Using TikTok For Ministry & Outreach | Dayne Kamela

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TikTok is one of the next social trends. Dayne Kamela share’s what he has learned as an influencer using TikTok for Ministry & Outreach.

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Podcast Transcription

SHOW TRANSCRIPT

Well, Dayne, welcome to the show. So glad to have you here. How are you doing today, man?

I’m doing very good and super happy to be here.

Yeah, we’re close to each other, we’re both in the Phoenix area. Bart’s over in Dallas, so we can talk a little bit about the dry heat and he has to deal with the wet heat, so sorry about that, Bart.

It’s all right.

So glad to have you on the show. I’m really excited about this topic that we’re going to dive into because a lot of churches that we talk to, and all churches are talking about this, is they understand some of the social media stuff, but there are some new tools to play with and they’re not quite sure on how to actually engage those. But before we get there, I’d like to have the audience learn more about who you are, a little bit of your background, what motivates you, and what it is you actually do.

Yeah, definitely. I’ll keep that quite quick because I know probably your listeners are really interested to hear about social media, etc. My name’s Dayne Kamela, I’m 30 years old, and I’ve lived in Scottsdale, Arizona my whole life. I grew up in the church, my faith is extremely important to me. I’ve been in technology sales for, I’d say, eight years. A year ago, I left that to pursue a couple of different things. One was selling products on Amazon, and another was something I decided to do kind of randomly during the pandemic when I had some extra time, which was to start sharing my faith actually on TikTok. And that’s kind of where I started to be able to actually put my faith out there, something I’ve never done when I was 28 years old, I’m 30 years old now. And you know, just from that experience, it’s given me tons of opportunities to reach millions of people every single month, just with a simple message of hope and encouragement. You know, my content is around praying for individuals for pretty much anything, but just a very inspirational, hope-filled message. And it’s been pretty interesting to see, and I can’t wait to talk about that with any church leader who’s listening, who hasn’t even decided to jump on the platform, or just different ways to think about how they could use, specifically, video to connect and reach an audience, engage with their existing audience, etc.

Okay, let’s start with the basics. Talk about what TikTok is and how it works.

Yeah, definitely. So everyone’s familiar with Facebook and Instagram, and Instagram really is a platform that was built off of pictures and really people engaging with the people that they followed. So if I followed you on Instagram, I would see what you would post and I would engage with that content. I could sometimes see what other people posted if I went to like the discover page on Instagram. What TikTok decided to do when they started was they were going to be a video-only platform, that had videos that were only 60 seconds long. But the difference between Instagram versus TikTok was, that they decided to create your main feed being the for you page, where once you jump onto the app, it will just start showing you videos that you could scroll through and you could engage with those videos, you could like those videos, but they were all videos and they were all from people who you didn’t follow or maybe you did follow. So it was more of an app that was created based on trying to give people content that they were interested in, and if they engaged with that content, they would show them more of it.

So me, being someone who’s a Christian, if I saw some Christian-based content and I interacted with that, that would show the algorithm on TikTok, oh, he likes this kind of content. let’s show him more and let’s show him content he’s never seen. So this was the first time a platform had done this where I wasn’t just going to show you what your friends were posting, I’m going to show you new content, I’m going to show you content around what you engage with, what you stick on the screen with, and the content is always changing based on what I’m interested in. Because as you get older, your interests change, and the algorithm always kind of advances with that. And when you go onto the TikTok home page, it’s not like your home page of Instagram where it’s all your friends, it’s just the for you page, and we’re showing you stuff based on what we think you’re interested in or things that you’re already engaged with. So it gives everyone the opportunity to come onto the platform to make a video, and that video be shown to 100,000 people, a million people, and sometimes even more. Does that make sense?

It does. So do you create, do you get as people like your video on TikTok, then do they see more of your content specifically?

Yeah, so it can show that person specifically more of my content because they’re letting TikTok know by liking that, that I like content like this, so show me more of that. So they’ll show them more of my content, but then they’ll also go find people who make similar content to me to show them, because they might also be interested in that content as well. It helps keep more people on the platform, so it incentivizes them as a company, but it also gives someone who jumps on TikTok today the opportunity to make something that’s relevant to an industry that’s already being served and put that in front of people that have never met them before.

