Faithworks

Faithworks

Mindy Brock

What makes a good website checklist?

How Does My Website Measure Up?

This year we are celebrating 15 years in the faith-based marketing space! Wooo-hoo! Our motto around Faithworks is to always put a high value on creating the right brand for your church, non-profit or business. This isn’t just our mission statement on our website, but rather the lens we look through while working on every client project. I know first hand the end result, products and services we give our clients isn’t something that they can get on these cheap, quick project based websites. We spend time getting to know the true heartbeat of our clients so we can give them the best quality representation of their brand. All while getting your project completed on tight deadlines!

We believe this high-quality standard is the same in the digital marketing space. Your website should be the hub that all your digital marketing strategies are connected back to. We have put together a winning website checklist that meets our highest quality standard.

My website has….

  • A unique look and feel that is the best representation of your mission as a brand online.
  • An attractive mobile responsive website that looks good on any device.
  • Monthly traffic analytics installed to track what pages your visitors are looking at on your site
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO). – This helps to get more of your target audience to your site, organically. And to rank on the first page of Google for your unique keywords.
  • A Content Management Solution (WordPress) – This allows website owners to make content updates without having to pay a web designer to do minor weekly/monthly content updates.
  • The most up to date website software and is running the latest version of PHP on the web server.
  • Website security protection on the backend to help prevent hackers and spammers from getting into your site.
  • An SSL certificate installed so your site is secure and won’t be a reason some browsers hide my site.
  • A daily backup plan so you won’t lose your website, in the event of hackers or server issues.
  • A high website grade overall, including performance, SEO, security. This tremendously helps your Google rankings.

As you can see there is much more that goes into web design and digital marketing experience as a whole than just a great design. We want happy clients that want to stay with us as we provide the best digital design services! Contact us, if you want us to get your site up to the highest standard of performance, SEO and design!

 

Article written by Mindy BrockGraphic Designer at Faithworks Image Consulting

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One of the most powerful ways to tell a story is through a carefully crafted video.

With proper video editing, well-planned shots, and moving music or narration you can change someone’s perception in a few minutes or even seconds. Your church, your organization, or your brand has a story that needs to be shared, and it can be shared dynamically through video.

We are going to break down some scenes from a video that our team produced for Ladies Ministries UPCI in conjunction with their Mother’s Memorial campaign to raise money for a great number of causes. This peek behind the scenes will help you better understand the keys to crafting a great story through video. So, let’s dive in!

 

The Cause: Mother’s Memorial

It starts with a great cause. It starts with having a great subject to tell a story about. So, what is Mother’s Memorial? Here are a few of the needs that Mother’s Memorial funds:

TUPELO CHILDREN’S MANSION

Children from dysfunctional families live in an environment with the opportunity to grow spiritually, physically, and emotionally. Haven of Hope is a program for girls ages 13-16 with behavioral and emotional issues.

LIGHTHOUSE RANCH FOR BOYS

Healing broken and hurting lives of teen boys. Ministering in a spirit of love and care.

GLOBAL MISSIONS

Appliances, Christmas and children’s birthday checks for missionary families, and support of Bible schools.

So, this should be easy right? These are great causes that are worthy of support. However, without their stories being told no one will know they exist. These causes deserve the utmost care in explaining just how great they are, and how much they impact peoples lives. So, that’s where we step in as videographers. (storytellers)

 

3 Keys to Telling a Great Story through Video

Let’s break down three vital steps to telling a compelling story through video. Each one of these keys, when combined together, creates the magic that none can do on their own.

 

1) Write a Great Script

The words you use matter. They should reach out and grab people through the screen. They should leave a lasting impact in peoples minds, associated with your brand or cause. With the Mothers Memorial promotional video “These Hands” we wanted to tell the story of how hands involved in different areas of ministry impact peoples lives across the world. Also, by you, the audience, funding these efforts you are increasing this ministry’s reach. It’s kind of an intentional play on words. Hands reach, and so do funds. Be intentional with your words. In the scene we will break down below, we wrote the script to compliment the shots we intended to get. Here is how the script for this scene breaks down:

“These hands will thumb through the pages of
textbooks as a student earns her degree.”

