Listen. I know “awesome-er” isn’t a word. But words are hard. Which is why we’re talking about content marketing!
What is content marketing? Well, that’s tricky. Content marketing is kind of everything. It is text, audio, video, images…anything that conveys a message to your audience is content marketing. As a Communications Director, everything you do could be considered some form of content marketing. That website event page? Content Marketing. That social media post about new service times? Content Marketing. The directional sign in your lobby? Content Marketing. The sermon slides? Content Marketing.
I know I’m stretching the term a bit, but I want to drive home that everything you do and don’t do communicates a message and creates a story. As a church, we may utilize content marketing differently; we aren’t usually driving our audience towards a sale, but we are driving them towards community, relationship, a lifestyle, a person.
So taking the time to create strategic and intentional communication matters. But let’s be real, most everything matters or we wouldn’t be doing it. So let’s keep it simple and create some guidelines for easy and effective content.
Move Your Audience
If it’s not compelling, it will go in one ear and out the other. This is where having persona’s really comes in handy. You’ve already determined who your audience is and what motivates them. Pull from it.
Earn Their Attention
We need to stop thinking that just because we have followers, we have our followers attention. We are not entitled to people’s attention and just because we say, “check out____” doesn’t mean they will. We have to earn our audience’s attention with eye-catching, engaging, and pertinent content.
“Every topic can be interesting. Every topic is interesting to the audience it’s relevant to”. – Sonia Simone Rossney
Use techniques like humor, short captions, emoji’s, or unexpected imagery to connect and engage with your audience.
Have That Somethin’ Somethin’
Weird headlines aside (somethin’ somethin’?!?) – great content has a certain amount of dazzle. We can jump on the viral trends a little too heavy for a little too long sometimes, but it certainly has its time and place. Take advantage of it! Be passionate about what you’re talking about, dig into your personas and what sparks their interest. If you’re not passionate about whatever you’re creating, find someone who is and harness their passion.
It is your job to stay connected to current culture, lingo, and happenings. Venture into your explore tab on Instagram, check out trending hashtags, listen to podcasts like Popcast (not an endorsement, just an idea), talk to your younger church members. However you keep in touch with current culture, do it often. You’ll be better for it.
You wanna know the best part? Every single one of us are wired to receive the message that you’re communicating. Was it Pascal that said we have a God shaped hole in our hearts? Or was it a vacuum? Hole or vacuum, the Holy Spirit tugs at all of our hearts and you are working right alongside Him.
So go and share the good news to all the people!