Unlocking the Benefits of Google for Non-Profit Churches: Why Your Ministry Needs to Utilize Google for Non-Profits

Unlocking the Benefits of Google for Non-Profit Churches: Why Your Ministry Needs to Utilize Google for Non-Profits

Unlocking the Benefits of Google for Non-Profit Churches: Why Your Ministry Needs to Utilize Google for Non-Profits

Google Ad Grants Through Google for Non-Profits

In today’s digital age, search engines play a critical role in how people access information and connect with organizations. For local churches operating as non-profit organizations, harnessing the power of Google for Non-Profits can offer a wide range of benefits. In this blog post, we will explore why your local church needs to utilize Google for Non-Profits and how it can help your ministry thrive.

Google for Non Profits Provides Free Access to Powerful Tools

Google for Non-Profits provides eligible organizations with free access to a suite of powerful tools that can enhance their online presence and operations, and provide cost-savings so your non-profit can give more to those in need.


Free tools include Google Ads, which can help drive targeted traffic to your church’s website, Google Workspace (formerly G Suite), which offers professional email and productivity tools for your church staff, and Google Maps, which can help people find your church’s location and contact information easily. Access to these tools can significantly boost your church’s digital presence, increase efficiency, and improve communication within your ministry.


For example, you can access unlimited branded emails through Google Workspace.  Through Google Drive, you might be able to eliminate a paid service such as Dropbox, by taking advantage of Google Drive’s free storage.

Increase Your Visibility On Google Search

Google, being the most widely used search engine globally, holds significant importance for organizations of all kinds, including local churches. Establishing a strong presence on Google Search is essential to ensure visibility and reach for your church.


Google for Non-Profits offers an opportunity for your church to enhance its visibility on Google Search results through the Google Ad Grants program. This program provides eligible non-profits with up to $10,000 per month in free Google Ads credits, enabling your church to promote its mission, events, and initiatives to a wider audience.


However, it’s important to note that not every church may fully benefit from the program. As a remnant inventory program, Google allows qualified non-profit organizations to access the program in regions where advertising demand is low. As a result, some keyword terms may have lower demand, and the scale of the program can be impacted by geographic targeting settings. Nevertheless, it still presents a valuable opportunity for churches to leverage Google’s resources and reach to increase their online visibility and engage with their community.

Google Provides Free Analytics Tools For Non-Profits

In addition to the Google Ad Grants program, Google for Non-Profits also grants access to Google Analytics, a robust web analytics tool that can provide invaluable insights into your church’s website performance, user behavior, and engagement. With Google Analytics, your church can gain a deep understanding of how visitors interact with your website, which content resonates with them, and where they drop off.


By leveraging this data, your church can make informed decisions about website optimization, content creation, and engagement strategies. For example, you can identify the most popular pages or sections of your website and optimize them for better performance. You can also analyze user behavior patterns, such as how long they stay on your website, which pages they visit, and where they exit, to identify areas that need improvement.


Google Analytics allows you to track the success of your online campaigns, such as event registrations or donation goals, and measure the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. This data-driven approach empowers your church to make data-backed decisions and refine your online strategies to maximize the impact of your online presence.


GA also provides valuable demographic and geographic data about your website visitors, helping your church better understand your audience and tailor your outreach efforts accordingly. This can be especially useful in identifying trends and preferences among different age groups, locations, or interests, allowing your church to create targeted content and engagement strategies that resonate with your specific audience.

Final Thought: Use Google for Non-Profits To Help Increase Donations and Fundraising.

Google for Non-Profits also includes a powerful tool for non-profits, called Google One Today.  The tool can greatly simplify the online donation process for your church members and supporters. Through Google One Today, eligible non-profits, including churches, can receive online donations directly through Google, making it easier and more convenient for donors to support your ministry financially.


With Google One Today, your church can create fundraising campaigns and share them with your community, allowing individuals to contribute to your cause with just a few clicks. This streamlined process eliminates barriers to donation, such as complicated forms or payment processing, making it more convenient for your church members and supporters to contribute to your ministry’s financial needs.


Google for Non-Profits also provides opportunities for churches to participate in fundraising campaigns, such as Giving Tuesday, a global day of giving. Through Google’s extensive reach and resources, your church can leverage this campaign to raise awareness and funds for your ministry, connecting with a broader audience and expanding your donor base.


