The Best digital evangelism tips for beginners in 2021
Digital evangelism tips for beginners and ministries looking to reach more people online.
Digital evangelism is an essential part of ministry today. It's a way to reach people where they live, work, play, worship, and learn. The key to effective digital evangelism is knowing how to use digital tools like email, website, SEO, and social media effectively.
But if you're new to digital evangelism, you might find yourself struggling to get started.
In this article, I'm going to share some of the best digital evangelism tips for beginner digital evangelists and ministries.
These are the digital evangelism tips that will help you start using digital technology more effectively as well as grow your online ministry.
So let’s dive right in!
Table of Contents
- Find a niche for your evangelism
- Research and join virtual groups where your niche is being discussed
- Create your ideal audience persona
- Discover your personas pain points
- Come up with solutions to your personas' pain points.
- Start with a blog for your ministry
- Optimize your ministry blog for SEO.
- Connect your site to Google Analytics
- Find a way to collect feedback from your ministry blog readers
- Build your social media ministry
- Build an online community
- Develop a content strategy for your digital evangelism
- Set up Google Alerts for your target keywords
- Find time for engagement and community building
Starting a digital ministry can be frustrating especially if you’re new to the digital space.
One of the most common complaints many online evangelists make is that they are not able to reach more people beyond their friends and family or people within their circle of friends on social media.
If that sounds like you, then this article is for you, and here are the best digital evangelism tips to help you get started.
Prepare Phase - Digital evangelism tips
This section is all about preparing your evangelism ministry for the internet.
Tip # 1. Find a niche for your evangelism
The first mistake that most beginner digital ministries make is trying to be all things to everyone. They start by creating content for everyone out there without any specific audience in mind. As the result, no one reads or consumes their content.
If you or your ministry is having a hard time reaching people with the content you put out, you are not alone. In fact, over 90% of the digital ministries online right now have the same problems.
The reason for this is that we live by the "build it, people will come" mentality that has served us well offline but does not work in cyberspace.
However, when you know who you want to target as your primary audience, then you can create content specifically for them.
This means that instead of writing about everything under the sun, you write only what matters to those particular audiences. You'll also need to determine which platforms these groups prefer so that you can tailor your message accordingly.
What is a niche?
A niche is simply a specific group of people with a common pinpoint and they consume your content or service because you provide a solution to their problem.
For example, here at DelMethod, we saw the need for churches and ministries to start utilizing digital technology for evangelism, therefore, we consider digital evangelists and ministries to be our niche.
You should always try to identify your niche early on. Otherwise, you may end up spending too much money and time producing content that nobody wants to read.
How to find your evangelism niche?
There are many ways to identify your evangelism niche but here is my favorite:
Work in reverse - start with the type of sermons or content you want to create and then think about what problems they solve.
We recently helped Richie establish a new digital ministry. Richie is a nurse by profession who loves to preach and evangelize.
During the peak of the COVID-19, Richie found himself doing much more than the nurse job. He also enjoyed consoling people who had lost their loved ones and also speaking to those who couldn’t be at the hospital to tend to their loved ones with COVID.
Richie knew that he had a rare gift of not only attending to people’s physical illnesses but their spiritual wellness as well. Hence, he started looking into digital ways of helping more people than those in his proximity.
That lead Richie to our article, “Digital evangelism 2021: The definitive guide,” and to cut the long story short, we ended up helping Richie get started with his digital ministry.
The first thing we did was help Richie identify his evangelism niche. Since Richie loved the story of Job and preached from it eight out of ten times, we asked him to list some of the problems and the type of people who benefited the most from his preaching.
After this exercise, it was clear to Richie who his target audience was, where to find them, and the type of content he needed to produce in order to make maximum impact with his online ministry.
Finding a niche
Finding a niche for your ministry does not mean excluding others. In fact, this is the number one reason many ministries don't have a niche. They don't want to discriminate or create content that only serves a certain group of people.
