Hello, I’m Natchi Lazarus. Today we’re talking about this important question of whether you should use YouTube as a platform, or Facebook as a platform to promote your church sermon videos? We are talking specifically about church service sermon videos. I have a very definitive, clear answer to that question. I’m not going to say, “you got to use both”, which is what… most of the times we ask people… that’s the answer we get. Of course, it’s partially it’s true, you got to use both. But I’m going to give you a very specific answer and I’m going to substantiate my answer towards the end of the video. So watch the full video so that you get the complete picture of why I’m giving you that answer.
Understanding social media journey
Before I go into the answer, I want to talk to you about an important strategic thing that you need to keep in mind to give you clarity as you look at the situation, not just with YouTube and Facebook, but with any platform for that matter. There are different levels in which you take your content through a digital journey. First of all, in a church sermon context, you produce the sermon, whether it was done in front of a live audience or in a studio, today in lockdown and all the (covid) situations that we are in, many churches are recording it and using it as a resource to send to the church audience. Right? So it doesn’t matter how you do it. You’ve got your video ready, right? Now, that video goes through a journey in the digital space. It’s not that you just send it to people and people watch it. No. It actually goes through a journey.
Stage 1 – The Discovery
And one of the first things in the journey is a stage called Discovery Stage. How do people discover your video? Now we are talking about your sermon video being discovered by people who are not already in your congregation. Maybe they are, but mostly discovery is for new people. Because most of the time your church audience are already seeing it. They probably watch it on your social media channel or your website or someplace. They are already consuming your church sermon. This is for people who are new. I presume that’s the idea behind the question, right? When you say “..promote it”, it means you are reaching a new audience. So how do people discover it? The first stage is Discovery stage.
Stage 2 – The Consumption
Then comes the Consumption Stage. There are lots of other stages, but I’m going to stick to these two for this particular answer. The discovery stage is dependent on people coming across your video. They are browsing something… for you to understand, it is very important for you to understand the journey of a social media audience. Your social media audience are not coming every day to social media looking for your sermon. Right? They’re not coming and saying, “oh, Natchi has got a wonderful church sermon. I’m going to go and find that”.
Does anybody do that on Facebook? No. You go to Facebook for what? You go to Facebook to find stories about your friends and family. You go to YouTube to find answers to your questions. So basically, you go to these platforms and you’re scrolling through these platforms for something that you want to get answered, or an update that you want to give to yourself about your friends or family or whatever. So both these platforms, YouTube and Facebook, have that audience who are browsing through the platform. And now the question is, how do they discover your video? That’s one concept that I want to remember. Keep it there. Ok? The concept of discovery, keep that there, we’ll come back to it.
The second concept is Consumption. Once people discover a video, they sit and watch it. They watch it. And they consume that entire content. And what is your goal and my goal as a content creator? That people have to consume it fully, right? Lets say, you come up with a 20 minute, 30 minute video, or like in our church we have 1-hour sermon, so if you are a deep teaching church like that, then you got long videos. So whether it’s a 20 minute video or a 1 hour video, you want people to consume the whole thing. That is the goal and objective. OK?
A channel should help in both stages
So that is the Consumption step. So the first step is a Discovery step. The second step is the Consumption step. Now, when you think of a platform, you need to consider both these elements. For example, when it comes to Discovery, both YouTube and Facebook, have a very strong Discovery method. Because Facebook has billions of people. They have really fine tuned the way the news feed works. So people who search for certain things are able to find it as they are browsing through the story of friends and family, in between you can have your church video show up. That could be with paid ads or that could be by organic reach, but Facebook has a very strong discovery method. The second, YouTube also has a very strong discovery method. In fact, it is the second search engine in the world. People go to YouTube all the time for searching and discovering something. So both are very strong in the first step, the Discovery step that we talked about.
The YouTube Advantage
The second step, Consumption, this is where my answer to your question is going to become stronger, because when it comes to consumption, a church sermon is a long video. It’s not a 5 minute or 10 minute video like this one that you’re watching, it’s probably a 20 minute, 30 minute on a 1 hour video, long form video. Now, this is where YouTube starts giving you an advantage. It becomes stronger than Facebook. Because in Facebook, generally, the watch times are very low because people come to the platform for a different reason. The reason is to look at your friend’s story, family story, other quick information and go on.
Nobody wants to watch a one hour video. Well, may not be ‘nobody’, but most people don’t watch longer videos as per the numbers and statistics. But on YouTube, it’s a different story. People spend hours. Long form videos do very well on YouTube. That’s just the nature of the platform. People watch YouTube on TV, they spend hours, they watch games, they watch TV programs, TV shows and all that kind of stuff on YouTube. In fact, Facebook wants to become like that. They’re doing all sorts of things to become YouTube. But as of now, at this point of recording, YouTube is the one that has the capability for people to consume your content in the long form, and on an ongoing basis. We will talk about ‘ongoing basis’ in some of the video, that’s the next step of consuming and engaging, etc. But basically, the first two steps that we talked about, Discovery and Content Consumption.
Discovery wise, Facebook and YouTube are both good. So you can use both. In fact, I would highly recommend you use both, for the Discovery phase. But for a church sermon, the Consumption is going to be bigger and better on YouTube. So I would highly recommend YouTube.
My answer to the question
So there you have it, my answer to that question is: focus on YouTube for church sermons, because that is where people consume content, long form content, longer church sermon type of content without any breaks in between. So better be used YouTube in that way. But use Facebook to bring people to this. If you can bring people from Facebook to YouTube or from Facebook to your website where the YouTube video is embedded or something like that. So basically the idea or strategy is for people to discover it on Facebook, but come back to your website or YouTube to consume that video.