Is your app a magic pill? Not exactly, but with the proper strategy in place, you can be sure that it will help you engage with your community. Here at Subsplash, we’ve helped quite a few churches use their app to boost engagement, so we wanted to compile a short list of things you can do to ensure your app is successful.
Talk About It
No one is going to use your app if they don’t know it exists. Make sure your pastor and team are giving it some love from the stage on Sunday mornings. If you are a pastor or staff member, your congregation looks to you as their leader, and chances are they will get on board with something if you show excitement about it. The churches we work with typically see a huge spike in app downloads after it is pushed on Sundays. This can even help you cut stage time for announcements. Instead of spending valuable stage time going through a handful of announcements, you can encourage people to download the app for the latest updates, and then send your announcements in push notifications.
Keep people coming back
So you’ve announced your app from the stage and people start downloading it. Awesome! But what’s next? Downloading the app is great, but having people download the app and then never open it again is obviously not what you want to see. How do you keep them coming back? A great place to start is by intentionally putting content in the app that is relevant and useful to your congregation. If your app is simply a carbon-copy of your website, chances are you won’t see much engagement with it (we wrote about that last week). What things are helpful to your congregation? What do they want to use the app for? Focus on providing fresh content that is relevant to your congregation so the app becomes a helpful tool to them.
The best mobile experience
You have great gospel content, and that content needs to be presented well if you want to see people engaging. If your app simply links out to a bunch of websites or pulls in media from outside sources like YouTube, Soundcloud, or Vimeo, then your users are missing out. Even worse, they may stop using the app completely. Why? Simply put, these things do not provide users with the best mobile experience. There is a reason YouTube and Vimeo push you to their apps when you try to watch a video in your mobile browser. It’s simply a better experience that gives the user more control with the playback. Providing your congregation with the best possible mobile experience inside the app will keep them engaged. If you are curious to see how you can accomplish this without adding extra work to your plate, check out Subsplash Cloud, along with our many integrations that optimize your content for use inside the app.
Discipleship is key
At the end of the day, your app is not just a piece of technology. It is a discipleship tool. Having people engaged with the content in your app is great not because it makes your numbers look good, but because that means people are using it to grow in their walk with Jesus. Your app is going to become an invaluable tool to your congregation when you fill it with content for this purpose. This could include devotionals, Bible reading plans, prayer requests, daily encouragements, stories of God’s grace, and more.
So to summarize, you can expect people to use your app regularly when:
They know it’s important
Your app provides them with a top-notch mobile experience
The app is filled with relevant content that helps them grow in their walk with the Lord
If you are wanting to implement these ideas, we would love to help! You can contact our team here.