but test, revise and test.

Create tightly focused ad groups with highly relevant ad copy, work negative keywords out of your list.

Test some more.

responsive web design6 Mobile and Location:

Mobile is more of a behavior than a tool. The first step is to analyze what behaviors your audience exhibits before you dive into or dismiss Foursquare or text messaging.

Be assured your customers are reading content, searching and using reviews to make decisions on mobile devices.

Claim your location based profiles in places such as Foursquare and Yelp .

Create mobile and tablet friendly viewing options with tools such as WPTouch, Tekora or GoMobi. Or better make sure your website is responsive, no matter what the device.

Start creating mobile specific content like event promotion pages that take advantage of the growing use of mobile devices as a major part of the decision process.

website analytics7 Analytics and Conversion:

Like many stage-based processes there is a cyclical aspect as well.

For some, creating benchmarks and key performance indicators is really the first step. So, if you’re one of those folks you can start here, because no matter where you are in the process this stage will always evolve.

Many people can’t start the process of measuring success until they are measuring in real time or can’t start the process of tweaking and testing until all of the elements are in place.

As you build make certain you install tracking code from tools such as Google Analytics, Spring Metrics or KissMetrics so you can begin to build the data to test and refine from.

We suggest starting by setting up an Google Analytics account. Google is great at providing tons of free training to help you understand what you’re looking at.

Then you can start building conversion goals, funnels and events, tracking your ads and split testing your landing pages, opt-in pages and sales pages to discover ways to increase conversion.

When you start to view it as a system, marketing your church becomes much less overwhelming.

In the coming weeks, we’ll break down each of these seven essential stages to help you build a Total Online Presence that will serve your church or ministry and enable you to more effectively share the Greatest Story Ever Told with the audience you are most suited to reach.

Certified Duct Tape Marketing ConsultantView Andy Catsimanes's profile on LinkedIn

About Andy Catsimanes

Andy Catsimanes is the founder of DayByDay Marketing and DayByDay Church Marketing (coming soon!) , dedicated to helping SMBs, churches, and non-profits identify and implement workable marketing systems for predictable growth.

Andy’s a Certified Duct Tape Marketing Consultant, direct response copywriter, and experienced WordPress professional. In his spare time, he volunteers as an ally for Circles® USA. For more articles like this, subscribe to the DayByDay Marketing Blog, or connect via LinkedIn or Twitter.

Ethnic Church Planting in the Rocky Mountain Church Network

Ismael and Esmirna Lopez 2015Ismael and Esmirna Lopez are missionaries working with Missions Door in the Rocky Mountain Region. Since their appointment with Missions Door in 1997 they have established two churches, the first in Holyoke, Colorado and another one in Imperial, Nebraska.

In Imperial they have Worship services every Saturday with an attendance of fifty people. Every Tuesday a ministry called “Pastoral Care” is carried out.  It is dedicated to evangelizing non-believers, and to encouraging believers to fulfill the Great Commission. Tuesday nights the Imperial church  has a prayer service. Whenever someone accepts Jesus, they start a home Bible study to disciple the new believer. Some people from the towns of Grant and Madrid, Nebraska attend the church in Imperial. On Wednesday nights they meet in Madrid for a Home Bible Study with four or five families.

In Holyoke, they have a Worship service on Sunday evening with an attendance of 50. Last year they had an attendance of 95, but seven families moved away. That is a normal situation due to the fluctuating Hispanic population in Holyoke. The “Pastoral Care Ministry” and prayer service are held on Thursdays.

The Hispanic population in Imperial is about 600 and Holyoke at about 800. The stable population works on pig farms or cattle ranches, and a few in town business.

The Lopez’s believe that by reaching children and youth they are preparing future generations of believers. Families are also being reached through this very active and effective children and youth ministry. Each week they minister to about 30 kids in Holyoke and 20 in Imperial. They have kids from all school ages but most are elementary kids.

An annual family camp draws one hundred people in attendance. The purpose of this camp is to evangelize the kids by sharing the love of Jesus with them. It includes Bible classes for adults, and the  parents are encouraged to participate by attending the classes, camping or helping as volunteers. The camp usually concludes with baptisms. It is always a great joy to see people growing in their relationship with God.

Ismael was born in Sinaloa, Mexico. At age 16 he wanted to be a teacher and moved to Navojoa, Sonora, to attend school. While there a relative invited him to a Baptist church, where he accepted Jesus into his life. He graduated from the Regional Center of Education in 1983.

