Everyone loves online videos. People in every age group are shifting their viewing habits to online video and away from television. Unsurprisingly, Americans between the ages of 18 – 24 watch the least amount of television and drive online video consumption rates with their phones.
Using video boosts engagement and conversion rates in pretty much every type of marketing content, from landing pages to emails. We also know that 86% of universities and colleges already have a YouTube presence. So if you're not using video marketing yet, your competitor schools are, that means you're falling behind.
Frankly, YouTube is only the jumping-off point. All your video content should make its way to your YouTube channel, but if you're putting all your video focus solely on YouTube, you're missing out on opportunities.
Here are some ways you can effectively incorporate video into your admissions marketing.
Video is All Over Social Media
From Facebook's Live Stream feature to Snapchat's Story Playlists, you have a ton of social media video options. Start with clarifying which social media platforms are most popular with your different personas. Parents with young kids are on Facebook. Those in or close to college are also big users of Instagram and Snapchat. These, of course, are the generalities, but they’re good to understand when picking where to place your efforts. Your specific target community may show different preferences, so do some research and focus on whatever they are.
Your content options are endless on social media. You can broadcast live, from sporting events to on-campus speakers. Your students are already publishing their own video content about life at your school. Encourage their efforts with a specific user-generated content (UGC) campaign. Say, a quick hello from their favorite class sharing why it is so. Or post their favorite ways to take a break while studying.
Professors are also video content machines. They can broadcast (live or not) full lectures or put together short videos digging into a particular aspect of their field that makes the subject interesting for everyone.
Put together a short guide to helps staff and faculty create, publish and promote their own content. Include practical how-to tips, as well as content ideas.
The focus of your video content for admissions should be all about helping students see themselves loving life at your school. What their days would be like, the educational and social opportunities. Video content geared towards parents should give them confidence that this school is a place where their child will really flourish.
Webinars Educate and Connect
Webinars are potent tools for presenting a human face for your school to a large group of people at once, while still sparking that personal connection. Use webinars to educate and inform prospects about your school. You can have an admissions counselor hold a live webinar about the application process and best practices. Each program can run webinars with different faculty that talk about their program. Include current students by having Q&A webinars about student life.
Continue to run live webinars on common, popular topics so new people can have a chance to have their live questions answered. But you can also take advantage of your growing library of recorded webinars. Make the best ones available on demand on your website and various social media video channels so people who can't make a live one can still watch. Create clips of the best soundbites so you can embed them into relevant emails or landing pages.
Create email nurture campaigns building towards inviting people to a webinar targeted to their persona and stage on the enrollment journey. You don't need a live webinar coming up. Invite registrants who didn't attend the live webinar and other prospective students to watch a recorded webinar.
Using Video to Boost Conversions
Just as you don't send out emails merely so people can read them, videos aren't only for the watching. They're conversion tools.
Gate some video content behind a form so you can get people into your prospect database. The form can be a registration to attend a live webinar or to access a recorded one, or to access a live streaming event.
On the back end, insert appropriate calls-to-action (CTAs) within and at the end of your video content. If the video is a Facebook Live Stream of the tailgating before a school football game, make sure your host peppers her narration with CTAs and hashtags to share and like the live stream so more people can join. Embed a CTA to schedule a call with an admissions counselor or schedule a campus tour at the end of program information webinar.
Identify what phase in the enrollment journey the specific piece of video content is for and where you want to take people next. Build the CTA you include around whatever that next step should be.
Don't Let the Word "Video" Intimidate You
Video sounds expensive and involved, doesn't it? It doesn't have to be. Phone and desktop video recorders do a pretty good job. You can invest (or borrow from another department) in more sophisticated video equipment for your more sophisticated videos. Not all your videos need to be award-worthy.
Treat your video content as you do your other text-based content. Some videos are blog posts, some are glossy graphics, or comprehensive reports. Allocate your resources accordingly. Start building your video library now. Your prospects are eager for it.