Wow.

Can I ask a question, Jason, before you do? Okay, I’m sorry, I’m old, okay, I’m the oldest guy on the podcast here today, so I’m just going to say. What is TikTok besides, I’m just showing my ignorance here, what is TikTok besides a bunch of videos of like people doing funny dances or lip synching to songs or cats attacking people’s faces? It’s like America’s Funniest Home Videos, I’m really dating myself, it’s like America’s Funniest Home Videos in 60-second clips on my phone. I mean, I’m old, I’m really not so ignorant that I believe that that’s what it is. But I know that there are some people in our audience, there are some pastors and some church leaders that are listening that don’t really know much more about it than that. What kind of videos can we actually see on TikTok? And I’m really curious, I know that Jason has follow-up questions for you, but how can there actually be faith-based stuff in this space? That’s what I’m curious about.

Yeah, and that’s a great question because TikTok actually started as an app called Musically, so it was like music and dancing, that’s where it started. In every new app that starts, it’s all the youngest generation on it, making that content. What’s happened though, since its inception is there are all types of industries jumping on this app because there are more people who are interested in all types of content. And this is just what happens, even like with Instagram, when it started it was a bunch of young people and then everyone from Facebook migrated over to it. So, in its core, it’s just a video app giving people the ability to share entertaining content, educational content, funny content, there’s comedians on there, there are movie stars on there, there are church pastors on there. I mean, Elevation Church is a perfect example of a church that’s doing extremely well on TikTok, sharing short form messages from their church service. But it is a platform for anyone who wants to reach an audience with a specific message, there are some churches doing really well on it, but it’s all types of video content now and now it’s becoming even a search engine where you can go search for specific things and find those, just as if you could on Google. And more and more people are doing that today, like even Google started writing about that too, how like Instagram and TikTok are becoming the search platforms for the younger generation to find things that they’re interested in.

So I was just going to mention, so when you load up your video, like, I want to hear more about what you do for prayer in just a second, but you load up your video and you’re adding some keywords and you’re tagging it, correct? So as people are searching for like inspirational prayer, your video would show up, is that right?

Yeah, so when you make a video, you have a couple of things that you can do. You obviously have the video that you filmed, you can add text on the screen, you can add a caption just like you can in Instagram, and hashtags as well. The whole purpose of the hashtags is just to let TikTok know what type of content you make, and then they can syndicate that across to whatever hashtag that someone might be searching because it is a search platform as well too. So when I make a video, it’s usually like a 30 to 45-second prayer, I’ll start the video off by just saying, like, hey, stop and let me pray with you, sometimes I’ll just go into the prayer and then I’ll pray for them, and at the end, I’ll either give them like one or two things to either, you know, if you prayed that prayer and you believe it, put an amen in the comments. Or I’ll say, like, if you prayed that prayer, consider following me for more prayers. So the core of every video I make has just like a headline, or an introduction, to tell them what the video is about.

So if you’re a church and listening to this and you want to start making videos, I would definitely focus on having your video have some type of headline to engage the viewer, because their attention span is so short, so they’re going to scroll off it if they don’t. Tell them what it is, get into the core of the content, and then give them something to do with the end. Because at the end, if you don’t, then they’re just going to go scroll to the next video. So that’s kind of what I do when I make a video, or I’ll do some Bible verse videos too, like, here’s a Bible verse on how to overcome fear, I’ll read the Bible verse, and then at the end, I can say, if you enjoyed that Bible verse, follow me for more Bible verses. So it’s got a simple setup in terms of like a beginning, a middle, and an end. Or you could think about it as the hook, the content, and then a call to action.

That hook is about 3 seconds.

Yeah, because I’ll put a headline typically, and the headline is just text explaining what the video is. Because I could make a video, if I wanted my video to be shorter because I know some people aren’t going to watch an entire video, I could start the video with praying for someone and I could make the headline, what the prayer is about, if they were looking for that specific type of prayer.

Well, how many followers do you have then?

