Case Study: St. John’s Lutheran Church

 In religious marketing

History:

St. John’s Lutheran Church in North Prairie, WI has been a staple in the community since 1887 when the church was built. Over the years the church has served the city and surrounding communities in a variety of ways. One of which is the creation of a Preschool and Daycare (PSDC) over 34 years ago. Since that time, the teachers and aides have seen thousands of children come and go through the doors. There have been many changes over the last five years in the PSDC and keeping steady and growing enrollment of children in the program has been a struggle. The numbers have been declining over the years with increased competition and the emergence of an advancement in the public school system. St. John’s curriculum is unlike many other public programs as it is rooted in the teachings of Jesus Christ and the Word of God.

Issue:

St. John’s Church PSDC has been leaning on solely word-of-mouth advertising and has not done any substantial promoting over the years. There is no real online presence in any way so therefore, nobody truly knows about this part of the church unless they happen to drive through North Prairie. The PSDC has made a few social posts here and there with a limited budget for advertising for events. The goal for preschool enrollment for the 2021/22 school year is minimally 42 students. The busiest time for enrollments is usually July to August as the final push for the September start date. This number was set between the Board of Directors and the Director of the preschool and daycare.

Solution and Result:

After an analysis, it was discovered that there was no Google My Business established for the PSDC and one needed to be created. Reports suggested that ads through Google would be seen significantly higher than expected for the targeted demographic and geographical locations. The website’s page level SEO was adequate but would over time need adjusting. Finally, Facebook and Instagram social media platforms seemed to be an obvious well of possibilities.

The solutions implemented for the PSDC were aggressive Google Ads and Facebook advertising campaigns. The Google campaigns were targeted to the communities surrounding the school in a 10 mile reach. Likewise, Facebook and Instagram had the same geographical reach. The target demographic was parents and grandparents caring for children who were daycare aged. The results of the Google campaigns over the course of 95 days, ending in June 2021, was 83,700 advertising impressions with 1,630 clicks, 137 calls, and 304 location actions. Facebook campaigns ran for 40 days with an ad impression reach of 5,485 and clicks of 85. The total ad spend between both of these campaigns were approximately $1,450 dollars.

The results for enrollments have been remarkable. Since the start of the campaigns through June 2021, the PSDC has a total of 32 students enrolled in the program for 2021/22 with a few months left of enrollment. They have new appointments scheduled for walk-throughs on a daily basis and have 8 enrollment packets that are potentially being submitted for consideration. Due to the aggressive campaign, the results and trends point to the minimum thresholds being met for the upcoming school year. The campaigns helped with building their brand and bringing this highly respected institution to the forefront of the area’s schools.