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Using Video Marketing for Student Recruitment

Posted By Zach Busekrus on 4/8/15 10:14 AM

Read Time: 3 Minutes

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It’s no surprise that the rate at which people are consuming video content is quickly growing, from binge watching full seasons of shows on Netflix to viewing celebrity lip syncing videos on YouTube to sharing quick everyday life videos on Snapchat. Many institutions are struggling to figure out whether video marketing as a strategy for student recruitment is really worth it, and if it is, how to do it effectively, efficiently, and affordably.

Video marketing isn’t going away — in fact, it's a great way to attract new people to your institution’s website and ultimately convert them into inquires. Here are our thoughts on the importance of video marketing for enrollment management, as well as several content ideas for your admissions office’s next video.

The “Why” of Video Marketing

Attracting a large inquiry pool of students requires a creative marketing strategy that incorporates both direct marketing and inbound marketing campaigns. Unlike text or photographs, video has this unique ability to provide prospective students with an immersive experience of your university’s community. Done right, a short video allows a prospect to get a real taste of what your school has to offer them in a way that is authentic, educational, and exciting!

The power of setting people and places in motion can help prospectives students step into specific scenes of campus life and even help them to imagine potential lifestyles — it gives them the chance to place themselves in your university’s universe and get a feel for what their life could look like if they choose to attend your school.

The “How” of Video Marketing

Keeping the scope limited for your first video is always a smart decision, especially if video production is only one facet of your job — which it very likely is! Deciding what types of videos to make can be challenging, so it’s important that you incorporate your video marketing strategy into your overall content marketing plan.

By starting small and making simple short videos that answer questions prospects may have, showcase an annual university event, or interview a faculty member and then editing those videos in an easy to use software like Apple’s iMovie or Windows’ Movie Maker, you’ll begin to understand just how easy, quick (and even enjoyable!) this process is.

The “ROI” of Video Marketing

People often argue that it’s simply too hard to track the ROI of video marketing — and while it may be a nice source of student engagement, it’s just not worth your admissions counselors’ time. Here’s what many people do not know — there are incredibly affordable tools out there like Wistia that allow you to see who is watching your videos, how much of your videos they are watching, and how often they are re-watching your videos! These analytics are incredibly powerful and will help your admissions counselors know which of your prospects might be worth following up with with a personal email. Wistia also lets you embed Calls-to-Action buttons at the end of the video, which is another great feature that we’ll have to talk about some other time.

Here are four ideas for short videos that your admissions team can make to attract new students to your institution:

  1. Document exciting moments in the college experience

    • Showcase a pep rally and add the latest pop hit as the video’s soundtrack.

    • Create a video that highlights the various dining options on campus.

    • Film “a day in the life of a graduate school student” video (this will provide those working professionals with a better idea of how going to grad school while still working is possible!).

  2. Feature renowned professors

    • Interview professors, especially those who have been with the school for a long time; not only does this give you the opportunity to show off their success, but you can also get their input on how the school has changed for the better over time and what core values it has retained.

  1. Share alumni stories and testimonials

    • Interview an alumni and ask them to tell a story from their freshman year of college. This will help lighten the mood a bit and keep the video from coming across as a hard marketing tactic.

  2. Answer common questions they receive from applicants

    • Film a Q&A and call it something like “The 15 questions you have about graduate school that you’re too afraid to ask.” An interesting title will catch prospective students’ attention — follow up with a funny and instructive video.

    • On the undergrad side, consider making a short Q&A on “The 10 questions every high school senior should ask themselves before choosing a college.” Remember — the objective is to be engaging, funny, educational, and (most importantly) helpful!

We hope you now have a better understanding as to what video marketing for student recruitment looks like, and how you can add video to your content marketing plan. Video can be challenging, but it’s worth it — and it’s becoming a necessity for enrollment management.

Are you pumped up to get working on a video? Lights — camera — action!

Would it help to see some examples? Watch our team’s videos!
  
Watch Our Team's Videos

Topics: Higher Education, Higher Ed Marketing, Video

About the Higher Ed Marketer

This blog is dedicated to sharing best practices, trends and case studies for the marketing of higher education. Our content is developed out of our partnerships with both undergraduate and graduate enrollment management professionals, as well as those who specialize in higher ed marketing and communications designed for student recruitment.

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