Hope City Church - hopecityflorida.com
Dreamers and Disciples Podcast (Wade Joy) - Listen on Spotify
Thinkless (Stephen Webb and Parker Richardson) - Listen on Spotify
Connect with Chandan:
Instagram - @chandanbangar
Well, hey, welcome back to another episode of the Church Marketing Hacks podcast. I'm your host, Matt Lombardi and today I'm joined by Chandan Bangar. Chandan is the Creative Director at Hope City Church, down in beautiful Naples, Florida. Chandan, how are you doing today, man?
I'm great, man. Sunny and hot in Florida.
Cool. Yeah. Rocking it. We're about two hours north of You so we're right in it with you, man. There is no seasonality in Florida. So man, super excited to talk with you today. For folks who don't know, Hope City is a new-ish church plant but I think no official stats here. One of the fastest growing churches in the nation right now. Chin, When did you guys plant, like what's, just, gimme a little bit of like the.
Yeah, so I moved to this area May of 2021, and we launched this church towards the end of October. And so we're 11 months old and about to hit one.
And you guys are pushing up on that thousand barrier. So that's some pretty crazy rapid growth. I'm excited to dig into some of the strategies, tactics, hacks, maybe that you guys have put in place to help fuel that growth. So without further ado, we'll hop into the first question we ask all of our guests, which is, in your time in ministry, I know you got a background, pretty extensive in ministry. But also just in your time at Hope City, what's been the best hack that you've put in place for your marketing communications Creative team? Is it a process, a system, a tool? Is it a campaign? You did walk us through what's the best hack you've, you've been a part.
Yeah, I think one of the best things we've done has been short and sweet with our marketing but we also know who we were marketing to. So targeted marketing has been huge for us just because we didn't want to generalize something and just throw it out there for everybody. We looked at a map and we made a radius and we said, This is what we wanna target. This is where we want to connect with people just so people weren't having to drive so far into church. We really encourage people who come from a far distance. Like, Hey, go be a part of a church in your community. So we're looking at this map and we're like, Okay, 20, 30 miles max, let's make some mailers. Let's make some YouTube ads that are real brief, real quick for some big events for like our launch or maybe you know, just this big thing that we're doing. We're not really big on events, so we typically market really simply. I have some video background, so I like capture something that has the meat, the content, and then we send it out and, and people are hooked usually after that.
So I love it. So talk to me more about the YouTube ads, right? Cause that's something that I love. We at Share Love YouTube ads. We run short, simple, like five second pre-roll ads. Like we love YouTube ads because, Besides Google, it's the second largest search engine and it's so underutilized by churches. So what, what did you guys do? Walk me through what that strategy looked like and for someone who's not done YouTube ads, just give, speak a little bit to why they might be helpful for a church.
Yeah, absolutely. So talking with my pastor Eric Smith, we were talking about Facebook ads first and naturally with it being meta now, it went into Instagram, but then I was like, I'm on YouTube. I do YouTube stuff, so I was like, let's push some on YouTube and see what happens. And it turns out YouTube turned out to be our biggest traction for all of marketing and ads because, You can place 'em and select where they're placed before videos, after videos as an ad in a video and target all the way down to age and location and stuff like that.
So it was really unique to set up our ads to be played for, you know, Within a 20 mile radius of our church. And so many people coming to church were like, Hey, how did you hear about the church? Oh, I was just scrolling on YouTube late one night. I saw your video. So, yeah, man. One of the things that we recommend at Share for a lot of our squad service clients, like, we'll bring them this as like a project they could do, which is, Hey, run local YouTube ads and tag them too cause every real estate agent in town has some sort of video, like five things you need to know about moving to Naples. And those videos get so much traction with people who are new in town. So we always say Go target cause with YouTube ads you can target a specific channel, right? So go target local real estate agents in your community because that's who prospective buyers and new people in town are gonna look at. Just put ads to their channels. That's a huge win to get in front of people who are just moving to your area for the first time to help grow.
So, I'm a huge fan of YouTube ads. They're awesome, man. Okay, second question. What resource, whether it's a podcast, a website you know, seminar you know, a book, what resource do you gift or do you recommend most to church comps and creative leaders?
Yeah. I mean, I honestly, I love podcasts and two of 'em happen to be some good friends of mine, but they are so not only encouraging, but they kind of help me be a better creative, better person in marketing. Really just general ministry. But it's super helpful that these people are good in creative spaces. But Dreamers and Disciples podcast by Buddy Wade Joy. Unbelievable podcasts, just to help you understand not only what you do well, but how to get better at it and then another one called Thinkless. That's by Steven Webb and Parker Richardson out in Texas. They're amazing and they just, they ask the tough questions or the questions nobody's asking, and they help you really dig into who you are and be a better creative.
So, I love it, man. Well, I don't know either of those two. So this is, this is one of the reasons I love doing the podcast. It's informative for me. It helps me out. So we'll definitely put those resources out there in the show notes for folks to go check out to great podcasts. Okay, last question and we'll wrap up. If you could give your 21 year old self, I don't know what you're doing at 21, I know what I was doing and it was not this , but if you could give your 21 year old self, any advice on working in ministry, on working with churches, kind of sustain for the long term? What would you say?
Honestly, I've heard so many people in ministry say this term, like, stay in your lane. I fully disagree with that because I think where I'm, where I'm at in ministry I've taken all those things that I've kind of learned and, and understood from other roles in ministry and applied them to where I'm at now. So if you're serving somewhere and you're just like, just hyper focused on one thing, really learn from other people. So I would tell myself risk more, fail forward more, learn from people that have nothing to do with what you actually do with your job. It's because of my time at previous churches where I was able to talk to the digital team or the, the creative teams when I wasn't even serving in those roles, that I learned these things as a worship leader and then were able to implement them later, like now where I'm at in Florida.
Some pretty great advice, man. You learn so much more, and especially in the role you're in, which is, you know, it's a church plant, it's kind of a startup world and startup, you know, we're a startup tech company in a lot of ways. So we always talk about, hey, when you're a startup you need lots of generalists. You need generalists who can execute. And once you mature as an organization you can go hire specialists, but when you're in that stage, you gotta be a generalist. And so it sounds like in a lot of ways God was preparing you by not staying in your lane Right To, to get the knowledge you needed to be able to. In a kinda startup space, I love that man. Chandan, if people wanna connect with you, where can they find you on Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn? Like what's the best place to get in contact with you if they wanna ask questions or just see what you guys are up to at Hope City.
Yeah, Instagram would be great. Hashtag or not hashtag I guess at sign. I'm not big on the social dude.
You're trending. Oh, I love it.
Right, right. No, just Chandan Bangar on Instagram. You can connect me there, but we'd love to connect with some people.
Awesome. Ladies and gentlemen, Chandan.