Churches love Easter, and why not? It’s one of if not the most attended services of the year – the time when people who don’t go to church the rest of the year will make their way through the church doors.
Needless to say, it’s also the time when churches try and get the word out. The thinking is simple – if people are going to come to an Easter service anyway, why not our Easter service?
And by getting the word out, we mean spending money on paid social ads. According to our research, of the top 25 fastest-growing churches in the nation according to Outreach’s list, only 6 weren’t running Facebook Ads this Easter.
Doing some quick math in our heads (and maybe pulling out a calculator to double check), that means 3 out of every 4 churches on that list were spending money on Facebook ads.
But even among the 19 that were running ads, we saw a huge variety of different types of ads. Let’s break down what we saw so that your church can be better informed the next time you think about spending money on Facebook Ads.
Video was King
In the churches that were running ads, over 60% of them used video in their ads.
One video, like this one from Celebration Church, just used the video to animate their Easter graphic for a cool-looking effect:
Other videos were short clips that brought Easter branding to life, like this one from Liberty Church:
This one from the Bridge Church was a similar animation, but it was an Instagram story ad. It was the only Instagram story ad we saw among all 25 churches when we looked.
Some even put up an almost story-like video invite, like this one from Manna Church:
Overall, though, I got the feeling that video was something that performed well this Easter.
Image Ads Still Worked
75% of the top 25 fastest-growing churches that ran ads ran at least one form of single image ad. Usually, this showed the Easter branding and led people to a landing page to learn more about the Easter services.
Here’s an example from Crossroads Christian Church which does just that:
This one from Action Church uses the Easter branding, but also shows the different pieces of a service. We thought this was a cool merging of the two ideas:
New Life Church went with the carousel and the single image ad. Here’s a look at their carousel ad that stays very branded with their Easter branding:
Pastors Loved Inviting People to Easter
One thing we noticed is that it was pretty common to have a professional video of pastors inviting people to the Easter Services.
Check out this video from Radiant Church doing just that:
And another one for a specific campus:
Sandals Church also invited people to come to their Easter services as well:
But it wasn’t always the pastor that did an invite video. Some videos, like this one from Mountain Christian Church, showed a lot of the church but didn’t focus on the pastor in particular:
Some Churches Didn’t Invite At All
This was an interesting strategy that we saw among a few of the churches – 3 weren’t running invite ads at all. Instead, they were running sermon clips or ads that led to podcasts or blog posts.
Now before you write this strategy off as dumb, know that the church with the most likes in that group on Facebook was following that strategy – Crossroads Church.
Here’s an example of an ad that they had running before Easter (and after as well, I might mention) that is geared towards beginning a social relationship with men in their community:
At Social Church, we actually applaud this strategy because we know that they are relying on the relationships they have built throughout the year to bring people in for Easter, not their invite ads.
So What Did We Learn?
Wow, there was a ton there to learn from, not only from the videos and branding but also the way that churches are changing how they promote Easter. We didn’t have space to show every single ad, but I hope you got a taste of what was out there this year.
The thing that always makes Facebook Ads difficult around Easter, though, is the competition. As you could see, if just about 75% of these churches were running Easter Facebook ads, how many people in your community were bombarded with invite ads from churches in your community? Judging from this and anecdotal evidence, probably quite a few.
Although at Social Church we’re fine with the invite ad, we believe that social media is a place to start relationships and build awareness, and we want to see more Facebook Ads run that don’t directly invite people to church but start with building that relationship with them where they’re at – on social media.
What did you think? What was your takeaway? Anyone get bombarded with church ads this Easter 😆?