If you have your own animated ministry videos, you can use them to increase your sphere of influence, gain new Likes on your Facebook ministry Page and drive new traffic to your website. More importantly, you can use them to bring others closer to Christ, to share your mission, and to build new relationships.
Last week I wrote about using video to invite people to Ash Wednesday services. If you have a video that speaks to faith, service, community or other outreach, take advantage of what Facebook has to offer to get the message to a larger audience. You can do that in several ways.
Upload the Video Directly to Facebook
Upload the video directly to Facebook, rather than posting a link to the video.
- Facebook is competing with YouTube for video traffic, and when you post directly to Facebook, your video gets a fuller presentation in the News Feeds. A link gets a thumbnail photo, but a direct upload gets the full width of the News Feeds.
- I have written before about Facebook’s algorithms which determine who sees your posts. Videos posted to Facebook directly get seen by more people than those posted by links.
- Put your message from the video in the description that goes with it, so that people who do not watch the video will still get your message.
Use the Custom Call to Action Option
Use the Call to Action option which will appear as soon as you upload your video. Note, it takes Facebook a few minutes to process your video, so it will not appear immediately. You will get a notice when it is ready. The Custom Call to Action button appears immediately and this is the only chance you get to use it.
There are several Call to Action options to choose from (Sign-up, Buy Now, Download, etc.) You select the action you want. Here I selected Learn More. You must provide a URL that the button will link to—the parish website address in this case.
When the video ends, the last frame will have the Replay Video button and the Call to Action button that you selected. When the viewer clicks on the button, it will take them to the designated website.
Boost Your Post
If your video is an outreach video that is inviting people to participate in a religious event, a community or ministry activity, use the “Boost Post” option (available to pages with at least 50 Likes) to promote it. You can boost a post for as little as $5.00 for any number of days and you can choose your intended audience: it can be those who like your page already, those who like your page and their friends, or people you choose according to location, age, gender and interests.
The main purpose of the above Ash Wednesday video is to invite all Catholics (active and inactive), in the parish boundaries to attend Ash Wednesday services. So it makes sense to choose the option based on location and put in the name of the city. You can also use zip codes. When I do these, I usually budget an amount equal to $5 a day, such as $20 for 4 days, but for some posts, I go higher. Facebook divides the amount you budget over the number of days and boosts the post accordingly. The Administrator will always be able to see how many people are reached by the post. After you do this a few times, you will find out what gets the best results for you. Your current followers will see the post as usual. The point of the boost is to get it to a wider audience.
There are other types of ads on Facebook which you might want to try. I like the Boost Post for most of what I do.
Take advantage of Facebook to spread the Good News and invite others to pray and celebrate with us. It is there for us to use and reaches many more people than are in the pews each Sunday.
If you have already uploaded your own animated videos to a Facebook Page and have experience to share, please tell us about it in the comments below.