What's in this session?

  • Using “bridging events” to connect people to your church (16:41)
  • Running Facebook Ads to people of other faiths (20:22)
  • Large church FB Ads strategies vs. Small church FB Ads strategies (21:30)
  • Constructing your creative and copy (25:56)
  • The best placement configuration for your Facebook Ads (29:10)
  • A simple targeting strategy for reaching the right people (32:09)
  • Moving people from bridging events to actual church services (35:20)
  • Convincing leadership to play the long game of Facebook Ads(37:29)

Show notes and resources

3 Instant Takeaways

    1. Use bridging events. Topics such as marriage, parenting and finances are relevant to people regardless of their religious beliefs. Creating events based around these topics can be a way for people to begin to connect with your church community, even if at the moment they’re not interested in attending a church
    2. Use Facebook pixels to retarget people who clicked through your ad. The Facebook pixel works like an analytics tool allowing you to measure the effectiveness of your ad and optimize it for the best results. Building retargeting ads off of this information is a great idea because these ads will now be going to people who have already expressed interest in your event/church.
    3. Make your ad a soft sell. A lot of churches want their Facebook ad to be like an altar call and require too high of a commitment. A better strategy is to aim for small steps in commitment. On your ad use words like, ‘click here to learn more’ instead of ‘click here to register’. And at the event, use another soft sell for a relevant sermon series or another related event such as Christmas or Easter services.

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The Transcript

Brady Shearer: [00:00:01] This is the Pro Church podcast session and we’re 171 – Facebook Ads tips for churches from the trenches with Steve Fogg. Well, hey there Pro Church nation and welcome to the Pro Church Podcast. You’re now part of a small group of pioneering churches doing everything we can to seize the 167 hours beyond our Sunday services. Why? Well because we’re living through the biggest communication shift in the last 500 years. And what got us here won’t get us there. I’m Brady your host and this is session number 171. And you can find the show notes for this session at ProChurchTools.com/171. In this section of the podcast we’re joined by Steve Fogg discussing Facebook ads tips from a church that’s done it for a long time. So let’s do it. Welcome back to another session of the Pro Church Podcast this is Brady your host great to have you here with us. We like to start of each and every session of the Pro Church Podcast by sharing with you a protip or a practical tool that you can begin using in your church or ministry right away. And if you follow me on Instagram @BradyShearer. And if you don’t, I mean come on. If you follow me on Instagram and you watch my Instagram stories you may have noticed in the last couple of weeks that we’ve been doing Instagram stories a little bit differently we’ve actually been producing Instagram stories professionally meaning not just shooting them with my iPhone, my mobile device and the camera built in, but we actually have one of our team members, Jonas, who’s walking around the office Monday to Friday with the Panasonic Gh5 tilted sideways as to create an aspect ratio of 9 by 16 rather than 16 by 9 so it fits nicely within the Instagram stories aspect ratio. And we’ve actually been kind of creating these professional Instagram stories using this camera. And so the big challenge we’ve been facing with this is, OK it’s one thing to shoot videos in the aspect ratio that an Instagram story would present itself. Then how do we get this video from Adobe Premiere Pro over to Brady and then uploaded into Instagram story into 15 second increments because Instagram stories has a 15 second limit per clip. If you’re using a video and so you’ve got to create a video and then cut it up into the 15 second clips so that you can use it inside Instagram stories. And so, what we’ve done obviously is Jonas will create the story and then just cut it into 15 second increments. Export each of the 15 seconds and then he’ll send them to me through slack one by one. I will save all 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, in my camera roll and then upload them one at a time. There is another way though if you do not have a Jonas on staff and you want to do something like this there’s an app called Cutstory that someone within Pro Church Nation, and apologize if they’re listening, I can’t remember the name of the individual, but they sent me a D.M. through Instagram and they’re like, ‘eh did you know there’s an app for this called Cutstory?’ Now the app isn’t really super helpful for us because I already have a Jonas but if you don’t have a Jonas what you can use is this app called Cutstory. OK. It’s 100 percent free and all it does is you upload a large, or a lengthy video into it, and it will automatically cut the video into 15 second increments and then save them to your camera roll so you can upload into Cutstory for instance a video that was, you know, one minute and 13 seconds long and then it would then cut that into five different videos 15, 15, 15, 15, and 13 seconds long. Save them to your camera roll and then you can just upload them one by one into your Instagram stories just like that. So if you’ve enjoyed the way that we do our Instagram stories and, we’re going to keep doing them. We weren’t able to figure out the Pro Church vlog as of yet but this is kind of one way that we can do that a little bit. And you want to do something similar. Cutstory is one of the best apps, one of the best tools that you can use to make uploading those clips easier. It’s got 265 ratings in the apples. . . what is that even called now? They keep changing the name. Is still called the iTunes App Store? The Apple app store? Whatever it’s called. Get out of here. I’m on the Web site, it says iTunes but it’s not even probably called iTunes anymore. Darn you Apple. Boo! Spotify owns you. Anyway. It’s got 265 ratings and an average of five stars. So people like this app. You rarely rarely see that. Cutstory. Feel free to check it out and use it if you’re interested in that. With that being said it’s time for our interview of the week. And today we’re welcoming back to the show Steve Fogg, and Steve, friend of mine, is a church leader, communicator, Church Online pastor, and he’s got over a decade of experience in the trenches of building and growing his church’s social media presence in particular. He spent years and thousands upon thousands of dollars at his church of 8000 spending money on Facebook ads. And so we’re going to talk with Steve about how he used Facebook ads to grow his church and to reach people that were not connected to his church. And we’re not just going to talk about theory. We’re not going to talk about, you know, maybe business practices that I use and using them in your church. We’re going to talk about an actual church that’s actually done this. And his exact tips. Now not surprisingly, they’re mostly the same as what I would recommend and have recommended. But what’s great is that now these are backed up by a church that’s actually doing it and seeing those results come to fruition. And so welcoming back Steve to the show. We’ll be back in just a moment with my interview with Steve Fogg. Well hey there Pro Church Nation. Welcome back to another session of the Pro Church Podcast, great to have you here with us, and today we’re also grateful to have Steve Fogg! Steve welcome back to the show.

