Content is everywhere! In fact, there’s more content pushed to us than we can possibly consume. That content noise is forcing many to ignore and skim. And if you have a poor track record of bad content, your congregation will be even more apt to skip it.
That’s when you, as a church communicator hears “I wasn’t aware of that”. Even after pushing the content in an email, the worship guide, the announcement slides, in a social media post, and listed in your online church calendar. There has to be a better way that’s not quite so exhausting.
Here are 6 questions to ask yourself when evaluating church content before communicating it:
- Is there any confusion? Often, since you’re so close to the content, you may know exactly what the content is talking about, but your audience may not. Become an advocate for your audience and view all church content fresh from their vantage point before communicating it. Best Practice: After creating something, give it a day or so and review it with fresh eyes. Yes, allow time for this.
- Are you covering more than one topic? In our noisy world, people want to quickly identify what content is about. From that quick analysis, they determine if it’s important enough to dedicate time to it. If you have more than one topic in your church content piece, often, the audience will ignore the 2 or 3 things. Especially if they aren’t interested in the main point. Best Practice: Have one key phrase (that the content is about) and use it in the title and then repeat it in the first few sentences.
- Are there too many details? When evaluating church content, understand that you need to get someone’s attention before they’ll ever want the details. So, concentrate on the why (benefits) before listing the when, how, or where. Never lead with details and then give a benefit. Best Practice: Get them wanting the content and resist giving them all the details now, when they can discover them on your website when they actually need them.
- Do you have a call-to-action (CTA)? If someone graces their time to consume your church content, give them the next step at the end. Everyone is asking themselves, “so, now what?”. Best Practice: Be clear and don’t assume they’ll figure it out. They rarely will. Give them one CTA that will add to the benefit of your content and extend their interest.
- Is there a clear benefit? People don’t take the time to consume content if it’s not beneficial. So, tell them the problem you’re solving near the beginning. Then be clear about the solution you’re providing. Best Practice: Clearly tell them the benefit (from their vantage). You may even want to repeat it.
- Can you say it more briefly? Time; it’s a very limited commodity today. Your audience wants a bite-size morsel and not a full meal (unless you first prove you’re not wasting their time). Best Practice: Always keep them wanting a bit more. If in doubt, edit it down. Say less, they’ll listen more.
- Have you proofed it? Please. There’s nothing more blatant to an audience that you rushed creating content than a typo or grammatical error. Best Practice: use readily available software to check ALL church content. Want to check spelling without skipping possible mistakes? Read the content backward. Shout out to those who proofread our work.