Catholic vocation advertising was once a simple affair. A religious community merely placed a display ad in the Catholic diocesan newspaper, or in a religious magazine. Then the responses came in.
Today, it’s a whole new ball game.
With the advent of internet marketing and social media, Catholic vocation marketing as well as advertising in general has become much more complex. We’ve all been assured that the thoroughness of electronic techniques has allowed us to target our markets much more effectively. But all this takes much technical knowledge. Today’s vocation director is perplexed, because what is needed is both technical chops as well as knowledge of Catholic vocations.
Few marketing agencies are savvy in both of these areas.
That’s why we here at Vocation Promotion (a project of TreeFrogClick) have developed our Come & See Vocation Promotion Program. This is a system that combines pay-per-click advertising, quizzes, and followup newsletters to both educate and nurture candidates.
The program was first developed in 2013 by Kevin J. Banet, who spent six years in a lay Dominican community who also worked as a newspaper reporter, webmaster, and editor of Catholic publications. Banet saw the potential of using a quiz designed for vocation candidates by Serra International while working for the Institute on Religious Life in the Chicago area. Serra of course is the vocation organization.
(Read the IRL’s article about our vocation program on their Vocation Blog.)
Catholic vocation marketing comes of age
This quiz, however, was administered on paper, and in the classroom. Working with the director at the time, Michael Wick, Banet helped to integrate the quiz in an online format.
“This opened up a world of possibilities,” Banet said. “Now, the quiz could be taken everywhere, and at any time.”
The only problem was attracting others, especially younger single Catholics, to the quiz. Banet found that he could do so with pay-per-click advertising. This was done by targeting a specific gender, age, location and interests. After delivering hundreds of candidates to religious communities, he realized that followup with the candidates was needed.
“Vocation directors just didn’t have time to do this,” Banet said. As the program developed, followup took the form of newsletters, which would both educate and cultivate vocations.
New developments to the program are always being introduced, Banet said, such as finding a way to qualify the candidates based on their quiz responses and other factors.
“The Catholic world has only scraped the surface when it comes to Catholic vocation advertising,” Banet said. “I think we at Vocation Promotion have the most advanced program available. Our job is to find the best candidates, attract them to a particular community, and then get them to come to a discernment retreat.”
Are you interested in hearing how Catholic vocation advertising can really work? Check out the testimonials from our happy clients.