Let me take you behind the scenes of our church’s communication strategy. I set aside a day every year in December to think through our church’s communication goals. I spend time thinking about what worked and didn’t work this year, and what the challenges will be for our church in the coming year.
During this year’s planning, I kept coming back to the idea that while the pandemic did help us get rid of some communication channels that were ineffective (i.e. the bulletin), we didn’t go far enough. I still had a lingering suspicion that would go even further into getting rid of what was ineffective so we could focus more on what works.
So I decided to take a look at our analytics to determine what was really happening with our communication channels and what was really working. Here’s what I found:
- Almost 7 out of 10 people view our content on mobile devices.
- The majority of our engagement comes from content that gives them quick access to information (church calendar)
- Our storytelling is good, but it’s not great. We’re creating content that plays well in a worship service but does not fare nearly as well on social media.
- While we switched to mostly digital pieces versus print, we’re still creating PDFs that look nice but don’t drive engagement.
From this information I was able to put together our two goals for 2022.
Goal #1 Mobile First
Everything we create must be created with the idea that it will primarily be consumed on a mobile device. This means that we’ll need to trim the length of text, increase the font size, and make sure the most important information can fit on a single phone-sized screen.
This will not be easy since it will require brevity, eliminating unnecessary calls to action, and coaching our staff on why this matters.
Goal #2 Engagement First
The metric we will measure success by is whether or not someone engaged with content in the way that it was intended to be engaged. It’s not enough that someone watched a video, we want the video to compel them to the next step.
This is going to be difficult because we will be judged not on whether we had the most creative ideas or if the content looked great, but by whether or not the content worked. This takes the emotion out of the equation and lets the numbers do the talking.
So I’m putting those two goals together to create a theme for our church’s communication: Mobile First, Engagement First. This theme will be what helps drive and shape our church’s communications in 2022.