Gradlime: Content Marketing Strategies for Christian Organizations

If you’re a faith-based business or organization, you can’t afford to fail at marketing. You need to reach people who will benefit from your ministry, service, or product. You need to make an impact on donors and clients. You need to get your story in front of the right people.

But let’s face it, many Christian companies struggle with twenty-first century marketing. Quite a few publishers, seminaries, Bible schools, charities, churches, and ministries still pour the lion’s share of their marketing budget into outdated channels like print and radio, and when they do focus on internet marketing, they spin their wheels. Too many use their websites, ads, and social media channels to push people to subscribe, donate or buy—and get very little response.

And don’t even get me started on the manipulative elements of marketing which seem completely opposed to the Gospel. Theologian Roger E. Olsen wrote a blog post in 2011 asking if Christians should even work in marketing. Lord knows, we can all recite deceptive examples of practices that would help justify Olsen’s position.

Marketing doesn’t have to be that way

The content marketing revolution has happened, and a lot of Christian companies missed it—and it’s a huge shame. Because these organizations could be creating strategic and valuable content that tells their story, provides meaningful value to others, and draws the people they want to reach to them! Because when you’re providing value to people, they become invested in your story—and you.

I can’t think of a Christian business, charity, or organization, that doesn’t have a tale to tell, and likely an area of expertise to share with others. And if they do it right, Google will continue to bring people interested in their content and story for years to come. That’s right, the money spent on that ad with the extremely short shelf life could be paying dividends indefinitely.

The nuts and bolts of content ministry

Imagine a charity that builds wells for third-world countries. They desperately need laborers and donors. In the past, they might put an ad in a magazine that would (hopefully) capture the attention of a reader, and move them to donate or contact them to find out more.

But what if that charity had a YouTube channel or blog that told the story of the organization, regularly talked about the needs in these areas, shared biblical lessons, and ideas about how people could get involved? What if they understood how to rank on the front page of Google for searches like “water charity (a search terms that gets over 18,000 searches a year),” “clean water,” and “water charities”? What if they had a simple strategy for building an email list of 250,000 people they could reach when they needed?

They’re no longer relying on a few moments for that magazine ad to:

  1. Capture someone’s attention
  2. Generate a provocative enough appeal
  3. Communicate all of the information that needs to be said
  4. Compel a next step

Instead, they are investing in a process that is going to drive people (who are already looking for they provide) to them.

Enter GradLime

This is where I make a big announcement about what I’ve been doing . . .

I have fantastic friends who love the church as much as I do, and we all have a particular set of skills. (I’m pretty intelligent, but I’m definitely the dumbest one in this group.) We realized when we pooled our expertise, we had the perfect team for helping Christian organizations find some wins in the competitive content marketing space—and GradLime was born.

Before we could even discuss a proper company launch, we were already working with awesome brands like Zondervan, PushPay, and the Jesus Film Project. It was a pretty powerful confirmation that we offered a service that met a significant need.

And we’re excited to help meet that need for others.

A winning strategy

GradLime excels at strategy. Not every organization has the same needs, and isn’t helped by cookie-cutter approaches to marketing. So we focus on discerning what success looks like for our clients. And with our collective prowess in areas like:

  • SEO
  • Market research
  • Content marketing
  • Donor development
  • Branding
  • Paid Advertising
  • Writing
  • Design
  • Web development

we find their competitive edge and craft a step-by-step plan that set them up for long-term victories and quick wins.

There’s a lot of information about content marketing out there—a lot of it’s helpful, some of it’s outdated, and some of it conflicts with the rest. The good news is that we’ve not only jumped that informational hurdle, we’ve all invested time in making wins with various projects of our own (and for others). As GradLime’s CEO, Jeffrey Kranz, likes to say, “It’s not easy, it’s just simple.”

We not only demystify content marketing for faith-based organizations, we position them for success.

If you think you know someone who could benefit from getting in touch with us, share this with them. We look forward to hearing from them.

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