I hate to be the one to break this to you, but I care about you, so I’m going to speak the truth in love: Next week, we’ll be saying, “Easter is next month.”
It happens nearly every year, doesn’t it? We’re still patting ourselves on the back for surviving Christmas; meanwhile, The Bunny’s tiptoeing up behind us, ready to pelt us with Peeps (gross) and demanding to see our brilliant Easter marketing plans.
Now, some of us—maybe four of us—handle this season with relatively little anxiety: calmly checking off to-dos, leaving plenty of time to make personalized, Pinterest-inspired gift baskets for everyone in the office. Yeah, well, this post is for the rest of us. The panicked ones. The I-can’t-think-of-anything-creative ones.
Here’s the best Easter marketing strategy I can offer: Calm down.
You still have time, and you can do this—especially when you remember it’s not all up to you and your creative genius. You’re not trying to dream up some wildly compelling story: The story’s already there. When it comes to Easter marketing, your job is to pique curiosity. Granted, even that can feel a bit overwhelming, so let’s approach it like you would tackle a giant, chocolate Easter bunny: One bite at a time.
Bite 1: Sit Still and Listen
When I’m stressed, my brain is of no use to me. None. It’s a hummingbird that’s flown into a garage; it’s so freaked out that it can’t see the solution—the gaping door—right in front of it. You can’t expect to be at your creative best when you’re hyperventilating. So stop. Breathe. Read the Easter story. Read it again. Flip through your file of amazing marketing pieces for inspiration. (Don’t have one of those? Start one today.) Take in Stephen Brewster’s blog—particularly the Graphic Design Inspiration posts he does on Mondays.
Caveat: While you’re gleaning inspiration from other churches, ad agencies or wherever, do not fall into the comparison pit. That thing’s like quicksand, and you’ll find yourself suffocating in not-good-enough. Do the best you can with what you have.
Bite 2: Start
I have a tendency to do all the easy stuff first—the stuff that ought to be waaaaaay down the priority list, but I do it first because it allows me to check off something and feel good about myself. That’s not called productivity; that’s called procrastination, and it’s often rooted in a fear of failure. So just start. Brainstorm. Write it all down. Sketch it out. Just start.
Bite 3: Collaborate to Develop a Plan
Even if you’re a lone-ranger, communication director/graphic designer/video producer/worship leader/youth pastor, this is not your project. Sure, you might care more about it than anyone else, but it doesn’t belong to you. It belongs to your church. So share the chocolate bunny, for crying out loud and, together, make some decisions: What’s the theme of the worship experience? What creative elements can bring that theme to life? What marketing collateral might create curiosity? If you had limitless funds, what would you do and what emotion would that evoke? Now how can you accomplish that same thing within your budget?
Bite 4: Create Action Items
Decide who’s responsible for each element. Sit down with your calendar, assign deadlines, then back those deadlines up by a week so you have a bit of cushion. (It’s the equivalent of setting your alarm 15 minutes early so you can hit the snooze twice. I don’t know why it works, but it does.)
Bite 5: Execute the Plan
Once the plan’s set, don’t start second-guessing yourself. Give yourself some credit, assume your head was clear when you put it together and make it happen. Plus, unless you skipped Bite 3, you’ve already had someone else look at it and you’ve made any necessary adjustments, right? You’re good to go.
Bite 6: Equip People
Your church family is your marketing team. You might’ve developed an incredible, provocative direct marketing piece or Facebook ad that will pique the curiosity of the staunchest of skeptics. I love that. But skeptics are still more likely to accept an invitation from their neighbor than to respond to an impersonal advertisement. Think invite cards and shareable social media images.
Feel better? Yeah, me too. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to pour myself a glass of milk, unwrap the bunny, and take the first bite.
- Get more Easter ideas with our growing collection of articles, examples, and more.
- Check out our book, Super Sunday: Planning Easter for Your Church, for tips on how to plan, promote, and survive Easter.
- Go deeper for even more Easter resources and join our Courageous Storytellers Membership Site. You'll get access to downloadable resources including planners, guides, worksheets, graphics, and more.