Google Analytics, Google Sheets, GitHub, Chartbeat, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter
Replace subjective opinions with objective data to improve online marketing strategy
Data tells a story of what’s happening that’s neutral because numbers don’t lie. With the help of Geckoboard, we’ve completely resurrected our approach to content, moving away from emotional decisions to being data-informed at all times and giving our congregation the stories they want to read.Chris Dunagan, Social Media Director, NewSpring Church
NewSpring Church was founded in 2000 by pastor Perry Noble. What began as a small gathering of 15 people in a living room in the town of Anderson, South Carolina, quickly became one of the largest churches in the Southern Baptist Convention. Today, they’re the second fastest growing church in the US with a total of 11 churches and an average attendance of 32,000 people per week.
The NewSpring Church marketing team wanted easy access to their data in order to replace their subjective, emotional method of decision-making with objective numbers. They wanted to know in real-time if their marketing efforts were working and reaching the right audience.
Today, NewSpring has two dashboards on the office wall, making sure data is always front-and-center.
In fact, Geckoboard has completely changed the workflow at NewSpring and how they tackle their online content strategy. The team have moved from posting pieces that ‘feel good’ to monitoring their traffic and analyzing why and when certain posts do well.
Prior to each new content series, writers, directors and other creatives get together to look at the data. They then discuss what worked and what didn’t, as indicated by their key performance indicators (KPIs), before they go on to craft content that connects with people’s interests and preferences.
Using a combination of Google Analytics and Chartbeat widgets, NewSpring can keep a close eye on how their content performs. They evaluate their content daily and use the information from their dashboards to make adjustments in order to improve the quality and reach of their content.
Taking a closer look at one of their dashboards displaying their blog traffic, we can for example see current visitors tracked by location, which articles are performing best and which content categories are the most popular.
A while back, the team noticed the numbers taking off and they assumed the traffic was generated by a recently published piece of content. They decided to promote the article only to watch it fall flat. Later, they discovered that it was a different article that had been reposted by an external source that was behind the increase in numbers.
After this learning experience they added a Current Pages widget to their dashboard to be able to see exactly which pieces of content were performing well.
It may seem strange that numbers matter so much to a church. But to NewSpring numbers represent real people, the congregations most important asset. Every number has a name, every name has a story and every story matters.
With the help of Geckoboard, the NewSpring marketing team have been able to leave the guess-work behind and instead make data-informed decisions in real-time, resulting in stories their congregation wants to read.