Church Marketing – YouTube and Church – Should They Go Together?
As you probably know, YouTube is one of several video sharing sites on the internet where anyone, including you or even your church, can upload videos for others to view. Both large and small companies have used this type of service to promote their products or services. There are 100 million videos viewed. daily! What you may not know is that YouTube surpassed Yahoo as the second largest search engine. So if you’re looking for free exposure, you might have a hard time finding something that pays a great marketing ROI other than a great church website that’s been optimized for SEO.
No wonder more and more churches are using YouTube!
The trick is to determine the correct type of video to upload and then find a way that people want to watch it. Because when this article was created, if you put the term “church” into the YouTube search engine, it returned over 626,000 entries. So you need to separate yourself from the rest of the mess.
What kind of videos do I post?
Churches sometimes have a hard time coming up with videos to share. Do you already have videos of activities that have happened in your church? Here are some ideas to help you get started. Be creative. You don’t need a professional to capture these moments. Most churches have many talented people in their congregations who can perform this service. If so, you are just one click away from being able to upload those videos to YouTube.
People who share your trip: Something that people really resonate with is sharing with other like-minded people. This is also a good way to show how “regular” it is when viewed by non-church goers or those looking for a new church home.
> Recent event highlights: Similar to promoting upcoming events, showing highlights from recent events can show people what your church is like and show them what they missed (so they don’t miss out next time).
> Posting funny or funny videos: There’s a reason America’s funniest home video endures. People like funny things. If you have something, post it.
Promote upcoming events: Let people know what is coming up at church. People will see much more often than they will read. This gives you a real opportunity to sell the event. Interview a few potential attendees and let them help build momentum. Have a fundraiser? This will give you the ability to actually show what will be done with the funds.
Publish commercials: Most churches do not have the budget to pay for television airtime. But what if it did? Post what could be a commercial for your church. It could even be more effective than a TV purchase in this era of TiVo where commercials are routinely skipped by viewers.
Speakers: Does your church host special guest speakers or conferences? You can show the highlights of these to demonstrate what someone on the fence about attending or not can make a good decision.
Spiritual messages: I feel they are much better than posting the minister’s Sunday message. Many people seek spiritual guidance and information. You can produce videos on various topics, such as Non-Violent Communications.
Non-church informational videos: Don’t limit yourself to just church and spiritual messages. Make your YouTube channel a go-to place for everyday life. And in the process, direct more people to your website, as well as your church. How does it work? Everyone knows some information that would be useful to many people. Do you have authors who want to provide a quick 2 minute introduction? Why not? This is a great way to reach out to those who wouldn’t normally be looking for a church, exactly the people we should be targeting with our church marketing, and ultimately has a positive effect on your church’s brand.
Video used in your church services: Does your church use videos during the service to help make an impact? Why not post them online?
Create word of mouth by commenting on current events: Search Google or Yahoo for the hottest topics and comment on them. You are sure to get a reaction and exposure. Keep in mind that buzz can go both ways, so think about the effect and whether you (as well as your church and your stakeholders) are up to it. However, it is great for web traffic.
Create a “fun” fundraiser with a video contest: Pick a topic that you want to promote that is youth-oriented and then host a contest for your teens or youth to create church videos and then post the videos. The good thing about this is that a lot of people tend to get involved, bring people together and have fun doing it.
Things I should refrain from posting on video sharing sites?
Messages from all over Sunday –Most ministers speak for 10-20 minutes on Sundays. YouTube has a maximum limit of 10 minutes. People’s attention span is more oriented to 2-5 minutes. There is a disconnect there. Some may argue this, but seeing a speaker speak without the rest of the service may not be their best step forward in my opinion.
Political Comments –This is dynamite and you will surely offend someone. It is better to leave these matters to the political experts. Also, there are already enough.
What are some of the benefits to my church of posting videos?
Save your bandwidth! Use YouTube to host your videos!
Creating videos of people who would not otherwise volunteer can be a great way to get those people more involved in the church.
Your website will likely benefit from a higher page rank as well. Since Google now owns YouTube, your website will take priority in Google’s page ranking.
The bottom line is that services like YouTube and other video sharing sites are easy to get up and running, can generate more visitors to your church website and your church, and can show the rest of the community what your church is all about. This should be something that all church vendors should incorporate into their toolbox.