Sharing the Gospel through YouTube Advertising
For many, YouTube is an everyday part of life and has become a household name. Originally, it was created as an on-line video sharing platform, but in time, it became a search engine for all types of media content.
YouTube meets the needs of many different people all around the world, with diverse backgrounds, and has become a go-to for the Do It Yourself (DIY), person a source for research information, and more than anything it is a wellspring for entertainment.
What’s the Scope?
Just to give you an idea of YouTube’s worldwide scope, here are some statistics and facts collected from the website, “Demand Sage.”
- YouTube was launched in 2005 and is now the biggest video-sharing platform and the second-largest social media platform in the world, with over 2.68 billion users.
- It is estimated that the number of YouTube users worldwide will reach 2.85 billion by 2025.
- 62% of YouTube users in the U.S.A. access the platform daily. That is equivalent to 153.14 million people.
- Users consume 1 billion hours of videos on YouTube every day. Content equivalent to 500 hours is uploaded on YouTube daily.
A Captive Audience
Due to YouTube’s huge viewing audience, many businesses and corporations see it as an excellent platform for advertising their products or services. For those who have not paid for a Premium subscription, which removes advertising, exposure to video commercials is part of the YouTube experience, which in turn creates a huge captive audience.
We are surrounded by many forms of advertising, and, in most cases, it may catch a split second of our attention and we can easily turn away from it. However, the advertising that YouTube presents makes it hard for us to ignore.
How many times have you found yourself watching a video advertisement on YouTube, waiting for the countdown of the “Skip Ad,” to appear? Should we perceive this as an annoyance or an opportunity?
Eurika! A Means of Sharing the Gospel!
FBH President, Stephen March, began pondering YouTube’s reach to people when one evening in 2021 he was looking for hymn history videos on YouTube to use during a fellowship night. He noticed that every video he watched was preceded by an advertisement. He also noticed that those ads were separated into two categories: longer ads that could be skipped after the first five seconds, and shorter ones that the viewer had to watch entirely all the way through. He found that with the shorter ones, even though he was not interested in what they were selling, he paid attention to the whole thing. Then he started thinking, “What if we could present a gospel message in 15 seconds or less on YouTube like the businesses that promote their products and services?” He quickly checked YouTube’s policies and conditions, and it turned out there was nothing to prevent FBH International from buying ad time to present the gospel.
So, with that, FBH got to work. Writing the scripts proved to be the most difficult. We learned that 15 seconds is not as long as you want it to be, but we persevered with the Lord’s help. Our aim was to give the videos relevant content aligned with the scriptures and to have attention-grabbing visuals.
Testing the Waters
By March 2022, we had two videos ready to go and a third nearing completion. The first video, which targeted Canada only, ran in the middle of the month for three days. That got the message to over 16,000 people. The second also ran for three days, reaching 17,000, and then the third ran for a week at Easter, reaching over 45,000 Canadians. The statistic we received from these three runs was that 35 people clicked on the ad which took them to our “Who is Jesus?” web page. One person contacted us to say they had accepted God’s free gift of salvation.
The Gospel into Thousands of Homes
Today, FBH International has expanded its vision of this endeavor to get the Gospel into the hands and homes of YouTube viewers, by also creating one-minute skippable ads, presenting a more detailed Gospel message.
This opportunity is now available for assemblies to work together with us in sharing the Gospel to thousands of people within their own neighborhoods, using customized videos that include their contact information and website address.
YouTube allows ads to target precise geographical areas almost anywhere in the world by mailing code. FBH will prepare and plan the video campaign with the participating assembly’s input to help meet their evangelistic needs.
One video entitled “You Are Loved,” was translated into French and ran in Quebec, causing us to consider translating into other languages and targeting certain ethnic regions. As an example, a volunteer graciously translated some of our video scripts and recorded the audio in Mandarin Chinese.
So far, we have partnered with many saints in Southern Ontario locations, such as Cambridge, Milton, Orillia, and St. Catharines. There have also been other campaigns run outside of Ontario in Prince Edward Island and in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
That the World May Know…
By what other means can the gospel be put out into the world, reaching so many people, so quickly, and for so little cost? $15 reaches 1000 viewers. FBH International sees this as an opportunity well worth investing in.
After all, how much time do we have left in this age of grace to continue sharing the gospel?
Many in our world today have closed the door of their hearts and minds to the Bible, to the name of Jesus, and to anything having to do with Christianity. If there is an opportunity to get even a glimpse of the love of God in front of lost souls, let us take it before it is too late! Let us embrace the scriptures that encourage us to make the most of every opportunity (Col. 4:5).
Using internet technology, we can stretch a message from one far corner of the earth to another in just seconds.
YouTube is a platform that enables us to do this. This is an exciting time in world history with so many opportunities to share the Word of God through technology, enabling us all to sow farther and broader than ever before.
Please pray for FBH as we continue running these ads for as long as YouTube will allow it, thanking God for this incredible opportunity to reach the lost with the gospel message. If you are interested in partnering with us to share the Good News of God’s love in your community through this medium, please contact us. We would be pleased to work with you.
To see some of the videos we have used, visit www.fbhinternational.com/videos or contact firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 1-800-567-1218.