Video Ideas for Your Church Homepage

When a parish is ready to start incorporating video footage into their homepage, it seems like their first instinct is to record the Sunday homily, post it to YouTube, and embed the video on their site. Personally I’m not a huge fan of this, I’d rather see videos that urge viewers to come to Mass—to be a part of the faith community that is listening to the homily.

Here are a few other ways to incorporate video:

  1. Many websites have a written “Welcome Message” from their priest or deacon, but something I would love to see on every parish website is a video form of this. Not only can the priest explain the culture of the community and their mission, the video shows the extra effort to introduce the parish and its members so visitors will come celebrate with them.
  2. A lot of Archdioceses have jumped on the video bandwagon as well. If you don’t have the time to create a video right now, check your Archdiocese’s website to see what videos they have already made, and embed them within your site accordingly. For example, if they have produced an annual Stewardship Appeal video, you could place that on your Stewardship or Online Giving page.
  3. Video testimonials can be extremely powerful. Record parishioners talking about your faith community, how it’s affected their family life and strengthened their relationship with God.
  4. Get creative! Hold a contest for your parishioners or school children to create a video introducing your parish, where the winning video will appear on the website.
  5. Finally, just a reminder to keep it short and sweet. 1-3 minutes is ideal.

A great example of a parish video is below. Not only does it show images of the community, include testimonials and a message from the priest, but invites the viewer to, “Come, Join Us.”

YouTube Preview Image

I think the key word here is inviting. There’s a lot of hype right now about the need for the Catholic Church to be “more engaging,” but we can’t engage our parishioners until they meet us at Mass! Your website can be a great tool to let them know they have an open invitation.

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Author:Clare Zajicek

Clare Zajicek is a Catholic wife, mom, and Marketing professional working in the Milwaukee area.
  • MidwestGirl

    Currently, our parish isn’t ready for making/producing our own videos, due to reasons too numerous to go into here.

    However, we’ve chosen to embed you-tube videos from other sources on our home page.  In the past, we’ve had some videos of Fr. Barron with Word on Fire and other diocesan sources.  It’s been a great way to engage our community with a professional looking product without a lot of work on our behalf.  When circumstances change, we’re looking forward to potentially producing our own videos!

    • Clare Zajicek

      That’s a great idea! I actually just came across this church who posts the “Weekly Vatican Video” on their homepage, which is pretty cool.
      http://www.blessedsacramentlincoln.com/

  • http://catholicservant.com Craig Berry

    Good post and suggestions Clare!

  • Kevinfraser

    It doesn’t play on mobiles.

  • http://twitter.com/stjoetosa St. Joseph Wauwatosa

    We’ve been trying to get a parishioner to help us create such a video; this is a great example and will inspire us to push harder to make it happen. Videos are very powerful on the web.

  • http://twitter.com/mike_bianco Michael Bianco

    A parish I recently worked with with us to create a parish video that incorporates most of the items mentioned above. Would love to hear your thoughts:

    http://vimeo.com/42150055

    • http://www.catholictechtalk.com/ Joe Luedtke

       Michael,

      I like your video very much.  Its a nice promotional piece that gives you a sense of what your church and faith community is like.  The only suggestion on the video is the hardest thing I can ask you to do… Make is shorter.  The Youtube generation is used to 2-3 minute promotional pieces and you have to wait for the very end to find out where to go for more info.  You may want a banner with your church’s website addressed interspersed in a few places in this video.

      From an SEO perspective, I would encourage you to get is shorter and post it on YouTube.  I’m a huge fan of Vimeo, but Google’s search engine seems to favor YouTube.  If you post this on both YouTube and Vimeo and then add a few keywords like:  Catholic Church, Parish, Community along with your city’s name and zip, you will rapidly become the number one search result for Catholic Churches in your area.  I feel guilty telling you how to ‘compete’ with other church’s but if your goal is to promote your community online a little SEO work will propel you to the top of Google’s list. If you change your video title to include your city name and zip code it will have virtually immediate Google results.

      Overall, well done!

  • Jay

    Some very good ideas and advice, the only thing that I would debate about is the comment about I engaging . It mentioned about how do we engage if they don’t come into the church?
    As I understand and admit this is important the bible teaches to go into all the world, so maybe we all gave a commitment to go to people to engage them
    Good work tho :0)