In contrast, finding a niche allows you to serve more people while still being relevant to your core audience and that’s why finding a niche is number one on this digital evangelism tips list.
Tip # 2. Research and join virtual groups where your niche is being discussed
The second step in our digital evangelism tips list for beginner online ministries is research to niche validation.
If you do not know enough about your topic, you won't be able to communicate effectively on it. So before starting your own website or blog, spend at least two weeks researching your subject matter thoroughly.
You should also consider joining existing communities like Facebook Groups, Google+ Communities, LinkedIn Groups, etc., where your niche is already being talked about.
These communities provide great opportunities for you to connect with others trying to solve the same problems or better yet, you might find a group where members are looking for your solutions.
The goal of validating your niche idea is to ensure that your content resonates with your intended audience. Once you've done this, you're ready to move forward.
Tip # 3. Create your ideal audience persona
The third on our list of digital evangelism tips is one that most people skip, however, we highly suggest that you don’t skip this stage.
What is a persona?
Personas help you understand how different types of users interact with your product or service. For instance, if your niche is Christian relationships, personas will allow you to better understand your target audience's needs and expectations.
When creating personas, you must first define your ideal audience. Then, based on their demographics, interests, behaviors, attitudes, motivations, goals, pain points, and values, you develop several profiles of typical consumers of your services.
Once you have created these personas, use them as guides when designing your evangelism materials. This way, you can focus on delivering messages that resonate with each individual’s unique personality.
Tip # 4. Discover your personas pain points
Next, discover what pains your potential persona feels. The best way to figure this out is by asking yourself three simple questions:
- What problem am I solving?
- Who benefits most from my solution?
- Why will they choose me over all the rest?
Answering these questions is tricky than it looks. The easiest way is for you to answer these questions however, that may not be the best way.
You see, the biggest mistake is when we assume we know exactly what people need. Once we assume the pain points, it is also likely that we’ll assume the solutions.
If your goal is to help people, then it is important that you know exactly what their problems are and the best way is to ask them.
Over here at DelMethod, one of the questions we always ask our readers is, “what is your greatest challenge with digital evangelism?”
It is very important that we know our reader’s challenges because only then are we able to help them otherwise we’ll be offering the solutions they don’t need.
Tip # 5. Come up with solutions to your personas' pain points.
Before crafting the solutions, it is important for you to know what solutions your audience is looking for and the first step is to put yourself in their shoes.
You have to acknowledge the fact that people have ideal solutions to their problems and doing so will allow you to connect with your audience better.
For example, every time I have a headache, my ideal solution is to take some painkillers, but a good doctor wants to check why I am getting a headache. The Doctor’s goal is to find a cure to my problem while mine is pain relief.
When you are serving others, you are like a doctor and your job is to find a cure to their pain points and not just a relief.
So, make sure you involve your audience when crafting solutions and you'll understand why they need your service instead of just telling them what they need. This understanding will help you craft effective messaging.
Online Ministry Build Phase - Digital evangelism tips
This section is about building your ministry home online.
Tip # 6. Start with a blog for your ministry
Start with a blog?
Yes, start with a blog before developing your social media presence.
Blogs are an excellent place to start when building your online ministry. Blogs give you the opportunity to write long-form articles that answer specific questions and solve real issues.
When writing blogs, make sure to include keywords related to your niche. Your posts must contain valuable information that helps readers find answers to their problems.
Your blog post titles should reflect the topics covered within the article. Make sure to add links back to your site whenever possible.
Why you should start with a blog
When it comes to building a digital ministry, many people like to skip the blog and go straight into social media ministry. But, at DelMethod, we highly discourage people from skipping the blog, and here is why.
- Social media was meant for friends to connect and if your goal is to reach more people beyond your connections then you'll have to spend money on advertising your content.
- It's really hard to reach your target audience from your social media profiles especially if you don't have a large following. You will have to join a niche group or platform in order to reach your intended audience.
