Is your church streaming or posting sermons online? Are you seeing a fair number of people engaging with these sermons, or very few? Whatever the case, online sermons can be a great resource for many people to take advantage of if they cannot attend church or want to re-watch previous services. To make the most out of the resource, here are 5 tips for expanding your online sermon audience:
1) Make your sermons easy to locate.
Nobody will be able to watch your sermons if they can’t find them. Make sure that sermons are easily locatable on your website. Consider featuring recent sermons or series on your homepage or include an easily accessible link or dropdown menu item that will lead site visitors to a dedicated page for recent sermons.
2) Include a description of what the sermon is about.
First-time site visitors or those who are curious about your church may not have any idea what your sermons are like or what they can expect. A lengthy feed of recent talks may be overwhelming. Consider organizing your sermons by series and include descriptions about what each sermon is about next to each respective video. This will give site visitors a quick glimpse into what they can expect (context and themes) before they dive into watching a longer sermon.
3) Break up a sermon into key points.
While a sermon may have been delivered in one piece on stage, this doesn’t have to be the case with the online version. Sometimes it helps to break down a longer sermon into key points that can be more easily digestible. These shorter videos can then also be re-purposed and used for the following:
- Blog post that contains the video and adds additional narrative/analysis
- Resource for outreach, utilizing key points from the full video
- Resource for future seminars or studies
4) Share short snippets of the sermon on social media.
Recorded sermons provide great content for social media. Longer videos can be cut down into shorter videos that highlight main points and can easily be shared to social sites. Posting sermon clips on your social channels will also increase visibility of your church and talks beyond your current website and online audience. Sermons and sermon clips tend to spread naturally on social media and have the opportunity to be viewed by people who may not currently attend your church—but that can be positively influenced by the message.
5) Direct your online audience to other resources and ways to get in touch.
When it comes to whoever is watching your online services, there’s often a lingering interest that extends beyond the teaching. People watching the sermons may be left with questions or simply want to learn more. This provides a prime opportunity to direct your online audience to other resources or sermons on your website that may be helpful for them to check out. Even extending an invitation for them to attend your church or contact you directly with questions can help viewers explore next steps and consider attending.