Many churches had to seek alternative methods of airing their services because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Even though social distancing restrictions have been eased in most parts of the world, churches still live stream services.
It is great that we are finally allowing technology to help us reach more people. The question that begs an answer is, “how do you increase online audience involvement during the live stream?”
Since people are watching your services from their homes, there is the possibility of them being distracted. A good way to know that they are following is through audience involvement. Let’s show you a few things that you can do to increase online audience involvement during a sermon live stream.
How do you increase online audience involvement during the live streams?
The first thing that you must know is that increasing online audience involvement is a result of prep work. Everything you do to increase audience involvement is a result of a plan set in place before the live stream. Here are some things that you can do:
Use closed questions
Closed questions are questions that require either a “yes” or “no” answer. They are straightforward questions that don’t require much thought. When preparing for your service live stream, we suggest that you work more around these kinds of questions. Why?
The aim of increasing audience involvement is so that you are sure that they are following the service. Open questions (questions that require more than a single-word answer) may distract your viewers. This is because they have to stop and think before answering your questions. As such, you could lose them at some point during your live stream with such questions.
Ensure that your questions are relevant to the topic you are discussing. Also, don’t engage your audience with jargon or jokes that they aren’t familiar with.
Who will be asking the questions above, the speaker or someone else? Sometimes, the speaker may ask the questions but that may be distracting, even for the speaker. More often than not, you need a few volunteers to moderate your live stream platform.
What is their duty? To ensure decorum on the platform during the live stream. Also, they should help ask closed questions such as:
- Are you blessed by the music?
- Where are you streaming this meeting from?
- If this is a word for you, type “Yes.”
Your audience will be more engaging if they know someone is there to respond to them. The volunteers should be ready to answer questions and provide direction when necessary.
Curiosity is a great way to spur engagements, especially on a live stream. A good way to introduce curiosity to your online services is to introduce something that benefits them. However, you just give them the tip of the iceberg. With this, they are left longing for the juices all through to the end of your broadcast.
How does curiosity work? Introducing curiosity creates FOMO (fear of missing out). FOMO is a powerful trigger for online audiences as well. You can bet that they will be asking questions and interacting with you all through. Keep the main juice while dropping little hints all through your live stream. With this, you will enjoy audience involvement all through the live stream.
Speak directly to your audience
This is one of the best ways to increase audience involvement during your sermon live stream. We all know how important church communication is, especially during services. Imagine that you are having a physical audience. They always seem to respond better to your sermon when you speak to them directly.
Now, employ this method to engage your online audience. People want to be spoken to directly instead of abstractly. Thank your audience for joining in from their homes. Tell them how much you would love to connect with them physically. Make specific references to them at different points during the service.
You can also tell your volunteers to respond to people on the live stream platform on a first-name basis. Doing all of this makes your audience feel important. They know that they are not just a statistic, you recognize their presence. Now, they want to engage with you a lot more.
Promote your live stream
Don’t assume that people will automatically know about your service live streams. Even the biggest brands in the world still run promotions. The more promotions you run, the higher the number of attendees which translates to more audience involvement.
Create images and banners that you should post on your website and social media platforms. Send emails to invite your subscribers. Forward text messages to your church members to remind them of your live stream events. You can make this all easy by using a church management app like ChurchPad.
Adaptability does not mean not having a plan. It means having a plan but being flexible should the plan not go as expected. Sometimes, your audience presents you with a different need from what you expected.
Being rigid because you have a plan makes your audience feel like they don’t matter. If they ever feel like this, then their involvement on your platform will drop drastically. By the way, it always helps if you come across as authentic instead of sticking to a script.
Choose a user-friendly platform
Most times, your audience wants to engage with your live stream and show that they are following. A huge challenge that they might face is that the platform you are using isn’t helping matters. Several platforms make it easy for your audience to engage your live streams. Examples include YouTube, Facebook, Zoom, and even your website.
Run a survey to find out which platform your audience enjoys using the most. Focus most of your effort on such a platform. Don’t forget to encourage them to get involved as much as possible. Doing all of this makes it easier for them to get more involved during your online services.
Getting more audience involvement during every live stream is not as difficult as you think. We have shown you some tips to help out. Having a ChMS like ChurchPad makes promoting and running your live streams a lot easier.