Crafting the message of your story for a digital world can be an extremely difficult task to accomplish, especially if you are not designing for your specific target audience. Identifying and defining your target market is a pretty basic marketing strategy; this strategy must be incorporated into the design of your website.
A great blog that I came across many months ago was 21 Ways Your Audience Affects Your Design, by Steven Snell. In this post, Snell highlights several key influencing factors that determine the audience of a website. With the proper identification of your target market, the appropriate reaction and revision of some of these factors may be necessary.
Some of the key factors include:
- Page Load Speed
- Level of interaction
- Integration of Social Media
- Level of Accessibility
- Mood of Site
Intentionally gearing your church’s design toward a target demographic is essential for your communication to be effective. Now, more so than ever, it’s crucial that we are intentional in our communications and designs. When it comes to being intentional, it’s normal to have a little “personal bias” that affects how we strategize, organize, implement, and evaluate. What this means is that we naturally market to ourselves, to our own desires, wants and feelings; as opposed to the demographic of our audience.
To move beyond this perspective, try creating a persona that represents your target demographic. For example, Bill is 34, has three kids and lives in the suburbs. He values family, social fellowship, and kids ministry. From this persona – which you would take even deeper – you can begin to craft your strategies, intentions, and designs. By creating a persona, you are defining your target audience and creating a rubric - if you will - that protects your communications and designs. Remember, your design must be intentional, not only to your vision and mission, but also to your specific target audience.