Steve Fogg: [00:05:45] Great to be back Brady.

Brady Shearer: [00:05:47] Last time you were here was 2015 I believe, and so two years later – you’re on a different continent. You’re back, yet again on the Pro Church Podcast. What have you been up to? And if people are unfamiliar with you, tell us a little bit about yourself. Catch us up as it were.

Steve Fogg: [00:06:02] So basically I was a communications pastor before that a credit director an agency for 15 years. 10 years as a communications pastor. For the last two years I’ve kinda been in two worlds as a church online pastor as I started, grew, launched our online church in Australia. We now average over 3000 people a week with 14 services on a Sunday, and I’ve recently transitioned into executive pastor role at a church in the UK. So we’ve immigrated from Australia and flown all the way to good old Great Britain and enjoying our cups of tea with the Queen and all that kind of good stuff and we are . . . So I’m transitioning into just a little bit of a more of a leadership role in a church here. So yeah that’s kind of been very much a fast forward kinda thing for me over the last few years since we last spoke.

Steve Fogg: [00:07:01] Yeah and before we were connected basically because we are both not Americans in the church. That was like our biggest source of connection. But now we’re under the same monarchy.

Steve Fogg: [00:07:12] That’s right. God bless her.

Brady Shearer: [00:07:14] Right. Technically Canada is still underneath the queen you know.

Steve Fogg: [00:07:19] Well we’re really cousins. I mean we’re really cousins.

Brady Shearer: [00:07:22] Absolutely.

Steve Fogg: [00:07:24] Like you know, for all of you who are listening, Americans. you know you’re considered cousins from the British. But really we are cousins. And you know you can pop over any time Brady. The Queen just will have a clear hour in her schedule for you, and you know it’s just down the road. Buckingham palace, you know.

Brady Shearer: [00:07:42] Why not, right?

Steve Fogg: [00:07:43] Yeah. Not far.

Brady Shearer: [00:07:45] And you’re also working on a course as well right? Currently, with kind of a mutual friend of ours, Alejandro Reyes.

Steve Fogg: [00:07:53] Yeah Alejandro and I have been working on Facebook adds course and it’s really been an interesting journey over the last two years for me. I’m an absolute social media nut for the church. I’m passionate about helping churches leverage social media and that’s really what I’ve done over the last, gosh six or seven years, with the Church in Australia with their Facebook page, Twitter account, and Instagram account. And really as I’ve seen over the last few years Facebook really erupt with Facebook ads. I’m using it every single week and I’ve just kind of seen that frustration out there where people have been kind of going, ‘Well, how do we use Facebook ads?’ It’s been a bit overwhelming. And you know that’s kind of one person. The other person is, ‘well, we’re not getting any response to our Facebook ads’ and they’re spending a bit of money. So it’s kind of just really born out of that frustration of going. You know there’s a real opportunity there for churches at the moment. Facebook is the cheapest way to get your church’s message out there. And you know it’s compared to a billboard, compared to even newspaper, or radio or TV. You can get your message out to your local community in a way that you just can’t in those environments, so what we really chatted about over the last few months is – what would be a great way to serve the capital C church. And just give them a really granular view of what it can look like in different environments as I’ve been using Facebook ads for churches practically on the ground. What do I do? So, you know there are lots of Facebook kind of tips and stuff out there which are broader, which you can’t really apply it into a church setting. So what I’ve done is taken what I’ve learned and basically we put that into lessons. And what Alejandro’s learned, and we put that into lessons, into a course that people can check out.

Brady Shearer: [00:09:57] What’s the name of the course?

Steve Fogg: [00:09:59] The course is called FB Ads For Churches.

Brady Shearer: [00:10:05] Facebook Ads for churches. A descriptive name. Smart.

