The results of the recent poll taken by Catholic Web Solutions indicate that CWS followers, like the general social media population, use Facebook and YouTube the most. I have written about Facebook before, so let’s talk about video and YouTube today.
In February 2011, the blog Royal Pingdom reported these statistics about YouTube:
YouTube has 490 million users worldwide (unique visitors per month), generating an estimated 92 billion page views each month.
The average YouTube user visits the site 14 times per month, spending an average of 25 minutes on the site each time…
… these numbers were only for the YouTube website. Don’t forget all those embedded YouTube videos that are all over the place, in blogs, viewed on smartphones, etc.
These numbers tell us that online video has a significant place in social media. Internet marketers tell us that it also is a highly effective tool for attracting attention, delivering a message and increasing traffic to a website or blog.
Creating a Video is Easier than Most People Think
Most Internet novices think creating a video is complicated, expensive and time consuming. That may be true for high-end professional video, but it is not necessarily true for the videos you and I want to post to promote mission. And we can upload videos (15 minutes or shorter) to YouTube for free.
I have created three different types of videos and I have uploaded each one to YouTube. At my community’s General Chapter held in Rome in November 2010, I used the Flip camera (no longer in production because it has been replaced by digital cameras and smartphones that have video functions) to record one-minute interviews with sisters from different language groups. I uploaded them to YouTube and embedded them on my Chapter blog. My instructions to the sisters were: “Talk to your sisters back home in your own language and tell them what this week was like for you.” Here is a link to the Week 2 videos. They added a personal touch to the blog.
The second type of video was the streaming PowerPoint. I have used Articulate, an e-learning software tool that is excellent for creating online courses. Because of the price, you will only want to use Articulate if you are going to become a major producer of these videos. I have also used the free version of MyBrainshark to create a streaming PowerPoint called Tweeting Live Events. It is very user friendly, served my purpose, and fit my budget.
For the third type of video, I used the free version of Animoto to create a 30 second video using upbeat music (from their library) and a few lines of text to celebrate the World Day of Prayer for Vocations. It was not sophisticated by any means, but it has had 179 views.
The message for this blog is: if I can create an online video, anyone can. Don’t worry that it isn’t sophisticated or fancy. If your video has good information or a worthwhile message, viewers will be satisfied. My first videos were experiments. I know that I can improve my productions–but more importantly I have learned that I can deliver content through online video rather simply. I plan to be doing more videos in the future.
How have you used video in your Internet ministry?