Common Mistake: Lack of a Digital Strategy

Common Mistake: Lack of a Digital Strategy

June 22, 2015 by

Over the years I’ve seen churches make many mistakes on the communications front. I’ve even been a part of some of them. Some have been very costly, others not so much.

Communications teams are usually in the background. Our successes often go unseen, but our mistakes can be very public. However, there are times when mistakes go beyond a horrendous typo that forces a reprint or a foolish tweet that becomes even more popular when you delete it.

In the digital arena, mistakes are much harder to spot. In the digital strategy space, even harder, whether that be on social media or on your church website.

But there is one huge mistake that I want to talk about today. It’s about having a lack of a digital strategy that encompasses all of your digital presence (e.g., social media, your church website, email marketing, church app, etc.).

Building a Strategy

We live in a world where our church brand is only one click away from our core audience. Does your church have a holistic digital strategy for reaching its audience? I don’t mean just having social media that has a huge reach. While that has merit and is a good goal to have, what do you want the person to do next? In your wildest dreams, what does success look like? Some larger churches have specialists in very narrow disciplines, but are you all working toward a common goal?

Just over 18 months ago, I was challenged by a very experienced digital strategist who pushed me to really think this through and create a comprehensive digital strategy. One of the concepts I had to grasp was that my team was on the front line of ministry. We weren’t just marketing—we were actually in ministry. This August, I’m in the position of delivering the final phase of that digital strategy (for now at least), and I’m so excited about it.

Strategy in Action

As I said, I had to work really hard to figure out how to be more specific about what our common goal was. After much thought and prayer, my team developed a goal where we wanted those online to be able to experience what our church is like, without having to leave their homes. This is more than just watching a pre-recorded sermon (although that is good). It’s for people to experience church and take the next steps in their faith journeys. So we’ve been building our reach with this goal in mind—to start our very own interactive online church where people can receive prayer, chat with people or just lurk anonymously. We’ve built a whole digital strategy around this.

There isn’t a person at our church whom I’ve spoken to who isn’t excited about what we’re doing. Everyone wants to lend us their social influence to share a link on their social feeds so that possibly, just maybe, their friends can experience what church is all about.

Digital Strategy: Free ebook from Steve Fogg Free Ebook

A few months ago I started to write a short, practical ebook about the process we used. More so I’ve written it in a way that makes it general enough that other churches could use it as a digital strategy tool. I hope you will find it useful and practical for your church. You can download the free ebook from my site (email sign up required) or read our review.

Post By:

Steve Fogg

Steve serves as the big cheese of communications at his church in Melbourne, Australia; he married way above his pay grade and has three children. Connect with him on his blog or on other social networks.
Read more posts by | Want to write for us?

2 Responses to “Common Mistake: Lack of a Digital Strategy”

  • Eric Dye
    June 23, 2015

    The thought of putting a digital strategy together can feel overwhelming, but it pays huge dividends in the end. Thanks, Steve!

     | Permalink
  • Jeremy Smith
    June 25, 2015

    A completely integrated digital ministry strategy can not only be essential, it can actually save a church time, money, and creative energy. I have to agree with you and Eric on this, it pays huge dividends and is an absolute must!

     | Permalink