video marketing higher education

7 Secrets to Successful Video Marketing in Higher Education

One of the first things you should determine in the content marketing delivery process is the right medium for the content you are distributing. What will your audience respond to? What moves them further down the funnel? How will you encourage contacts to move through the buyer’s (or in this case, student’s) journey, converting from awareness to consideration, and from consideration to decision? In higher education, video content can make a huge difference.

In 2016, the top 5 industries for video will be: software, marketing, healthcare, non-profit, and education. In fact, 66% of higher education facilitators say that video will be used for learning or remote teaching in 2016. Regardless of your eagerness or abstention in this practice, its use is becoming more and more commonplace. College and university marketers and admissions professionals are taking advantage of this growing market and are honing their production prowess in an effort to edge out their competitors. Stay up to date and take your higher education video marketing to the next level with these 7 tips.

1. Tell a Story

No matter the type of video you plan to create, share a story. A narrative with a strong, poetic delivery will resonate with potential students a lot more than an informative slideshow indicating dining options.

From genuine student testimonials to snippets from rousing ceremony speeches, make use of your best resources – what are you known for? Consider offering potential students a virtual tour. Inspiring and informative content translates to more time spent watching videos.

2. Focus on Your Audience

Are you directing content toward potential students, parents or alumni? For prospective students and parents, illicit excitement and promise potential. For alumni, invoke nostalgia. Remember that the content you develop for a quick-paced, looping admissions office reel will need to be different than longer, sweeping campus highlight clips, showcasing iconic locales.

Or, are you launching a new fundraising campaign with a gala for alumni and influential community members? A video is the perfect way to kick off and wrap up your event with precise preparation. Create a shared experience for your attendees and remember to share the clip on social media afterwards. Your reach will not only expand, but the impact of your content will be noticeable.

3. Consider Your Offer

Your videos should incorporate a call-to-action (CTA), which should indicate an offer of some sort – for prospective students, this offer could be information about early enrollment, an application guide, a financial aid guide or contest entry for a free university t-shirt, for example. In order to promote said offer, you’ll need to create a landing page that houses a form your contacts will fill out. Make sure your landing pages are engaging and accurately describe your offer.

4. Segment

Segmentation is a technique often used to identify popular aspects of something and feature them prominently throughout a highlight video – in this case, aspects of your college or university that you want to showcase. Your audience will likely want to see the students, interacting with each other, enjoying their time on campus and making use of the school’s best features. Illustrating these points will give your video an advantage over generic campus landscape shots seen in your run-of-the-mill recruitment video.

If recruitment isn’t your intention, consider stacking your content. Create a series of short videos demonstrating the different ways donors impact the campus environment. Adorn your archives with a spotlight series on the tenured professors who comprise the university’s faculty. These videos replicate the familiar nature of television content in small bursts. Keep the videos short in length and heavy with valuable information.

5. Optimize

Include long-tail keywords and attention-grabbing (a far cry from click-baiting) titles. Harness your SEO prowess to make sure you’re ranked on the first page. Luckily, according to some studies, videos are about 50 times more likely to show up on the first page of Google search results.

6. Make Use of PPC

By using paid advertising, marketers can utilize a method more akin to a sniper than the standard shotgun approach to broadcasting their content. Though video content is more likely to naturally appear in top search results, paid advertising will serve to further supplement your reach and gather a wider viewer base. Make sure you know the keywords your target audience is searching for and optimize your landing page content, as well.

7. Crowdsource

Give crowdsourcing content from the student body a try. Millennials love user-generated content, and collecting videos from your current students or from the faculty and staff will give you free content to work with that is both fun and relevant. Also, reach out and get direction from strategic higher education marketing experts who are aware and mindful of industry trends.

The utility of this medium is undeniable. From a marketing standpoint, video is so efficient because of its ability to captivate an audience and attract multiple senses. It offers a communal experience rather than the independent and emotionless experience offered by textual information.

Are you using video at your college or university? If not, reprioritize for the coming semesters and 2016 recruitment and enrollment season. Work video into your strategy, and reach out if you need more guidance on how to do so. Email us at HigherEd@thinkpyxl.com today!