One problem most church websites face is consistent content production. Regular updates tell users you are an active congregation, regardless of your size. It also gives search engines new pages to index, and active pages will rank higher in search results. But who has the time to create regular updates? You do, and I will show you where you can easily repurpose content for multiple channels of communication.
I am confident that you have a lot of great content being produced at your church. You are probably too close to it to notice it. At a minimum, every week your pastor gives a sermon and your church passes out a bulletin. Both are rich with content that can be posted on your website and shared on social media.
Sermons and Messages
Record your pastor’s sermon for a weekly podcast. For more impact, a transcript of the sermon can be posted along with the audio file. Remember that a percentage of your visitors, however small, may have hearing disabilities.
Ask your audience to vote for their favorite sermons and create a "Best Of" list. Highlight these on your website under a "recommended listening" section. Better yet, put recordings of these messages on a church branded flash drive to give to all new members.
Obtain the sermon outline or notes to help summarize the main points for smaller chunks. Send out weekly Emails with this summary. Ask your pastor to create six chunks of text, about a paragraph in length that relate to the message for a daily Email. These paragraphs can also be posted as daily blog posts. Smaller chunks of this text can be shared on Twitter of Facebook.
Bulletins and Announcements
Calls to Action
Encourage involvement with your weekly Emails. Along with information about that week’s sermon, include the upcoming events for the next few weeks. Try to not only be factual about it, but also tell your members the benefits of community involvement and the positive impacts the church is having.
Reuse your website's blog functionality to create a newsreel with the latest and greatest announcements, news, and upcoming events. This constant flow of new information helps congregation members know what is happening, tells prospective members that this church is active, and lets search engines know that this is a quality website with regular updates.
Schedule in Bulk
Use a tool such as HootSuite to schedule publishing reminders of these events on social media outlets. Want to reach more of your congregation? Send additional reminders via a SMS text service.
You are already creating them, so why not use these two common sources of content to breathe new life into your stagnant website. Many of these steps can be automated and scheduled ahead of time. Your website staff can set these up on Monday, and have the rest of the week to focus on larger strategic endeavors. So get moving, get that content out there, and grow your church!
Note: Thank you to Internet Toolbox for Churches for the initial idea and Church Marketing Sucks for their article on this topic.
Photo courtesy of David Butler