Steve Fogg: [00:10:07] Yes. Yes. You know it’s pretty straightforward but we can actually use the word Facebook obviously so we can use FB. Otherwise I’m sure some legal department somewhere in Facebook will come after us.

Brady Shearer: [00:10:21] Now if it was me, I think that you could spice up that title a little bit. Here’s some words that I’ve used in course names. Ultimate. Paramount. Blueprint. Template. Anything with a number is always good like, the 11 step, eight FB Church Facebook Ads blueprint. So just in case you wanted to spice up the name like, I just wanted to offer some of my advice there, because if there’s anything that I’m good at, it’s making things seem epic. Whether or not they are. Like that’s up for pro church nation to decide. But.

Steve Fogg: [00:10:59] Well we’re actually running a bit of a webinar. Just to help, and Alejandro has probably got more of that marketing brain, just like you. So our webinar is called the Seven sneakiest Facebook tricks that can double your church’s Facebook engagement in the next 28 days. (crosstalk) Yeah. So. So again that’s talking more about organic and kind of just, you know, a good solid content strategy and just ways to work around the Facebook algorithm a little bit.

Brady Shearer: [00:11:34] When is that webinar happening?

Steve Fogg: [00:11:36] That webinar’s actually happening in six days time – next Wednesday.

Brady Shearer: [00:11:41] Oh and this is going live the day before that means. So July 19th is the webinar. This podcast is going live July 18th. So there’s still time to sign up for that webinar. Do you have like a really easy link for it Steve? Or we can also just put it in the show notes if it’s a bit more complex.

Steve Fogg: [00:11:56] Yeah I’ll put it in the show notes.

Brady Shearer: [00:11:58] Perfect.

Steve Fogg: [00:11:59] And people can download it there and register. It’s free. And if even if they miss it, there’s a reply.

Brady Shearer: [00:12:06] Great. So if you want to be a part of that webinar, the 7 sneakiest Facebook tricks they can double your church’s Facebook engagement in the next 28 days. It’s happening tomorrow. There will be a replay. You can check that out and Steve’s got a free giveaway at the end of this show if you stick around to the end of the interview. And there’s a contest that him and Alejandro are hosting and so lots of great stuff but let’s for the next 30 minutes or so Steve provide some value within this podcast itself. You told me before we hit record that you were listening to the most recent coaching edition of the Pro Church Podcast that we do. Every Thursday we release a new coaching edition where basically I’m coaching a church in real time and we share that audio publicly. It’s really cool. We’ve done four of them that have been published publicly so far. I’ve recorded almost 20 I think now. They’re awesome. And in the most recent one, we were talking about Facebook ads for church planters and we were talking to this new church in Plano, Texas with a guy named Kris he was at the church. And you said that you listened to this podcast Steve twice through, and I mean that seems a little bit going overboard. Why did you have to listen to me talk for so long, twice?

Steve Fogg: [00:13:16] Well I had a little bit of time. I was traveling today. But you are offering some great value. And you know Kris was just really identifying, kind of a real common struggle that I hear people in church world kind of articulate, you know. He articulated that fact that he wanted to reach his community and he wanted to add value to that community. And just the way he articulated, just some of the people that he wanted to reach I just found was fascinating because Facebook and help us reach those audiences you know. You actually talked about the dechurched and unchurched and, you know, with Facebook, Facebook is the best advertising placement platform in the world hands down. And he was talking about Plano, Texas and you know if you look at that city and you could look at any city in United States, or Great Britain, or Europe and Australia. You can pretty much identify those two audiences using small insights, some small interests, job titles, backgrounds, and just a couple of things stuck out to me in particular with Kris, especially the unchurched. He mentioned that the area that he was in had a high Muslim, Hindu and other of faith backgrounds and I guess what I want to say to everybody’s listening is – actually, that’s a really simple target audience. And Facebook actually allows you to put your church in front of them. So what. And New-Age as well if you haven’t to go a new age beliefs so that kind of targeting it’s still quite broad. Those are spiritual people, and they’re spiritual people that they may just not follow Jesus yet. And there’s a wonderful opportunity that churches have with these unchurched people because these are the audience that I talk every week with our church online audience. And they’re extremely receptive and they’ll click through and they’ll watch a church service. And I’ve been, in the past, with all of these audiences in different parts of the world. I just say don’t underestimate the power of reaching those audiences on such a broad selection. So that’s kind of the unchurched, and then the dechurched really that there are a lot of interests that you can look at in Facebook Ads manager where you can just play around and experiment with keywords that you can focus on and you know Kris was talking about young families in particular and there’s just some ways that Facebook allows with interests, to actually target young families. And you know he talked about his small youth group was there at the moment, and I just found it fascinating you know it was almost like he was running down the funnel for us, and you know just kind of teasing out, okay, who are they? Just building up persona of different audiences. You know one of the modules we have in the course is actually, if your church has a marriage course, if your church has a parenting course of any age, whether it’s toddlers, or it’s a toddler group, whether it’s a parenting group of some kind, or marriage course because we know churches have lots of those sorts of things. You can target people with those interests and life stages really simply in your audience and the funnel that you talked about. We use a similar sort of funnel but those specific audiences because many churches use that type of, what I call a bridging event, to bring people into the church strategically. Now I’m in my new role as a church leader. You know we have a toddler group at church with 100 people in that. So physically we are using that as a bridging event to introduce people to church. Now it’s not a church service, it’s just moms getting together with their toddlers. Well you can target those parents on Facebook and you can do that quite accurately in the age spanned and invite them to a toddler. A mother you know hears the event at your church if that’s what you have on. And so there are just lots of opportunities I guess to really drill down into specific niches in those kind of bridging events. So you know I’m not sure what your church has, in terms of Canadian kind of those kind of bridging events but that’s very common for us. We have a marriage course, parenting, toddler groups, Alpha courses as well. Very very common kind of bridging events that you can focus different audiences for.

