You’re streaming live church services, but are you really happy with the number of people sticking around to play it?
In today’s episode, we’re giving you five ways you can make your live stream more engaging and gain more attention.
TL;DW (Too Long; Didn’t Watch)
We know you’re busy, you don’t have time to do the research and spend money on things that don’t work. Many of these tips just fall by the wayside because you have so much on your plate. And that’s okay!
Live streaming is still a relatively brand new medium but it’s still dominating social media. And some of what we bring from old television and radio don’t completely fill this new bucket we have.
So these tips are both to make sure you cover all your bases and use your live streaming platform to the best of its ability.
Wire-in Your Internet When Streaming Live Church Services
There are multiple ways to live stream your church, but this tip for streaming live church services using Desktop or Broadcast Mode.
When you’re using a computer to stream, make sure you wire-in your computer. Use a wired ethernet connection and make it your primary internet source.
Wifi is a good fall-back, but when you’re trying to live stream you want a consistent signal. When you’re jacked-in, you’re always connected. No frequency disruption, and no sharing the wifi access point with 50 other people in service.
If you have a network/IT guy, they’ll have an easier time giving your computer priority bandwidth too.
Engage With The Chat
This isn’t live television anymore. We have a chat now and there is interaction. So don’t be afraid to interact with your audience in chat.
At the minimum, tell your audience thanks for watching. Let them know you appreciate them watching while away.
BUT we want you to take it to the next level and really engage with your audience. Ask where they’re watching, how’s the weather, or what they’re up to after church…anything to get people commenting.
The beauty of this tip is it’s not one more thing for the camera guy to do. Anyone can be your chat moderator. They don’t even have to be in the booth or on campus!
Add Live Scripture To The Chat
This tip is more advanced but will keep people in-tune with your pastor or speaker.
Similar to how you add scripture to your worship screens, add scripture to your live stream.
So using “picture-in-picture” you can display your scripture alongside your pastor.
You can also accomplish this with lower-thirds if you have a streaming platform like vMix, Wirecast, or even OBS. It just takes more preparation ahead of time.
Put Thought Into Your Title And Descriptions on Social Media
You know your videos need titles, but a sermon title isn’t always the best social media title.
People won’t stop for “June 21st Sermon” or “Upside Down Living.” They WILL, however, stop for “Jesus Vs. The World” or “How To Live In An Upside Down World (hint: we’re the ones upside down)”
We need to stop the scroll when we’re streaming live church services. And to get viewers watching to the end you have to hook them into an idea. Your title and descriptions will do that.
HINT: When your followers on Facebook are scrolling, they’ll see the description not the title (see above). So put more attention and time into crafting a good description.
If you can’t think of a catchy description, one secret is to ask the pastor/preacher, “What’s the one thing you want people to walk out knowing?” This will clue you into the main idea of the sermon. Then just flip it into a catchy question!
Use A Second Camera To Add Variety
Using a second camera can help break the monotony of your stream. There are a few ways you can use your second camera:
Second angle of the pastor
Close-up or wide shot of people on stage
Reverse shot of the audience
We understand that this isn’t as easy as dropping more money on a pro camera. We’re all about hacking baby, and you can again use NDI technology to turn your phone into a second camera.
Use the NDI Camera app on iOS or Android to turn your mobile device into a secondary camera. Place your phone on a tripod with a clip/holder and point it where you need. We recommend you keep it subtle and not in an obvious place where it’s distracting.
One thing to note is your NDI camera phone will have a delay. So this is really useful for an audience shot, but not for your speaker as it will be out of sync with the audio.
Starting your live stream is the first step. But to make it really engaging you need to give your audience something to pay attention to.
First, make sure you have a consistent internet connection so your audience doesn’t experience any disruption. Then you can add to your stream using scriptures or a second camera to keep it from being the same shot all day.
And if you’re streaming live church services to social media, keep your audience engaged with an attention-worthy title and description. After they start watching, keep them attentive by asking questions and commenting in the chat. They’ll feel welcomed and appreciated.
Are you using any of these tips already? Link to your live stream below and let’s see it!