What's in this session?

  • Storytelling formula overview(1:23)
  • A character with a desire (1:36)
  • Encounters a problem (2:14)
  • Makes a decision (2:23)
  • BIG story example (2:39)
  • SMALL story example (4:31)

Show notes and resources

Free Bonus: Click here to download The Perfect Church Homepage Infographic – a complete visual breakdown of the essential elements that every church website homepage needs

The Transcript

Alex Mills: Well hey there and welcome to Pro Church Daily, the show where in 10 minutes or less, you’re going to get a daily dose of tips and tactics to help your church share the message of Jesus. Where we try and navigate the biggest communication shift we’ve seen in the last 500 years.

I’m your host, Alex Mills, joined as always by the boss-man, it’s Brady Shearer. And today we’re talking about the secret to discovering endless YouTube video topics.

Brady Shearer: We have done a couple of episodes of Pro Church Daily on the power of YouTube and how it’s the second most visited website in the world. Even more popular than Facebook and how it is a search engine. Hundreds of thousands of people are searching every single day asking questions about faith and Jesus and the Bible and there aren’t many churches that are creating content so we’ve had a lot of churches reach out to me and say, “We’re ready to take up that mantle but what video topics should we be covering?” …

Alex Mills: Right, where do we even start?

Brady Shearer: … “We don’t want to just upload our sermon so what should we be doing?” So, there is a process and it is incredibly effective to truly discovering endless video topic ideas. So we want to walk you through that right now.

The first step is to go to either the YouTube search or Google search and if you go to the YouTube search what you can do is type in a search that you already know is popular. So, the example we’ve used is Bible study, how to. So, feel free to use that exact one. Type that in and then look at all the channels that come up of young people, popular channels and then visit those channels. The alternative is just to go to YouTube and go into the search and type, sorry, go to Google and type in the search, best Christian YouTube channels. Go to those lists and then go to those direct channels as well.

And once you’ve found 10 different channels, go to the videos tab on those channels-

Alex Mills: So you can see all their videos.

Brady Shearer: -all their videos on one page and then there’s a sorting feature-

Alex Mills: My favorite.

Brady Shearer: -in the top right corner and what you want to do is sort those videos by most popular. So the videos that show at the top of the list are going to be their most popular videos. And now what you have are the most popular videos from Christian YouTube channels and what this will give you is truly an endless list of video topics that you can kind of piggy back on top of.

Now why is this so effective? Well, number one, it’s their most popular videos, which means people like to watch videos on that topic. There’s existing social proof. That’s kind of obvious. Here’s the second reason why this is so popular and this is kind of the stealth tactic. I went into my YouTube analytics. I’ve been learning about more about YouTube, studying more on it. We’ve invested a ton there obviously, we’re just investing more. I went to my YouTube analytics because I was curious on which videos and YouTube search are we ranking the best for and what I discovered that our YouTube traffic, only 10% of that traffic is made up from YouTube search. And I thought that was bizarre because 54% of the traffic comes from suggested videos and YouTube browse features.

So, YouTube browse features means you land on YouTube.com and you’ve got all those suggested videos for you. Basically people are finding Pro Church Tools videos and I think this is true across the board, they’re finding your videos not through search so much as they’re finding it through recommended videos. Which means, you actually want to piggy back on video topics that have proven to be popular in the past, even if maybe the competition seems a little bit higher because there’s existing people searching for that video.

They’ll land on the video with 1,000,000 views but then in the suggested videos, your video has the chance of popping up. And then when it does, people are going to go because they’ve already been interested in the first video. Your video is maybe a little bit different but the same topic and then they click on that.

Alex Mills: I remember when you shared this data with me earlier this week about 54% of our traffic is coming from suggested videos I was shocked at first because that’s a huge number, that more than half of all of our traffic is coming from that area but then I thought about my own habits on YouTube and realized, oh yeah, that totally makes sense, because often I’ll use YouTube as a search engine, type in a question, looking for an answer. I choose a video, usually one that has a good thumbnail, whatever or a title, whatever’s going to get me to click. And then from there it’s in those suggested videos that I have found most of my favorite YouTuber’s most of my favorite channels.

