Why Should You Have Your Audio/Video Sermons Transcribed?
Are you concerned you're not reaching enough people online with your sermons?
Do you want to know why they don't listen to your audio or watch your videos? Before that question can be answered, you have to understand why people download transcripts in the first place.
Most people don't go online to find sermons or conferences or podcasts. They go online to find answers to their specific questions.
~ Why hasn't God answered my prayer?
~ Where is God when I'm hurting?
~ How can I resist sexual temptation at school?
~ What does God really think about divorce?
~ Did my friend [or parent or child] who just died go to heaven?
~ How can I be a good parent when I'm so exhausted?
~ Can God really love someone like me?
When a person goes online to find out whether or not they can lose their salvation, and they come across a sermon called Can You Lose Your Salvation? and they have the choice between downloading the 30-minute sermon or the transcript, which do you think they will choose?
Based on our research, three times as many people choose to download a transcript when given a choice between transcripts and audio/video.
Why do they prefer transcripts? Here are a few reasons:
~ People are busy, and it's faster to read a transcript than to listen an MP3 or watch a video. If they are in "research mode," and their only choice is to listen to a 30-minute file to get the answers they're seeking, there's a good chance they'll move on to another resource. But…once people realize you're a great source of the answers they're seeking, more than likely, they'll bookmark your page, tell their friends about you, and come back to your site for more.
~ They can print them and highlight the parts they want to study more.
~ They can be read by the hearing impaired.
~ The font can be enlarged for the sight impaired.
~ They can be translated into other languages using online text translators.
~ They are keyword searchable.
~ They can be used as study guides by small groups and classes.
~ Bits and pieces can be cut and pasted into Facebook, Twitter, quote images, blogs, and emails to share with family and friends.
The Main Reason You Should Have Your Sermons Transcribed
The most important reason you should have your sermons transcribed is to reach as many people as possible with your message and to provide a resource with answers to the kinds of questions listed at the top of this page. That's already your goal, right? And you're probably addressing these issues in your sermons now; you're just not reaching as many people as you could because you aren't providing the answers they're searching for in a format they're willing to open.
One of the churches we transcribe sermons for on a weekly basis is Menlo Church (John Ortberg) in California, and their sermon transcripts are downloaded around 10,000 times a month. That's just one church. This is a nation starving for spiritual direction, and these numbers prove that many people are "feeding" on transcripts.
Most people (especially unchurched people) won't take the time to listen to a 30-minute sermon or podcast, but millions of people will spend a few minutes reading, cutting and pasting, saving, printing, and sharing bits and pieces of SERMON transcripts.
If it is true that three times as many people download transcripts as audio or video, and you're only posting audio or video on your website, how many people are you not reaching?
Let us help you intentionally reach more people with your sermons today!