On TikTok I have, I almost have 400,000 on TikTok, and then I think I have 120 or 121,000 on Instagram.

So you’re an influencer.

I mean, it’s such a weird word because I’m like 30 years old right now, and it’s only been in the last two where I’ve been able to kind of develop an audience from it. And it’s funny because I never started doing this as like the means to develop an audience, I more so felt that, you know, God just put it on my heart during the pandemic to start putting my faith out there, because I had been someone who made videos. I had my own podcast at a time, too, where I interviewed young professionals who found a career that gave them purpose, passion, and fulfillment, so I loved making just like encouraging content to give people hope and some direction. It’s just God put it on my heart to do that, and that was the thing that ended up reaching a lot of people.

Well, so so in my book, you’re a leader in this, so let’s learn. Okay, churches are listening to this right now and they’re thinking themselves, you know, I’ve been wanting to do a TikTok thing, now I know a little bit more about it. What advice do you give? I mean, what is that they should be putting out there? Because churches create a lot of content, but it might not all be worthy of the TikTok user who literally, you know, it’s that fast. So what’s the secret sauce to getting out there?

So the first thing I’d say around TikTok, and if you’re a church and you want to get on TikTok, is the audience really resonates with the person who makes the content. So if you’re a pastor at a church, I would be making content that gets the TikTok audience to get to know you as a person. People aren’t watching my videos and following me because of, oh, I have the best prayer ever, it’s because they’re like, hey, this is someone like I can resonate with, and they really buy into the person. But if you’re a church, you can have multiple people be that person, you can have your senior pastor, your youth pastor, and you can have a few different people make that content and see what works best.

If I was running a church, or I was in charge of marketing at a church, I would think about, like, what are like three or four different types of videos that we could make consistently that don’t take us a lot of time that we could put out that are anywhere from like 30 to 45 seconds long. I would go to every like service that’s recorded, and I would find snippets of those services that are extremely, like, really good information and like short and to the point, I would take those, and I would repurpose those as TikToks, maybe 20 or 30 seconds. I would have time in the week where I would sit with the pastor and have them, I would shoot content literally on a phone, you don’t need like a ton of…All my content is filmed on a phone, ever since I started this, but I would shoot content like that because it’s organic and people like that on TikTok, it’s like it’s real. It doesn’t mean you can’t have highly produced content like the Service Sermon segment, but you could also have where you can get to know the pastor more and they could be making inspirational content, maybe that’s them praying for you, or maybe that’s them sharing something that they’ve learned along their journey. But I would find ways for you to make different types of like pillar content that you could consistently make on an ongoing basis. Because I think when you get on to TikTok, they really prioritize consistency. You know, when I started, I started making just one video a day, and then it went to two, and then it went to three. And that really made a huge difference for me, but I also found a way to make content that I could make, like every single prayer video I make, it takes me 30 seconds to film it, a minute to edit it. And I could do that, I could film 50 of them in a day if I want to, but it’s so easy to make.

So if you could sit down with your pastor, film some videos with them, give them a little guidance on, hey, we’re going to talk about this, you’re going to get into that body of the content, and then you’re going to give them a call to action like, hey, if you enjoyed this, follow me for more. I find that like users care so much about, you know, getting to know you, getting to understand your church, what you stand for, and sharing that behind-the-scenes stuff I think is extremely popular. And I’ve seen a lot of like businesses and brands do this, like showing the process, showing the people, and being able to give multiple people within the church the ability to make videos as well too.

I know it’s a lot, but I think organic, just like, and being consistent, and being able to just like share multiple things around your faith, I’ve seen to do extremely well. Because I started just praying for people, and then I made other content like Here’s a Christian Affirmation, right? And I would just share an affirmation, I started doing Bible verses, so it’s a way for me to expand my content that might speak to someone who doesn’t necessarily want to hear a prayer one day.

Yeah. So when you got started, this is during the pandemic, right, you’re bored.

Yeah.

How long did it take you to find success and start and start to realize, wow, I’m making a difference here?

