Every week I hold online office hours and answer questions from folks like you. This week we’ve got my take on how to get started live-streaming church services and how to get more visitors to your church website. Take a look and be sure to join me every Wednesday from 2-4 p.m. CDT for online office hours!
We would like to start streaming special classes, sermons and events to Facebook. Can you tell me the best way for a non-technical person to get started. What equipment you would recommend?
My answer: Oh boy. Great question (I feel like I say that a lot lately!)
If I were you, I’d start simply by getting the streaming up and going and providing a link on your fan page. What I mean is, don’t worry about integrating into Facebook right away. Get familiar with streaming as a medium and then work your way toward integration.
That said, I’d point you first to the main-players in the game:
Start up a channel on any of these sites, get familiar with them, and experiment a LOT. Broadcast with nothing more than the webcam on your computer for awhile. See if that can do the trick.
Once your comfortable with streaming, then start looking into low-cost cameras that will give your streaming quality a little bit of a kick. Nothing fancy. At least not right away.
When I was on a church staff, we literally started with the webcam on my laptop. There was only one shot (my face), the sound was dreadful, but people watched. As we got more comfortable with the platform, we added more and more “stuff” to the feed. It eventually led to what you see here: Hope ONLINE.
There are easy ways to get started. Just take it slow!
Most people coming to our website via search engine are looking specifically for our church. Is that a bad thing? It seems like people looking for a church (in general) in our area should be coming to our site too, right?
My answer: It’s definitely not a bad thing. Good thing they’re not finding the church down the street when looking for you!
That said, there are some basic search engine optimization (SEO) techniques you can use to get more traffic for people searching for churches in your town.
- Take out some ads on Google. Use your town + church in your ad title to get started.
- Write blog posts with strategic keywords (town name, church name, etc.) to get the engine traffic coming your way.
- Go to Google Places and claim your church!
Thanks for the great questions everybody! Hopefully this information will help you get from where you are to where you want to go. See you next time in the office!