In a post titled “25 Amazing Video Marketing Statistics,” leading content and social media marketing agency Digital Sherpa shares that videos increase a person’s understanding of a product or service by 74 percent. The same post reports that one-third of all online activity is spent watching video. Knowing this, marketers across all industries and niches should be using video to their advantage. This includes higher education marketers. How? Tap into the trend and offer prospective students the information and resources they need through the power of video while giving your marketing efforts a boost.
Not sure where to start? Here are some best practices for using video to market higher education.
Create a Vine
Use a six-second Vine video to give prospective students a quick look at what their prospective college has to offer. Capture moments around campus from teachers lecturing to the athletic department warming up and students hanging out in the student union. Using Vine helps communicate your message in a short, succinct video to tell students exactly what they need to know from admissions to what’s new on campus. Encourage applicants to email with questions and flag the most common feedback. Use a Vine to answer their questions and post on your website to help others get the information they need in six seconds.
Explain Complicated Info
Identify which web pages have complex content and use a video to explain the most important points. Using too much text to break down issues like the admissions process can be confusing; instead, offer a brief text outline along with a more detailed video breaking down the information at hand. For example, use text to highlight placement test info, then feature videos breaking down the logistics (e.g. when you’re required to take a placement test, what to expect from placement test results). A page on financial aid might have minimal text with an overview, but also offers an in-depth video hosted by a counselor who explains how to use your university’s fee calculation worksheet.
Remember to set the mood with appropriate music that matches the tone of your video. Some light background music can add life to an admissions video. A tour around campus featuring students having fun could be matched with something lively. Research options for buying stock music to add depth to your video; something uplifting for the intro and outro and perhaps something mellow and dreamy for student and alumni interviews.
Offer a Free Prep Course Video
Branch out beyond the university website and find students where they’re already hanging out. Post your videos on YouTube and include a subscribe button to entice students to sign-up for more information. An online education resource like Udemy features free and low-cost classes on everything from freelance writing to how to tackle financial aid applications. Get educators from the university you’re marketing to participate and create your own video courses on the platform to help students with a problem like acing the college essay and admissions process. Brand your videos with the university’s name and url throughout the video to put yourself front and center as the resource and generate applicants.
Optimize your videos for traffic
According to Forrester Research, videos are 50 times more likely to appear on the first page of Google’s blended search results. Increase your page-one chances by uploading the video(s) to YouTube, embedding it on your university’s website and blog, and creating a video sitemap. Remember to include long-tail keywords, catchy headlines and links to social media channels. And to give your video SEO an extra boost, consider transcribing your videos or adding a round-up of what the content covers.