Using Interactive Content to Build a New User Community

AGNCN and Footwasher Media Cultivate the Call Among a New Generation

How do you conquer an “it’s never been done before” attitude and attract a new generation of users to create a vibraCERA-logont, online, fully engaged user community? Carefully crafted content in the formats that audiences actually use.

This was the challenge facing the Assemblies of God Northern California/Nevada District (AGNCN) in trying to connect with younger ministerial candidates (16–22 instead of 50+). turned to a new form of engagement—interactive online learning. To assist them, they chose Footwasher Media, who proposed and led the group in their creation of user-relevant content.

From the start of the Cultivate the Call project, video played a key role. But standard social media channels lacked the interactivity AGNCN required, so the team determined that a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) could achieve the interactivity desired for community engagement. Creating content for the MOOC then became a large hurdle, particularly for a church organization with a limited project budget. Footwasher Media demonstrated a that content would be the overall driving force for engagement–and tight, informative, concise copy was more important than final production values. This approach of content first would actually drive the overall cost of the project down.

Under Footwasher Media’s tutelage, the AGNCN distilled a standard 30+ minutes of purely oral content into well-scripted 7-minute videos, which they then augmented with additional content, such as reference documents, graphics, and secondary videos, to create engagement opportunities that kept users engaged for as long as 30 minutes.

It was very important to the final quality of the project that the core content—the scripts—were delivered as written.

Cultivate the Call used Me!Box Media as the platform to publish both interactive video and the embedded graphics and reference materials, and The Learning Network for learning content management. It was largely a volunteer-driven project and is now being closely watched by universities and the AoG General Headquarters, which is considering implementing the program nationwide.

Footwasher Media helped the AGNCN overcome the early hurdles in delivering first-rate content to a new user community. But they acknowledge that marketing automation could help the AGNCN reach their overall goals more quickly. The current requirement that student applicants do their own follow up, may result in lost opportunities that automation could overcome. As Lou Covey of Footwasher Media noted, “For our clients, the Assemblies of God Northern California/Nevada District, they had to overcome a lot of “never been done” attitudes, but winning the award helped overcome resistance and the follow on response from potential ministers has turned it into a standard program, no longer an experiment.”

Stacey Plowright

Stacey Plowright is the current Communications Manager for STC Toronto. A soon-to-be graduate of the Technical Communication program at Seneca College, she has deep roots in both publishing and customer support. Stacey advocates strongly for clear, concise communication and seeks to provide knowledge to those who need it when they need it. She can be found on Google+, and through LinkedIn.

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