Yeah. Yeah, great question. And even before when I had a YouTube channel, any time I saw like one person comment on a video because I’ve had a YouTube channel for like ten years, I stopped posting on it a couple of years ago, but any time I had like one person comment I was like, that’s amazing, like, it made a difference in one person’s life. So that was the mindset I went into it, and I think it’s important to adopt that whenever you’re starting something new because it doesn’t just immediately take off. I know for some people it can, but for me, it definitely didn’t, I think it wasn’t until my 50th video that it got 35,000 views. But that doesn’t mean along the way I was getting a couple of hundred views, and maybe like 3 to 10 comments from people saying, like, hey, this really encouraged me. That’s all I needed to see where it’s like, hey, this is making a difference because if I can pray for one person today, that means so much to me, and if it helped them, that’s like really all I needed to see. So it took about, I’d say, 50 videos, but being consistent and just putting one video out a day is what I started with. I’d still recommend that today, if that’s something you can do. If you can post one video a day and you can look at what’s working and what’s not and kind of double down on what’s working. When people started watching more of the prayers, I said, well, if I pray for people in the morning, maybe I should pray for them at night. And then the nighttime prayers actually did way better than the morning prayer, so it was, hey, I can reach an entirely different audience. So a lot of testing goes into it too, I would say.

Well, I was just going to ask that about the testing aspect of it. So, church, don’t be sad and like, oh, poor us, if you don’t get a lot of success early on, you’ve got to keep pushing forward.

Yeah. What kind of analytical data does TikTok provide you that enables you to determine how often you should post and when you should post? Like is there data that you’re getting as a TikTok creator, or content creator, that kind of guides you and coaches you to know how and what to do better? Or do you really just have to follow your instincts?

Yeah, so they have analytics in there, it’s not like the most robust thing, but it can show you like what your trending videos are compared to your videos that just do okay. And I think even looking at like in the last seven days of the last 30 days, these are the videos of mine that are trending versus the other videos. And going into those videos and saying, well, why did this video trend? Was it the amount of time that the video was? Because I like typically if I made a video that was a minute long versus a video that was 30 seconds long, the video that was 30 seconds long will outperform the video that’s a minute long, unless the video that was a minute long did really well because people have such short attention span. So that was one thing that I took into account after making videos that were like 50 seconds long to say, can I condense this down to 30 seconds? And doing that helped me reach more people. It tells you your watch time, so if your video is 30 seconds long, you know, 40% of your people are only actually watching it for half of the time. It will show you how many followers you get over a seven-day period or a thirty-day period, and you can kind of see the times that your followers are on. But the thing is, with TikTok, if my videos are going to be shown to people who never follow me, I’m just going to post around times based on my time zone because it is a geolocation app, it’s going to push it to your location first and then to other locations after that. I would post around times where like I’m typically up, like, I’ll make a video and I’ll post it around 10:30 in the morning, and then at nighttime, I’ll post a video at like 8:00 at night. So I would test those things for yourself, see what’s working, and adjust around those. But analytics are always good to see, the most I use analytics for are like what videos of mine are doing well and how can I replicate that again and again and again, if that makes sense?

Yeah.

I can tell you straight out, that one of the biggest problems that a church is going to have doing this, is trying to get pastors to try to say in 30 seconds what they would normally say in 50 seconds, it’s the guy who preaches 50 minutes that we’re trying to get to preach 30 minutes. I’m just poking at all my pastor friends, I’m a pastor and I’m guilty of the same thing. It’s sometimes hard to say concisely what you need to say, but I think to your point, and I’ve been a content creator to some degree in different spaces, the more you do it, the more used to figuring out how to keep content concise and condensed. And again, I love your formula, the hook, the content, the call to action. You know, you’ve got three or 4 seconds for your hook, you’ve got 15 to 20 seconds for your content, and you got three or 4 seconds for a call to action. And if you’re going to script it, that’s pretty much what you got to stick to. I’m assuming you’re probably not scripting your prayers, you just pray, right? So it’s a little bit easier, but you got to watch a clock.