And don’t forget, Google for Non-Profits offers additional resources, such as access to Google Workspace, to help your church streamline communication, collaboration, and project management. This can enhance your church’s operations and enable more efficient and effective teamwork among your staff and volunteers.

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Facebook Removes Religious Audience Targets: How Do I Market My Church?

Facebook Removes Religious Audience Targets: How Do I Market My Church?

Facebook Removes Religious Audience Targets: How Do I Market My Church?

Facebook Targeting Options For Church Marketers

You may have just gone into Facebook to launch a new church marketing campaign and spent a few minutes searching for your “go-to / familiar” audience targets only to come up empty.  Maybe you spent an extra few minutes trying to figure out what’s wrong.  


Then you hit up Google to do a quick search and realized that what you observed is true: Facebook has removed religious targeting.  No more targeting by people interested in Bible Study’s or Hillsong United, or even just a general interest in Christianity.


And as someone who is trying to reach more people for Jesus, and to promote your church you might be scrambling to figure out how to reach new people in your area.


Here are a few tips for building your audiences, and for targeting:

Retarget people who have visited your Church website

To do this you are going to need to have the Facebook Pixel installed on your website.  Its not as challenging as it may sound.  If you’re using Ads Manager you’re already in the backend of Facebook and so you may even have already set up your Pixel.  If you’re boosting posts, you’ll need to go into the actual Business Suite to set this up.  WordPress has a Facebook plug-in and a tutorial that is super easy to use and it does a good job of guiding you through this process.


Once you’ve set up your Pixel it will begin tracking visitors to your website and to specific pages. It is important to remember that if you have a low traffic website or if you are in the early stages of having the Facebook Pixel on your website you’ll have low advertising delivery for your campaigns. 


In this case you may want to consider targeting the people who like your page and their friends.  Make sure you are inviting everyone who likes your posts to also like your page! 

Use the look-a-likes feature to extend the reach of your retargeting audiences.

Facebook still has all of its targeting features, they’re just not making it consumer facing.  They didn’t lose the ability to target by religious interests, they just took away the transparency of their targeting.  So a look-a-like audience is going to be a great way to build out your custom audiences.


Because Facebook still knows what these folks are interested in, and it is still in their best interest to create a good advertising experience for their users.  Untargeted ads aren’t a great experience, and one option is the look-a-like feature.  This feature is found in Facebook Ads Manager and you’ll need to “create a new audience,” and SAVE your audience for future use.  You still need a source like your website, past videos, social engagement or a custom list, but this is a great way for you to still reach the right audience, while also getting scale.

Create Custom Targets For Marketing Your Church: Use a custom list like an email list.

Database marketing is one of the best ways to market your church.  It is also underutilized.  Facebook allows for lists to be uploaded and for these uploaded lists to be saved as a custom audience.  So if you have your own list of emails this could be a great way for you to build out customized and unique audiences.  Extend the reach of these lists by creating look-a-like audiences.


There are a few things to remember about this method.  The list should be one that you’ve grown organically and not something you’ve purchased from a third party.  Or if you are sharing a list with another church, a large ministry, large non-profit or other partner organization, it should be fully transparent to those who are on the list that they are going to be receiving marketing messages from your church.

Final Thought: Keyword Search Targeting on Google Ads, YouTube is a Great Church Marketing Option.

Facebook (and Instagram) are only one social media platform to consider.  And though they have the biggest audience of all of the social media networks, they’re not the only option for promoting your church.


There are other ways to reach new people. YouTube (which can be reached using the Google Ads platform) is a fantastic option.  This platform allows for keyword search targeting and interest based advertising.  YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world and is owned by Google.  This is a powerful platform for you to reach new people, and people who are in a discovery mindset.  It is also used as a music streaming platform, and many Christians will build their playlists of Christian artists and listen to this throughout the day. If you are going to use this method of promotion you’ll need to spend some time building out a quality video asset.


Another great option for your to check out is Google For NonProfits. Google’s Ad Grant allows non profit organizations with legal 501 (c) 3 status to be elligible for free ad space on their search engine results page.  While the program is limited only to keyword searches and doesn’t included display advertising or YouTube promotion, it is still an amazing resources and one of the most overlooked and undertilized church marketing strategies available to churches to promote their Jesus-loving activities and people!

