Last week I wrote about 10 Stunning Examples of Christmas Branding From Around The World. I showcase my favourites every year because I simply love seeing how churches communicate ahead of their seasonal services on the web. At the same time as seeing some remarkable examples of church websites and their seasonal campaign pages, unfortunately I also saw some very poor examples.
One example that didn’t go anywhere close to making the cut however had a well designed Christmas graphic on the homepage, but which clicked through to a really poorly laid out PDF file with the details of the service. This church is a very large mega-church that will no doubt have thousands of visitors to their website this Christmas season. Their reputation just went down the toilet, not only in the eyes of visitors because they don’t come across very well. But also because the members of that faith community probably wouldn’t want to share this page with their friends. They just lost their most effective form of marketing – social word of mouth marketing.
Seeing this made me think, what makes an effective seasonal campaign web page? Here are a few elements that can I can think of that will help churches improve in their web communications in higher traffic seasonal periods.
1. Good Design
Beg, borrow or steal a web designer if you have to. No wait, beg or borrow if you have to :-). Web designers can help take a poor web presence and really help a church come across well. Design is the universal language.
The design doesn’t have to be world-changing, it simply needs to communicate so that it removes that ‘ugh what were they thinking’ thought from a visitor. For those of you who are communications specialists, I’m not aiming low here, just being realistic about what you can expect as a starting point.
Don’t forget everything communicates something about your church. Good or bad.
2. Put your visitors first
Ask yourself. If this was your first time at your church. What would you want your visitors to know? Here are a few ideas.
1. Shoot a video or written invitation focused on 1st time visitor
2. Provide clear directions to locations and time of the services. Include a link to google maps so they can get directions easily on their smart phone.
3. Show previous examples of service (if you have the resources).
4. Provide FAQ’s – Many people who will come to your Christmas or Easter service may not of even stepped in a church before. Should they dress up or down? Where is the parking? Do they come early? Will it be really long? Are children even allowed?
3. Make it easy for people to share it with their friends.
If people like something they will share it with their friends. Embedding social sharing on your page will increase the digital word of mouth sharing of the page to be shared with their friends online.
4. Think Mobile first
This is a big deal. If you imagine that a congregational member has finally plucked up the courage to ask their friend to come along and they shoot them a link to the page. Their friend checks out the church website on their smart phone and all they can see is a blank flash player or tiny text that doesn’t fit that well into their mobile browser, does that help that potential visitor make a decision to come or not?
Are there more insights you could add? If so please comment below!