I don’t have to tell you that video is important. You know it. You see it all around you. You create them every week.
But the challenge is getting people to watch it. The challenge is figring out how to drown all the noise on the internet and get your video in front of your online audience.
That is where promotional techniques can help.
You can increase the reach and impact of your church videos by promoting them in the right way.
Video Overload & The Need for An Extra Push:
The number of videos being uploaded on social media is increasing at an incredible rate. Research says that just on YouTube, people upload more than 400 hours of video every minute!
So, even if you create a useful and informative video with a powerful and impactful message for your online audience, if you do not have a promotional plan and take extra effort to push it through the noise, chances are, it may get lost forever in the content-overload in the internet space.
Here is a list of 3 practical things you can do to increase the reach of your ministry videos on social media.
How to Promote your Church Videos: 3 Actionable Tips
Tip #1: Upload your church videos directly to social media channels
Natively uploading your videos to each social media channel could give you an edge when it comes to reach.
All social media channels prefer and recommend that you upload your videos directly on their own network instead of uploading them in one channel and sharing the links in theirs. When you do that, they tend to give your content a preference in their algorithm.
For example: Uploading a video on YouTube and then grabbing the share link to post it on Facebook might seem like an easier thing to do, it might seem like a smarter thing to do, so that you can divert all Facebook traffic and get more hits on your YouTube channel. But studies show that videos uploaded directly on Facebook have better reach than videos linked from 3rd party sites.
Search Engine Journal conducted a test to verify reports that Facebook was giving more importance to native videos. As a conclusion, they found that their native Facebook videos had 2x better reach, resulting in 2x more ‘Likes’, 3x more ‘Shares’ and 7x more ‘Comments’ compared to 3rd party video links.
So unless you have a specific reason to divert traffic back to your YouTube/Vimeo or other 3rd party channels, it might be a good idea to take that extra effort to upload your videos directly on Facebook and other channels
Native uploads also helps you take advantages of the unique features that each channel offers for video content (like captions, call-to-action elements like end-cards, tags, etc).
I know it is an extra effort for sure, but it might be worth it. Give it a shot and see if it makes a difference. Let me know if it works for you.
Tip #2: Create channel-specific versions of your church videos
Every social media channels has its own specification when it comes to videos. They want the videos in a specific dimension and in a specific length.
For example: As of now, Instagram allows you to upload or record videos that are minimum 3 and maximum 60 seconds long. You cannot upload longer videos. And the size of the video needs to be in 1:1 ratio.
Depending on which channels are important for your ministry (see this blog post to learn how to choose the right channels), I highly recommend that you custom-create your videos specifically for those channels.
It is not a good idea to create one video and stick it up in all channels. Each channel has a unique set of audience, with unique preferences, mindset and behaviour. They are in that channel and not on the other for a specific reason.
For example: Even thought Facebook and YouTube are both video platforms, the audience are very different in the two channels. Long-form videos work much better on YouTube than on Facebook. YouTube viewers are more intentional about watching videos than Facebook viewers.
Recently Social Media Examiner, the no.1 go-to resource in social media and one of the biggest names in the industry, decided to pull out their video show from Facebook and move them to YouTube based on the statistics and trends that they saw.
So depending on the type of video content you have and the channels that your audience prefer, create custom video content.
Here are two excellent guides to help you:
1. Hootsuite’s Guide to video specifications for various social media channels
2. Socially Sorted’s Guide to ideal video length for social media videos (a great guest post on the blog of Donna Moritz, who is a wonderful human being and a friend. She is definitely the expert you should follow if you are interested in visual story-telling.)
Tip #3: Promote your church video using your email newsletters and offline campaigns
Email is a great way to promote your new videos. And yes, email is still one of the best ways to reach people and share your content with them (I can see the surprise look in your face). One study showed a $44 return on investment for every $1 spent on email promotions.
If you use email campaign tools like Aweber or Mailchimp, all you have to do is create an image with the screenshot of the video, place it in the email along with a small text introducing your videos, hyperlink the image to your YouTube/Vimeo video file and send it to your followers. It’s that simple.
Additional tip: After you take the screenshot of your video, place a video play button in the centre of the image, so that your email subscribers will know that it is a video file and they need to click on it.
With QR codes gaining popularity and most smartphone allowing people to scan the code directly on their phone camera without opening any additional app, you can promote your marketing videos on your offline – print and outdoor campaigns.
Most users have access to smartphones now. So when they see a QR code, if the content adds value to them, there is a higher chance of them scanning the code and watching your video.
Additional tip: In your written copy of the offline campaign, make sure you clearly articulate the benefits of why they need to take the extra effort of scanning the code and watching the video. You can also place some screenshots of the video in the print campaign to arouse curiosity.
Creating QR codes is not a complicated process. There are many free QR code generators available in the market today to make things easier for you.
As a sample, I have given below a QR code to my own home page, just pull out your mobile and try pointing at it with your camera. It should pop out a message to open a link in your browser (if it does not, use a QR scanner app to scan it) to see how really simple it is.
Hope these tips help you promote your ministry videos to a wider audience and increase your reach so that you can share your message with many.
Leave your thoughts and comments below. If you have any questions or any other tips for people working on videos, do share them.
Stay Connected. Stay Blessed.
Author of The Connected Church. Social Media and Digital Marketing Consultant for Nonprofits, Faith-based Organisations, Churches and Ministries.