Therefore, starting with a blog makes sense because the articles can be search engine optimized so that people can easily find them online. You can also share your articles on social media to reach even more people.
Tip # 7. Optimize your ministry blog for SEO.
I promise not to go technical on you 🤣 so, I will only scratch the surface on this topic.
However, you must know that SEO is very important and you must spend some time learning this skill because everything you create means nothing if people can't find it online.
SEO stands for search engine optimization. In short, it means making sure that your website appears on top of results pages when users perform searches using popular search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo!, etc.
To optimize your blog for SEO, follow these steps:
- Add relevant tags to every page of your website.
- Use descriptive title tags.
- Include unique meta descriptions.
- Make sure to link to high-authority websites.
- Write original content.
Here is an extensive guide to help you optimize your content for the web - Digital Marketing For Churches 2021| How To Increase Your Reach And Influence Online.
Tip # 8. Connect your site to Google Analytics
Google Analytics is free software that helps you understand what visitors do on your website. You can see which pages are most popular, who visits them, when they visit, etc.
This information allows you to make better decisions about content, design, marketing campaigns, and other aspects of running your site.
Google Analytics also gives you insights into visitor behavior across multiple websites so you can compare traffic patterns between sites.
For example, you could look at the number of unique users visiting each page on your main site versus those visiting another site you manage. Or you could track whether someone visited your home page before coming to your blog.
Here is a great article to help you set up Google Analytics for your ministry website.
Tip # 9. Find a way to collect feedback from your ministry blog readers
Feedback is one of the most powerful tools available to digital evangelists today. If you want to build trust among your followers, you need to be willing to listen to what they have to say.
There are many ways to gather feedback from your audience. Here are some ideas:
- Ask your audience directly through surveys or questionnaires.
- Create a contact form on your website
- Allow people to ask questions on your community platform or group
- Ask your followers to leave comments under your latest blog posts. They might even offer some great ideas for future posts.
Here are a few tools we use on DelMethod to collect feedback from our readers.
Tip # 10. Build your social media ministry
I know you were wondering when I would mention social media in these digital evangelism tips 😴; well, the time is now.
The social media tip is down the list because we believe that you must first build your internet home where you can drive people before setting up your social media.
Also, remember that your social media audience does not belong to you which means if for some reason Facebook suspends your account, you will lose your audience and everything you’ve worked so hard to build.
It is for this reason, we encourage everyone to start with a website so you can build your email list and influence.
Let’s build your social media presence
The first step to building your ministry's social media presence is by taking the information you collected from the research phase. By now you should know where your ideal audience is found and what type of content they are looking for.
The next step will be to prioritize the social media platforms because you don't want to collect idol social media profiles even when you have no intentions of using them.
Some of the most popular social media platforms include; Facebook, Instagram, TickTock, YouTube, and Twitter.
I am sure your next question is, “Which should I start with?” The simple answer is to build where your target audience is.
Here is a great article about social media stats to help me decide which platform is right for you.
Start with the most relevant social media platform where you can quickly build an audience and grow from there. Remember that social media requires a constant flow of great content and that takes a lot of time.
If you need more information about which social media platforms you should use, check out this blog about digital evangelism methods you should use for your ministry.
Want to learn more about social digital evangelism, we got you - read this article - Digital Evangelism 2021: The Definitive Guide
Tip # 11. Build an online community
Once you have a social media presence and established yourself as the go-to person for your particular niche, it's time to build a community or a group.
There are quite a few great free social media platforms to build your community such as Facebook groups, SubReddit, or self-hosted platforms. But remember, the best platform is the one your audience is already using.
Tip # 12. Develop a content strategy for your digital evangelism
I am sure that by now you can tell that the traditional ministry outreach strategies don't work online, which means you just can't create whatever content you want and expect people to consume it like they do in the physical church. People online consume content that they want and not the other way around.