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Church Marketing: YouTube SEO

Church Marketing: YouTube SEO

Church Marketing: YouTube SEO

Christian Marketing 101: 3 YouTube Optimizations You Can Make Right Now

YouTube is the second largest search engine on the planet and many of the basic SEO principles you apply to your website can be applied to help increase the visibility of your videos, and add channel subscribers!


Here are three YouTube optimizations you can make right now to help get better results!

YouTube Search Engine Optimization

With so many people using YouTube to explore and research, it makes sense for churches, Christian businesses and non-profit organizations to use the channel to attract audiences.  Instead of it feeling like “one more thing to learn,” we encourage you to take a few minutes to discover three basic tools that you can get correct (right now), so that you can more effectively attract the right audience.

Write An Effective Title


Your title is the first thing the user sees when they conduct a search.  Video titles are similar to a website page title or h1 tag in SEO.


Don’t know what those are. . .no problem, let’s focus on what goes into your video title.


1. Speaker or Singer

2. Location (if relevant)

3. Song, Event, Sermon Series, or Sermon Title

4. Relevant Keyword(s)


YouTube gives you 100 characters to achieve this, so you’re probably not going to get all four of these elements into the title each time.


Here are a few examples of optimized video titles:

  • Viv Iris – LORD PREPARE ME – Official Video
  • Grace Poured Out | Warehouse Church Cincinnati | Livestream| Pastor Sadell Bradley

  • Am I Being Fake With God? | Portland Community Church | Online Church | Pastor Ron Kincaid

From the video titles alone you can typically get a good sense for the most important keywords, the category, or the theme of the video.  Not only does it provide the searcher with a great experience (each of these are immediately clearly identifiable), it also leverages the video title area to market/promote important concepts like “official video,” “online church,” and “livestream.” 

Write A Complete Description

YouTube has no problem with you getting wordy. In fact you’ve got 5,000 (!) characters to describe your video content.  This is plenty of space to give a detailed description, mention other channels, provide links, use hashtags or emojis, or to do whatever else you think is necessary to accurately (and fully) describe the video’s content.  Some like to provide a transcript.  For worship artists this is a great place for you to put the lyrics.


While it is important for you to use target keywords, it is also important that you aren’t spammy or stuffing keywords.

Use Tags

Each video has a space for up to 500 characters of “tags.” Tags help provide additional context for your video and lend additional support regarding the video’s content.


Channel tags should be used to help provide category level context on the type of content that your channel produces.


Channel tags can be set as the default upload setting, or you can customize tags for each video.

Bonus Tip: vidIQ Chrome Browser Extension


Chrome extensions can be a handy way to help provide additional perspective on the quality of your content.  One great extension that we highly recommend is vidIQ.


This powerful Chrome extension provides a checklist of items to help improve the overall experience of the video, and gives insight into rankings for tags, as well as tag suggestions. And while there is a paid version, we’ve found that the free version is powerful enough to be useful on its own.

What’s on their checklist?


  • Does the video have at least one card?
  • Does the video have at least one end screen
  • Closed captions?
  • Monetization enabled (channel must qualify)
  • Is the video on a playlist?
  • Is it public
  • Has the video been shared to Facebook with at least one like
  • Have you replied to a recent comment?


The tool also gives a vidIQ SEO score with actionable data for you to help improve your visibility.

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Church Marketing: Understanding Micro-Moments As Part of Your Overall Strategy

Church Marketing: Understanding Micro-Moments As Part of Your Overall Strategy

Church Marketers: Understand and Use "Micromoments" to Prepare Your Field

In Mathew 13 Jesus tells a crowd:

“A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. 9 Whoever has ears, let them hear.”



Church marketers today are often struggling to find good soil in their digital and social efforts.  Think of soil as engagement by your audience. And when somebody is in front of you, when the encounter is “in person” it is easier to know when the crowd is engaged.  A simple hand raise, or an “amen,” shouted out tells the preacher that the message is falling on fertile soil.


But when the focus shifts to online engagement, it can be difficult to understand if the crowd is engaged, and even more difficult to make that authentic relational connection.


Whether you are an earlier adopter or a “laggard” at having an online presence, the time has arrived for screens to be part of the ministry.



