5 Ways to Promote your Vacation Bible School (VBS)
Summer is coming and many churches are gearing up for their annual, week-long, Vacation Bible School (VBS) programs. The week-long or multi-week fun, educational events are helpful for community parents, promotes the church, and serves the community for underprivileged children who could benefit from free or inexpensive childcare.
If your church hosts a VBS you may have wondered or even brainstormed with your team how you can get more community engagement or spread the word about your VBS program.
Table of contents
- Social Media
- Facebook Ads
- Local Marketing
- Community Connections
- Open House or Preview
1. Social Media
Social media is definitely changing and some platforms are losing people and demographics with engagement shifts happening as we speak. Right now a lot of families are still using social media to stay in touch with friends, family, and their community, specifically Facebook for events, groups, and pages. Be sure to plan some engagement on Facebook. We recommend the following strategies to connect your program with those in the community:
- Going live on Facebook 1-3 times prior to it starting to introduce the program, give some details, and maybe even have a pre-launch party or activity day
- Sharing the previously recorded Facebook live videos
- Creating posts talking about the week’s details using eye catching graphics
- Creating a Facebook event for the week and sharing it
2. Facebook Ads
Facebook boosts and/or paid ads for the event 3-4 weeks before your VBS can help increase it’s exposure. Paid ads can be inexpensive and easy to manage. The ads can be as in-depth or as easy as your typical scheduled posts and you can get great visibility if you target them appropriately. If you boost posts be sure to read all the details and choose very specific audience metrics. Know that some money will be for visibility and not all will be easily directed to direct registrations, branding and visibility money is not a waste of money. Spending $50-100 to get more people to be aware of your program is worth it.
3. Local Marketing
Local events benefit greatly from word of mouth and repeat local visibility. This means that the majority of people who come to you will be through a friend or seeing a flyer or sign. When it comes to time and money, be sure to spend yours wisely and take the time to get as much free visibility as you can through local venues.
- Local bulletin boards
- Yard signs and flags nearby
4. Community Connections
Another part of marketing smarter and not harder, but getting visibility is utilizing and growing your local connections. We have a couple of tips on how you can do this, but don’t be afraid to shake some hands, ask for help in the community and more importantly offer how you can help them. Mutually beneficial partnerships are rewarding in every way possible.
- Ask schools to send home flyers in notebooks (many schools have these programs or online flyers)
- Visit your local coffee shops and Chick-Fil-A and ask to put up flyers on their bulletin boards boards and offer to bring them business with providing their products to leadership meetings or other mutually beneficial connections
- Offer to invite local business leaders to lunch and find ways to help them out and ask for the ability to include them in social media tags
5. Offer a preview or Open House
- Create a Facebook event or go live to share some activities kids will enjoy during the week as a preview
- Do a Facebook live to share the announcement
- Add it to the top of your website, or have a pop up
- Offer a preview night or an open house for families to check out the space and meet the teachers
- Have a pop-up event in a local park to play some christian songs and do a dance party
There is also a special opportunity this year, and going forward, to stream and record your VBS programs to YouTube, Facebook live, and other virtual platforms, allowing more visibility for the future to your church and allowing it to be seen by a wider audience. Let us know how we can help you update your website to facilitate and promote your VBS event this year.