Brady Shearer: [00:18:31] Yeah the bridging events that we generally use in Canada are stuff like you know igloo architecture, an introduction to igloo architecture, Dogsledding 101, then you know craft brewing for beer that is better than American beer. Stuff like that. Those are the kind of things that we generally use. No but seriously.

Steve Fogg: [00:18:51] Ice hockey. Mounties.

Brady Shearer: [00:18:52] Yeah. Well that’s the thing we don’t need to have. We don’t need to have any hockey bridging events because like everyone’s already got that you know. OK. But let me down to a bit of these things because the first thing. Let’s start with the one, running Facebook ads to people of other faiths. My initial thing when I hear that is OK. First these are things that you’re doing in your church right Steve? This isn’t stuff like you’re teaching in a course. This is stuff like you’re in charge of this at your church.

Steve Fogg: [00:19:19] Yeah this isn’t theory. This is two years of practice.

Brady Shearer: [00:19:23] OK. I love that. OK and so you are in in the UK. Where in Britain?

Steve Fogg: [00:19:29] So I’m currently in a small city called Darby, in the United Kingdom.

Brady Shearer: [00:19:33] OK.

Steve Fogg: [00:19:34] I’ve been serving in Melbourne, Australia for the last 10, 12 years and in the church – so I’m in transition at the moment, but in that church in Melbourne, Australia, I run the online campus. And in our online campus, we targeted Facebook Ads to thosef aith background people around the world. And that included the UK, that included Europe, that included Africa, Middle East, far east, United states, Canada. So it was a real broad section of society. In those faith areas and they were some of the best performing ads and still are to this day. So just to give you one example of best performing ad is targeting Muslims in North Africa. We have started online life groups in a country in North Africa. I can’t mention the country because it’s a closed country. But the average age of the people who are in that group are in their 20s. So I just say to everybody don’t underestimate the power of actually targeting another faith because these are already spiritual people and they’re curious about other faiths. And you know, I was not sure how these ads would perform at first. I was literally you know, starting a campus up, so but they’ve been very very effective and very very consistent over time. But the ad is only a step really isn’t it? Only a step to get someone to watch a service and then we step them through an auto responder sequence so that we can step them into an online life group and they’ve found community where they all.

Brady Shearer: [00:21:28] So let me ask you this. How big and how big is your church?

Steve Fogg: [00:21:33] The church in Australia is about 8000.

Brady Shearer: [00:21:36] OK. And so you haven’t been running this. The Facebook ads is much in Britain yet?

Steve Fogg: [00:21:42] No. I mean I’m in my last, oh gosh, three weeks of serving as a church online Pastor. So I’m just transitioning (crosstalk) full time here in the UK so, that kind of long tail is really – that’s experience and you know I just say to everybody listening, just test and try with that experience and don’t be quite content out there because it does perform. And our click through rate for those ads is anywhere between, gosh, 19 cents to about 35 cents per click through, and that is a great performance. Like that is for me, in terms of the ads we’re getting for 23 cents. Someone’s watching a service.

Brady Shearer: [00:22:36] OK so here’s the pushback that I want to get on this first on his first strategy, because I love that you’ve done this and it’s worked. So what Pro Church nation is saying right now is, ‘OK Steve we’re not a church of 8000 and we don’t really have the bandwidth like our budget for Facebook ads, if it exists all, is so limited I don’t know if I want to spend that money reaching people for online church that are never going to come in person.