When there’s a screen involved it’s much harder to tell if the audience is engaged.  And too often church marketing strategies throw seed (money) on fields that are scorched and where roots are shallow.


One popular seeding strategy is boosting. But here’s some bad news, boosting a social media post is not an engagement strategy.  In fact, too often it could be a recipe for disengagement. It could be a major turnoff and a barrier toward finding those folks who are thinking about “coming to church,” but haven’t figured out where to go yet.


Here’s the bottom line: Understanding Micromoments

To answer the question of online engagement, church leadership must first understand a few digital marketing truths called “micromoments.”

Micromoments - What Are They?

In a world of increasing digital connection, where each consumer has 2.5 screens, a significant disruption has occurred. Past marketing curriculums taught about a liner model of consumer decision making.  It started with a stimulus via advertising or promotion, which then created awareness about the brand, the product, or the service.  Additional frequency of messaging moved the consumer toward consideration, and then ultimately they came to a brick and mortar (physical location) to ask questions and to validate the experience of that brand, product, or service.


This is no longer the case.


Google’s study on the Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT) has revealed that consumer behavior is non-linear, with consumers jumping in and out of the decision-making process creating moments of decision called “micro-moments.”


These small moments are the engagement moments you seek. And they can happen at 2 am just as easily as they can at 10 am on a Sunday morning.


Online audiences want to know what they’re getting themselves into before they show up in person.  They want to understand the values and beliefs of the church.  They want to hear a sermon or the worship or see if there are programs for the whole family.


When you understand the motivation of the online audience you can better equip them with the information you want them to know about your church.


So, as a church marketer, how do you embrace this micromoment? At a minimum, make sure that you have audio of your sermons.  This sermon audio should be published on your website for people to hear. You can also create a simple visual asset and upload this audio to YouTube.


Now you have created an on-demand experience for those “seekers,” to have access to your sermons.


If you have the ability to do so, post as much video content on your website, Facebook Page, and YouTube (or Vimeo) channel as possible.  Make sure you organize this by theme. Some suggestions include: full sermons, sermon series, one-offs, lives, worship, classes/teachings, youth and etc.


“Consumers” in this micromoment will also want to be able to easily identify your values and beliefs on your website, see your kids or family ministry staff and teachers, and read biographies on as many of the public-facing people that they can find. They’ll visit every social media asset you have to get a sense of who they might expect to see at a service (online or in-person).


The more you can embrace having transparency and visibility the more likely you are to create a meaningful, authentic connection even before meeting somebody face to face.


“Doing” online can look like many things. This can be as simple as a comment on a post, a like or follow of a page, or a visit to a website. It can also be signing up for an event. It is important to understand that “doing” and “buying” are different things. An individual might be motivated to take an action that looks similar to one of your most loyal or actively engaged attendees. However, this is not an indication that they are “bought-in.” Think of this as sampling.  A person in the “doing” micromoment is sampling your culture, your experience, your relationships.


One example of embracing this micromoment is to have a culture of connection and communication across the teams that most actively engage with people. A connections team that has moderators on social media platforms that are ready to respond to new followers and to new comments. A Prayer team that actively responds to prayer requests.


To embrace this moment you’ll need to make sure that you have ways for people to connect with you. Do you have a prayer page or button on your website? Do you have moderators on social? What about a chat feature for your website (Facebook has a great WordPress plug-in). When somebody takes an action you value do they hear from a staff member. Do they get a text, an email or a phone call?


Another perspective on this moment in the consumer journey is to think of the concept of wasted energy.  If an individual can do a task without actually being there in person, then they’ll know that when they do show in person it will be worth their time and the trip. Consumers want to remain behind the scenes and invisible as much as possible before investing their time in person (and with people).


If you’ve never mapped out the experience that a new person goes through. . .all of the touchpoints they have with you and your team(s), this is a great exercise to reveal “doing” moments. And if you’ve only ever done this for the in-person experience it’s time to have an honest conversation about what it is like to go through the digital and social experience with you.


When you understand the value of your audience’s time, then they will gladly take action.




In a linear model of consumer decision making, this desire could only be fulfilled from 9 am to 5 pm, or for churches, during one of your pre-defined service times.  But now? We carry “church” with us in our pocket and we can go anytime we want, and to any church we want.


