How much time each day do you think the average American spends on his/her mobile device? Not talking, but actually consuming content? Take a guess. According to a recent report by eMarketer, people spend 4 hours and 40 minutes each day on their mobile devices. 2 hours and 21 minutes of that time is in an app; the rest is online! People are checking email; perusing websites; checking Facebook, Instagram and Twitter; and playing games. You name it; they do it on their mobile devices. The number one reason people use their mobile devices is because of convenience. It’s easy to consume content when it’s right at their fingertips. Your church website is no different. Most of us probably have a decent church Web page, but how many of you know if your page is responsive to mobile users? Have you checked that out lately? Go ahead. Get out your mobile device and go to your website. Are you pinching and zooming to read what is there? Do images and content scale and reorganize themselves? If not, your website isn’t responsive and needs to be updated. It will provide your users a much more positive and less frustrating experience. Now that we have responsive design out of the way, you’re probably asking, “Does my church need a mobile app now?” There are several advantages in having a mobile app for your church. An app allows members to dive deeper and consume content not on your website. It’s a much more interactive environment. People can listen to sermon audio and view video, upload or view photos, ask for prayer, read your pastor’s blog, tithe through the app and much more.
WHEN/IF YOUR CHURCH DECIDES TO MOVE FORWARD WITH DEVELOPING A MOBILE APP, HERE ARE THREE THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND:
- Keep content fresh and updated regularly. Having a good content management solution in place will help with this. Find a service or technology tool that allows you to update all of your content channels in a single location, meaning there is no need to update the same information twice. (Hootsuite is a good option for managing all of your social media channels.)
- Make sure your app environment is one where people will always want to come back for more. The average lifespan of an app is four months. After that time, people tend to lose interest. Your church app should be different. Keeping your members engaged which will keep them coming back.
- Just like your website, make sure you have a clearly defined purpose for your app. It doesn’t need to be purely informational. If it is, you won’t even make the four-month mark. More and more churches are seeing the need for both responsive mobile sites and mobile apps now. However, the majority of churches are late to adopt. Don’t wait until your members start asking if you’re ever going to develop an app. Serve them well by staying ahead of
Author: Matt Morris