7 DIGITAL CHURCH TRENDS IN 2019
There is so much happening with the church in the digital world,
we are throwing in 2 bonus church trends at the end.
1) Video Marketing
You may have heard it said, “Video is King.” It is absolutely true when it comes to marketing in 2019. It is one of the most effective marketing tools for the church in 2019 with Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.
Churches that we created videos for in 2018 with a targeted strategy on these channels, experienced church growth. The results were packed out special services and new visitors every Sunday.
The key is staying consistent with your content, messaging and creative strategies. Be careful not to crank out content that is ineffective or not congruent with your brand. This is one reason why we custom tailor our content for each church to who they are and who they are called to reach.
Video is king, and when you do it right as a church, you will reap the benefits every Sunday by reaching more people in 2019. This is one area you want to lean in and learn in order to maximize your reach for Christ this year.
2) Digital Training
This trend has been picking up steam over the last year and is streamlining the volunteer process for church training. This frontier is in the infant stage and will expand into various discipleship training and even mesh with small group trainings and interactions around the scriptures throughout the week.
Remember the 167 hours that people are not in church during the week. Digital training will become a way the church can actively train people at their own convenience.
Digital training is a new frontier for small group training and physical interaction with the digital during the week. You could have a 5-10 minute quick training that can be tracked showing who watched it and one step further discussion in small group. This is a future area the church should explore. TrainedUp.com is an example of a digital training platform we have used for various clients which garnered rave reviews from churches. They are a great option if you are looking for digital training solution. Check them out here: TrainedUp.church (We receive no commissions for recommending this product. Opinion is based solely on frequent usage success.)
3) Digital On-boarding
Churches have begun to use digital surveys and online personality tests to locate a new believer or new members gifts and immediately plug them into the church through next steps to help people move from church goer to church member.
Churches using these digital tests have increased the involvement of new members in the next step process and helped spur growth in the church. Though personality tests have been around for years online, the concept of specific tests that are church related with custom questions is rather new.
Journey Church is having success quickly locating people and getting them plugged in. The quicker you locate a members passions and gifting, the easier it is to see them plug in where they fit. Members involved in church also have higher attendance rates for services and can help futuristically move the vision of the church into reaching your community.
What other areas can we use this concept digitally to onboard people in the next steps process?
4) Creative Message Hot Spots
Gone are the days where you could take a clip of your message from Sunday and get traction on social media. It has become more difficult to stand out in the social feed.
Many of the young fast growing churches over the last year have been pioneering new creative hot spots from the Sunday message. The hot spot is a climax moment in the message. This clip from the Sunday message is then laced with creative designs, music in the background and fancy video editing.
The trend will only grow where you will need to add more creative content than ever to stand out in the social feed. These hot spots are shareable content that is free advertising as church members and followers share the climax of the message to their sphere of influence. This takes the message beyond the weekend service and into marketing with a bonus of an outreach tool.
At Pro Media Fire our animators and video editing team have mastered the art of captivating hot social content. We have seen churches we work with experience tens of thousands of views on videos that went viral. Hot spots will maximize your churches reach beyond its walls and minister to hurting people on a global scale.
5) Interactive Church Services
Life Church and the Bible App have pioneered the beginning of digital involvement in the church. It is common to see people reading the scriptures from a phone on the Bible App during a church service. The YouVersion Events feature, which provide the message notes, is only the beginning of a trend.
In the future we will see digital engagement go beyond the current platforms. We will see members be able to engage during the message with live surveys and questions with an answer that could be asked to the entire audience during the service. This would engage members in service and online. The instant answer could be displayed on screen. How many of you have ever done ____? Yes or No answer. 78% admit to yes and it helps fuel the point in the message.
Interactive church services are in infant stages and will draw this generation into the messages like never before. If you are interested in the YouVersion Events check it out here: YouVersion (We receive no commissions for recommending this product. Opinion is based solely on frequent usage success.)
6) Cloud Based Creative Teams
The demands of church media are becoming immense with this media generation that even mid-sized church teams are becoming overwhelmed. The expectation even in rural areas is for high quality custom graphic design and video. Only the large churches can carry the weight with in-house teams of graphic designers, video editing teams, motion graphic teams for animation, and creative directors.
The demands are overwhelming but technology is allowing churches to function as never before. Just as remote working have exploded around the nation, utilizing a crowd based creative team that specializes in church media will become more normal.
Pro Media Fire is pioneering this space with custom graphic design, social posts creation and custom video creation for a monthly flat rate fee. For the first time, a small or midsized church could have a professional team of graphic designers, video editors, animators, and creative directors all working for the church for a fraction of the price. Rarely could a small church hire an in-house professional graphic designer and video editor for hot spot creation but could do so now with a group like Pro Media Fire. Even a mid-sized or large church will see this as a way to save their in-house staff time and money while keeping up with the needs of church media today. This is just the beginning of this trend with the demands of media. Check out Pro Media Fire services here: Pro Media Fire
7) Social Story Telling
With the pressure of standing out in social feeds, growing churches with creative teams are using an age old secret on social media, storytelling. Jesus told parables and churches using this method of communicating the gospel are winning on social with the power of telling stories. Churches on social media utilizing this art have enlarged their following simply by the story telling of their next event in a captivating way.
The true success of this new storytelling method is the same narrative being told on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube each in a unique way with the branded message series, highlighted points or current events. The story is told in an image, custom animation or video throughout the week. It is a creative team telling the story in a motivating way that is hung on the digital platform, then communicated beyond the Sunday pulpit.
This trend will not change but only grow. As seen in Hollywood, the art of storytelling is not going away anytime soon. What is changing is the dialogue of culture and the way this impacts the church as we tell the greatest story every written, the story of Jesus. For the church, the power of digital outreach reveals we can partner with a creative God who is reaching out to his creation.
*BONUS* DON’T MISS 2 EXTRA CHURCH TRENDS IN 2019
8) Text Response
Text based giving has been growing and is nothing new. We have discovered that some churches are now receiving over 60% of their giving through text based donations.
This new trend is causing churches to press the bounds with technology and see traction with text based response cards and text based decision cards. Text giving is only the beginning of engaging with those that walk through the church doors via text messages.
Text messaging is a form of communication today and easy to respond. Why use paper when you can get my digital response on a phone with ease?
To encourage this new method in your church, you could send a digital Starbucks gift card in response for a new visitor/ connect card, etc.
9) Digital Investment
The practice of churches allocating larger amounts of their budget to digital is just beginning. We know large churches with less than 1% of their annual budget was spent on digital and the creative side of ministry. We also know of churches spending 10-20% of their budget on their digital presence and experienced rapid growth in the last few years.
The trend to spend in this area is growing as knowledge increases that the place to reach people is online. We have small and large churches hiring us because they don’t have a creative staff to handle the demands of reaching a digital generation. Churches are increasing their budgets for the creative content and cost for digital marketing. This influx will continue.
The churches who invest in their creative content, website, and digital marketing will reach the most amount of people for Christ in 2019-2020. We see the day coming where churches will spend large portions of their budgets for creative and digital outreach.
We no longer can live in a church world that believes, “If you build it they will come.” In 18 years we have gone from internet usage being 9 hours per week to 24 hours per week. This statistic proves that today you must go into the digital world because that’s where they are.