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S5Ep10- How Your Church Can Get Up to Speed on Digital Content

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In today’s episode, Katie Allred and Kenny Jahng discuss how your church can get up to speed on digital content. Tune in for tips on creating content and repurposing content for your church.  And to hear more about Ramsey Solutions, visit daveramsey.com/ccwebinar for more details!
This episode is brought to you by Ramsey+, a money plan for real life. You can start a free trial of the Ramsey+ system over at daveramsey.com/ccwebinar

 

 

Transcript:

Kenny Jahng:

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Announcer:

Welcome to The Church Communications Podcast. We want to help you become a church communications expert. We understand it can be a challenging and ever-changing role, because we’ve worked in the church too, which is why we built a community with over 25,000 church leaders that are ready to support and cheer you on. Your hosts for the show are Katie Allred and Kenny Jahng, who want to help equip you to reach more of your congregation and community. This is the place where we’ll talk shop with fellow practitioners and professionals about what’s working, what’s not, and what’s next. Are you ready? Let’s get started.

Katie Allred:

Well, welcome to The Church Communications Podcast. Another episode today. My name is Katie Allred, and as always joined by my wonderful friend, business partner, Kenny Jahng. Kenny, how are you?

Kenny Jahng:

I’m doing really well. I’m really glad we are… It’s one of those things where I’ve been Zooming a lot. I think I crossed 160 hours last month, which is [crosstalk 00:01:56]-

Katie Allred:

Lot of the Zoomies.

Kenny Jahng:

A lot of Zoomies, but you know what, one of the things I love is connecting with people like you. There’s a difference when it’s just task-oriented and then when you’re getting together to actually do stuff or collaborate, and this is just one of those times. So thankful for you, Katie. I’m thankful.

Katie Allred:

Thankful for you, too. Okay. So today we’re talking about how your church can get up to speed on digital content. The bottom line really is that we need a mindset shift, if we’re a church communicator today, from in-person to online. What does that look like? So I guess the first question is, why? Why does your church need to start thinking like a content producer?

Kenny Jahng:

Yeah. I think the bottom line is just look around and just observe life. Right, Katie? Today’s culture demands content experiences for any brand relationship. Right?

Katie Allred:

Right.

Kenny Jahng:

Every brand, every company, every organization right now is a content publisher, and-

Katie Allred:

[crosstalk 00:03:00].

Kenny Jahng:

… this last six month has accelerated it. What everyone does from the baseline is you’re watching your phone, you’re watching your laptop, you’re watching your screens. What are you watching? You’re watching Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, ESPN+, Apple.

Katie Allred:

Watching us.

Kenny Jahng:

Right. We should be calling this CC+ or Church Communications Plus. But it’s content. At the end of the day, it’s content. So I guess the question here is, if you’re observing culture and seeing behavior… So how should churches be actually thinking about this, then?

Katie Allred:

Yeah. I think the biggest one that a lot of churches easily can do is sermon repurposing. The sermon is evergreen content, for the most part. I mean, there are some sermons that are very specific for today that maybe it doesn’t make sense to use, but for the most part, a sermon series on Romans will always be a sermon series on Romans. It’s not going to change tomorrow. I guess there’s new insights that God brings us, but at the same time, what I love about this idea of sermon repurposing, we can cut it up so that we can have clips that are shown every day on our Facebook page, then repurposing it too for YouTube.

Katie Allred:

So what I hate is that in most churches… Hate’s a strong word. But what I greatly dislike is that most churches will upload their sermons to YouTube and name it like July 28th, 2001.

Kenny Jahng:

Yes.

Katie Allred:

And that’s it. That’s all you get. Maybe in the description you get, “Romans Chapter One.” That’s it, though. And you’re like, if I’m not a believer, I have no idea what Romans chapter one covers. So if I search for something specific that happens in Romans chapter one, I’m not going to find this information. They’re not going to pop up for sure. You have to help the user who maybe doesn’t know the Lord and also doesn’t go to your church. How does that person find you? This goes back to the last episode, cutting the sermons up so that they make sense with titles that make sense. Like, “My friend just died. What do I do?” Or, “I don’t know how to pray. What do I do?” “I need help with my finances. What do I do?” We need these kind of titles that really speak to people, that people can find because they’re searchable.

Katie Allred:

And then, of course, we’ve got live synchronous content. Your church should be streaming to not just one place, but all the places-

Kenny Jahng:

Yeah. Absolutely.

