Digital Strategist for the North American Division.
In the fall of 2016, the Chesapeake Conference piloted the Voice of Prophecy Series, “Revelation Speaks Peace,” in 30 churches. This four-week series took an in-depth look at prophecy, with multiple sessions of study per week.
We ran a series of ads using Facebook’s Ad Manager targeting Adventists and potentially interested Christians in Maryland. When we compared registration zip codes to the location of each host church, we found that people generally did not travel more than 15 miles to attend. In Maryland 15 miles translates to approximately 30 to 45 minutes of driving. This means that ad impressions spent in the areas where a host church was not nearby, did not result in meaningful conversions. For this campaign, conversions means registration and attendance. Unfortunately, this data was not available until after the campaign ended, but this valuable lesson can be applied to future evangelistic series.
In conclusion, for similar evangelistic campaigns, geo-targeting the ads to within 20 miles of each church city, instead of over the entire state, would maximize the impact of the funds spent on advertising.
This finding makes sense given the large time commitment involved in attending the full series. It’s more practical to attend if the host location is nearby.
Each community is different, so if a conference or church is hosting an evangelistic series in a more rural community that is accustomed to driving farther, then the targeted distance from the church may be increased without wasting ad impressions and funds. Or if an event or series is shorter and held on the weekends, then people may be able and willing to drive farther. But as always, test and see what works best for your community, and then let us know.
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