Whether your church is beginning to implement a digital strategy or it’s been working at digital for years, it’s always a good idea to take a step back and keep a few things in mind.
These 11 quick tips for church digital strategy will help you and your team excel:
1. Good digital strategy begins and ends with good measurement. A new report says that data analysis is becoming a more important skill than social media. If your communications team is missing someone who can analyze your website, app and social media metrics, consider other ways to add that resource to your team (hint: MissionFound can help you!).
2. Video is more important than ever. Data comes out every day that proves video is growing as a preferred method of content consumption. If your church isn’t incorporating video into your content strategy, think about starting.
3. Demographic information is wonderful, but it can’t tell you what a person needs.
People don’t look for a new church, become a member, attend a service or volunteer for a mission because they fall into a specific demographic segment. People look for such things—for answers, information, connection, hope—in the exact moment they’re searching for it.
People turn to their smartphones to search Google, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter or their email in their I-want-to-know (curiosity), I-want-to-go (“near me” searches), I-want-to-buy (mobile-assisted in-store purchases) and I-want-to-do (“how to” searches) micro-moments.
When your audience has an immediate want or need and they turn to their mobile device for answers, your church has an opportunity to offer the information, connections, hope they are trying to find.
4. Invest the time to really listen to people online.
What are they saying about your church? What are they saying about their needs? Now, is there a way your church can better meet those needs via your digital channels?
5. Get your church found online. There are lots of ways to get found, and you should rely on a combination of techniques to help your church get found online.
I recommend these 10 ways, including :
implementing excellent SEO practices
having a good content marketing plan
consistently reaching out to local or national media
providing value with each social media post
taking advantage of paid search and
getting your church website indexed in search engines.
A combination of each of these methods will help your church get found online.
6. An effective digital strategy doesn’t stop at getting found. The answers, information, connections, hope your church offers should be so valuable that people will return to you for more. Create excellent content that answers real questions and addresses the real needs of your audience.
7. A fast, mobile-first and responsive website is no longer optional. Now, Google requires it and visitors expect it.
8. Don’t ask people to marry you before you’ve asked them for a date. In most cases, people will visit your website several times before they decide to engage with your church.
They aren’t likely to sign up to volunteer or join a group the first time they hit your home page. So reserve that call to action for pages on your site that speak first-hand to members or regular attenders.
New visitors to your site want to know right off the bat: what is your church about? An “About Us” link prominently placed on the home page is more appropriate. Or invite them to an event.
From there, maybe you ask them to sign up for a newsletter.
9. Bots can be a good way to supplement the quick retrieval of information. Bots are growing in use. Eventually, people will expect your church to use one.
10. Why not leverage other online platforms to deliver your church’s content? If your church is struggling to gain website traffic, try leveraging the power of other digital platforms first.
11. Twice a year if you can, audit your online presence and determine how well it’s working. It’s worth taking a little time to clean up your website and social media accounts and take inventory of what’s working and what might be broken.
post updated 2/16/17