Katie Allred:

… because it’s not that hard now to do, so we might as well figure out how to do it. There’s a couple of different platforms that do that really well. I think restream.io is one, and there’s a couple of others. And probably the streaming service you’re using, as a church, probably already does this or has this capability. But stream to Facebook Live. Stream to YouTube Live. Figure out how to stream to Instagram Live because I really think Instagram is about to be the next big thing for live and stuff. TikTok live. There’s so many different ways that we can go live. And so we need to create some of this content for that. I think we’re just shifting. It is a big mindset shift for all of us. And so figuring that out because you’re a trusted source, but there’s other trusted sources that we can use. We can curate this kind of content.

Kenny Jahng:

Yes.

Katie Allred:

Kenny, what kind of curated content do you recommend?

Kenny Jahng:

Yeah. I think there’s different buckets of content that you can engage your people with. Obviously, the go-to is stuff that’s Bible centric, discipleship worthy, church-related stuff where the right answer is Jesus. The Bible Project is I think a resource that you and I highly recommend. They’ve got amazing animated videos that cover the entire Bible in terms of teaching content. They’re just amazing, and it’s appropriate for all age levels. Completely free. You don’t have to worry about paying for anything. Stuff like that. You want to identify things that are just high quality and just video content, et cetera.

Kenny Jahng:

And then there’s personal finance stuff that we talked about felt needs last time, whether it be relationships or parenting or life stages, et cetera. Personal finances are just one of those tips of the swords that any community member is going to be interested in. Ramsey+, our sponsors today, who’ve got a bunch of stuff. What else is in Ramsey+, Katie? It’s not just FPU, right? There’s other things in there.

Katie Allred:

There’s other things in there. Yeah. There’s more.

Kenny Jahng:

Right. Again, it’s not one dimensional anymore that all these trusted resources have the ability… Once there’s a quality or level of excellence that they figured out, then they’re able to give you more across the spectrum.

Kenny Jahng:

One question I think I have is, what other types of content should churches be thinking about as a publisher? What form factors or how should they be thinking about content?

Katie Allred:

Yeah. I think they should be thinking about small content and not just large. The sermon itself is so long or a worship service itself is very long, and I just don’t think that people are consuming it quite the same. Not to say that people don’t sit down and watch a whole worship service because I think they do on Sunday mornings, especially if they’ve been a long-time churchgoer. But I do think we need to start breaking this content out into bite-able chunks that really speak to people. Social media, just creating this really consumable multi-platform content I think is going to be really important.

Katie Allred:

I think my question I have for you is, what’s one tip for how to have the most impact with your micro content?

Kenny Jahng:

Wow. That’s a really good question. I think the one thing that people miss is consistency. Consistency is critical. People will do, they’ll do spots, they’ll go in phases and they’ll have some good content out there. Then they’re like, “Oh, we don’t get engagements.” I always say it’s kind of like it’s showing up just once in a while to your friends and then disappearing again. You got to stay in front of your audience and you got to do it with something that’s relevant. You can’t be talking about yourself all the time.

Kenny Jahng:

Again, what type of content is important? We talked about felt needs last time. Is that the type of content that we need to be consistent about? Should we just be talking about… I mean, that’s the pushback. Churches and pastors typically tell us, “No, we’re the church. We should be talking about church and Jesus and then church, and then Jesus and church, and then Jesus.” Is there a better way to do this, Katie?

Katie Allred:

I mean, Jesus didn’t talk about the church or that kind of stuff. He really shared stories and talked about people’s lives. And so, yeah. I think it’s the same thing. We need to figure out how can we break this up-

Kenny Jahng:

Yeah, absolutely.

Katie Allred:

… so that we can really talk about… It’s like bringing a megaphone to a tea party. You should talk about different things or whatever.

Katie Allred:

Kenny, I guess my question is, we talked about felt needs last time. What’s the kind of content that we need to be [inaudible 00:10:51]?

Kenny Jahng:

So I think that’s the question about this recommend the mix. And this is one of the things that I think you do really well with the church communications group. So for instance, if you’re listening to this podcast and you’re not in our Facebook group, our Facebook group has close to now 27,000 members in it. And there’s a reason for that. There’s a reason. And I’m sitting across right now, the reason. Katie is a ninja at engagement. And you can tell by the content that is being posted in the group from the official Church Communications channel, that account, or even Katie or myself. Can you talk about that mix of how much are we supposed to be talking about ourself as a church versus trying to talk about the needs of the people?

