In today’s episode, we do a deep dive into the question many of you are asking. How can we get more views for our online church service?
In what we all hope is the late stage of the pandemic, most churches are still hosting online church services even though they are still back to in-person services.
Join us as we unpack some of the most important things you can do to help reach a larger audience online.
We hope this conversation helps your church reach more people and grow.
Table of contents
Acknowledge Your Online Audience
While your in-person audience may still be your priority, you must recognize that people are watching your service online too. Make a point in every service to acknowledge that. As you prepare elements of your service, ask yourself if it will have the same impact online as the people there in your building.
Air It On Multiple Channels
Let’s face it, producing a complete service each week is hard. Creating something suitable for airing online is even more challenging. What isn’t complicated is uploading that content onto different online channels. If you upload your services to Facebook, take the time to upload them to YouTube as well. It will take an extra couple of minutes and could double your reach. Remember that channels like Facebook typically get better results when you release the content, but people may find your services on youtube for years to come.
Much of the content people watch online is done with the sound off. Your content must be engaging, even when people can’t hear you. We all understand that worship is better heard than read, but you need to engage people who are just scrolling by before they will listen in many cases. Consider adding captions to your services, but be careful with autogenerate captions as they might convey a message that you did not intend.
As people engage with your services online, make sure to connect with them socially. When people comment on your service, always respond. Invite those commenters into a deeper relationship. People will be more likely to watch again if they feel like someone recognizes them as a real person.
Use SEO Friendly Titles
Pastors are famous for their creative sermon titles. But what works in person does not work for maximum views online. Remember, no one is searching for titles like Lost and Found, but they may be searching for keywords like Prodigal Son. For the most part, generic titles will get you better results.
Take Advantage of The Google Grant
Google Gives Churches $10,000 every month in free advertising for any non-profit that applies. This can be used to drive traffic to your online service. Managing the grant can be challenging, but you can use it to increase your online audience if done right.
Include a Transcript
If you are doing subtitles, you should include the whole sermon in written form on your website. Adding a transcript will add thousands of words of text that will help your messages rank online. There are several services out there that can help you get this done for a reasonable fee.
Include an Online Specific Call To Action
Pastors have mastered the call to action in their in-person service. For some, it’s come down to the altar. For others, it’s – raise your hand. In our experience, most churches skip the call to action for online viewers. Giving a specific call to action for online viewers will help them take the next step in growing their faith.