Have you ever been in a conversation with someone who only talks about themselves? It is annoying, off putting, and usually leads to a desire to avoid future conversations with that person.
Engagement is a dialogue between your ministry and its audience. True engagement comes through connecting with people, building relationships, deepening understanding, and inspiring action toward a common goal. Engagement is essential to digital outreach, but many ministries don’t understand that their efforts to drive people to action are killing the conversation. Using the wrong approach will lead to missed opportunities to share with people about Jesus, develop your relationship with your audience at a deeper level, and create kingdom impact.
Improve your outreach and make a lasting impact for the kingdom by considering these ten factors that influence digital engagement for ministries:
- Optimal Messaging – Who is your persona? What do they care about? What are they trying to accomplish for themselves? What lead them to your content in the first place? Focus on conveying your message concisely and compellingly, but do so in a way that resonates with your target audience and their goals.
- Quality Content – Quality wins over quantity in today’s world. Create informative, inspiring, persuasive, and emotionally engaging content. Too often ministry teams try to just churn out something to hit a deadline or a social media posting calendar. Slow down. It is better to go silent for a while than to lose your audience by bombarding them with content that doesn’t resonate.
- Timing – Reach out at the right time to ensure maximum impact. Understand when your audience is most active and likely to engage. Post during those times.
- Audience Engagement – Get people talking about your ministry on social media and other digital platforms by asking compelling questions. This is a great opportunity for donors or supporters to get involved, but encourage them to focus on stories of inspiration or insights that your audience will care about.
- Email Marketing – Email marketing is a powerful and underutilized tool. An email list with high open rates can be more powerful than social platforms when it comes to audience engagement. Also, your email list can’t be shut down like social platforms can. Send out regular emails to keep your supporters informed about the latest developments in your ministry.
- Personalization – Know your persona and make your message personal. Make sure your message is tailored specifically to each user or group of users. If you have multiple audiences or big differences between the groups that you’re trying to reach then you must personalize content for each group separately to build deeper engagement.
- Social Media Management – After covering the basics listed above, now it is time to think about social media calendars and posting schedules. Working on a deadline at the last minute is a great way to burn out your team. Instead, manage your accounts with an organized and consistent approach. Set clear expectations and define who owns the different parts of your process.
- Visuals – Images, video, graphic design – Use visuals to capture attention and draw people in. Your content only has 3 seconds to make an impression and help someone know if they want to continue engaging with you. Visuals are a perfect way to capture and hold attention.
- Gamification – Ready for next-level engagement strategies? Leverage the power of gaming mechanics to engage your audience interactively. Examples of gamification could be responding live to people who comment on a post during the first 15 minutes after a post has been published. This works really well for ministries with a large following who are trying to boost audience engagement.
- Analytics – Measure, measure, measure! Track analytics to measure the success of your efforts and make improvements as needed. Nothing is constant. The team that can learn from measurements and adjust quickly to what the data is saying will build consistency and deep engagement with your audience over time.
How is your ministry utilizing these ten factors? Where are you strong? Where do you have room for improvement? With these tips, you can create an effective digital ministry engagement plan that will drive real results.
Remember that engagement with your audience is a two way dialogue that can lead to deeper relationships, building more trust with your audience, and leading to kingdom impact! When we care about the people we are reaching, they will reach back.
Guest Post by Media Impact International (MII)
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