Video communication has a way of drawing people in by capturing the essence of a story and conveying powerful moments of transformation in people’s lives. If your church communication does not contain video, you should consider adding it to your communication strategy. Creating captivating church videos is a way to create powerful storytelling and connection. That said, video is more complex because it combines a script or interview with video footage including single or multiple subjects, editing, lighting, and more. Video can be very difficult to master.
In order to shoot and edit a great church video, it requires, at minimum, a smartphone, an external microphone, and some editing software. However, lighting must be considered if shooting indoors. Many churches now have a few people who understand, light, edit, and produce videos (either on staff, on a volunteer team, or under contract). But creating captivating church videos always begin with a great story (that needs to be discovered or written). Start small and work toward more complex videos as required.
Table of Contents
For a basic great video (that tells a compelling story), here are six steps:
#1 – Know Your Audience
Think about who will want (or need) to watch the video. Consider where it will play based on where the audience is. It can be in person, online, on social media, or at a kiosk. Once you know your audience; consider why they need to watch and the journey you must take them on (ie. start where they are and what they need to understand or change during the video).
#2 – Focus on One Need
Focus on one need, or to say it another way, answer one question. Sure, they’ll be a lot of needs in their lives but a short-form video should only focus on one of them. In the journey, you’re taking them on, what is the most important need? Resist focusing on more than one thing.
#3 – Edit Repeatedly
Like everything you do in communication, you must not post or print anything in its original (raw) form. Everything needs editing and especially a video. Think poetry and not prose. Consider your half-listening, low-attention-span audience, and make videos as short as possible. Just enough time to tell the story eliminating all unnecessary elements that extend the time or lead to complexity. Based on where it’ll be viewed, decide how much time to allow. For most venues, a short-form video is less than three minutes. That’s about all the time most church services will allow and social media/website is about the same. It takes a VERY riveting storyline (and a large budget) to get people to watch longer.
#4 – Let it Rest
Don’t rush releasing/posting a video. Once it’s been worked on, let some time go by, then watch it with a fresh set of eyes. Even better? Let someone (from your audience) watch it and comment on it. If they have questions or concerns, re-edit.
#5 – Create Compelling Video Captions
And because most people watch videos on their phones during office hours, on the go, or in the bathroom (yes, it’s true), they don’t want sound. So caption it using YouTube tools or an online translation service such as rev.com — just proof them carefully.
#6 – Post Videos Strategically
Even if the church video is intended for live viewing primarily, it’s wise to post it on Vimeo or YouTube since people will stumble upon them and be interested in the content or even share them. Since it’s critical for being discovered, spend time writing a good keyword-rich description, meta-tags, and also provide your website so they can find out more about your church.