Visitors rarely visit just one of your digital platforms. They might start on social media, then move to your website. A member might get an email newsletter, and proceed to a landing page to sign up for an event. They should move between spaces with ease and without interruptions. Breaks in that process will confuse and possibly turn away potential members. Here are several ways to remove those silos for your church’s various digital experiences.
The bottom line is to use the same logos, and other design elements on all your digital properties. I understand that you do not have control over a social media platform’s branding. Yet all your profile’s images should reflect your church website. Use the same name as well as any taglines you may have. Ensure your profile’s description matches whatever blurbs you have on other platforms.
The content you post on social media should be consistent with each other, and your website. The only exception for this may be when dealing with ones that constrain the content. On services such as Twitter, you may need to be more brief, or use bad grammar. One example is using “b4” for “before” to save four characters. Lastly, keep the voice and tone of your message the same. Whatever the personality of your church is, it should shine on all your digital spaces.
Whenever possible, remove distractions. Consider how it is to hop from one platform to another, only to get immediately stopped. Advertisements and pop-ups have their uses, but not in a sales funnel. If you got a user to click an email or social media link, do not bombard them. This is especially true if you already want them to do something specific on the page. Yes, you want to increase the number of subscribers to your email list. But not at the expense of distracting them from signing up for a membership class. Identify important landing pages and remove as many distractions as possible. One example of this is the interface that Amazon.com uses for their checkout. Once you start, they remove a lot of clutter from the screen. They realize how important those pages are. Similarly, prioritize the correct content and features on your key landing pages.
I know I just got done talking about making digital spaces consistent. Yet none of this matters if all your digital spaces have nothing in common with your physical. Most visits to a church happen online first. A potential visitor checks out your website and social media spaces. They will be quite disoriented if they come through the door and it is completely different. They may think they are in the wrong building. Worse, they feel tricked, leave, and now badmouth your church.
I am going to use the “A” word. Audit. There is no easy way to automate this process. You need to run through all your digital platforms and ensure these obstacles do not exist. For future use, copy your platform texts to a spreadsheet. This way you can better analyze it in the future. So get out there and wrangle in all your digital properties. Ensure they all have the same branding. Check your messaging. Remove unnecessary distractions. Lastly, connect those digital spaces with physical ones to allow for smoother transitions.
Photo courtesy of Charles Thompson