What’s your New Year’s resolution? Eat healthier? Work out more? Maybe you want to develop a rock-solid communication strategy for your church. If that is the case, we can help! When thinking through your communication strategy, it is important to identify the audience and purpose for each of your channels. Having too much overlap can create unnecessary work for your team, and even has the potential to cause confusion for your congregation. Let’s take a look at two of your most important communication tools: your website and your app.
Maximize Your Website
Outside of Sunday morning, your church’s website is truly going to be the “first impression” for visitors. If someone in your area is looking for a church, they will probably search Google for a congregation in your town. Maybe they drove past your building and want to find out more information, so they go online to learn what your church is all about. Or maybe they saw your Facebook ad that links to your website. Presenting your content in a way that is fresh and easy to navigate on the web is going to help get that person in the door.
Statistics show that if a person can’t find what they’re looking for on your website within the first five seconds, they are likely to give up all together. What is a new visitor to your website going to want to know? Most likely they will be looking for when church happens, where church happens, what your church believes, and who the pastor is. Most churches we work with report that these pages typically get the highest traffic on their websites. Making that content extremely visible will help you communicate what your church is about to those people who are interested in coming.
Maximize Your App
Having a good website is imperative for communicating to guests, but it is not going to be the best avenue for long-term communication with your congregation. Studies show that 89% of consumer media content is taken in through native apps. The numbers don’t lie. If you have a high-quality app filled with content that is pertinent to your congregation, you have a much higher likelihood of engaging them there rather than through your website. The app is going to provide a much better experience for things that people in your congregation need on a regular basis, such as sermons, sermon notes, Bible reading plans, prayer requests, events, and giving. Churches that use the Subsplash platform and push people to the app for these things are experiencing a huge increase in engagement: over twice as many sermon plays, giving increasing by 15%, and more people engaged with events and reading plans.
4 Tips to Maximize Your Communication Strategy
With all that in mind, here are four tips to help you maximize your communication strategy as you head into the new year:
Make sure information such as service times and location, doctrinal statements, and staff listings are easily accessible on your website. This is the primary information visitors are going to be interested in when they find your church. If it is not readily visible, the chance of them coming on Sunday decreases drastically.
Have a link to download your church’s app on your website. This helps communicate to your congregation that the app is the primary tool that will help them stay connected when they aren’t in the building on Sundays. Directing people to the proper channels will help avoid confusion and keep everyone on the same page. Additionally, you can direct people to your app from the stage on Sunday to reinforce this.
Make content such as sermons, events, forms, Bible reading plans, giving, prayer requests, small group curriculum, and anything else that is important to your ministry available in the app. By doing this, you are providing your congregation with all the content they need in one central hub that is with them at all times. No more telling people to go home and find that event form online….they already have it in their pocket.
Use push notifications to keep your congregation up to date. Once they have the app, you want to make sure you are using it to its full potential. Push notifications receive much higher visibility than emails, and they are a great way to send out devotionals, reminders for events and financial campaigns, prayer requests, etc. With the Subsplash Platform, you can even send specific content to targeted groups of people in your congregation.
Creating a strategy that identifies the proper audience for each of your communication channels is going to help you clarify your message and increase engagement in your local congregation. If you haven’t implemented these tips, the new year is a great time to start!