Steve Fogg: [00:23:06] Yeah. And I’d say, you know churches of all shapes and sizes. The church I’m at now is just under a thousand. I’m not going to be pushing people to that kind of ad. I’m going to be pushing people to a parenting course. Or I’m going to be pushing them to a marriage course. There are different types of ads because we don’t have that. We don’t have cameras in our auditorium, so unless unlike the media set of that I had at my previous church, we don’t even have that. So I’m looking at, OK how do we use Facebook ads differently? How have I used that in Australia. There are different kind of audience segments and don’t be afraid to test and try, like you said, just start on a small amount, and grow. And the wonderful thing about Facebook ads of course is that you can start with at broad audience and those who are clicking, you can retarget to those people. So Pro Church Nation, if you didn’t know that, wonderful thing about Facebook ads is when people engage with you and they click through to your website, you can put something called a Facebook pixel on your website and you can retarget to those people who are interested. So that will be a much more accurate segement of the next people. So those are the kind of the warm leads. And if you want to get really really granular Facebook pixels now a little bit more advanced where you can actually put what I call event pixels. You can put a pixel on the actual landing page where it’s a bit of information about it, but you can also put a pixel on the completion page. Or you can actually start to build some wonderful retargeting ads and it’s very cost effective, If you think about it, because you’re pushing a message to someone that’s already interested. So is that typical funnel that you talked about Brady, in terms of you’re going to throw something out there. You’re going to throw it out whether it’s a parenting course or a marriage course and then you’re going to basically have different types of ads as people step through the funnel.

Brady Shearer: [00:25:14] Perfect’s OK. Because I wanted to push back a bit on that first strategy just because I think it is probably a more bigger church sort of strategy. But this second one. This bridging event. What I’ve traditionally called an on ramp event. We’re talking about the exact same thing here. I love this idea! And so, can we talk about like how this actually worked within your church? So obviously first you target kind of this in-between event something, you know we talk about finding the intersection between what people are looking for and what your church can offer. And that intersection, I often say is, here are three easy examples. Marriage, parenting, and finances. So you used the parenting one, or the marriage one. So you get people. . . OK let’s get to that a bit later. First how are you running these ads? What kind of visuals are you using? the kind of creative assets. Video, image.

Steve Fogg: [00:26:04] So simple image. Simple headline, and a learn more. Not a book now. Just something simple and you want a really soft sell, but not a negative soft sell. Especially when it comes to parenting. No one wants to know they suck at parenting. It’s a different type of message that you want to send parents. So what we’ve tested really is it’s not a you know, you struggling with good parenting. No one wants to hear that. What they want to hear is, we can coach you. We can support you through the life stage that you’re going through. Learn more. So that’s kind of the message that’s been tested. You’re going to have to figure out your own image there because you know where you live is going to be very very different to where I live. And the type of image where you live is going to not necessarily work where I live. So you know where I live is, very multiethnic, an Asian kind of multi-ethnic. So you know, you want really that image potentially to support that. I don’t know what it’s like in Canada, I would imagine that lots of people wear red with hats, and next to maple syrup stuff, and all that sort of stuff.

Brady Shearer: [00:27:28] Well we’re mostly just in giant coats right. Like you can barely see our faces, we’re covered up so much because it’s the middle of July here and it’s negative 30. We’re just trying to survive here.

Steve Fogg: [00:27:38] So it’s just, it’s figuring all those things out and testing it.

Brady Shearer: [00:27:43] And that is the key. Facebook ads is incredibly complex. It’s amazing. It’s the greatest ad platform that you know I’ve had in my lifetime for sure. But that doesn’t mean that Facebook is not fine with just taking your money and you can get like down into the nitty gritty and you can be like I don’t know… And what will happen is you can have this analysis paralysis, where you’re like, I’m so afraid to make a mistake that I’m not willing to put my church’s dollars on the line. And then what happens. You don’t do anything, you don’t take advantage and who knows how long this amazing Facebook ads platform is going to be this amazing. You know we haven’t yet seen it . . .

Steve Fogg: [00:28:19] And this cheap.

Brady Shearer: [00:28:21] Yeah exactly, because that’s what makes it so amazing right now. You know you’ve got the audience, you’ve got the targeting abilities. You’ve got the price. It is so underpriced for the attention and for the access that you have to your community, your city, your country. And so we haven’t yet seen this huge injection of corporate money. You know ESPN is still spending the majority of their ads creating commercials. You know they’re not yet funneling all of that money to Facebook ads. How long is that going to last? Who knows. But it is not indefinite. This will end and that’s what’s so great about something like, you know, Steve and Alejandro’s course where it’s going to show you the nitty gritty so you can be certain. But even if you know you’re just listening to this right now, the key is you’ve got to test. Yes you’ll make mistakes. Yes. You know, you won’t optimize it to the nth degree. But if you can just get 80 percent of the way there. It doesn’t matter if you chose like Audience Network in the Facebook ads, you know, targeting or rather, like placement and you shouldn’t have chosen it. It’s whatever. Like that’s the 20 percent that you can afford to mess up. Get the 80 percent right.

Steve Fogg: [00:29:21] Yeah. What I say is so. Just a couple of things there. I never choose audience networks.

Brady Shearer: [00:29:26] Yes.

Steve Fogg: [00:29:27] Never choose the side bar.

Brady Shearer: [00:29:28] Never.