Maybe you haven’t realized this yet as a church marketer. Maybe you are still only thinking of the physical experience of church.  The in-person experience of run sheets and set lists and parking staff.


That is no longer “going” to church.  At least not the only way to do so.


As church marketers, we’ve reached a fantastic moment in time. We can offer church at any time.  We can offer the experience of encounter 24/7.


Successfully embracing this moment means featuring content that is “always on.” In the industry, it is also known as evergreen content.  This is content that always has value to your audience and that is always accessible.


This is your podcast, or a published study, an eGroup, a midweek teaching on Facebook, or some other “snackable” element that can be accessed on-demand and memorialized for all to come back to.





Too often this is the only place where church marketers spend their time.  This is the conversion, salvation, first time guest, tither, or whatever “hard metric” your church uses to measure engagement.  But that’s selling, not buying. And while “churchenomics” are part of the reality of the business side of the church, they make terrible marketing strategies.


As we’ve seen throughout each of the micromoments, actual buying behavior happens way before the first tithe or the first visit. It happens when they shop your online presence.  When they check out your Instagram account, your Facebook page, your website, your YouTube or Vimeo channel, listen to your podcasts or sermons.


When you realize that by the time somebody shows up for the first time, they’ve already know about you, then you’ll realize just how deeply you can go in your conversation.


To embrace this moment it is important to understand “what” they are buying. And it’s important to understand that that first “buying” moment could be super small.  Buy-in and buy-ing are vastly different. Buying happens first. And buy-in comes from the constant choice that consumers make, to “re-buy.”



Understanding micromoments takes time.  It takes an understanding of each moment, and the motivation of the consumer at each stage.  Then it requires embracing that moment with an asset or a strategy.  Even with all of this being said. There’s one final thought that will frame all of these moments, and that is your “brand.”


Because the truth is? Most people buy the brand before they product.


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Church Marketing Blog – 3 Content Tips: Recap, Invite, Promote

Church Marketing Blog – 3 Content Tips: Recap, Invite, Promote


Are you struggling to remain consistent in your social media promotion?  Most organizations are.  In a previous post we talked about the importance of creating a content calendar.  In this post we’re going to focus on three simple ingredients to help you and your marketing and communications teams to stay on target:

  • The Recap
  • The Invitation
  • The Promotion


Let’s suppose you’re about to launch a new sermon series on the book of James. To prepare for this you’ve probably outlined some notes, built a few key points, and you might even be streaming your services (okay you’re definitely streaming your services!).  These are all assets you can use to actively produce content around the 3 simple themes of recap, invite and promotion.  Again, over the course of a quarter, you could easily be generating a minimum of 36 pieces of content (3 per week).  My guess, however, is that once you see how easy this is, you’ll create much more than that.


Keep in mind that these are just suggestions.  You don’t have to do all of them, or you may not have the resources to be able to do them all.  Figure out what you can do with the resources you have and scale up or down as appropriate. By the way, at a minimum, you’ll need to have a nice high-resolution image to work with.  You could use your logo if you’re without additional images, or you could have somebody take pictures during service projects or (if you’re back to them) in-person services.


Monday Morning

Start by posting your main points /key takeaways from yesterday’s sermon to Facebook and Instagram.  Test this as a static post, or as a video to see which format gets the best results. If you are live streaming your sermon, Monday morning is a great time to ensure that this has been cross promoted to all of your social media channels.


Did you over-research your sermon? Have some content that got cut? This is GREAT MATERIAL for sharing.  This is kind of like the Bonus Credit scenes at the end of each Avengers movie.  It’s always relevant to the plot, and I guarantee you SOMEBODY needed to hear this reminder.



Wednesday – Mid-Week Reminder.
This is a great opportunity to make a mid-week connection.  We recommend a quick bullet point list of the main takeaways or a quote in the form of a meme.  If you’re not promoting the upcoming setlist for worship (Worship Wednesday), you could post a song that your worship team performed last weekend.



Tuesday – Services Invite

If you haven’t already created invites for your upcoming services, this is a great time to create the invite for the upcoming Sunday.  Be sure to post this with an image, and tag your staff.  We recommend developing a set of creative assets just ahead of the launch of the series to be used as promotion throughout the series.


