Making Online Video Work for Your Church

February 4, 2009 by

Everyone talks about the allure of online video. But can it be useful for anything besides Super Bowl commercials and amateur video of a man getting hit in the groin with a football? Absolutely. Just ask a New Orleans restaurant that paid $1,000 for a 1-minute online spot that brought in 300 new customers in the first month. That’s online video that works.

The restaurant turned to a video production company, TurnHere, that churned out 1,000 videos per month last year, primarily for local businesses. TurnHere definitely has their system fine-tuned, but part of their success is in knowing how to tell the story of a local business.

“We want real people telling real stories, authentic and full of information,” says TurnHere founder Brad Inman. “The Web demands believability.”

They put effective videos where people will find them (local search sites), and it works. It also helps that they crank out the videos (no laborious six-month process).

A similar approach to online video might work for your church. Focus on telling stories, being real and believable (not religious weirdos), and putting your video where people will find it. A $1,000-production company might not be in the budget, but you might be surprised at the volunteer talent within your congregation.

We’ve talked before about how your church can use video, asked where is the church’s Ask a Ninja and pointed to some successful church videos.

Post By:

Kevin D. Hendricks

When Kevin isn't busy as the editor of Church Marketing Sucks, he runs his own writing and editing company, Monkey Outta Nowhere. Kevin has been blogging since 1998, runs the hyperlocal site West St. Paul Reader, and has published several books, including 137 Books in One Year: How to Fall in Love With Reading, The Stephanies and all of our church communication books.
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4 Responses to “Making Online Video Work for Your Church”

  • Manfred
    February 4, 2009

    Wow, that’s an amazing case study. Very interesting, and online video is also a great way to build trust for yourself and your brand.
    Stories are always compelling in one way or another, telling them “straight to the camera” definitely captures as much as possible of the story. Still, text is good for the search engines, so they need to be placed within a context.

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  • Steve
    February 5, 2009

    Video is a very time and cost-intensive product – any tips for keeping costs down without making it look like a dodgy high school film?

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  • Kevin D. Hendricks
    February 5, 2009

    Steve, I’m no video expert, so I don’t have a lot of good ideas for keeping costs down. One thing you could do is post that question on the Church Marketing Lab.
    One idea is that sometimes you can make low production values work to your advantage. Come up with a concept that would require a cheap look. It’s the old Blair Witch Project approach. Obviously not an idea you can get away with all the time, but it can work.
    OK, hit up the Lab and ask people smarter than me. ;-)

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  • Matt
    February 5, 2009

    Although some video projects require high dollar equipment, many times it is not entirely necessary for good online video. A Professional Camera will not give you good quality if you have poor lighting and audio.
    Invest time in learning how to light things better- even if you were just using home depot shop lights! It makes a difference. Record in a quite location without lots of clutter. Try to use a microphone that is not attached to the camera, it won’t pick up the mechanical sounds of the camera so much.
    For some practical tips, watch this
    check out their other videos as well. There are some about using lighting and microphones. They’ve helped me a lot!

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