Esmirna, a nurse, grew up in a Christian home and became a Christian at age 13. Her father is a pastor in Mexico. In 1989 they moved to Nogales, Sonora, to study at Nogales Baptist Seminary.

Following graduation from the seminary, Ismael pastored two churches in Mexico. He was appointed by Missions Door in 1997, and the Lopez family moved to Holyoke, Colorado, to start a Spanish-speaking church.

Each year many migrant workers come to this area to work in agriculture or construction. Some stay here during the summer, and others for one or two years before moving on to another place. They reach them through personal evangelism or by helping with needs they have. Many of them have accepted Jesus as their Savior through their ministry.  Some stay and grow in Jesus, and others move on.  They are being used by the Lord to share His love with them. Last year, 16 people accepted the Lord before they moved, and continue with their Christian lives elsewhere.

Through this ministry, they also provide translation for school or medical appointments. They counsel couples and provide help during time of sickness and deaths, not only to church people but to the whole community.

The Lopez’s ministry is based on fulfilling the Great Commission, with a ministry goal to plant 7 churches in Northeast Colorado and Southwest Nebraska.

Would your congregation be open to partnering with Ismael and Esmirna in this ethnic church planting ministry? They would covet your prayer and financial support.  Would you be open to having Ismael come and share with your congregation more about this vital ministry? Contact RMCN for more information.

Simplifying Organizational Structures

Stan & Heidi

By Stan Rieb

Last month we noted James Emery White’s blog Ten Steps to Immediate Church Renewal and Growth (that most churches will refuse to take). As I said, I would like to highlight a couple of those points that I have seen in the churches I have been working with through Ministry Mappings, leadership trainings and pastor coaching.

Let’s take Pastor White’s first point –

Simplify your structure by putting the authority to make most decisions related to the practice of ministry in the hands of those with responsibility. Translation: let your leaders lead.”

Pastor White shared two important thoughts in that one point – simplifying structure and let leaders lead.

When I was the mayor of the very substantial community of Chugwater, Wyoming – what was not understood by some in the community, was that while their neighbor’s dog running loose may have seemed like a significant issue that I as Mayor was to address post haste, there were issues of greater significance.  We as a town had to invest in and maintain the infrastructure of the community – streets, water, sewage treatment, communication and power distribution.  You quickly learn the hazards of an aging infrastructure.

Many churches are built on an aging infrastructure.  They were designed, like the infrastructure of the town of Chugwater, for a past era or culture.  The infrastructure of Chugwater was built for a time when people had one bathroom in their house, water was relatively cheap to provide, galvanized pipe was the product of choice to deliver that water and streets were not paved because it was not that long ago that the framers and ranchers rode their horses to town.

Most church organizational structures and the documents that support them come out of the late 1940’s and early 1950’s. The post-World War II culture which highly valued nationalism and democracy, was transferred into the organizational structure of the church.  Congregationalism, business meetings, committees and board structure were valued as cultural, and then justified as Biblical norms.  To have lengthy and detailed governing documents that were iron clad and unchangeable was both Biblical and patriotic. But much has changed in the intervening years since the 50’s.  Each generation since has had differing values when it has come to such things as governance and polity.  And subsequently the application of each is justified as “the” biblical model.

The advancement of our consumer culture and the technological revolution have irreversibly altered the world, and more specifically our culture.   If our local communities are our church’s primary mission fields, with their unique cultures,  then Pastor White’s challenge is a crucial one: How can we simplify our structure so that we can “put the authority to make most decisions related to the practice of ministry in the hands of those with responsibility?” How can we embrace our identity as “sent ones?”

John Kaiser in his book, Winning on Purpose talks about policy governance, or as I call it, an Accountable Leadership Model.  It is the idea of implementing a structure that clearly defines responsibility, authority and accountability in relation to a ministries mission or purpose. The end of this is what Pastor White shared – “it lets leaders lead.”   This model includes simplifying your governing structures and documents, aligning ministries and assessing roles to fulfill the Great Commission mandate.

Here are a few questions to consider:

  • Do your organizational structures reinforce an Ephesians 4:11-13 ministry – leaders engaging the congregation in the gospel ministry?
  • Do they give ministry leaders a clear understanding of their responsibilities through job description and ministry goals aligned to the churches’ ministry goals?
  • Are those ministry leaders given the authority within the guidelines of those responsibilities?
  • Have you defined a means of accountability focused on producing effectiveness and success?