Steve Fogg: [00:29:28] I only choose the feed. OK so that’s just a little practical tip. We’ve learned that you get much more responsiveness when you’re actually only in the feed. So the click through rate for the sidebar. It’s like (can’t understand what’s said.) Like if you’ve got money to burn. Fantastic. But most churches don’t. In terms of that I’ve actually broken it down. You can put a good ad to the wrong audience. OK. You can put a good ad to the right audience. You can put a bad ad the wrong audience. And you can put a bad ad to the right audience. Okay. If That sounds complex. Just go back and re listen to it. But really what I’ve tried to do there is just break it down because you can actually go back and say you know we actually think this is a good ad we just need to work on the audience. Or you know this ad is absolutely smashing it. We’re getting so many registrations for what we’re doing here. Or this ad is really, you know, not working very well. And the audience isn’t working at all. And that’s where I think a lot of churches are actually, the quality of what they’re putting out there. It’s almost like they want an altar call in the ad and and then they put it into just as far as wide as I can go in terms of that city or that region. And whereas what I’m suggesting is, there are some simple things you can do in terms of the key message, the photo, and the link that you can test out. And you can test that methodology out and you will get to a point where you’ll go, ‘You know what? I can see this ad is performing much better than that.’ And then you can go to the ad and you can look in the comments on the ad because you’ll know very quickly if it’s the wrong audience because the comments on that ad will reflect that. And trust me, I’ve had years of experience where we’ve actually got the wrong audience and the comments aren’t very friendly on those ads.

Brady Shearer: [00:31:31] You’re going in like hide, hide, hide, delete, ban, ban, hide.

Brady Shearer: [00:31:36] Yes. So it’s a real interesting nuance of people who are going ‘why is this in my feed? Get it out of my feed.’ And so it allows you that instantaneous feedback. As the ad is running, is actually really good. So Facebook ads manager, you can actually view your ad as it runs and the comments on it or anything like that. So yeah it’s just incredibly valuable that you can actually look up and interact with the audience as you go.

Brady Shearer: [00:32:05] OK. Let me ask you this. How are you managing the targeting? It’s usually pretty simple but in case there’s some tips or trick that I’m missing, when it comes to like who you’re targeting? Are you doing it based on geography, are you pairing geography with interests? How are you doing it?

Steve Fogg: [00:32:22] Yes. You can start. So let’s take just as an example, and with a younger family. You can start with, basically Facebook allows you to go in and say this age group of children. Don’t know how they figure that out. And they’ve broken it into different age groups. So you’ve got preschool. You’ve got junior school, and, I’m not sure what you call senior school, but they segmented out parents with this level children. So you can start there. Obviously you can look at your city or your region, depending on how big you want this event to be. Or your neighborhood. In the UK, you know and in Australia, we can put our postcodes in there, so we can really make it quite narrow. If We really want to. But I’d suggest the city for most churches and that’ll get you a good size.

Brady Shearer: [00:33:22] It’s simple too.

Steve Fogg: [00:33:24] Yeah it’s just, it’s so so simple. And again I would also look at age ranges as well. So one of the things we have noticed since we’ve moved to England from Australia, in the region that I’m in. People are having kids at a much younger age, and I’ve gone to our church database to look at that and go okay, who’s in our children’s ministry. Let’s look at the average age of the parents in that children’s ministry. I pulled that out of our database and gone. That’s kind of the average age, so I’m going to put that into the Facebook ads to match that. Because that’s my context. It might not be your context, so I’m not going to give it generic, you know 20 to 30 if you’re a young family. It might be slightly older or slightly younger. I’m not really sure. I’m trying to reverse engineer by who’s already attending our church.

Brady Shearer: [00:34:15] That’s smart. That makes sense.

Brady Shearer: [00:34:17] Yes. So you can start to drill down on that and you can make an exception in the connections in the Facebook ads manager. Those people who aren’t on your page. So all of a sudden you cut your existing audience out as well, you can email them. So you don’t need to spend extra money reaching your own audience. So there are just some very small simple ways to narrow that audience down. And that’s still quite broad and you know so you can start there. And you can test that audience and there are other interests. You know it might be a particular product, or particular service that parents are interested in, or particular a well-known TV show. If they’ve got a Facebook page, you know, that there are other ways that you can kind of think about the audience, but I’d just suggest that you go in and test it.

Brady Shearer: [00:35:15] Yeah that’s great. OK so let’s get to the part that I’m most excited about and that is, how are you transitioning from getting people to attend the bridging event to getting them to come to an actual service and then eventually become an integrated member of your church? How does that look? Like you at this event, and you go up to like this mom like, ‘hey you should come to church. Here’s an invitation. Here’s a tract. Repent now.