Wednesday – Other Church Activities

Have a mid-week activity like a Men’s/Women’s Group, Youth Event or Encounter Night?  Wednesday is a great day to make to send out the invite for upcoming weekend events.  Or, if you’ve got a mid-week activity, this can be a day-of reminder.



Monday – Calling All Influencers


This is where we go viral.  Every organization has a connection to influencers.  We were created to be in community and people love to promote what they are passionate about.  So leverage this and invite some of your more influential staff and/or regular attendees to promote out to their friends.


Take that image you’ve created for promoting your series, event, or ministry, and write some quick info about it.   Start with why, then work through, who, what, when, and where.  Post, tag, and remind your team to share.  Remind them to tag their friends.  Remind them to cross-post to other social media channels.


note: this HAS to be more than your leadership team, and it also HAS to be authentic. If you’re jamming comments from the same 5 people on your social content and you think this is somehow “embracing the algorithm” you are wrong. That strategy is like closing 5 people into the same room and shouting at each other. Nobody outside that room sees it, and when they do it just looks LOUD!



Worship Wednesday (Fan Favorite)


Honestly, this is my favorite.  And it is probably because at my heart I’m a worship guy. So worship is super important to me personally.  But here is the deal – new people (and newer people) want to feel included.  They want to know what to expect.


By Wednesday you should already have your worship setlist for the upcoming week. And if not, it is time to work on your process.


Worship Wednesday is a great way to drive mid-week connections and to invite people to “lean-in” and become more regular attenders.  Posting your worship setlist alongside an image, or even linking to the artist’s page, allows those in attendance to feel a bit more comfortable at the next Sunday service.  Keep calling all of those influencers to help promote, tag, and cross-promote.


Another version of this is to have a member of your worship team “go-live” with some authentic spirit-filled worship on Wednesday nights.  One of my local churches does this and I love it! I love it because I get to see the heart of the worship leader.

Anytime - Boosted Posts - Paid Media


At some point, you will hit a cap on the number of people you can reach through your organic page posts (those posted to the followers of your page).  At some point, the other tactics you’re using such as event invites and all of the other tactics we’ve outlined above will be maxed out.


It’s time to pay for additional reach. Running a paid media campaign ensures that you are reaching new people. Targeting makes it customizable and helps to align with your core values.  We recommend running for a minimum of 2 weeks for initial testing and believe that this should an “always-on” strategy.


As you can see, there’s tremendous potential to reach new people in social media.  You can easily take a single image, single event, or single mission and create an abundance of assets to use in promotion.



We’d love to work with you on your next project, and we hope this information can help you to reach more people for Jesus!


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Church Marketing Fallacy: Facebook Video Views Are Not Engagement

Church Marketing Fallacy: Facebook Video Views Are Not Engagement

the answer is video 4

But that’s not what most church marketers think. Read more to find out why.

Is A Facebook Video View Really Engagement?

I work with a lot church leaders and their teams. In every conversation some sort of digital or social engagement discussion comes up.  This is a problem that everyone is seeking to tackle; how do I connect with my congregation online? How do I make sure that my sermons are being viewed? How do I know if they’re watching.

Enter Facebook.

They make it SUPER EASY to advertise.  Just “boost” that post for only $10.  Reach people who are friends of people who like your page. . hey that’s kind of like asking a member of your church to invite a friend, right? Hmmmm, maybe, but not really.

Church marketers are told to advertise on Facebook.  They’re told to post frequently, engage their key leaders, go live with videos and boost their posts.

And this can create a mess.

Because as EASY as it is to advertise on Facebook it is so much EASIER to spend money on their platform. That’s right, the biggest technology that Facebook provides for its advertising partners is the ability to spend. It’s the ability to feel good about your spend too. And that keeps you coming back.

Which leads me to the most misunderstood digital metric in the marketplace today; the Facebook video view.

What You Probably Think A Facebook Video View Is

Here’s what most church leaders think a Facebook video view is: SOMEBODY WATCHED MY VIDEO! All of it, right. So that Sunday morning sermon that you told all of your leaders to share out got 1,000 views, and that’s like getting 1,000 people to attend church this weekend isn’t it? Please, isn’t it?! Please, please, tell me that’s what it is. Because that’s what I’m telling my leadership. And my volunteers. And my other ministry peers, and my mentors.  It’s in my church wide email.  It’s in my team meeting as the metric that matters the most.

