The term ‘digital signage’ is just a smart way of talking about the screens that are used to show content, from adverts in stores, through to weather and news in office lobbies. In churches, many are looking to invest in digital signage solutions that can be used to inform, entertain and share information.
You may already have a few screens around your church, but perhaps you’ve not been sure what to put on them. Or maybe you’re thinking of investing in new screens, in order to give your church a digital uplift.
Either way, it’s important to focus firstly on what they can do for your marketing.
Here are five ways you can use digital signage within your church to aid and help share your marketing:
1. Showcase new campaigns
The reason most marketing campaigns lose velocity is because they don’t reach enough of an audience. When you create a new marketing campaign, it can be difficult to subtly drop it into a service, around the important notices, information and events that you need to discuss. This is where screens come in. Digital signage screens fill the gaps usually left redundant.
While visitors are waiting for a service they can read all about your new initiatives. As they leave, they can scan for the next event or session they want to attend.
2. Create community
Your church visitors are your biggest brand advocates. Chances are, they’re spreading the word through online communities even when you don’t know about it. Digital signage pulls together the voices of your community into one place. Through screens that show social media feeds such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, or create rich social media dashboards. Social media helps your church extend its reach right outside of the doors and into the minds and homes of a much wider audience than physical activity alone.
Screens are a great way to show off your social channels, encourage more of your audience to use them and to create content in an invigorating display.
3. Tell stories
Stories are often the foundation of marketing. They transmit a message in a more colorful way that can be appreciated by all audiences – old or young, male or female. Use digital signage to tell your stories.
A simple iPhone can now be used as a video recorder, helping you to film testimonials, clips and activities within your church to share on screen. Take images and upload them in a series to your social channels, documenting a project over a series of weeks.
Digital screens take snippets of your message and bookend them into one comprehensive story.
4. Set up advertising
Allow your patrons to advertize on your digital screens to share skills and news with other visitors. Use the screens for your own advertising, allowing you to promote new training sessions, services and your most creative campaigns. You can also add your logo to each slide or image advertising a service or incentive, allowing you to become more memorable in the minds of your visitors.
Advertising on screens is natural, having been used in television and now the internet across desktop and mobile too. This makes it a key channel from which you can work out your message and share it with your audience – who will be ready and waiting to pay attention.
5. Go digital
For churches who struggle to attract younger visitors, digitizing your offering helps to transmit information in a new format. Not everyone who visits your church wants to read lyrics from a print-out or scriptures from a book. For whatever reason (or even just the generational one) some will feel more comfortable accessing information on screen than they will in print.
The screens can be the first welcomer to a younger audience, allowing them to get a feel for your marketing and who you are without necessarily having to have human contact. Ideally, it’s people who make up your church, but letting the screens say hello first, in order to welcome and make younger audiences feel at ease, can help lead the way to new relationships.
Remember, these ideas are just a jumping point. Once you start you can incorporate feedback from your visitors to find out what works and what they want to see. Each church is different, but by working out a digital signage marketing strategy and going for it, you’ll be able to learn and reiterate quickly.
Mark McDermott is Co-Founder of Digital Product Studio Codegent whose passion is to build world-class digital products. Mark is also CEO of ScreenCloud and spends much of his time empowering individuals to get their underused screens full of beautiful digital content.