Those of you who follow me on Twitter have seen some of the recent episodes of my youth group video announcements. Since I rarely make announcements at youth group meetings, I depend on other means of communication to share news, announcements and other important youth group news. My latest experiment is with video, for a couple of important reasons.
My normal communication is mediocre
The open rate of my youth group emails averages 35% (although, that may be partially due to deliverability). The click-through rate for Facebook messages is about 30%. Text message updates seems to be the most effective means of communication for our youth group, but obviously it is very limited with how much I can write in a single message. We also have bulletin inserts every week with youth group news, which may or may not be working since I have no way of tracking that (except to maybe stop doing it and see how many people still ask for it?). Our youth group website generates an average of 100 visitors per day and is probably our most effective means of communication.
Why try video
But we all know that for teenagers, online video is growing in exponential leaps and bounds, so if they’re not going to take 2 minutes to read an email, maybe they’ll take 10 minutes to watch a video. That’s why I’m now experimenting with youth group video episodes each week. I’ll continue it for another couple weeks while keeping an eye on the video traffic stats and then evaluate it’s effectiveness against all the other ways we already communicate.
Give it value
The success of communicating with teens in general, but especially through these videos, is that I need to give the episodes more value than just news and announcements. That’s why I’ve laid out the format of each episode as follows:
- Welcome and summary of what’s coming up in the video
- Announcements and news with L.T.
- A giveaway of some kind
- A devotional thought that serves as a preview to next week’s lesson
- YouTube video of the week
Of course, each episode is available in iTunes as a podcast so teenagers can easily transfer the episodes to their iPods and watch later on the bus, working out in the gym, or whenever they want.
My latest youth group video episodes
Tomorrow I’ll post a tutorial about how I made these videos, but in the meantime, below are the latest episodes from my youth group.
UPDATE: Part 2 of this series is posted and includes instructions on how I created the videos along with links to everything I could think of.
Posted on October 28, 2008