Did you know 85% of Americans go online every day? 31% of Americans would say they are constantly online – and this number is even higher for adults under the age of 50 (44%). In our last article, we discussed the importance of “Targeted” Direct Mail campaigns and using data to reach the right audience (one that is receptive to direct mail) with the right message (content that they are interested in). We learned, however, that not every household is direct mail receptive, and in fact a majority of the time they are digitally receptive. This means they are receptive to online communication channels and mediums, thus the power of targeted digital communications.
This article is focused on creating the best digital marketing strategy for your community, understanding what communication channels to use, what type of messaging to use on those channels, and where/who to show these communications to via geofences.
To first understand how to do all this we need to understand Mosaics – which we covered in-depth in our previous articles Targeted Mail Campaigns and How to Reach Young Parents. What this allows us to do is understand what are the top mosaic types in our church congregation and in the community we are trying to reach. This can be done with tools like MissionInsite. Each mosaic type has pages and pages of data about who they are demographically and psychographically, and with help from MissionInsite, we can get additional information like their ministry needs, church preferences, religious beliefs, and more!
Target Your Audience
One of the key things you will want to focus on when creating your digital media strategy is first to determine which of these Mosaics you want to reach and which are receptive to digital media. This varies from community to community but, most communities have several Mosaics that are good fits. Once you have your target Mosaic(s) you will want to determine the best way to communicate to them and understand what type of messaging and content they are looking for.
The benefit of knowing your audience is having the capability to customize your messaging. Each of the 71 Mosaics is going to have a different preference on how they want to be communicated to and how the communication is presented. This is why it is so important to understand who exactly is in our community. Eliminating the guesswork goes a long way in both better stewarding resources and reaching more people in our community for Christ. Saying that you want to “reach more millennials” is great but there are over 20 different millennial Mosaics. In many cases, each has totally different preferences on communication and messaging and, further, many of these may not even be in your community in the first place. Being able to drill down to the exact millennial mosaics you want to reach in your community is best and will produce the best results.
A great example of this is two mosaics who would both be considered Millennials – Couples with Clout and Fast Track Couples. These two households are in roughly the same stage of life and often have young children. However, that is where some of the similarities stop. Couples with Clout have incomes of $250,000+ while Fast Track Couples are closer to $75,000. When we look at digital communication preferences, the only way you are going to reach Couples with Clout is by email (2.2 times more receptive than the average American) or by LinkedIn (2.8x). If we tried to apply the same strategy to Fast Track Couples, we would likely have much less success – where LinkedIn is the last place they look when it comes to their social media receptivity (77% below the national average) and email is 33% below average. This is why it is so important to research who is in your community.
Target Your Content
Knowing the best social media platform and messaging to use is one thing, but it is also important to understand what kind of content works best on each of these platforms. Below are some examples of content styles best used for each social media platform to get you started.
Facebook: Videos, Church services (live and/or replays), sermon excerpts, curated content, events, announcements/invitation videos (sharable content).
Instagram: Stories, sermon quotes, high-quality photos, sermon video excerpts
Twitter: Church news, blog posts, GIFs, sermon quotes
LinkedIn: Church news, jobs, professional development content, community networking opportunities/ events
Youtube: Church services (live and/or replays), podcast recordings, children’s ministry content, vlogs
TikTok: Trending “sound” content, reaction videos, funny videos, short sermon clips or informative teaching style videos (see @lifechurch for best practices)
When you are developing messaging customized to your target Mosaic segment(s), a great resource to use is the MissionInsite Mission Impact Guide. This guide has vital church-related information on all 71 Mosaics.
For advanced users who want to get the most out of their campaigns and target specific households digitally, you can consider using geofences. Geofences are virtual geographic boundaries set for your digital ad campaigns. The goal is to get the best return on your campaign possible by targeting only the geographic areas of the community that have your target Mosaic in them. This ensures all the work you put into customizing the message, medium, etc. is going to the right household(s). You can determine these geographic areas using the MissionInsite solution to create an “Opportunity Scan” for the Mosaic type you are trying to reach. This will immediately show you the geographic areas within your community you need to target with your custom ads for each Mosaic type.
As you can see, using data to help you create the best campaign possible by identifying your target audience, the appropriate medium, style, and messaging, applies whether you’re creating a direct mail or digital communication. Spending the time upfront will greatly increase the value and effectiveness of your targeted digital communication efforts and expand your impact in reaching your community.
For more resources on effectively engaging your community, please visit Church Growth.
Andrew is the founder of Kingdom Analytics, a company that has served over 300+ organizations doing good in the world by helping better connect them to their community, congregation, or customers using advanced demography research. He also has experience in the church world working for the largest high school ministry in the country at North Point Community Church. Andrew graduated from Arizona State University with degrees in Design Management and Tourism Development and is CITI certified in Social and Behavioral Research.