Things to keep in mind

    1. Use words associated with your causes vision
    2. Use brief sentences when possible
    3. Don’t be afraid of breaks or silence (sometimes silence is more impactful than words in the right setting)
    4. Don’t get to “Wordy” (It’s important that people remember the message)

 

However, you choose to write your script, whether upbeat and energetic or slow and dramatic, chose your words carefully. You have very little time to keep your audience engaged.

 

2) Plan Your Shots–Storyboarding

Storyboarding is the best way you can set the expectations for your story. When planning shots keep in mind what you want the audience to know. Some of the best directors of all time are brilliant in the way that they reveal information to the viewer. For the “These Hands” video we planned 3 shots per scene or highlighted ministry, a close-up, a medium shot, and a wide shot. The purpose of this was to show context. First, you see hands up close, then you see those hands at work, then you see the overall picture of how those hands are impacting the world they are in. Let’s break down a scene in the storyboarding phase.

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Mindy Brock

Have you ever asked yourself, “What is SEO anyway and why should I be doing it? Does nonprofit SEO really matter?” Search Engine Optimization is optimizing your content and messaging so that it is easily readable. Because search engines find and rank your content and website based on your consistent listings, it is vital to work on these SEO tips. You want visitors to your website and online business, to reach a specific audience with your message right?

With over 15 years in the marketing industry, with emphasis on faith-based clients, we have come up with 9 proven local Nonprofit SEO strategies that are the basic foundation to any searching listing success. And did we mention they are free?! Our mission is to help YOU get your message and mission in front of the right target audience! Once these strategies are implemented on your website, you can rest assured it will increase your organic traffic to your site.

Most people who search on the internet use search engines like Google. Search engines want to give their users the best experiences while on the web. This is where Search Engine Optimization comes in. They will rank your site based on how well you are doing these 9 things.

In this article, we are going to show you how to rank higher by focusing on local Nonprofit SEO strategies.

  1. Verify Google My Business Listing. Google offers a free business listing profile. Their motto is “So you can stand out and bring customers in!” Once a Google My Business listing is verified your website shows up on Google Search and Google Maps. Verify your listing here: https://www.google.com/business
  2. Local Listings. If your listing appears consistent on several listing websites, they will rank you higher. SEM Rush offers a free tool that shows your listings on several websites. Check your listings for free here: https://www.semrush.com/listings-management/start
  3. Reviews. Another way to gain higher rankings is by utilizing customer reviews on these main listing websites. Ask your friends/congregation to write you a review on Google and Facebook!
  4. Get Backlinks. Start sending Public Service Announcements about your next event to your local news outlets. Ask your blogger/local media contacts to link back to your website. Search Engines really rank based on how backlinks you have to your site. This can also be achieved by guest blog posting!
  5. Google Analytics. Add Google Analytics to your site to measure your traffic and see how your audience found you. This is a great free tool to measure how many eyeballs you get on your site, how they found you, what device they are using! Check it out for free here: https://analytics.google.com/analytics/web/
  6. Website performance. How fast is your website loading? Do you have large images that take a long time to load? If you have a WordPress site there are quite a few performance plugins you can install for free. Hubspot offers a free tool for checking the performance of your site: https://website.grader.com
    Go ahead check our website out here too!
  7. SSL Certificate for your website. With all the spammers and fake websites out there, search engines are really working to increase security on the web. One of the ways they do this is hiding any websites that do not have an SSL Certificate installed. Most deluxe hosting packages come with free SSL with every domain. Contact us if you’d like us to check into adding one to your site!
  8. Metadata. Yes, Metadata is still a thing, although it’s hidden it’s still a crucial practice to be doing. If you have a WordPress site you can install Yoast plugin to do this for every page on your site. Also, it’s a great practice to name every picture on your site as well as add metadata and focus keywords on all pages and blog posts.
  9. Google Tag Manager. Add Google Tag Manager to your site to measure your traffic and see how your audience found you. Using marketing tags on your site. Install Google Tag Manager here: https://tagmanager.google.com
    Your target audience is searching for your message and we want to help you optimize your web content to answer these popular search queries. Whether it’s “Hey Google, what’s the best place to worship near me?” or “How do I get involved in missions in Haiti?” Whatever your message, these tips can help get your message to the right audience. We believe utilizing these basic strategies is a good start to start seeing your web traffic increase with your target audience. There are many free tools out there to use to make the web a safer and overall better experience for everyone.