Steve Fogg: [00:35:42] Yeah look it’s a real soft sell. I mean, you know, I’ll give you an example of a toddlers group that makes every Monday. And at the church in Australia as well. So I’ve got a bit of a varied experience here, but we had something in Australia called mops mothers of preschoolers. At that event, it was all about moms and the kids. But at strategic times, church leaders would come in and share this parenting journey. So they just shared a testimony. It’s almost like a bit of fun, a bit of humour, but it would lead in to a sermon series that was on parenting and it just might be the simple invite or it would be a key time of year like Christmas or Easter. And they would invite them to our children’s experience where something that they can bring their kids along to rather than just some random weekend service. It was actually buying and tying in to strategically something that was connected as a parent, that fitted the time of the life that they were in. Simple things like a postcard of a table, an invitational postcards or something like that as well. Take it away. Let us know what you think. All that sort of stuff as well. And then of course there’s the power of the personal invite where the moms in the courses would you know literally take it to their friends as well. The course or the public group that’s how they would generally help people take that next step.

Brady Shearer: [00:37:18] And when it comes to, like OK, so this is a soft sell, like you said. Which means you’ve probably got to, like just be patient and invest in the long game. And I know that’s not a Facebook ad specific thing that’s just the way that church works. Like you can run Facebook ads Steve to your course. I can run it to any of my products, and I can get instant huge numbers because I have this extremely easy to track ROI point which is money. And so like we 10x the size of our company when we first started doing Facebook ads two or three years ago because we had a great funnel. We had a great offer. We had a great product. And we were able to use Facebook ads to grow revenue. Using Facebook ads to grow your church. To see souls saved. To see baptisms. To see church membership. To see new givers. Like that does not have a direct ROI correlation. Was your church leadership like totally on board saying. ‘yeah here’s your budget Steve. I mean we we trust you.’

Steve Fogg: [00:38:21] Yeah, So from a church on line point of view we have very stringent reporting around that right.

Brady Shearer: [00:38:28] Thhat is something you get reporting on right.

Steve Fogg: [00:38:30] Yes. In terms of what our site with those bridging events. Just before I talk about the ROI. The cool thing about those bridging events is, when people are actually interacting with the ads, what you can do is go back later another seasonal time of year and put a different kind of ad in front of that person. So if they say they’ve checked in – they have registered for your parenting course, or toddler course or whatever it is. Or marriage course. You can actually go back and you can retarget a Christmas event in front of them because they already know about, and have probably already been to your church, so they’ve moved along that scale a little bit. So that’s a measurable thing that I can say to my leader and say, ‘you know what, I know that there are 300 people that went to this stage in the registration process that we can go back and target and invite. What are we willing to spend to put an ad in front of them for four weeks?’ So, you know, let’s say it’s going to be $5 a day or $10 a day and then $15 a day as we lead up towards these events. Of course you know I know in some countries a lot of churches have advertise but not . . . in a lot of places like the UK and Australia churches don’t actually have a lot of budget. So you’re actually in a bit of a clear space there. There’s not a lot of competition so to speak. So I can put that plan in front of my team leader and say. Well for this amount of time, we already know they’re a warm prospect. Okay so because we sent them down a funnel. We’re not going to get back to the top of the funnel where it might be a few thousand people, we’re going to take them down the funnel. The bottom end of the funnel. They may have checked out the course or actually been to the course. So there’s just those different ways where you can actually spend less money. But actually reach the right people with the right kind of message.

Brady Shearer: [00:40:44] Perfect OK great well lots of lots of good stuff in this in this session Steve. Kind of like we’ve done a bunch of sessions on Facebook ads but I never feel like we do enough because there is just such a powerful opportunity that I think churches need to take advantage of. Now with that being said, like I said earlier Facebook’s got no problem taking your money and it’s very easy to be paralyzed by the depth and the complexity of the Facebook ads platform which is why I’m so glad that someone is putting a course together. And I have full confidence in both you and Alejandro for the fact that you’ve done this in your own churches and that you’ve both spent thousands upon thousands, tens of thousands of dollars in the Facebook ads platform. And like we said earlier, one of the best ways to learn is to test and to see what works and what doesn’t. So tell us a little bit about this course and I know you’ve got a give away. Like there’s just so much more content that people can take from here. So tell us all about it.

Steve Fogg: [00:41:39] Yeah. Well let me just talk about the giveaway first. We love the Pro Church Nation, and what we would love to do is to offer to one person, if they send us their email, we’ll put a link on the show . notes. We will give away one course to one person. Everyone else also wins. It’s like Oprah as well. You’ll get a free e-book where we’ve interviewed 27 of the top social media experts, including you my friend, on how to grow their church in social media and in that book. So you’ll get it straight back into your inbox but you’re also going to win this course. So we’re giving this away. You’ll get actionable insights in the PDF. You’ll get effective social media strategies and these are real life. You know this isn’t theory. This isn’t just top level you know, quotable quotes, this is actual real life stuff that people actually learned in the church world. And you’ll also understand how church social media fits into your wider church strategy. So even if you just give us your e-mail and you attend the webinar – you’ll get the PDF.