Katie Allred:

It’s kind of funny. So social media is a fine art. I think a lot of people think God just put something out there and then that’s kind of it. I can remember this one time. I just want to share this story. I just think it’s funny. I was in charge of a social media platform for a large church. And I can remember one time, one of the pastors, different pastors, one of the pastors wives came up and talk to me and she said, “How dare you post about what kind of toppings you want on your pizza on our social media platform. Don’t that people are burning in hell right now?” You know what-

Kenny Jahng:

That’s a cool conversation to have.

Katie Allred:

Yeah. I was like, “Oh.” I was not expecting that, but okay. Like if we need to talk about it. Yeah. I do know. I think that the gospel is so important. I think digital strategy is so important for sharing the gospel. I think here’s the thing though. Jesus did not thump people over the head with a Bible 24/7. That was not what he was doing. Jesus also took naps and broke bread and shared it with people. And he probably asked people what kind of toppings they wanted all their bread or something at some point.

Katie Allred:

So here’s the thing about social media though, you have to play the game. The social media thing is a game. The algorithm is a game. And so you have to trick the algorithm to prefer you. And so sometimes you have to create this content that’s not necessarily about your church or about the events that are going on at your church and about the people at your church. Sometimes you have to create content just because it’s content that people want to talk about.

Katie Allred:

Maybe you’ve seen some of this content in these memes maybe of it’s different coffees, and it’s like, “How dark do you like your coffee?” And it’s like there’s a bunch of numbers and people comment and say, “I like it as dark as number 13 is,” or whatever. And like, some people are like, “I like it completely white. I just want all coffee creamer.”

Katie Allred:

And so here’s the thing about those posts on our church page, they really do increase the inevitability, increase the organic reach of your church’s page. And so you have to play the game and put some content out there that’s kind of fun or funny because you know that the next post will be about the gospel. And that post may not go as well organically but because you posted some funny stuff, it will actually shoot up higher because Facebook is recognizing, “Hey, they’ve got great content. Let’s promote them again.”

Katie Allred:

So you do have to kind of play a game with it, and some people don’t understand that. They only want to post this content that’s very churchy. And I think there’s room for both. We have to do both otherwise you won’t get the organic reach that you need.

Kenny Jahng:

Absolutely. I mean, we always explain it. We were on a call the other day. I think we were explaining that basically it’s kind of going to a social gathering, whether it be at someone’s house for dinner or a cocktail party or a networking event or a school event or something. You don’t want to just sit there. And the equivalent of what you were being asked to do is basically bring a Bible and just start reading the Bible out loud 100% of the time that you’re there. You say it’s a game, but it’s just relationship building. It’s finding interest. You want to mix it up. You’re going to talk about current events. You’re going to talk about sports. You’re going to talk about other common themes to get people engaged and just, quite frankly-

Katie Allred:

It’ll be so much fun when you’re talking about pepperoni and all that kind of stuff. Somebody on there’s going to be like, “I want anchovies.” And then y’all can go at each other. That’s about relationship building. It was just like if you’re at a fellowship hall and y’all were all eating pizza and some people are like, “I want that sausage pizza.” “I want this pepperoni pizza.” And you’re just talking about like, “Oh, I like this other stuff. I don’t like pineapple on my pizza. You people are heathens,” or whatever. I mean, I like it personally.

Katie Allred:

But I just think that’s where the real stuff, like the meat relationship building happens is in the other times. Because once you gain that trust, you have to gain trust first before you can change somebody’s life for the gospel. I think we think, “Oh, we can just suddenly show up guns a blazing, and they’re going to just convert right then and there.” And I’m like, “No, I mean, we got to like slowly introduce ourselves as human beings and then introduce the gospel.”

Kenny Jahng:

You hit it on the head. I think you want to be relatable to people. And you’ve got to realize that you’re on not the church grounds, you’re on another person’s turf and that’s social media, social. And what you really want to do is you want to humanize yourself so that there’s some attraction and some interest in what you have to say, again, when you’re teeing up the next call to action.

Kenny Jahng:

So anyway, I think that’s a great story. And it’s a great like teachable moment I think that hopefully illustrates why you need to change the dial once in a while of what you’re saying out there. And we talk about this all the time, but Katie, again, we referred to some of the examples of what we could do. What’s the first baby step that people can take right now, like this week? We’re not talking about like, “Oh, you need to wait for like the quarterly plan or the annual plan.” What can they start doing this week in terms of finding content to put out there, repurposing it, remixing it, et cetera?

