Churches have great hybrid opportunities on the horizon if we start using digital for growth.
During the last two to three years, churches have been rapidly adopting social media, texting, and other digital tools to reach and engage their attendees and new community members.
Digital ministry is always evolving and iterating.
There definitely is a sense that digital has become the norm for most congregations. However, as we move into the future, there is also the sense that the church is becoming more and more digitally illiterate.
I would like to see the church be more and more literate in the use of church technology to reach and engage more people. I do not think that this will happen overnight, but I am very optimistic and do believe that it can and will happen. I have been thinking about the ways that we can make digital ministry more and more accessible to the average pastor and church leader.
Right now, there are several areas of focus that churches need to prioritize in 2022 and 2023 and beyond on the digital and social media fronts. Here's some key areas of potential focus for you to consider:
7 Areas Churches Need To Do More With Digital In Order To Grow
1. More Video Content:
In 2017, 60% of marketers said video was their most important content type. And 50% of internet users watch more than an hour of online video each day. As churches, we have the opportunity to reach people where they are with the content format they are consuming more than ever. And that's video.
2. More Social Media Platforms.
In 2017, 1.3 billion users were active on Facebook. And 1.3 billion people use Instagram every month. And for TikTok,1.5 billion videos were watched every day. Social media platforms are where your audience is. And it's where you need to be.
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3. More Mobile Focus.
In 2017, 75% of internet traffic was from mobile devices. That was FIVE YEARS ago. And in 2019, more people accessed the internet from a mobile device than a desktop. So, if you're not mobile, you're missing out. And 50% of smartphone owners use their devices to go online daily. You might be in your office or at a desk with your laptop or PC, but your audience isn't – they are on their phones.Churches, you MUST have a mobile focus. Half of smartphone owners use their devices to go online daily. You might be at a desk with your laptop or PC, but your audience isn't – they are on their phones. Click To Tweet
4. More Personalization.
89% of consumers preferred personalized experiences. And 65% of consumers are more likely to purchase from a company that personalizes their offers. People respond to personalization of communications. Treating your entire community like cattle isn't what's going to work going forward. So, isn't this the year to personalize your outreach?
5. More Automation.
In 2017, 42% of marketers used automation. And 41% of marketers said they planned to increase their use of automation in 2018. While automation isn't for everyone, it can definitely be helpful. As the number of platforms, tasks and activities that a ministry wants to take on grows, strategic automation using the latest available tools can help scale personal relationships well.
6. More Live Events.
In 2022, 80% of companies will use live video. And 80% of businesses with 1,000 or more employees will live stream events. So, if you aren't live streaming, you're missing out on a huge opportunity. And 56% of millennials prefer (and expect) live video. This push for more live events is part of the humanization of social media. People innately want connection. And live events takes social media one more step in that direction.
7. More Attention To Metrics.
In 2022, 80% of organizations use metrics to measure the effectiveness of their marketing. But churches aren't using analytics well. Only 10% of churches have a formal marketing plan. Without a plan, how can you tell if you're on the right track? What you measure moves. And if you aren't measuring, you can't improve. In 2022 and beyond, if you aren't tracking your metrics, you're missing out on opportunities.
Churches have a huge opportunity ahead with hybrid ministry. Being able to embrace “more” is a part of the need to be more agile, more flexible, as well as operate with more of a learning and growth mindset. Would you say your church reflects these dynamics?
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Which of these seven areas is your church investing more into over this next year?