Brady Shearer: [00:42:53] Perfect. And all the links will be in the show notes, so everything that we’ve talked about ProChurchTools.com/171. I’ll say one more time. ProChurchTools.com/171. There’s a section in there called show notes, and you can get all the links there and click directly over to them because some of these urls are a bit long, and if I said them out loud here you might not be able to remember them and so I’ll just give you the one. The show notes. Go there and then you can click out to the other places. When it comes to this course. When does it go live? Where can we buy it?

Steve Fogg: [00:43:23] Yeah it goes like next week, and every time I visit the page and the countdown is kind of counting down. I’m just getting that little bit of that launch fever going on you know.

Brady Shearer: [00:43:35] Yes.

Brady Shearer: [00:43:37] WE’re serving full time. And you know we’re putting this together on the side. But essentially what we’ve got is six modules. We’ve got a kind of a bit of an overview in terms of that Facebook funnel. We’re talking about the content strategy, what that should look like. And then we really go really granular like we’ve gone today. And if you nerded like I nerd out on Facebook ads, where we really get granular and practical about different scenarios. So whether that’s Easter, Christmas, courses, conferences, you name it. We really pull that really granular down step by step by step by step and I basically take you through the ads manager and go, ‘Think about this audience, think about this region, think about this age group and really just think about what the ad can look like. Think about what the . . . So I’m trying to serve it up on the plate for you as much as we can. And then we talk about analyzing and optimizing and we got a stack of bonuses in there. A real bit of a secret sauce that I discovered a few years ago in terms of our e-mail marketing and how we can leverage e-mail marketing and then Alejandro’s put together a stack of other bonuses as well.

Brady Shearer: [00:44:59] Beautiful awesome. We’ll have it all in the show notes ProChurchTools.com/171. Well thanks Steve for coming on for a second round in your new continent, your new country. Lots of great stuff. I had a blast.

Steve Fogg: [00:45:13] Thanks mate. Honoured to be on.

Brady Shearer: [00:45:15] All right. There you have it. My interview with Steve Fogg discussing Facebook Ads tips, two strategies in particular for churches from the trenches from a church, from Pastor who’s been doing it for a long time. To recap we talked about running Facebook ads to people of other faiths, that was strategy number one. We talked about using bridging events to connect people to your church. That was strategy number two. We talked about large church Facebook ad strategies versus smaller church Facebook ad strategies and how if you’re a smaller church may be running Facebook ads to people of other faiths just to connect them to your online church where they’re probably never going to step foot in your building. Maybe that’s not the way that you want to spend your money. Maybe it is though. Just something to consider. We talked about constructing your creative and your copy on your Facebook ads. The best placement configuration. A simple targeting strategy. Moving people from bridging events to actual church services and recognizing that this is a long play. It’s a soft sell and really that’s the way it has to be with church and so that’s not particular to Facebook. That’s not specific to Facebook ads but really all of the advertising and marketing that we do as churches. Most of it is a soft sell. And then finally convincing leadership to play the long game of Facebook ads if it is going to be that long game. How do we convince our churches, our leaders, and our pastors to be OK with that. So lots of great stuff from this session of the Pro Church Podcast with Steve Fogg. Thank you to Steve for coming back on the show. Make sure you check out the show notes ProChurchTools.com/171 for that webinar that is running tomorrow if you’re listening to this podcast on the day that it comes out. I think it’s running the Wednesday which is the 15, 16, 17, 18, 19. Yeah today’s the 18th. It’s the 19th which is tomorrow. Also you can download the guide that they’re giving away. Get in the contest. Check out the course. So much great stuff if you’re ready to take your Facebook ads to the next level. With that being said, it is time for our review of the week and this review comes from RLeach91 – five stars it says, ‘Brady and his team Pro Church Tools are a gift to the modern church. I try to absorb as much information as possible from pro church tools to better connect and communicate to our church and our city. Thank you. Pro church tools.’ Well thank you. RLeach 91 from the USA. Thanks for leaving that review inside of Apple podcasts, means the world to me and the entire team here. If you’re listening. We haven’t got a review in like one week. We didn’t get any last week. What is that about. If you’re listening and you’re one of those people that listens every week and you listen to this part and you’re like, ‘Brady, I’ve never left a review.’ Look I get it. I don’t leave reviews very often for podcast either. But for the ones that really mean something to me or. In lieu of that, for the ones that really guilt me at the end of the show to leave a review. I go out of my way and do it. All you have to do is go to a pro church podcast dotcom. It’s so simple pro church podcast dot.com. That’ll redirect you to the page inside of Apple podcast where our podcast is hosted. Leave a review! Means the world to me. I’m going to get it sent to me directly through e-mail and it’ll make me so so happy, right. It takes you like three minutes it’s going to mean the world to me. So please go ahead and do that. We publish three new episodes of the Pro Church Podcast every single week. Tuesday is our interview podcast. Thursday is our real time live coaching podcast. Saturday is our question and answer podcast so, make sure you’re listening to all three. Subscribe ProChurchPodca is where you can do that. I’ll talk real soon.



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