Digital Marketing in 2021

What 2020 taught us and what’s up next for communications

There were “unprecedented” uses of “hold my beer” moments… but some interesting improvements in marketing came about in 2020 as well.

If it’s been said once, it’s been said about… two thousand and twenty times. There were a few phrases that marketers and communications directors used for headlines that got just plain old. And in the world of church marketing, staying connected meant paying close attention to every possible option in order to facilitate church member engagement.

…the increased focus on digital experience led marketers and communicators everywhere to put a stronger focus on personalization and interactive content.

Important fundamentals of marketing continued and their efficacy and significance became more evident than ever.

Some newer cutting edge practices ‘hit the gas’ and were widely embraced by secular and church marketing teams alike.

And some gimmicks and buzzwords became so comically overstated that they were relegated to the world of memes.

…the “one size fits all” model for relating to people was notably absent last year, because… let’s face it – one size DOESN’T fit all.

Fundamentals that flourished in 2020:

It’s a bit of a ‘no brainer’ that there was a major focus on Proper Digital Transformation, since that’s basically the only way people were able to connect during quarantine. Not only did that present an obstacle for church growth strategy, it made church member engagement a major challenge altogether for organizations new to digital engagement.

Digital Marketing in 2021

While it had some uncomfortable growing pains for many, the increased focus on digital experience led marketers and communicators everywhere to put a stronger focus on personalization and interactive content in order to put the best practice of empathy and consideration into their newer designs.

Translation: the “one size fits all” model for relating to people was notably absent last year, because… let’s face it – one size DOESN’T fit all. 

Good marketers who knew that all along, took it to mind and focused on creating content (and delivering it digitally) in a way that was personalized and allowed for people to engage right from their cell phones and laptops. 

The fundamental: ‘consider your audience’ approach was embraced through personalization.

Breakthrough game changers from Covid days that are sticking around

The use of AI, conditional formatting and templates in digital church engagement saw unprece…  (nope, not gonna do it) VERY HIGH rates of adoption in 2020. 

We know these things: 

  • The desire for connection is pretty universal *enter interactive content* 
  • Human beings are pretty into feeling acknowledged *cue personalization*

… but HOW to get that amount of engaging, empathetic content and experiences and HOW to drive better church online engagement remained a heavy lift for many individual church marketing teams

Fortunately, computers are very efficient for that purpose and more communications are going the road of AI than ever before. 

They say that “necessity is the mother of invention” and smart companies, organizations & member engagement professionals everywhere rose to meet their increase in digital marketing demands by taking that leap and upgrading their tech stacks and software fluency.

AI is efficient… But without that ‘human touch’ even kids can tell when they’re engaging with a bot vs. a real person.

The Approach Church Marketing Leaders will be Taking Now

The sweet spot for efficient yet personal connection digitally is found in balancing the management of AI with tech savvy, empathetic human beings. 

AI is efficient, end of story. But without that ‘human touch’ even kids can tell when they’re engaging with a bot vs. a real person.

Like most things, finding the sweet spot involves finding the balance. And that means creating personal, people focused content and delivering it according to the digital framework of communication that the majority of the world has now adopted. 

While that used to be the popular approach in how to engage millennials in church, it has now become the leading strategy for how to engage church visitors for all walks of life. 

People are again engaging with the world beyond their front door, but digital communication will continue to be at the forefront of connection. Building out both the efficient delivery systems with technology and the real life, empathetic team of content creators is going to shape the future of church engagement strategy. 

Let’s face it – we live in the digital age – tech has obviously outpaced typewriters when it comes to message delivery. But that doesn’t mean we leave compassion up to the algorithms. 

What smart & compassionate steps will you take this year and beyond that makes the BEST use of the newest technology and compassionate content creators? 

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Learn more about how we can help you better engage with your church.


Check out our Digital Member Engagement Studio

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