Yeah, definitely. And I would say to any like church who’s watching this and saying like, I don’t think I can make content in a short period of time, I would first just like follow that process of, can you have someone on your team find those 30-second clips that are already happening, that the pastors are already doing and repurpose those as TikTok. All the churches who do really well, they are doing that right now. Elevation Church, you know, Transformation church, those are two of the big leaders on TikTok right now. They’re taking content that’s already being made in a two-hour or hour sermon, and finding really good nuggets that they can story tell around through, you know, text on screen captions, interesting hashtags, and stuff like that. So that can be content, you could use a sermon for seven different posts and just break down the big pieces. And then if I was, again, if I was in the marketing department, I would sit down with the pastor and say, hey, let’s just do a prayer. Do you know what I mean? Like, can we do one or two prayers every single month? Because that’s another way of content that already works on the platform. If I’m a church, I’m going, what other churches are on the platform? What kind of content are they making with their pastor that’s working well? And how can we replicate that for our own church and our own values and our own message? So modeling success is extremely important to do. You can search the hashtags, and you can find in the last 30 days, these are the videos that are doing well. You can search churches and model success that’s already out there, and then have your team kind of replicate that for how you guys would do that.

Yeah. So you just said what I was going to ask, and that is, go, study, right, and you’ll figure out what other churches are doing. Do you ever repurpose prayers that you’ve done in the past, and just throw them out there and maybe re-tag them or retitle them.

Yeah, I’ll do that as well too, and I do it because sometimes those actually do better. So I’ll take a prayer that I’ve already done before, I’ll change the music on it, music is a big thing on TikTok as well too. So like you can add your own music to it if you already have that, but you can also take advantage of music that’s on TikTok. And what I would do is I would go look at other churches who are posting, seeing what type of music they’re using, you can save that music to like your music dashboard. So when you add that in, when you’re making a post, it’s already there, so you don’t have to go find it. But I would add music, and I add music to every single one of my posts, but it’s always like calming, it’s nothing that’s like, it’s not rap music, it’s not lyrical music, it’s more instrumental music that just adds another element to get someone into that, like, emotion or feeling when they’re watching the video. But I’ve repurposed videos all the time, and it’s interesting, I would make a video, and then maybe two months later I would repurpose it, it would get double the views, and then I’ve even repurposed a video more than once and it did even better. So that’s another strategy to, like, you can repurpose videos, you can use different hashtags, you can use different captions, you can use different headlines and different music as well too. So I would do that because it just gives you more to be able to post with.

Yeah. What do you think a church, I mean, this is kind of a random question, but what do you think a church should do if they want to get started in TikTok, once a day, or just once a week, or how often should they be posting them to get going?

If I was at church, I would at least do once a day. But if you want to kind of increase that chance of getting more followers and having more success, I’d post three times a day. Just because in the beginning, like when you’re starting, you have such a good opportunity to reach a vast audience. And if you posted like one in the morning, one in the afternoon, one in the evening, I think you would have more success. If that’s too difficult to do, I would just start with one a day, but if the content’s good, you have a better chance too, of obviously having that video be seen by more people. But if three is too much, I would at least start with one and make sure you’re posting once a day. I mean, you could even prepare in advance 30 videos, figure out like I would obviously come up with a strategy before doing this. I’d think of like, what kind of content can we make? Let’s just start messing around with the app and getting familiar with it so we can get in a cadence where you can do this consistently and it’s just a part of now your social media marketing strategy.

Let me ask a question as it relates to posting. Can you schedule posts on TikTok or do you have to post live? A lot of church communications professionals have gotten used to using things like Hootsuite and Buffer to schedule content for Facebook, for Instagram, and of course now Meta has a creator studio. Can you schedule content on TikTok, or do you… Let me ask this question. No, go ahead and answer that question, and then I have a follow up question. So can can we schedule it? If I’m having to do this three times a day, do I literally have to log in to TikTok three times a day and do this? How does that work?

