Today’s tech-driven world has a lot of opportunities and channels for organizations to create an identity and use that brand to drive and promote a vision or message. This is great for businesses especially since consumers continue to have access to more information and more choice. Branding is the way to differentiate from competitors and associate the organization with a specific message in order to establish a presence in the consumer’s mind and attract and keep customers.
Branding for non-profit organizations is not that different from that of for-profit organizations. For churches, branding is the expression of the value of the organization. It is communication of characteristics, values, and attributes that clarify what the church is and is not.
Branding for Churches via Digital Signage
Most churches and other religious institutions already have specific logos, colors, and font that identify them. Effective branding goes beyond that. A brand should permeate all forms of media: print, digital, audio, etc. It should represent a message, and have a “voice” that reflects who the church is and what they do. It should be consistent. And most importantly, it should be highly visual.
Digital signage for churches plays a significant role in branding. First, it has a high visual impact and is more prominent and eye-catching with superior picture performance. The visual impact of a digital signage screen is bigger than that of static posters especially in high traffic areas such as the church lobby, information desk, sanctuary etc.
By virtue of being a technology product, it will appeal to and draw in the younger congregation and in the process help the church maintain strength and longevity. The HD technology also lends to the perception of a tech-savvy organization and adds appeal to the architecture.
How Church Digital Signage does Branding
Dynamic, swift delivery of information: Remote management and instant updates ensure that the church digital signs have the most relevant and up-to-date information. A large format screen in the lobby can be updated with new member information and a welcome message. Digital displays in the hallways or outside the sanctuary can highlight upcoming church events and announcements. Such information can be displayed alongside promotional messages for the cafeteria, library, choir album etc.
Displaying relevant and up-to-date information using church logos, colors, images, fonts, etc. keeps the congregation engaged while promoting brand awareness.
A way to unify churches with multiple venues: Digital signage promotes message integrity and consistency, which are key in branding. For institutions with multiple venues, church digital signage creates a bond between the different locations. It carries the brand throughout each location and unifies the entire church. Events, community involvement activities, church outings, and major celebrations from the different locations can be shared on the digital displays to create an inclusive environment even when church members are physically separated.
Promote awareness of opportunities and community events: Getting consumers (in this case the congregation) engaged is part of building a strong brand. Engaging them means getting them more involved in activities outside the physical church building. The first step is to make them aware of the opportunities for becoming more involved with the church. Church digital signage can be used to highlight community events, list volunteer opportunities, promote missions trips, etc. The church digital screens can personalize the messages even further by displaying images of past volunteer activities, church members on missions trips, members being awarded for participation, etc.
Encourage and increase participation: In the sanctuary, church digital signage can be used to display scripture, hymns, lessons from the sermon, etc. It’s also great for communicating with the deaf and hard-of-hearing community.
Attract new members: A fluid, clear and thoughtful message attracts people. Presenting this message on multiple digital signage screens in the campus will promote the brand and attract new members.
How to Use Church Digital Signage
A church often needs to offer multiple streams of information on a regular basis. An active church community benefits from being able to get that information easily. A few ways that churches are using digital signage to improve communication include:
- Use for wayfinding by displaying a map and directory of the church campus
- Recognize successes and awards for the church or church members
- Promote events to drive attendance
- Display social media accounts for the church to improve digital engagement
- Promote the bookstore, cafeteria, etc.
- Entice younger members to stay involved and connected by reaching them through a medium they understand and use frequently (According to a study by LifeWay Research, more than two thirds of youth between 18 and 22 will stop attending church regularly for at least a year. Finding a way to show them opportunities for their age group may help prevent this.)
Because digital signage is versatile and can be changed at a moment’s notice, it’s also an excellent emergency messaging solution. During an emergency, both CAP alerts and custom alerts override the content on the screen to describe the emergency and provide instructions on what to do.
While attracting and engaging communities is often the primary purpose of church digital signage, another significant benefit is time and money savings. Churches can generate a large need for printed materials. Posters, messages, flyers and other communiques take time and money to generate. Digital signage can be changed in a few clicks and doesn’t require large amounts of paper or the costs and waste associated with printing.
Churches that have already gone the route of digital signage are reporting the above successes and more. Chapelwood United Methodist Church experienced a marked increase in engagement and membership after implementing digital signage. First Baptist Church in Georgetown, Texas also reported an increase in church participation after adopting digital signage.
These two examples make a case for digital signage as an excellent and beneficial addition to branding for churches. Reaching and engaging congregations today takes a synergy between marketing and messaging channels, something that digital signage easily provides.