Global SEO

If you are an online business, like we are at Faithworks Image Consulting marketing agency, without a physical address, there is an entirely different set of strategies to implement. Here at FWIC, we offer SEO and other digital marketing services for churches, nonprofits, and businesses. Contact us for a free quote if this is something you want to learn more about!

Article written by Mindy BrockGraphic Designer at Faithworks Image Consulting

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Of all the aimless wandering that takes place in my mind in a day’s time, design holds a healthy percentage. I can’t help but look at the objects and places that I interact with and ask myself questions like, “How was this made?” or “What material is this?” I will just blame this characteristic of mine on the artist which created me. After all, don’t we turn out just like our father?

With design stubbornly residing within my brain, it’s nearly impossible for me to escape the question, “Are we creating an outlet for creatives in the Church?” These creative tendencies of mine used to leave me conflicted, feeling as if there was no use for them in the church. I had a preconceived idea of what ministry should look like. Sure we have the art of music down, and we swing dowel rods and put on skits, but where does a painter, app developer, or videographer fit in the mix? We may embrace creativity, but to what extent? I’m not suggesting we embrace all forms of art or push an everything goes mentality by any means, but perhaps there is a chance for new creative opportunities in the church.

To The Church

The ideas we are communicating haven’t really changed since the beginning of time. Just open up a Bible and you will find the same battle between morality and immorality that we face today; it’s nothing new. However, the way in which the world communicates is changing rapidly. I can remember hearing the racket of that electronic beep and static sounds coming from the home computer when I was about sixteen. This was the first time I had experienced communication on the world wide web. It was so foreign yet so exciting. The world seemed so vast yet so accessible. The possibilities were endless.

Love or hate the new dynamics of communication, it seems to be here to stay. It is the way in which people communicate in the twenty-first century. According to a report, ICT Facts and Figures – The world in 2015, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) predicted that 3.2 billion people, or almost half of the world’s population, will be online by the end of 2015. (http://www.itu.int/en/ITU-D/Statistics/Pages/facts/default.aspx) This creates unprecedented opportunities and challenges for the church. We have an opportunity to reach the masses with the gospel message, and the challenge of combating the immoral message of those with the same communicative opportunities. After the resurrection in Mark 16:15 Jesus has an important message for his disciples; “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” In an ever-shrinking world due to greater connectivity, we have a greater opportunity to go into the world, and preach to every creature.

Creative Opportunities

How are we communicating the gospel in the information age? I remember a message Darrell Johns taught entitled “This and That”. He stressed the importance of our methods changing while maintaining the integrity of our message. It’s true that methods must change. Just as human behavior changes, the way we communicate with the people God has called us to minister to must adapt. Below is a list of some underutilized areas of opportunity in the church.

Videography

Film has the potential to be a powerful tool for the church. Videography is a unique form of storytelling that can transform a person’s thinking. Quality camera shots, a real-life testimony of Grace, and a compelling musical score can have a major impact on the life of a sinner. More than ever we are feeling the impact of video. Viral videos have taken over social media sites. In an article published by INC magazine, they point out this interesting statistic, “Posts with videos attract 3X more links than text-only posts.” (http://www.inc.com/larry-kim/visual-content-marketing-16-eye-popping-statistics-you-need-to-know.html) Think about that the next time you analyze the effectiveness of the scripture reference you posted to your church’s Facebook page. The above article also states that “People are 85 percent more likely to buy a product after viewing a product video.” Now, we aren’t selling people products per se but we are selling them on a message; the most powerful message we can offer.

Photography

Photography has always been a powerful tool in our history. Monumental moments and stories have been told with a single picture. A range of photography jobs is needed in the church including studio photography, photojournalism, event photography, and fine art photography to name a few. Images of foreign fields can inspire a need for giving. Event photos of worship or healing can build faith. Fine art photography can bring a story in scripture to life. Also highlighted in the above article is, “Posts that include images produce 650 percent higher engagement than text-only posts.” Images bring to life and create engagement in the message we preach.

