Promotions, advertising...whatever you want to call it. Some people are averse to the term "marketing" when speaking of the church. They take it to mean something like "making the gospel palatable" which we are not called to do (nor do we need to do it in my opinion).
The truth is, you can do something or you can do nothing. In either case, you are making an identity for your church, because you have a church culture and it will show to the public.
If you do something you have 3 choices:
I was driving down the road in my neighborhood one day and saw a sign out in front of a church advertising small groups. I recognized the sign as being purchased from a church promotions website. Good graphics, nice layout with some verbage about the church.
Across town, the same day I saw the very same banner, larger size, on a new church plant with the church name on it.
Buying your advertising from a promotional package site is better than nothing, right? Well, maybe. Some of the promotional materials you may choose are going to appeal to a certain segment of people - maybe by design, maybe not. Do you know the difference? Can you deliver on what your brand and advertising is promising? If not, you may doing yourself a disservice using those materials.
Marketing is part art, part science. The science part is what colors, images, phrases, ideas and approaches appeal to what demographic group of people. If the advertising you choose attracts a bunch of young parents with kids in tow and you don't have a Sunday School or Kid's Church fully staffed and ready to go, what's going to happen?
Do It Yourself
I went by a new church in town to check it out and see what it looked like; what was going on. They had leased a large, former big box store and put up an enormous sign that said "Che Vision". I wondered what kind of church would venerate Che Guevara, but I soon realized it meant to say "The Vision". The font was a crazy, made up thing that was all but unreadable.
There are all kinds of churches, but the very nature of the Christian faith mitigates against being esoteric. You must be coherent at a minimum and hopefully intentional.
The big guys do it. They have a media staff working on printed materials, video sermon illustrations, signage, website updates, etc. I know you think it's expensive. It can be. But it doesn't have to be. Especially if you call us.