While none of us would argue that we live in a digital world, let’s not forget that we also live in an analog world, and our community needs to see our physical presence as much as a digital presence.
Imagine someone in your community sees what you’re doing on Facebook, and wants to visit your church, but drives by the property 3 times on Sunday morning not able to find your building. Imagine someone has recently moved into your city and is looking for a church, but every day when they drive past you on their commute, they think they’re driving past an insurance office, rather than a church.
5 ways to draw your community’s attention to your church:
1. Parking Lot Entrance Signage
Drive past a McDonalds or a Starbucks or a Walmart. Even though they have a building that’s clearly visible from the street, they also have signs that show their parking lot entrance. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out where the drive-thru is, but there is still a sign indicating where to pull thru – not because they think their customers aren’t smart enough to figure it out, but because those businesses are trying additional ways to draw your attention and invite you to come in.
It doesn’t matter if a restaurant’s building is right on the road, has a huge sign that lights up at night and large windows so people can see they’re open, they will still have signs at the road. Your church can take this approach too, so it’s easy for new guests to know which entrance to use and can feel comfortable finding their way into your parking lot.
2. Attention Grabbing Signs
You can’t connect with at a driver’s emotions with a story on a feather flag – there isn’t space on it or time to read it as someone is driving past – but feather flags stand tall and naturally move with even the slightest amount of breeze (or air movement from a car passing by).
A similar movement can be achieved with a horizontal vinyl banner mounted between two poles which will allow more information space for a passing driver to read (like a miniature billboard).
It’s like trying to flag down a taxi or a car that’s driving away, or someone pulling up to your house for the first time; What’s our natural response? Wave our hands in the air to get attention.
Don’t try to overload an attention-grabbing sign with information. Stick to 1 main word and 3-4 subtitle words (the fewer the better), but pick a format that has natural movement to let people know you’re here. If you are wanting to communicate more information, then have 2 different designs ie. “Join us this Sunday” then a different flag that says “9 am & 11 am services”, then alternate the flag designs across the front of your property.
3. Create signage for special events
Easter, Christmas, VBS, Back to church; all of these events are great opportunities to draw attention to promote an event. This could be changing the plastic insert letters on your church sign, a vinyl banner that drops from your roof to the full height of your building or using a space on your campus like a light pole.
For maximum attention, replace your current attention-grabbing signs, and switch them out with the event-promo design and color scheme.
One option is to make your event colors a different color palette from your main church colors. Go with something out of your ordinary color scheme to attract attention.
If you want to stick with your church’s brand colors, try inverting them for special events. If you colors are white and blue, and most of your signage is white with blue letters, switch out your special event signage to blue with white letters – the contrast will attract attention even from the people who have gotten so used to reading the signs that they no longer notice them.
- Have light poles or stop signs on your campus? Hang light pole banners from them.
- Have a curved or longer driveway? Use a variety of signs to build excitement leading up to your front door.
- Have a large blank space on the side of your building facing the road? Roll a vinyl banner from your roof to the ground.
- Do you have large windows like a retail space? Try some hanging signage or “Storefront” style displays in those spaces.
- Have a field or open space beside your church? How can you utilize that to grab attention from the road?
As you begin to think outside-the-box, attention and buzz in your community will grow. That brings us to idea number 5.
5. Take pictures of your signage and post it on your Social Media channels.
Your attention-grabbing efforts will begin to build recognition for people driving past or driving to your church, and posting your signage on social media is another way to build that recognition. Someone driving past your church may recognize a sign that they saw on Facebook shared by a neighbor or co-worker and start to put 2 and 2 together.
If your sign is an “event” sign, then you’re not only promoting your church, and the visual recognition for your sign, but you’re also promoting the event.