Church Live Streaming Metrics That Matter
Ministry has realized that the last two plus years of COVID lockdowns have permanently changed the way people worship and “do” church. Fortunately, lockdowns have eased in most US states and several countries so on-campus attendance is returning to a normal status. But if the pandemic taught pastors anything, it is that the online church model or a hybrid mix of physical and online church is here to stay. Even those that had not embraced online church until 2020 are now having to determine how to better engage and grow their online attendees. That being the case, many ministries are turning to online video analytics to better understand their impact.
Streaming live, sim-live (rebroadcasts) and on-demand video provides powerful ways to track, measure, and understand how audiences are experiencing your content so that you can uncover new ways to serve and reach more people. Most experienced online pastors have moved past the “reach online” phase to an engaging model that promotes spiritual growth of their online congregation.
To learn about what metrics you should be paying attention to and how Haivision Connect, an easy-to-use live and simulated-live streaming platform for ministries and churches, can help you, keep reading this post!
The Value of Analytics
Have you ever heard the adage, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it”? Technology for livestreaming video now offers the ability to track audience behavior in real-time and provide meaningful feedback about your online viewers experience. Most analytics are quantitative and knowing the raw numbers is important. But as ministry looks to grow an online member spiritually, they need to look at qualitative metrics as well. Key metrics around viewer behavior let pastors gain important insights into what content is resonating with their online congregation and if people are growing spiritually.
For a church or ministry to benefit their community they must focus on helping people grow in their spiritual walk. According to research conducted by Barna, when it comes to measuring the impact of their online services, nearly half of U.S. pastors (48%) are looking at the number of views and another 13 percent gauge engagement by the number of people who watch the full service. One in 10 (12%) are relying on feedback from members of their congregation, while some are basing their metrics on comment activity (9%).
We asked our ministry partners for their recommendations on what the right metrics to be measuring are and why. Here they are:
Get to know and understand your online viewers and their behavior by learning more about what content they’re watching and how much time they spend watching it. With this information in hand, you can understand how your content is impacting spiritual growth. Identifying any trends in content consumption can help you focus your efforts on adjusting messaging to meet your viewers’ discipleship needs.
How are your viewers watching? Are they meeting in small groups? Are they gravitating towards long form content in a “Ten Foot” viewing experience or do they mostly watch on a handheld device? Are they sharing your content with others? A snapshot of what devices, operating systems, and browsers your audience uses to watch your content can also reveal relational constants.
Where are your viewers in their discipleship journey? Analytics can provide you with information on where your viewers are consuming content geographically not just by country, state, or city but as granular as zip code, latitude, and longitude. This insight can help you to understand any potential hot spots for future church planting or pop-up churches. Where better to plant a new brick and mortar church than where you already have dedicated viewers?
This new “Hybrid” church model combining on-premise and online worship and preaching presents a few challenges but also many opportunities for ministry to re-tool their messaging to reach the next generations with the gospel message. At Haivision, our team of faith streaming experts regularly reviews analytics with our ministry partners to help them make informed decisions. This data mining invariably uncovers trends in viewer behavior that can enhance online engagement and spiritual growth. In addition to geo heat maps that identify large pockets of viewers, we regularly see that at least 60% or more of viewers are consuming content on mobile devices. This can be indicative of viewers’ desire for short-form content rather than long-form for messages or a need for a mobile app. Live and video-on-demand content watched on set-top box applications such as Apple TV and Roku usually indicate a significantly longer effective content viewing time. This deeper engagement is significant for ministries to help viewers flourish in their spiritual journey.
Powerful Intelligence in a Single, Easy to Use Platform with Haivision Connect
Powered by Youbora, Haivision Connect’s video analytics provide all your data in one place so you can identify what metrics are most relevant to you. With access to real-time metrics, an online campus pastor can see exactly when viewers begin watching during the service. Data filtration tools also allow for parsing “effective playtime” thus measuring real online engagement. This and other data points can help your church make informed decisions about your online ministry strategy with confidence.