Want to stand out in a sea of websites? Check out these questions from the StoryBrand Framework.
Church websites are a great way to gain your next potential church attendees. Every church can put up a website. But there is so much information on the Internet these days that people are often overwhelmed when they come across your website. It’s not good enough to have a mediocre website in today’s world. People will look up your website before they decide to visit in person for the first time.
It is critical more than ever to put your best foot forward with your website since it is now the front door to your church.
The Value of Using the StoryBrand Approach
The StoryBrand Framework is a copywriting approach created by Donald Miller. It helps simplify and clarify your message so your audience can quickly engage with you.
Understanding how StoryBrand can help your website content will help improve the number of people who go from browsing your website to visiting in person.
If your website isn’t able to communicate well within the first couple of seconds, it can lead your visitors to leave without reading anything at all. “Confuse, you lose,” is a mantra that you’ll hear Miller say often. And this rule is no exception for your church’s website.
YOU MUST IMPRESS MORE THAN A GOLDFISH
To help drive this point home, you must understand that websites need to grab the attention of the visitor within 8 seconds of arrival. Otherwise, the visitors will click away and be gone in an instant. To put this into context, that’s 2 seconds shorter than the attention span of a goldfish! Needless to say, this is why utilizing StoryBrand to help you with the words on your website is the smart choice.
Recently, I’ve been working on a church homepage template from scratch using StoryBrand principles. The challenge was to apply the entire list of 7 elements of a story narrative. Essentially, it’s the same story structure used in almost every captivating movie or book.
In this article, I will share 3 StoryBrand Framework insights for improving your church website to clarify your message and drive engagement with your visitors. Before you begin planning and writing the content to be presented on your church site, you need to understand the needs from the visitor’s point of view. Fundamentally, people are looking for answers to three basic questions when they visit a new website.
3 Questions The StoryBrand Framework Can Help Answer To Improve Your Church Website
1. What kind of church is this?
This is communicated by the way you position your church to the visitor on your website. The StoryBrand Framework focuses on defining three types of problems your church may be offering to solve:
- External problems: plain objective issues your community members face like learning how to parent, managing personal finances, navigating relationship conflicts, etc.
- Internal problems: how they might feel, such as being anxious about relationships, stressed about their finances, lonely and isolated as a new resident in town
- Philosophical problems: larger issues of significance and meaning
When you can articulate how your church is relevant to help with these types of issues across the three types of problems, visitors can quickly understand what life as a part of your congregation is meant for.
2. How can they help me?
This is where many websites fall flat; especially by choosing to talk about themselves too much — and by using too much insider language.
For your website visitor to understand what value is gained by being a part of your community, your site needs to share —
- The success states of transformations that happen at your church
- All of the different ministry departments and programs available
- How it will feel to be part of the community
Pro tip: Images are a great way to illustrate that point.
3. What do I have to do next to engage with them?
A critical part of the StoryBrand framework is to define and present a super-simplified plan of action for the visitor to your site to take.
Many times you’ll see it as a 3-step plan. Just like the single-route pathway found throughout an Ikea store, you want to paint a picture of the next steps in a way where there is no confusion. No paralysis by analysis. Explicitly stating the exact next steps you want them to take will only bring a soothing “just tell me what to do next” response.
WHERE THE QUESTIONS COME FROM
By carefully considering how your church community can address these three hyper-relevant questions for the prospective visitor, your website will resonate better with anyone who comes across it.
StoryBrand copywriting has one major posture and philosophy that these three questions come from: put the audience first.
By using these three questions in your content development process, you’ll ensure that your message will be less about you and more about them. Less about selling things under pressure and more about becoming the guide to a pathway forward. When you answer these questions it will help you cut through the clutter and connect with your audience like never before.