Pastor, videos may be the solution you didn’t know you needed.
Often social media popularity helps us see what attracts and holds people’s attention. A 2021 Pew Survey revealed the social media channel that dominates: YouTube (an online collection of videos about everything under the sun including church) has captured 81% of Americans (95% of 18 to 29 year-olds) who regularly visit the site.
Want to be heard more? Most users prefer short-form video — another reason to try it! Use relevant church video content on social media, in your services and even on your website.
Let’s talk about some tips for church videos so your congregation and your community will want to watch them.
My quick overview tip? Make sure they’re relevant. Make the content about something viewers are Googling. Then post it on your YouTube channel in addition to wherever you’re originally using it. If people are indeed searching for what your video is about (and it’s properly titled with a great metadata description), Google will direct them to your church content. Remember, Google owns YouTube.com.
Get more views
Want your church video watched even more? Here are five simple tips:
- Make it about your church’s thread. We tend to pursue social influencers known for a narrow path of needed content. Be a social influencer for Christ! Discover your thread boundaries so you deliver content your congregation and community can rely on and anticipate.
- Get to the point quickly. Capture your audience within the first three or four seconds. Get to the point quickly— or do something unexpected so they want to watch more. Then reward them for paying attention. Give them exactly what they need.
- Say their name or speak their pain. Start videos by saying who it’s for or what need, concern or goal it’ll solve. This engages them. Sure, they may not be able to remember your solutions, but because you’re known for a controlled thread of content, they know where to find it again when they need it.
- Provide captions. We consume digital content in places that don’t allow our volume to be up. Rev.com is a great online service to create captions. It takes longer to produce but allows more people to enjoy content in a bathroom stall or coffee shop (where a lot of content is consumed).
- Keep it short. One of the best tips for church videos? Edit a script and resist rambling. For the first few it’s best to have a teleprompter to keep you on point. There also are apps (i.e., PromptSmart) that allow the script to scroll with your voice as you do a selfie video. Oh, and never waste anyone’s time. That’ll help them trust your videos. Be known for great video content.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Mark MacDonald is a communication pastor, speaker, consultant, bestselling author, church branding strategist for BeKnownforSomething.com and executive director of the Center for Church Communication, empowering 10,000-plus churches to become known for something relevant (a communication thread) throughout their ministries, websites and social media. His book, “Be Known for Something,” is available at BeKnownBook.com.