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Kent Elliott

What in the world is connected TV (CTV)?  Most likely,  you’ve heard of one of the most popular connected TV devices: Apple TV.  But there are many more that millions of households use to stream all kinds of video content on their smart TV’s and smart phones.  If millions of people are using it, where is the church? I think it is important that the church, which, by the way, has the best message/content on the planet, should be center stage on all of these platforms.  Why all?  Because many of the households will have one or two of the major devices and you want to make sure you are not missing any household in your community.  For example, if a household only has Amazon Fire TV and you choose to only have Roku and Apple TV, then you will be missing a family that needs to hear The Message. 

So why pay for something when there are other platforms like Facebook and YouTube that are free to stream your content?  First, I encourage you to use these free social media platforms to post and boost about your digital video content.  I recommend using “teaser content” or as some might say, “the drip before the drop” content that is only 2-3 minutes or less.  Combining the power of these platforms’ followers, search engines and the ability to boost and target regions and demographics allows you to capture the intended prospects attention and direct them to your CTV apps. 

Once you get your prospects’ attention, then you can drive them to your own private channel free from ads, negative content and distracting video recommendations. This gives a better user experience so the viewer is not easily sidetracked by any other unwanted content. 

Your first priority as a church for streaming is to find a platform that allows your church to have its own private channel that you have full control over.  One option is FaithStream.  

FaithStream helps churches and ministries build and maintain Netflix-caliber connected TV apps on the most popular streaming devices like Roku, Apple TV, Fire TV, Android TV, IOS and Google Play.  You can find more information at www.faithstream.video.

  

Kent W. Elliott

President and Lead Consultant 

FaithWorks Image Consulting 

www.faithworskimage.com

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Kent Elliott

Methods of reaching our community has changed over the decades.  As we all know, there is nothing better than reaching those already in our circle of influence we come in contact with on a weekly basis.  This would include coworkers, neighbors, fellow classmates and also hobbies that allow you to interact with others.  This has always been one of the greatest ways to reach those that do not know Jesus.  We could borrow a marketing term and call these “warm leads” that are easier to convert (pun intended). 

But what about the very cold leads?  These are leads that that you have never met, you are not sure if they are even interested and have a very low conversion rate (same pun).  Because of this, you have to use a totally different approach.  The methodology to reach those “cold leads” has to be reaching the thousands, not the handful.  Why is that? Simply put, it is going to take many more leads to convert the few.  In order to do this, you have to have find a solution that is cost effective, so you have a better ROI (another borrowed business secular term).  To get the best return on your investment, you must find a solution to reach the multitude for a great price.

In a recent blog I wrote called, “Reaching Your Community Through Streaming”, I talk about the social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram and the incredible opportunity you have to reach tens of thousands of households and individuals for very little money.  I use them and I recommend you do the same.  Not just posting any content but being intentional about targeting relevant substance (not just upcoming events) that will draw the attention of your city and community you are reaching.  This is very important, and every church should have it in their marketing budget to spend “x” amount of dollars a month on boosting.    Should you stop with just social media?  As the infomercial guy says, “wait, there’s more!”. 

Have you ever heard of Connected TV devices like Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, and Android TV?  These devices are known in the technical term as OTT (over the top), however, in simpler terms, they are streaming devices that easily connect to your home TV or are built into your Smart TV.  These devices allow you to develop and launch apps that you can stream your church’s video content on.  I cannot express how important this is for the church as a tool of evangelism. Many people may never enter the doors of your church until they experience a service online.  When they are able to come to your service digitally first, there is a higher possibility that they will visit you in person.  Think about it this way, they may never hear the message of the Gospel if we do not penetrate the walls of their homes through these connected TV apps.

Your first priority as a church for streaming is to find a platform that allows your church to have its own private channel that you have full control over.  One option is FaithStream.  FaithStream helps churches and ministries build and maintain Netflix-caliber connected TV apps on the most popular streaming devices like Roku, Apple TV, Fire TV, Android TV, IOS and Google Play.  You can find more information at www.faithstream.video.

  

Kent W. Elliott

President and Lead Consultant 

FaithWorks Image Consulting 

www.faithworskimage.com

 

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Kent Elliott

One trend we’ve seen this year is many churches using streaming as a response to the current events we’ve encountered in 2020.  Unfortunately, most churches did not see the importance of investing funds pre-Covid-19 in the space of streaming.  This resulted in a lot of scrambling for hardware and software without any budgets for streaming and churches putting something together so their church members could not miss church. Now that we are months into this pandemic that we thought would be over by now, we are still seeing cases spiking in certain regions.  Now what do we do?  How should we respond as a church when it comes to streaming?

First and foremost, we need a long-term plan.  We must think BIG picture and not just, “we need to try to survive during this season”.  Like it or not, the need for streaming is not going away, but it is the future of the church in how we reach, communicate and connect to our congregations and our communities.  I am not just talking about posting sermons and worship. But also streaming relevant content that connects with people that do not attend your church.  For example, stories of lives being changed and how your church is making a difference in your communities is key.  This might be showing a recap video of a backpack give back program or showing how a family’s marriage was not only saved but flourished because of the church.

Finding the right platform is also critical for the destiny of your content.   What do I mean by that?  When you use a public platform (or free platform) you are subject to that platform’s environment.  In other words, the quality of your streaming content could be easily limited because of network congestion or third-party advertisements. 

Your first priority as a church for streaming is to find a platform that allows your church to have its own private channel that you have full control over.  One option is FaithStream.  FaithStream helps churches and ministries build and maintain Netflix-caliber connected TV apps on the most popular streaming devices like Roku, Apple TV, Fire TV, Android TV, IOS and Google Play.  You can find more information at www.faithstream.video.

  

Kent W. Elliott

President and Lead Consultant 

FaithWorks Image Consulting 

www.faithworskimage.com

 

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Kent Elliott

What is the future of reaching our communities as a church? How do we reach the most homes at the best cost per household? Many churches have already left the traditional direct mail marketing approach.  Direct mail marketing still works when targeting small number of households in a targeted area (close to the church) through Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) by USPS. This is a great idea for special events like block parties. But it is not the most cost-efficient way to reach your whole city/town.

So, what is the answer?  Simply put, digital marketing.  Many churches have jumped on the bandwagon of using social media like Facebook and Instagram to boost content for special events and beginning to realize the importance of engaging “socially” with relevant conversations.  You can reach tens of thousands of people with very little cost per household using targeted demographics.  If you are a church and are not using this method, START NOW.  If you are a church and this is something you are already doing, don’t stop.  Matter of fact you should increase your budget to do more.  Don’t just use “seasonal” digital marketing.  Make this part of your monthly marketing plan.

Streaming should be part of your overall digital marketing plan as a church.  One strategy for using social media is to drive people to your digital private channel across all Connected TV (CTV) platforms to be able to view your video on demand (VOD).  The message of the Gospel can reach homes of people that may otherwise never hear it.  Times are changing and so is how we reach every house that God has called us to reach.  Most people feel more comfortable first experiencing a service online through streaming before they walk through the doors of your church. 

Your first priority as a church for streaming is to find a platform that allows your church to have its own private channel that you have full control over.  One option is FaithStream.  FaithStream helps churches and ministries build and maintain Netflix caliber connected TV apps on the most popular streaming devices like Roku, Apple TV, Fire TV, Android TV, IOS and Google Play.  You can find more information at www.faithstream.video.

  

Kent W. Elliott

President and Lead Consultant 

FaithWorks Image Consulting 

www.faithworskimage.com

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