Did you know that 80 percent of internet users can recall a video ad that they’ve viewed within the last 30 days? Video marketing is a great tool for all kinds of businesses, including vocational schools and colleges. Are you looking for a new way to promote your school and attract new students? If so, keep reading. Listed below are some of the most common video marketing mistakes you could be making that are holding you and your recruitment team back.
Not Setting Goals
If you don’t know what you want to accomplish with your school’s video marketing strategy, how are you going to know whether or not it’s worth the time and effort you’re putting into it?
Before you start making plans for creating video content, take a step back and think about why you want to create videos in the first place.
What kinds of results are you looking for? Do you want to increase enrollment? Drive more traffic to the school’s website (or a specific page of the school’s website) or get more people to sign up for an open house?
No matter what kind of goal you set, make sure it’s specific. