Using video to communicate youth group news (1 of 2)

Using video to communicate youth group newsThose 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.

Originally posted at on October 16, 2008.

Originally posted at on October 22, 2008.

Originally posted at on October 28, 2008.

Shawn Michael is also using video for his youth group news. If you want to see an example of what he’s doing, see here.

Posted on October 28, 2008

New eBookGo
Focused Youth Ministry ebook

85% off!

Focused Youth Ministry

This practical "how to" ebook will walk you through a 30-step process to discovering God's vision for your unique ministry context. The process also shows you how to implement that vision and put metrics in place to evaluate what is moving the vision forward and what isn't.

Price: $12.95 Limited time: $1.99