12 Best Practices for Sermon Bumper Videos
You’ve seen sermon series bumper videos, even if you didn’t know what they were. They’re the videos played before a message to introduce the topic. Or more tactically, they can give campuses that utilize video teaching a chance to lower their screens before the message. Bumper videos should also be used creatively and promotionally.
But this type of production work is a big financial investment. You want to make sure they’re effective. Below are some best practices to help ensure you get the most bang for your buck when it comes to bumper videos.
They Should Draw the Audience In
1. Consider the Audience
These videos will be used in church and and maybe online. This means that plenty of strangers will be seeing it. So there shouldn’t be too much heavy, negative, or churchy content.
2. Create Anticipation
When the sermon bumper is shown a week before the series starts, it creates anticipation. People tell their friends, share the bumper on social media, and get excited to come for that series.
3. Don’t Give too Much Away
Leave the audience wanting to learn more. Leave them wanting to come to church and learn about the subject. We had a series leading up to Easter about the path to the cross. We used the image of a crosswalk as a vague metaphor for the series. We tried to keep this sense of mystery in the bumper below.
Have it Make Sense Socially
4. The First 10 Seconds
We want these videos easily shared on social media. So we want to grab someone’s interest quickly. The best way to do this is to use your most dynamic footage in the first 10 seconds.
5. Tell a Story Without Sound
Both Facebook and Instagram begin playing videos without sound. So craft visual stories that can work muted. Below is a great example.
Focus on Storytelling
6. Engaging Over Multiple Views
This video will be seen more than once. We want it to be captivating enough to hold the interest of someone who has already seen it two or three times.
7. Match Your Style
Your shooting style should match your message series content. There’s nothing worse than a bumper working against a message instead of for it. We had a series called RTD: Religiously Transmitted Diseases; it was a cheeky look at sins predominate within the church (like hypocrisy). The bumper below showcases how we tried to match the style of the video to the substance of the message.
8. Change Your Style
Guests become bored of seeing the same style video over and over. So change up your visual language – cinematic, stop motion, testimonial, kinetic typography, etc.
9. Video and Audio
As important as video quality is, a soundtrack to the video will seal the deal. The image will attract the heart, but the sound will tug on the heart. One of our series’ looked at how each of us are uniquely wired to connect with God. The bumper below used music to highlight this tender aspect of God.
10. Capture Photos
When you are on location, make sure to capture photos along with your footage. This small investment has tremendous payoff. The photos will help brand the series before (invitational postcards) during (message slides) and after (message soundbites).
11. Capture Loops
If the subject matter for the bumper works for worship loops, like nature, make sure to capture some of that as well while on location. These can be great support to the sermon series when used in the worship service.
12. Capture Long Takes
Even better than a loop is a long take. It is best to do this with some type of stabilization, shooting at 60 or 120 fps and then slowing down the footage. Below is a good example.
Take these 12 best practices and make something amazing for your church. When you have, be sure and share in a comment below. We’d love to see!