It is far too easy for a church to make mistakes as it begins formulating a strategy to create a "web presence" so let’s continue on how to effectively use these tools. Here are some great areas to focus on for a church digital strategy:
- Your website
- Multimedia (Video, Podcasts, eChurch, etc.)
- Social media
- Let's focus on the fundamentals of web and multimedia.
Think of your website as the foundation, or homebase, on which everything else in your digital strategy emanates from. Very similar to the church building and how all ministries emanate from there, the website is where all digital ministries flow from and where you should look to guide people back to connect with them. Additionally, your website is the most important ministry for the church. Many people research your ministry online before they step foot in the building, therefore, their first impression of your church is online.
Your website is often where you give everyone the information they need and where you start to build connection with them. Connecting is simpler than it sounds because we already know what people look for when they’re on your website:
- Service times
- Donation options
- Mission and messages
It’s also a good idea to have a page that serves as a welcome or introduction to the church. In this area, you walk your guest through your church and let them quickly see or discover more about you.
Multimedia Matters Most
Yet, another key area of the church site must be your multimedia content, specifically video content. Multimedia is something that lets people actually see and experience your ministry, and with video being the most engaging form of multimedia, think of it as a must-have item.
Video is one of the most immersive and engaging types of content on the Internet. It is dominating spaces such as social media and mobile, so it’s a good idea to have video as one of the core content types of your digital strategy. Just consider the difference between a video greeting from your pastor versus text on a home page. Most visitors would get a much more accurate feel for your ministry with the video content, and it is a great opportunity to connect much faster. After all, people connect with people much more than words on a screen!
When looking at the web strategy and the multimedia strategy, then, we see that your website is far more effective when it has video. But keep in mind, you don't want to limit the power of your video materials (such as short videos about your ministries, recordings of sermons, and so on) by keeping them only on the website. Be sure your strategy includes sharing videos on social media, building a library on YouTube and even converting them into podcasts to get the largest potential audiences possible.
As we watch the web evolve, we see that websites have to be far more customized to user experience. The same can be said about multimedia content, so you want your church to be ahead of the curve by building a multimedia strategy designed to speak to and connect with those who looking for your message, mission, and community.