Katie Allred:

Yeah. I think the first step is just to take your sermon and get a transcript of it. Transcripts are very helpful. You can get one [crosstalk 00:17:38]-

Kenny Jahng:

How do you do that? What’s the tool? How do you… Do you actually sit there and-

Katie Allred:

Yeah, you can go to churchcommunications.com/rev. That’s an affiliate link for us, but you do get $10 off. So that’s why we recommend it. And so you can go to Rev and then you can upload your sermon audio and get the transcripts sent back to you. What I love about using a transcript is that you can put it into Google. What I did was I put it all into Google Docs. I put all of my transcripts into Google Docs because then they’re searchable. So later on, when you want to quote from your pastor about something specific, you can just search in Google Docs. It makes your life so much easier, but that’s besides the point.

Katie Allred:

All right. So now you got your sermon transcript. I went through there and highlighted portions that I was like, “Oh, we could create a graphic with this. We could create a sermon clip with this. We could create other content with this.” And so I would just highlight the whole thing, different portions of it, and then tell our video producer, “At this point and this point cut, start and cut.” And then after that, we would post those on across different social media. We would dress them up a little bit, put some graphics over it or whatever.

Katie Allred:

There’s a great church is doing such a fantastic job with this. Connect Calgary is I think a great example. They’re not necessarily cutting up these bite-sized chunks, but what they actually did was they completely changed the way they did their worship service because of the pandemic. They were doing it the way they always did it and just like the pastor was on a stage preaching to no one. And the worship team was there leading no one in worship. And like it felt really odd to them as well. And so they were like, “We’re going to change this.”

Katie Allred:

And I love it that they went back and they added… It was super graphical. They were like, “We went and watched the top YouTubers. We just copied what they were doing.” And so they created these really fun intros and like pulled in members to record some stuff via their phone. And they how a worship team but it was like in a house and their pastor was preaching from home. And I just think they really did a great job.

Katie Allred:

So there’s a lot of places we can publish this content. You should publish this content to your website. You should send it out via email. You should put it on YouTube, put it on Facebook pages, put on groups, put it on IGTV, create a whole lot of stories. Stories are really where it’s at today, especially on Instagram. If you’re going to do Instagram, you should have to be having stories.

Katie Allred:

So let’s figure out how to do it because I think this is so important for sharing the gospel. If you don’t hear anything else from us today, hear this, that creating micro content, creating content for the web today is more crucial than ever for sharing the gospel because there is somebody who is scrolling right now who needs to hear the hope the gospel can bring us. And so how can we do it? We have to create this content. That’s so compelling that they stop scrolling and they say, “Hey, that’s a topic that interests me. I’m wondering what they’re talking about here,” and watch it.

Katie Allred:

So anyways, thank you so much for joining us today. Kenny, what else? Do you have some more things you want to add?

Kenny Jahng:

I think you summed it up and this is one of those things that we want to inspire everybody here to just look at all the content you’re producing now and figure out how to repurpose it. That’s the number one thing. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel from scratch. You’ve got the assets now. I mean, typically the churches on a seven day production cycle, again, as Katie said, your sermon is your core product, your piece. Start there. And once you have those rhythms and workflows, you’ll figure out how to do more.

Kenny Jahng:

So, Katie, I think this has been fun to just really share a bunch of this stuff. And I guess this season in particular has turned out to be… We have some of these private consultations where we’re coaching churches. And now I guess we’re using this forum to actually share some of the stuff that we do [inaudible 00:22:05] these churches, and we’re helping them move ahead.And now hopefully people that are listening here together are going to be able to take some of these ideas and run with it on their own as well.

Kenny Jahng:

So that’s it for us today. We are going to come back next time for another episode of The Church Communications Podcast. In the meantime, smash that like button, leave a comments. If you’re on Apple Podcasts or other podcast platforms, please leave a review. That is the number one way that you can be helpful to help us reach more churches, pastors, leaders, communicators, to help everyone become a better communicator for the gospel. I’m Kenny Jahng with Katie Allred. We’ll check you out here next time on The Church Communications.

Announcer:

Thanks for listening to The Church communications Podcast with Katie Allred and Kenny Jahng. If you liked our show today and want to learn more, you can join our Facebook group with over 25,000 church leaders. Simply search for Church Communications on Facebook. And if you liked today’s episode, please consider subscribing and leaving us a review. It’s the most impactful way you can help us reach more church leaders and equip them to become better communicators for the church. And finally, don’t forget to check out our website at churchcommunications.com. Thanks for listening.

 

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