Sometimes it feels like there’s a constant barrage of “do-this-don’t-do-that” messages when it comes to promotion and managing digital strategy for your Christian organization. I’m as guilty as anyone of pushing out those messages. But I also personally feel the barrage. You get it from digital consultants, experts, other interactive directors and digital directors. You even get it from people you work with.
The stream of “Reasons Why Your Church Needs to Be on Blab,” “Things to Avoid on Your Christian Ministry’s Website,” “How to Craft the Perfect Digital Strategy” and so on feels never-ending. Does one implement all the advice?
Do you feel overwhelmed by digital strategy? You’re not alone.
I came across a study Adobe conducted in 2013—“What Keeps Marketers Up at Night”—which reports that marketers are not confident in their digital ability. In fact, only 48% of digital marketers feel highly proficient in digital marketing.
Other findings included:
– Marketers have low confidence in their companies’ marketing performance. Only 40% think their company’s marketing is effective.
– 68% percent of marketing professionals feel more pressure to show return on investment on marketing spend.
– Most digital marketers don’t have formal training; 82% learn on the job.
– Only 9% of respondents strongly agree with the statement “I know our digital marketing is working.”
– The issues of the greatest concern for marketers are: reaching their customers (82%), understanding whether their campaigns are working (79%), followed closely by proving campaign effectiveness (77%) and demonstrating marketing return on investment (75%).
– 66% of all marketers think companies won’t succeed unless they have a digital marketing approach.
A 2014 survey from Aweber of almost 1500 small business owners and marketers showed that only 12 percent identified themselves as online marketing “pros.” Additionally, 29 percent said they were a bit overwhelmed by online marketing.
Most digital marketers don’t have formal training; 82% learn on the job.
I can point to more data too. The point is, digital strategy—from messaging and positioning to content creation to graphic design to analytics to web development to app management—all of it—can be an overwhelming feat. Everyone feels it. Even the experts and the gurus feel it. I feel it. You are not alone.
So what can we do?
First, we can pray. Let’s seek out specific areas the Lord has called us and our organization to focus on.
Two, recognize that we don’t have to focus on everything. Unless we have massive digital teams and massive dollars at our disposal, focusing on everything and all things digital isn’t wise. Let’s pick a few smart digital tactics that we know can have an impact and we know we can realistically manage. Don’t chase after every new shiny new thing. Be aware of the shiny new things and learn about them—but that doesn’t mean chasing after them.
Three, it’s OK to experiment. No one—and I mean no one—gets digital perfect each and every time. Let’s try new things, see what works best for our audiences, for our organizations and for our mission’s impact. If something doesn’t work, then no worries; try something else.
The world can put so much pressure on us to get our work in digital strategy, internet marketing, content, analytics, etc. perfect every time. We put pressure on ourselves too. Let’s extend ourselves some grace. Let’s do the very best we can—work as if working for the Lord (Col 3:23)—and let Him lead and guide accordingly. Let’s support each other and help each other use digital resources and web technologies the way He has called us to so we can get found and give hope.