Churches across the world had to change their method on how they would continue to uplift the masses during these unprecedented times. The demand and service of virtual churches is at a high. Many of them are streaming services in drive-thru parking lot services, or pre-recorded services on youtube/Roku TV. With the high demand of streaming and virtual software, many churches are facing some challenges in staying ahead of the curve.
As we continue to operate in the unknown of when the next time we will gather in masses in one building, one thing that is known is the vast past of virtual and streaming software features/updates. Recently, Instagram created some new features for IGTV and their stories so users can stay engaged and for creators to create. In addition to Facebook with changes to Facebook watch and their live capabilities on monetizing content. More features have been added to the main digital apps that churches are using. Now you probably ask with all those changes, which ones are most effective for the church? Well, here they are:
Reels on Instagram
The age demographic for most common Instagram users is between 18-34. Knowing this information, Instagram just rolled out a new feature called Reels (Reels allows you to create fun videos to share with your friends or anyone on Instagram. Record and edit 15-second multi-clip videos with audio, effects, and new creative tools.) that will continually engage their users. This feature can be extremely beneficial for churches when bridging the generational gap to their millennial and centennial members. When creating marketing campaigns for Young adult and youth engagement this feature will be helpful.
Instagram Shop/Facebook Marketplace
Many churches had bookstores within their facility and online. During these unprecedented times, many had to gravitate to fully being ecommerce.Instagram Shop/Facebook Marketplace helps with that. Any merch that is in your church’s physical bookstore can now be shared on Facebook Marketplace and Instagram Shop. These features can be connected to your churches shopify account (if you have one) or website.
Twitter Topic Pages
So many topics trend on Twitter. At times, it can be hard to locate them. Twitter has made it easier to locate topics related to your organization and users’ interest. For churches this feature is helpful with informing their members on news related information concerning the church, allows gospel and inspiration to have their own topics to trend and aware believers, and generate their own conversations with uplifting content. Topics can be found From your profile menu, on your Home timeline, and in search results, you’ll see prompts to follow various Topics. Simply follow the Topic and we’ll personalize your Twitter experience with relevant Tweets, events, and ads.
Youtubes Composer Cards Previews
Many members and youtube viewers are watching church on youtube via live or pre-recorded/edited services. Youtube created a feature called composer cards that allows Youtube creators to link their video content to other interactive content to gain more views on their page and subscribers. Via google, you can use cards to make your videos more interactive. Cards can feature a video, playlist, channel, or link. Cards aren’t available on videos set as made for kids.This feature will help churches recap videos, commercials, motivational content and etc. more interactive for its viewers and gain viewership for related content associated with that video card.
Youtubes Watch Videos by Chapters
Youtube new feature chapters help viewers with playback or rewatching a certain part of a video that they felt they missed/want to continue to see. With the many serman recaps that are featured on churches and ministers pages, chapters help the playback of that content so users can rewatch a certain part over and over for their liking.
IGTV Ads/Instagram Monetization
In May, Instagram allowed videos on IGTV to include ads in them. This feature was selected for 200 creators that they hand picked to help monetize their content. As they continue to roll out this feature it’’ll be available for all creators in different industries.Also, this feature allows you to have mobile optimization preview up to 15 seconds. Many churches create content for the IGTV with recap videos, motivational minutes, and etc. Having ads on those videos can help with monetization of content.
New CTA (Call To Action) Buttons:The Contact/Donation/Email Request Tab on IG
On your IG page there are new tabs that can be added alongside the contact tab. Previously those tabs were contact, email, message and call. Now you have different tab options that you can put on your page like:donation, gift cards, email request and more. These new CTA tabs will be extremely helpful for churches for prayer requests, views to the church website, gaining donations for different community efforts, and more.
Words by: Kinyana Mccoy