It’s where I found Peter McKinnon for the first time. I think it’s where I ran into Alen Palander, which is another great photographer, you know just watching a tutorial on Photoshop or whatever. And all of sudden I find a video on the suggested thing and they turn into one of my favorite YouTuber’s so it’s such a great part of the YouTube platform that we can leverage as churches. Like you said, on the popularity of those videos that sometimes have millions of views but if you’re answering a similar question, similar content, you’re going to show up in those suggested videos and before you know it you’re going to have more traffic that you ever thought you could have.

Brady Shearer: And this is what I love about YouTube. We’ve been investing a ton of time and energy into Instagram for instance and to me, at least, Instagram feels a little bit like a guessing game.

Alex Mills: Yeah totally.

Brady Shearer: You can post a ton of good content and the algorithm will, seems like, at least for me, I can’t seem to find a pattern. Sometimes, a video will, or a photo will do well, sometimes it won’t and I don’t know if there’s a great way to game the system and get new followers that actually good followers. But, what’s amazing about YouTube, similar to search engines optimization, SEO, is that there is a way to reverse engineer the process and there’s an element of predictability to it. And what’s great about this is that if you’re trying to get your Pastor or senior leadership to sign off on something, what you can demonstrate to them is, “Look, there’s a little bit of an element of predictability and certainty.” We just follow the right processes and we do it for long enough, we’re going to win. Whereas with maybe Instagram, you’re still just subject to maybe this will work, maybe it won’t sort of thing.

And there is a level of certainty to every platform but there’s more, the most level of certainty and predictability on YouTube.

Alex Mills: For sure.

Brady Shearer: So, if you’re thinking to yourself, “Brady, I love this example. I love this idea, but can you do all the work for me?” And the answer is yes.

Alex Mills: We’ve done it.

Brady Shearer: I went through this process myself this morning. I found 10 different YouTube channels, went through the process that three step process I just shared with you. I sorted the videos on these big channels by most popular and here are a ton of subjects that I found that your church could copy. Now make note, most of these subjects, the ones that I looked particularly, lean a little bit younger. And the reason for that is because Gen Z is right around the corner. They’re heading off to college this year and 95% of Gen Z uses YouTube. 50% say they can’t live without it. And so if you’re going to start creating content you want to create content that leans younger because that’s where the audience and the attention already is.

Alex Mills: Okay.

Brady Shearer: Examples I found; The Untold Truth About Saving Yourself For Marriage.

Alex Mills: Classic.

Brady Shearer: What’s interesting about this video, when I went into this individuals channel is that she actually did a part two because it has 1.7 million views.

Alex Mills: That’s not a little bit.

Brady Shearer: So, it was her most popular video and she’s like, “I want to piggy back on my own popularity.” [crosstalk 00:06:57] So, again, a proven process.

Morning routines, when it comes to devotions and what you’re doing with your quiet time or reading the Bible, worship music playlists, How to Find a Godly Man, How to Find a Godly Woman. And then questions about the faith. Things like; Should a Christian Drink? Should Christian’s Get Tattoos? Should Christian’s Kiss Before Marriage? Five Steps to Actually Battle Pornography? How to Study The Bible? What Our Church is Getting Wrong About Purity. Courting Versus Dating. What We Need To Stop Saying About Christian Singles. Is Secular Music Evil?-

Alex Mills: Yes, spoiler alert, yes.

Brady Shearer: -Should You Have Sex Before Marriage? And so, these are all questions essentially, that young people are asking trying to figure out. And when I was young I went to Youth Group and I heard messages about them. I went to my Pastor and asked him or her directly. Here what you can do is create videos and for the hundreds of thousands of young people, Gen Z, who want to know the answers to these questions, you can create content and answer them for them online.

Alex Mills: So good.

Brady Shearer: The featured resource we wanted to highlight for today, is the two-part church announcements formula. You can find that linked in the show notes. I’m presented more than 30,000 church announcements, which is obscene and so I’ve taken everything I’ve learned from that, put it into a formula, it’s 100% free in the show notes. Check it out.

That’ll do it for this episode of Pro Church Daily. We’ll see you next time.



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