Yeah. So I believe with some of the scheduling apps, TikTok does have that capability now, if it doesn’t, you can like create drafts, same thing you can do in Instagram with reels, is you could go in there and you could set up all of your posts and then just have them in draft so they’re already ready to go. So when you are ready to post, you go on, open the draft, post it, add whatever you want to add to it, so it’s already done. So if I was manually doing this, and I was and I had to post for, let’s say that was my job posting for the church, I would do those, like if I was posting in one day, I’d do them all like in the morning and have them all drafted, so then I can go go back in there and just post it when the time is to post. But I believe the tools now do give you the ability to schedule it, just like Instagram.0

You create all your content on your phone, you said, right? For, say a church that’s going to use snippets from sermons, they’re obviously going to take those sermon snippets and in all likelihood edit them on a desktop platform like Adobe Premiere or, you know, Final Cut or something like that. Is it complicated to get those snippets from a desktop platform to your phone and, you know, into TikTok? How would you go about doing that, getting really technical here?

I would say it’s not, because I have like some YouTube videos that are filmed on a camera and then are edited in classic editing software that’s then repurposed onto YouTube. So I’ve had someone edit a video of mine just to see and it was pretty easy for them to do as well too, so I don’t think the person who’s actually editing the video would have any trouble getting that video cut, edited, and given in a format that can be posted on a phone.

Okay.

All right, I tell you what, we’re running out of time here. This has been really insightful. You know, first of all, thank you for your ministry, thank you for praying for people and using this platform to share light and hope and the message of Jesus, so way to go there. And second, thanks for jumping on the show and just explaining this to all of our listeners who are scratching their heads going, how do you use this tool? Well, now, you know. So how do people get a hold of you, if they want to get ahold of you?

One other thing I wanted to say, too, is like Instagram has now kind of like tried to model what TikTok is doing. So I would, if you are posting these videos on TikTok, I would also post them on Instagram as well too. So I take the videos that I post on TikTok, I remake them in the Instagram appt doesn’t take me a lot of time, but I would be posting those TikToks on Instagram as well. Just because since Reels came out, the organic reach you have as a church to get in front of hundreds of thousands, like I get the same reach on Instagram now that I do on TikTok, which is wild because it took me a year to grow to 10,000, in six months to grow to 121,000 on Instagram, just doing reels every single day, nothing else, only reels. So if you’re a church, I would say, let’s have a video, a short form video first strategy on Instagram reels as well. It’s very similar, so I would look at it kind of like the same thing, but just making sure you’re taking that same mindset of the psychology of the person on TikTok and mimicking that to Instagram too, because it’s been able to obviously help me reach probably like 2 to 3 more million more people a month just on Instagram alone versus TikTok.

Yeah. Do you think we’re reaching a different demographic now on TikTok than on Instagram? How would you describe those to those two audiences, those two demographics?

Yeah, the demographic on TikTok is still younger, but there are so many of the other generations on there as well too. So if you want to think about it is I want to reach a younger audience on TikTok, great, that’s fine. And then on Instagram, the psychology is just changed with even people who are older, that they’re accustomed to watching short form videos because all those short form videos on Instagram are typically taken from TikTok. So if you can start making reels every single day as well too, even if it’s one or two, I think you’ll have the same success that you could on TikTok maybe not as much, but if you get consistent with it, you see what works, you test a lot of different things and you find a cadence where you can make content consistently, you’ll find success on Instagram as well as TikTok. But that’s the world we live in now, people just want short form video, it’s quick and it’s just means so much more than, let’s say, seeing a picture or something like that.

Yeah, quick hits. All right, now answer Jason’s question. If people want to follow you on social, if they want to reach out to you, what’s the best way for people to connect with you?

Yeah, definitely, if you want to reach out or if you have any questions around social media, my email is Dayne@litwithprayer.com If you want to connect on Instagram, my Instagram is litwithprayer, same thing. And then my TikTok is actually my first and last name, Dayne Kamela. I’m happy to answer any questions or just share anything I’ve learned. I am always happy to share.

Fantastic, will add that to the show notes as well, so people can can touch base. I’m sure you’re going to get some some pings because I talk to a lot of churches, and they don’t really know what to do.

Yeah.

So you just shared some really great knowledge with us, so thank you.

Awesome. I’m happy to have helped in any way.

Dayne, thanks again for joining us on the show today.

Of course.

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