Common Sense Content Creation for Crazy Busy Churches
The following post is a guest post by Andy Catsimanes of DayByDay Marketing:
Like a lot of business/marketing innovations, Content Marketing has made its way into Church Outreach.
If you’re responsible for growing your church, it might’ve dawned on you that you need to ramp up your content marketing efforts.
If that’s the case, don’t jump in just because a megachurch you admire is pushing out content like nobody’s business.
Taking a “Strategy First” approach will help you leverage your time and establish a foundation that can be sustained over the long haul to grow your church. It also keeps you from ending up with an orphan blog that’s got 2 posts announcing the “Worship in the Park” event from last summer.
Your Content Creation Strategy
Here are the three important concepts to keep in mind when developing your content strategy.
- What story are you telling? In the past few years, it’s become popular for marketing professionals to advocate the power of story. This is a natural lens from which to approach your outreach efforts. After all, we have the best story imaginable!
Now, consider how your church is uniquely situated in God’s story. Think of your content as forming the chapters and sub-chapters of your church’s story. It’s a story that pursues a clear narrative path, even if it may take months and years to finish.
- Create with the end in mind. Whenever you create new content, ask yourself, “what is the purpose of this particular piece?” Is it to attract new attendees? Promote a ministry? Get shares on Social Media? Also keep in mind how you can re-purpose content, for instance, can a sermon series be made into an eBook or small group study? Can you share a sermon outline as an infographic?
- Mix your media. There are a host of various formats you can use to get your content out. If you aren’t already recording sermons for your online library, start now! And have them transcribed into text and formatted as audio podcasts to allow convenient consumption of your content.
Sure, you need that “Big Story” to maintain a consistent point of view and keep your audience engaged, but there will still be times when it’s hard to consistently create relevant content.
Try building a pipeline of resources to spark ideas you can tie into what’s happening within your church community.
Here are a few suggestions:
- FAQs Keep track of the questions asked by visitors and new church attendees. Then post these on a regular basis.
- Bookmarks. I use a variety of bookmarking sites and tools like Scoop.it and Delicious to keep track of interesting findings and to see what’s trending in categories I follow. Saved.io is another one I’ve just begun playing with.
- Feedly. This is my go-to reader. I love how easy Feedly makes it to categorize and browse blog feeds, whether from my laptop or just hanging out at the local coffee purveyor.
There are hundreds of great tools to help you generate content ideas the key is to create a system that feeds you relevant information that you can easily organize for retrieval on a regular basis.
It might take a few tweaks to build one that works for you but in the long run your content system will help you become much more effective in your outreach efforts.
Andy Catsimanes is the founder of DayByDay Marketing, dedicated to helping SMBs, churches, and non-profits identify and implement workable marketing systems for predictable growth. Andy’s a Certified Duct Tape Marketing Consultant, direct response copywriter, and experienced WordPress professional. In his spare time, he volunteers as an ally for Circles® USA. For more articles like this, subscribe to the DayByDay Marketing Blog, or connect via LinkedIn or Twitter.