The reason we recommend starting with your website and then social media is for you to see which content people are consuming so you can create more of it.
Here are some things you should know when creating content for your digital ministry:
- Use keywords
- Make your titles searchable
- Speak to your audiences' pain points
Online Ministry Grow Phase - Digital evangelism tips
This section is all about monitoring, engagement, and expanding your digital reach.
Tip # 13. Set up Google Alerts for your target keywords
Google Alerts is Google's free service that sends you an email when your search query appears on the web. You can create alerts for specific words or phrases and then get an email once Google finds them on the web.
Setting up Google Alerts is very easy, but most people don't know about it. It allows you to monitor the online space for certain keywords.
For example, you could set a Google alert so that every time someone mentions your niche you'll receive an email with all of those results. This way you won't miss any new articles related to this topic or people talking about it.
Here is an example of the emails I get for the “online church” alert.
You can also use Google Alerts to find out what other websites are saying about your company or brand name. If there are negative reviews they will show up as well.
Setting up Google alerts is simple, give it a try here.
Tip # 14. Find time for engagement and community building
Finally, none of the above digital evangelism tips would work if you don't have time to engage with your audience. It is common for a beginner ministry to be present and attend to all queries but as your audience grows, this task becomes more and more difficult to manage.
Well, that is a good problem to have and when you find yourself getting overwelled with engaging your audience, then it's time to hire help.
In conclusion, I would like to say that the best way of using social media is by being yourself. You should not try and be someone else or copy what other people are doing on Facebook, Twitter, etc., because you will end up looking fake and unauthentic.
Instead, just use your own personality and style when posting content online. This can help build a strong relationship with your followers as well as make them feel more comfortable around you.
These digital evangelism tips are some of our most popular posts on this blog and they’re all about how to use social media effectively as a Christian missionary.
We hope that these will help you get started with your own online ministry. If you want more information or if you need any advice at all, please feel free to contact us!
More digital evangelism tips and frequently asked questions
1. If you had to choose one platform to use for digital evangelism, what would it be?
The best platform is one where most of your audience is. For example, if your target audience is between 45 and 60 years old, posting to Instagram will not be a great idea. Do your research to find out where your audience is and create content for that platform.
2. Can you think of some more practical ways to spread the gospel via the media?
People consume content they’re interested in and it’s important to share your content with people who are already looking for it. For example, sending gardening tips to people who are not interested in gardening will result in poor engagement and reach.
Therefore, the best way to utilize social media is to join groups that are already talking about your specific niche. Make sure to participate in the discussions and offer solutions and then direct people to your content when appropriate.
Why do you think it's important to share the gospel on social media?
According to a recent study published by Datareportal, there are 4.8 billion social media users in the world and that is about 57 percent of the world population. See the report here.
Social media is where a lot of people spend their time and it's the place you need to be spreading the gospel.
What's the next step after you've shared the gospel on social media?
Social media is all about engagement and relevance. If you create content and you don’t share or engage with it, it just sits there.
Once you post to social media make sure to ask people for comments or questions.
How do you get people to listen to you? How do you get people to read your blog post?
You cannot get someone who’s not interested in what you are talking about to stop and consume your content. People will consume content that solves their problems.
If you want people to read your blogs then you have to create content that is relevant to them. Make sure you have a target audience, a target keyword, and that people are searching for your content already.
If you need more help with this, please check out How To Implement The Del Method For Your Church.
What are some of the best ways to build up my blog's following?
The best way to build up your blog following is by providing value to your readers. Make sure you are solving their problems whether or not they signup to your list.
Secondly, make sure you have a way for them to sign up for your email list or newsletter. But remember that an average person receives tens if not hundreds of newsletters on a daily basis therefore, your content must provide great value.
We hope you found these digital evangelism tips helpful. Please let us know if we missed any or reach out if you have questions or need help getting started. 🙏🏼