Creating Exciting VOD Content
This past year churches have become much better at providing live video content. I’ve had the opportunity to coach a number of churches through this journey. We figured out how to set up a ring light, plug in a decent mic and make eye contact with the camera. Well done church! But, we really haven’t improved our Video On Demand game. Unlike a live streamed experience, VOD content is something your congregation and community can access anytime and anywhere. Think Netflix or Hulu. So now that we understand what VOD content is, let’s explore why you should make it and how to go about doing that.
1. COMMUNITY & CONVENIENCE
Live service experiences are awesome. There is an energy in watching and interacting with others in real time. There is an excitement experiencing an event as a community. This is why so many people watch the Super Bowl. We don’t really like the game. But we like being a part of something bigger than ourselves? So live video is great for community. But on demand video is great for convenience. Not everyone is off from work when the big game is being played. This is why the NFL provides the game as VOD the following day. Apply this same strategy for your content.
2. WE ARE A BINGE CULTURE
Have you ever gone to YouTube looking for a particular video and hours later realized you’ve gone down a rabbit hole you weren’t expecting? Or started a new season of your favorite show on a Friday, and finished it before the weekend was over? Yes, we all have. That is the power, and sometimes addictive nature, of VOD. It allows you to continue watching content you enjoy. In other words, if you create just one VOD on a topic, you have decided to end the user experience when the video is over. But if you create multiple compelling videos on that same topic, you give the user an opportunity to explore in greater depth. Don’t end the user experience early. Create more VOD content.
3. POSTABLE & SHAREABLE CONTENT
If I see an exciting play during a sports game live there is no way for me to share it with others. But if ESPN puts that highlight up as VOD content, I can post it on my social media accounts and share it with friends that were rooting for the opposing team. In the same way, you want your people to be able to post and share highlights from your live events, from your services. So going live with your service is good but also cutting it up into highlights as VOD content is great.
1. LOW HANGING FRUIT
Make sure your service and message are both available as VOD. You don’t want these airing live on Sunday morning and then disappearing into the ether. Also, highlight your whole service and just the message as different VOD content because some people want to see the one, but not the other. There are a number of great platforms to archive your service and message. YouTube is great because it is the second largest search engine after Google. Vimeo’s interface is clean without ads or unwanted suggested videos. And Facebook allows for robust interaction with sharing, comments and likes. I recommend investing in all three, but if you only had the bandwidth for one, archive your VOD content on YouTube. In the long run, it will give you the greatest reach and impact.
2. DOESN’T HAVE TO BE DIFFICULT
Video production can seem daunting. Which sometimes prevents us from using this valuable communication tool. But it doesn’t have to. When I was the Creative Arts Pastor at Liquid Church we did a twenty one day Daniel Fast. We realized this was gonna be hard for our church so we wanted to give them daily encouragement. We recorded short devotionals from staff members for each day. These videos weren’t high production. They were a single take (we encouraged staff to practice a lot before stepping in front of the camera) and had no post production work. The majority of work was on the shoulders of the talent to write and deliver a compelling devotional. Look for similar easy ways to create compelling VOD content.
3. STORIES OF LIFE TRANSFORMATION
Some of the most exciting VOD content for churches to produce is stories of transformation. There are two main types, salvation and sanctification. Salvation stories are usually shown before a baptism. They highlight the transition from death to life. Are usually pretty straightforward and highly celebratory. Sanctification stories are different. They aren’t as dramatic and are a little more messy. Because of this, many churches inadvertently shy away from these types of stories. But this is a discredit to the work of Christ in our lives. His transforming power wasn’t just active in the past, it is also at work in the present. So let’s create more VOD content that focuses on sanctification.
4. CREATE EVERGREEN CONTENT
This type of content is applicable whenever anyone watches. It isn’t tied to a date or time. So a video predicting who God wants in the white house wouldn’t work because it will end up feeling dated. Also, there are many other reasons why not to create the above stated video. Outside of the topic, the location and wardrobe also helps make the content evergreen. Shooting indoors avoids people being able to place the time of year the content was created. Also make sure your talent doesn’t wear shorts and flip flops cause then it will feel odd watching in the middle of winter. Creating evergreen content gives your video a longer shelf life which will make it a pleasure to watch for years instead of months.
So that is why and how to create exciting VOD content. If you are looking for additional coaching on this topic, let me know. I would love to come alongside and help you better leverage video to accomplish your mission.
This past year churches have become much better at providing live video content.
We figured out how to set up a ring light, plug in a decent mic and make eye contact with the camera. Well done church!
But, we really haven’t improved our video on demand game. Unlike a live streamed experience, VOD content is something your congregation and community can access anytime and anywhere.
So now that we understand what VOD content is, let’s explore why you should make it and how to go about doing that.