It’s wrong.

It’s nothing like what you think it is.


What A Facebook Video View ACTUALLY Is

A Facebook video view counts when 50% of the video shows up in the news feed for 3 seconds.  Try this.  Go to Facebook and find a video. Scroll down slowly and watch when the video starts playing. . .that’s a view. 50% of the video has to be in view for the player to activate and play the video.

You already see the problem, right?

1,000 people scrolled through their news feed on Facebook and 50% of your video was in their view as they scrolled.  It played and they kept scrolling.  That’s one view! Woohooo.

Now,  a quick note about the definition above.  You see, Facebook doesn’t actually tell you that only 50% of the video needs to be on the screen, but if you followed the exercise above you’ll know that the video can still play with only 50% of the video in view.

This is the equivalent of somebody driving by your church and seeing that you have a sign out front.

It’s nothing close to engagement. 

This is a Facebook Video View


Yes This.

But isn’t it cut off. . .yep – only 50% needs to be visible for the video to play.











Don’t worry, we’re going to help you define video engagement on Facebook.

Just keep reading. . . 

What Should I Be Measuring on Facebook?

The good news is that you can still measure video views on Facebook in a meaningful way.  You just have to know what to look for, AND you have to determine for yourself how it matters.

Because Facebook knows that 3-second video views are a flawed metric, they also report on other meaningful video metrics such as 10-second views, 1-minute video views, and total engagement.

Get your calculators out because this is where we’re going to do some simple math to help you figure out just how engaged your audience really was with your video content.

About 10 Second Video Views

The major flaw with video views is that you really have no idea if they actually saw your video and considered watching it, or if they were just scrolling through their news feed slowly and reading adjacent content (which then triggered the video to play).

To solve this problem, Facebook will report on the number of videos where the user made it to 10 seconds of watch time.  The thought process with this metric is that this is actual consideration. But again there’s a problem here because the user could be reading adjacent content.

And that’s the danger in valuing this particular metric because it still doesn’t indicate that the video was actually watched, or that the engagement was deeper than surface level.


The Breaking Point: 1 Minute Views – This is where engagement starts.

The next metric is 1-minute video views.  And this is where we can actually start determining audience engagement.  At 1 minute of watch time, we’ve captured the audience’s attention and we’ve eliminated the possibility of the audience reading adjacent content without engaging with our video.

This is also a great place to start looking at the relationship between this metric and minutes viewed (total watch time).

In today’s online church environment, we’re often left guessing about the number of people who watched, and more importantly the number of SCREENS (devices) that watched.  A smartTV could easily have a whole family watching your content, or a small group, or a micro-service/house church/watch party, and etc.

I use the count of 1-minute video views as a benchmark to compare performance between videos, and a loose way of communicating the number of screens that watched. Take another look at that top chart and you’ll see why I think video 4 performed best.


Final Thought: Minutes Viewed and Average Video Watch Time

Finally, to really gauge how engaged your audience was with your content, you’ll need to spend some time looking at the total minutes viewed and the average video watch time.  Facebook’s calculation is based on the minutes watched divided by the number of 3-second video views.  Keep in mind that on lengthier content, you should see a higher average video watch time. . that is if people are watching the whole thing.

If you have a high 3-second video count and a low average watch time with a longer piece of content, then you can absolutely determine that you’re being ineffective in engaging your audience.

Take a look at the examples at the top of the page again. . . the video with the most views, the most 10 second views, and the most 1 minute views was video 1.  And nearly every single organization I talk to will proudly point this out as a success story.

But look a bit closer. That’s a 44-minute video, which an average watch time of 21 seconds. Ouch.

Take another look at video 4.  2300 less 3-second views, but only 30 less one-minute views, and an average watch time of 1:04.


The Facebook Video Engagement Winner

In video 1, a huge number of people we reached their news feed.  They scrolled past the video.  Worse than that though? Half of the audience had the video in view for 10 seconds while reading adjacent content.  But only 10% of those people decided to stick around. What’s to blame? It’s either the content or the audience targeting (more on that in a later post).

Video 4 on the other hand had 60 live viewers who were excited about their content.  They attracted a crowd and that crowd watched live and had a longer shelf life. And best of all they didn’t have to pay for the engagement.