As the world becomes increasingly digital, it’s no surprise that churches are looking to the internet to spread their message. After all, if you can get more sermon views online, it allows you to preach the gospel to people who would never walk through the doors of your church.
However, simply posting sermons online is not enough to guarantee views. Church leaders need to be proactive in positioning their online content in the right places and in the right way to get more sermon traffic.
Luckily, a few simple hacks can help you reach more people. We’ll cover five of them today, so let’s dive right in.
Table of contents
#1 Create a Strong Online Presence
Ok, we know churches don’t always like to talk about their “brand” because that feels too much like a marketing term. Yet we rarely come across a pastor who’s preaching to get famous. The vast majority care about honoring God, preaching Jesus, and being led by the Holy Spirit in their ministry.
That said, an online brand ensures that people understand who you are, what you stand for, and how you deliver your truth. That’s a strong brand; as a pastor or preacher, that’s exactly what you want!
So throwing up random videos isn’t enough. You need to have a solid platform for people to find you online. And when you show up consistently as a pastor, people will trust you.
A powerful online presence requires
- An up-to-date website: A fresh website is essential. This is your first impression with many potential viewers, so make sure it’s good!
- Social media accounts that are active and engaging: To get more sermon views online, you need to be where your viewers are. And that’s likely on social media. Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, ensure you’re active and engaging with your audience. Your goal is to make it easy for potential viewers to find you online and get an idea of what you’re all about.
- Excellent Content: Your videos don’t need to be full-scale Hollywood productions requiring hours of editing. But if you want people to watch the entire video, it must meet minimum picture and audio standards. People won’t take the time to watch the entire video if it’s difficult to understand.
#2 Make Your Sermons available on Your Website
If you want to get more sermon views online, it all starts with posting them on your website. And your church website should have a dedicated page for your sermons.
That way, when your congregation struggles with a particular issue, they can easily find a sermon that addresses their needs. If timely topical preaching is hard to find on your church’s online channels, they’ll be off to search Google or YouTube.
Whenever possible, you want them to hear from their pastor first to provide a course of action with wisdom from the Bible. And a great way to equip and encourage people beyond Sunday is by providing timely messages. Your online library will help people deal with the complex realities they encounter daily. And these sermons can help build their faith with prayer, scripture, and sound teaching.
Here are some ideas for getting your sermon views on your website:
- Add a video player to your website: This allows people to watch your weekend service without having to leave for another platform like YouTube.
- Tag your videos: When you have tags, categories, and a search feature, it’s easier for viewers to find the content they’re looking for, such as relationships, depression, parenting, or a particular book of the Bible they’d like to study.
- Include a transcript: For those who prefer to read, provide a transcript of your sermon. You can also include key points and takeaways. At the least, you can supply an outline.
- Add content to your landing pages: Your sermon pages shouldn’t be just a title and a video. Including content and keywords will help your SEO or search engine optimizaton – that means helping people find the videos you have online!
Although you might also post your service on YouTube and social media channels, you must develop a central hub on your website.
In addition, when people are considering visiting your church on a Sunday, they’ll want to watch some online sermons first. This gives them an idea of the pastors and their preaching style. So make sure your website is a one-stop shop for visitors and your congregation to view and share sermons.
#3 Upload YouTube Videos
More than one billion hours of videos are watched every day on YouTube. It’s one of the most popular online platforms for watching videos and one of the largest search engines–second only to Google!
Whether you do YouTube Livestream or post recorded videos after you preach live on Sunday, your church needs sermons on YouTube.
You can get creative with the content you share. For example, in addition to uploading entire sermons, you could post shorter clips as YouTube Shorts. These could focus on a particular point or theme from your message.
You could post Shorts as a series so that your viewers get a sneak peek of your message each week and are encouraged to watch the entire service when it’s available on your website or channel.
As in all areas of the internet, it’s essential to understand how to optimize your videos for more effectiveness on YouTube.
Here are some five keys specific to boosting your sermon views on YouTube.
- Create an eye-catching thumbnail: It is the first thing people see when they come across your video. Make sure your thumbnail image stops them in their tracks and entices them to watch. Also, ensure the image is of you preaching or relevant to the content.
- Add keywords to your title and description: When someone searches for a particular topic on YouTube, the algorithm looks for videos with those keywords in the title, description, and content. A video might speak to a challenge they’re experiencing, like job loss, relationship difficulties, or an addiction. So get creative and choose your words wisely.
- Catch peoples’ attention Immediately: You have a very short window to catch people’s attention when they first start watching your video. So start strong! The best way to do this is to set up a hook and get straight to the point. You don’t want to waste time with a long introduction.
- Interact in the comments: When you get comments on your videos, make sure to respond and interact with the viewers. This helps create a community and keeps people coming back for more.
- End with a call to action: At the end of your video, make sure to include a call to action. You could ask viewers to like and share the video if they found it helpful. Or to subscribe or leave a comment. All of these things will help boost your rankings and get you seen by more people.
#4 Share Your Church Service on Social Media
Social media is a powerful tool for churches to preach the gospel. It allows you to connect with people who may never hear about your church or cannot attend Sunday services.
Because different people prefer different social platforms, you want to share your sermons on as many channels as possible…
Let’s rephrase that: as many channels as your team can keep up with while still delivering high-quality content and not burning out.
By sharing your sermon on social media, you’re opening up your church to a new group of people. You never know who might be touched by your message and inspired to visit your church in person.
People scrolling on social media have short attention spans. The tips outlined above for YouTube videos apply across all platforms. You may want to post your full-length sermon, or you may want to provide just a short video teaser that piques their interest in watching the entire sermon.
#5 Collaborate With Other Church Leaders to Spread God’s Message
When we talk about getting more sermon views, the end goal isn’t to become a famous speaker and edge out other preachers and ministry leaders. We’re all working together. And the goal is to reach the many people far from God and don’t know the good news of Jesus Christ.
So, as much as you may enjoy preaching, consider ways to reach out to another church leader or pastor. Together, figure out how you can support each other and increase the overall reach for both of you. Maybe that looks like sharing the online pulpit, so to speak.
And these days, many Christian influencers are sharing the word and talking about real life for Christians. Many of these folks aren’t pastors but have a ministry all the same.
Reach out and build relationships with them because their opinions and recommendations carry a lot of weight. If they recommend your church services, it will increase your views.
Here’s the final point on collaboration: even if you don’t know any famous YouTube stars or Instagram influencers, have your congregation. It doesn’t matter if they have five followers or 5 million. They can share Jesus online and invite people to watch your church’s latest sermons.
Make sure you emphasize to your faithful church members that they have this opportunity for digital evangelism. They can encourage others through their words online and the truth they share.
Getting the Most of Your Sermon Views
When it comes to how to get more sermon views online, the goal is not ultimately high view counts. As people hear your prayers, speaking, and the heart of your ministry, it’s all about Christ and the abundant new life we have in Him.
But the Bible is clear in Romans 10:14:
How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?
As you preach the word of God in every season and through every platform possible, we hope you will be equipped as a minister and preacher to spread the truth that will bring people closer to God.