Quantity over Quality, or the other way around?


Many years ago I was the media director at a megachurch. Before the church 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 gear should they purchase?

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 the consultant pivoted surprising us all. Instead of saying, “no, buying video production gear is a horrible idea for your church,” or “yes, video is great and you should but ‘x,’ ‘y’ and ‘z;’ he instead said; “maybe you should consider the following? Instead of producing relatively low quality, low impact video on a weekly basis with equipment you purchase; maybe it makes more sense to invest your entire equipment capex budget into a single high quality production; an independent film, documentary, or a concert, etc.”

Everyone in the room read between the lines nearly simultaneously — with his company producing the one product taking up the church’s entire capex budget.

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 during 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 achieve a sequential 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 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

Tom D'Angelo

Tom D'Angelo has worked in television production and AVL corporate theater for nearly four decades. He is Emmy Award nominated (Best Director category, Mid-Atlantic) and has been part of various teams nominated or winning national Emmys.  As the Media Director at a megachurch in the 1980’s he developed a love for the Church and church performing and technical artists.