Illustration

When I first started working at Pentecostal Publishing House I quickly realized the need for good illustrators. Nearly every curriculum job that goes through PPH would benefit from the work of a good Apostolic illustrator. There are certain needs within the Apostolic movement for illustrations that mirror our interpretation of scripture. Sites like istock.com can be a good resource for illustrations, but why not create an opportunity for an apostolic illustrator to use their gifts.

App Development

Apps are here to stay. Apps bring a level of connectivity and interactivity that developers are still trying to wrap their minds around. For the first time in history, we are able to instantly send funds to support a missionary, or communicate a message across continents from a smartphone. This is something that would have made Paul’s missionary journeys much easier. Imagine Paul pulling his smartphone out of his robe pocket and facetiming the Corinthians. This ministry opportunity is somewhat new, but the potential for interactivity is exciting.

To Creatives

Companies want you on their team. They want to use your God-given gifts to sell their product, or push their brand. The church on the other hand needs your God-given gifts. The examples above are just a few of many opportunities that the church can utilize. But it cannot be done without you. You are a vital part of the revival in the end time. A responsibility weighs on your shoulders. You have been given a gift. How will you use it? Will you slowly slip out of the church because the only creative opportunities are “out there”? Be encouraged! There is hope for your gift. Connect with other creatives in the apostolic movement. Express your passion for the kingdom of God through your creativity. God deserves the use of the talent he has given you.

Article written by Timothy BurkGRAPHIC DESIGNER / WEB DESIGNER at Faithworks Image Consulting

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Stock photos – we can picture them from a mile away. Whether it’s the way that everyone is laughing at the same time in a perfectly lighted coffee shop, or that the family on the couch looks way too happy to just be sitting there; we recognize a stock photo within half a second. Now…wait, you might be asking.. “Is this guy anti-stock photo?” No, let make this clear – I’m not against stock photos. But stock photos have their place. And when it comes to using social media marketing to promote your church, nothing beats real genuine photos.

Now, it might seem intimidating. You might begin to ask yourself “Who is going to take these pictures?” “What if we don’t have a nice camera?” “Will there be a problem if we post people’s pictures online?” We’ll cover some of those basics in a moment. The first question to ask is, “Why?” Why should you use real photos instead of glossy and perfectly posed stock photos? Because real photos tell a story. They tell your church’s story, share your culture and values, and give a glimpse to people who are not a part of your church what it would be like if they were. That’s something stock photos can never do.

Here are some practical tips on using church stock photos for your social media marketing.

  1. Put a disclaimer on your church’s bulletin or weekly communication. Stating something similar to the following: “Photographers may be present at church and at church events, and if you would like to opt out of having your picture used in social media and marketing purposes, please visit the table at the lobby.” This notifies members and guests that pictures will be taken. It also puts the responsibility on them to reach out to you if they would like to opt out of their picture being used. Always consult an attorney for the best practices when it comes to picture release disclaimers and copyright issues.
  2. Be extra cautious when it comes to taking and using pictures of children for church stock photos. To avoid any conflict only use pictures of children from side profiles or wide-angle shots where you are not able to identify children’s faces. Also, avoid including pictures where the child’s name is visible on a name tag or sticker when using for church stock photos. If you do use a picture where the children can be identified, make sure to get permission from the parents or guardians.
  3. Schedule your photographers. If you use Planning Center or any other scheduling software, set a rotation schedule of photographers just like you would with volunteers or worship team members. This ensures pictures will always be taken during services and events which will give you plenty of material to work with.
  4. Cast the vision. Select people who already have an interest/involvement in photography or people who have potential talent and offer them training if needed. Schedule a vision meeting and explain to your photographers that they are not just taking pictures each week but capturing church stock photos. Just like I mentioned above, convey the message that they are sharing the story of your church. They are capturing moments for those who do not attend your church.
  5. Streamline the process. Whether each person has their own camera, or there is just one camera being used for church stock photos, make sure the quality is similar between all photographers. Once pictures are taken, put a system in place where pictures are being onto a hard drive or cloud storage system (ie. DropBox). Whatever your system looks like, it’s important to have one that is consistent and easy to execute on a weekly basis. If photos are not stored consistently, SD cards get filled fast which causes problems such as deleting pictures before being backed up.

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