If any of this sounds interesting, I would love to talk with you and the leadership of your church about simplifying your structures to help you accomplish the purpose of reaching your community and building up the body of Christ. Contact me at


Sharing Christ with Halloween Costumes

On Saturday, October 17th of this year we sponsored a free kids Halloween Costume Exchange for our community. We had three goals in mind and all were met. First we desired to reach out to the needy in our community and of the nearly 100 people who participated, most were needy. One young mother told us, “If you had not done this, I would not have been able to have a Halloween with my daughter this year.” That was heart-warming.  And only three families were involved with any church.

Our second goal was to advertise our church. We are two miles west of town and few people pass by our church regularly, so this put us on the map for those who attended.  We gave each family a bag filled with church and children’s ministry information, a fun gospel tract about Halloween and provided cookies for the kids.

And our third goal was to use this as a bridge event into our trunk or treat outreach being held at the county fairgrounds on Halloween. This is an event where several churches combine resources to reach out to the community.  Caring believers load their trunks with candy and then give it away as children walk by.  Several use innovative object lessons to communicate the good news to the children. Last year there were an estimated 3000 kids participating in trunk or treat.

The preparation for the costume exchange was minimal and it cost us about $100 to purchase 30 Halloween costumes.  In fact, we had costumes left over.  Our children’s ministry staff did all the preparations and ran the event.  We are looking forward to doing it next year again, two Saturdays before Halloween.  We are grateful God blessed us with a successful event and an opportunity to meaningfully share Christ’s love with the participants.

Pastor Mike Lundberg
Church on the Hill
Montrose, Colorado

New Pastors

We would like to welcome two new pastors to churches in the Rocky Mountain Church Network.

Jeremiah Krieger and his wife, Samantha
Jeremiah Krieger and his wife, Samantha

In late June 2015, First Baptist Church welcomed Jeremiah Krieger as its new pastor. Jeremiah Krieger graduated from Dallas Theological Seminary in Spring 2012 with a Master’s in Theology (ThM) in Pastoral Ministries. He served for over two years as the pastoral intern for Lake Cities Community Church in Rowlett, TX, preaching and teaching God’s word and spearheading strategic outreach events.

Jeremiah is passionate about helping the Church apply God’s word and live on mission in their everyday lives. Prior to serving at Lake Cities, Jeremiah and his wife Samantha served in the marriage and outreach ministries at Watermark Community Church in Dallas. Jeremiah and Samantha have four children: John (7), Rebekah (5), and Hannah (3) and William (2).


Jeff Giles and his wife, Pam
Jeff Giles and his wife, Pam

Jeff Giles was installed as the Pastor at Golden Prairie Baptist Church, Burns, Wyoming on September 20th. Jeff is not a newcomer to the Rocky Mountain Church Network. Jeff served as the Associate Pastor at Calvary Church in Longmont for over 18 years.  He and his wife, Pam, then served with Pioneer Ministries as a Global Partnerships Resource Specialist for nearly two years before returning to Colorado.  Jeff was then asked to serve as the interim pastor at Golden Prairie Baptist Church before being called to serve as the permanent pastor.




Virtual Learning Community

Crucial ConversationsLeadership Learning Communities are a vital way of engaging in thoughtful and strategic conversations about church health, personal leadership skill development and effective Gospel ministry engagement.  The Virtual Leadership Learning Community (VLLC) breaks down the barriers of distance and time management that might make attending one of the area LLC’s difficult or impossible. The best way to experience the VLLC is to have a computer with a video camera, a headset and relatively high-speed internet connection.

Our next virtual meeting will take place on December 2 at 9:00am.  We will be covering a great book, Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, Al Switzler

When stakes are high, opinions vary, and emotions run strong, you have three choices: Avoid a crucial conversation and suffer the consequences; handle the conversation badly and suffer the consequences; or read Crucial Conversations and discover how to communicate best when it matters most. This wise and witty guide gives you the tools you need to step up to life’s most difficult and important conversations, say what’s on your mind, and achieve positive outcomes that will amaze you. You’ll learn how to:

  • Prepare for high-impact situations with a six-minute mastery technique
  • Make it safe to talk about almost anything
  • Be persuasive, not abrasive
  • Keep listening when others blow up or clam up
  • Turn crucial conversations into the action and results you want

Whether they take place at work or at home, with your neighbors or your spouse, crucial conversations can have a profound impact on your career, your happiness, and your future. With the skills you learn in this book, you’ll never have to worry about the outcome of a crucial conversation again.