We live in an online world. According to research by USC Annenberg, average internet consumption has jumped from 9.4 hours (2000) to 23.6 hours currently. Most of this increase is because of our insatiable urge to not miss out. Plus the fact we have mobile devices constantly near us. According to the same study, the average time spent on mobile (as compared to desktop) has skyrocketed to 84%!
Therefore, your church must have a solid online presence. But the problem? Your website is in the middle of about 400 million active websites. On the internet there’s something for everyone. Is your website important to your congregation? Do they spend any of their time on your URL each week?
The one critical thing you need to remember when building a website: it needs to be full of content your audience is pursuing. Sure, the look and the experience is important, but people will overlook those things and put up with issues, only if the content is needed and relevant to them.
It’s up to you to make sure this happens. Creating the right content will make (or break) your online presence. Here are ways to get your content right:
Start with your audience. Content can’t be about you. Instead, concentrate of what they’re looking for. Deliver relevant and needed info in a quick manner (since most want to consume it on a mobile device). Standing in line somewhere. Or at a traffic light. Seek out and understand their needs and goals; and become an expert to unique solutions (from your Biblical vantage point).
Become known for something. That unique solution (thread) must be woven throughout your content. And ensure it’s something your audience would perceive as necessary. Reinforce that perception constantly! The uniqueness of this offering must also be stressed consistently and restricted to certain keywords so that it answers the question: “Why do you consume this content?”. And this controlled language builds SEO (search engine optimization) value.
Good content must be added regularly. Based on your thread, you must develop ways to build a library of exceptional content that’s desirable to your audience. Anything that doesn’t fit has to be eliminated or changed in such a way that it’s perceived as associated with your thread. This critical editing process must be applied to all content. Do you occasionally get content wrong or inconsistent? It’ll be endured. For awhile. But they’ll learn to ignore the content they don’t want (this is a scary thing!).
Since most churches meet in-person (or will soon), those services should augment your online presence since your audience spends much more of their time online. The potential is huge if you can get them to visit your website regularly. Good content will do that.
Just ensure your online thread is evident when they walk through the doors (like it is on your website)!
This thread is your content. And it’s your brand. Ensure it’s consistently exceptional material that your audience doesn’t want to miss out on.