Churches have a wealth of great content. It’s true. Yet so many churches struggle when it comes to finding the right things to post on social media, websites or other communications avenues. Often the problem is communicators feel like every outlet needs new, unique content. While it’s true each message should fit the audience you’re reaching through a specific medium, you can take what you already have and repackage it.
I recently listened to a Marketing Huddle podcast that took on the issue of repurposing. It inspired me to take some of those concepts and talk about them for a church setting. Here are some areas to think about when it comes to making the most of the content you’re creating.
Find your main content stream. For most churches, this is your weekend service. Sermons, church updates, special events and artistic service elements are all ripe for repurposing. Take the most impactful statement of a sermon and share it on social media. Post a picture of the baptism that happened. Remind people what’s happening in the coming weeks. All of the stuff you do on Sunday can also find a home online the rest of the week.
For an active church, there may be multiple main content streams for various audiences. When it comes to youth ministry, what’s the main source of content you can reuse? Or is there a way to take what you’re doing through your outreach efforts and share them elsewhere?
Establish a system and create new content with repurposing in mind. At first, the idea of repurposing content sounds like a lot of extra work, but if you set up a workflow for how you’ll do it the task becomes a little simpler. After all, adding a few minutes to your overall workflow is easier that creating something from scratch.
As you create new content, what can you do to be ready for repurposing? Maybe, as you write your weekly email, there are tidbits you can pull out and add to a different document for use on social media. Perhaps if you are creating a graphic, you can go ahead and make the different sizes you’ll need for other avenues at the same time. Calendaring can be helpful, too. Knowing what you plan on doing in the future will help you work more efficiently today. Plus you’ll get in a routine.
Start slow and don’t become a spammer. Your church audience isn’t on every platform out there. Think of the audience (internal and external) that you’re hoping to reach. Where are they hanging out? Those are the areas to focus on. You also don’t have to add all of those avenues at once. You may not be ready for video on YouTube today, but if it’s something you hope to do, start planning now so you can ramp up later.
Also, repurposing doesn’t mean just taking your content and putting it everywhere imaginable in its exact same format. Communications is strategic. Someone on YouTube will consume content differently than someone on Twitter. It’s better to repurpose with quality instead of quantity and don’t push the same content so often that it becomes annoyingly clear you’re not creating anything new.