Many years ago when I was the media director of a megachurch, before the church itself had purchased video production equipment they set up a meeting with a consultant to discuss if it would be wise to purchase video production equipment and if “yes,” what?
The consultant owned his own video production business and supposedly had produced a few notable music videos for Christian artists.
When our Senior pastor asked the pressing question surprisingly the consultant pivoted. Instead of saying, “no, video production is a horrible idea for your church,” or “yes, you should but ‘x,’ ‘y’ and ‘z;’ he instead said, “maybe you should consider instead of producing relatively low quality / low impact video on a weekly basis using your own purchased equipment; maybe it makes more sense to invest your entire equipment budget into one grand production; an independent film, documentary, concert, etc.!”
Everyone in the room read between the lines – with his own company producing the one product – and the church paying for it.
Long story short the church started off by purchasing one camera which was immediately pressed into service not only recording the weekly sermons, but also a fund raising appeal video to be rolled in at a banquet.
While the consultant’s pitch fell flat, I think it does raise an important question, “for many churches where is the balance between quantity and quality?” Are we sacrificing efficacy to instead achieve a consistent mediocrity? The answer may be different ministry to ministry, or is it?
I came across an interesting article entitled “Everything You Need To Know About Video Production Costs.”
While the focus of this controlbooth.tv post is not about production costs per se, I do want to highlight some of the statistics quoted in the Storyhunter article, which I think we who are involved with House of Worship video production would be wise to consider.
The author makes the point that when considering the vast quantity of video content available on-line that which our viewers consume on a daily basis, it may cause concern that our own videos will become lost in the crowd. The author surmises, “This might make you wonder if it’s worth it to produce video at all. But it is — as long as it’s high-quality, valuable content. A good video can communicate so much more than text and pictures.”
The article highlights surveys have found that 79% of consumers prefer learning about a product or service through viewing a video as opposed to reading text. Conversion rates (a term used when a viewer makes the decision to buy a product or is positively influenced to move forward with the value proposition) after watching videos can be as high as 84%! The Storyhunter author goes on, “Unless, of course, you’re churning out low-quality video that damages your brand image. Brightcove (a video distribution platform providing content delivery network services) gathered vital statistics on how low-quality video has a negative impact. They found that 62% of consumers have a negative perception of a brand after experiencing a poor-quality video, while 60% no longer want to engage with the brand and 23% hesitate to make a purchase. In fact, publishing a low-quality video is actually worse than not publishing video at all. A cheap video will make your brand seem cheap.”
While some in the House of Worship market will argue that we are not selling a product, I would counter that we are attempting to communicate messages effectively. There is a correlation between appropriate production quality and communication efficacy.
So the question remains, is your church currently going for quantity over quality? How are your videos impacting your ministry’s message and brand? How effective are your videos at inspiring conversion? Is your content valuable?
“A good video can communicate so much more than text and pictures.”
Photo attribution: Elizabeth Hahn on Flickr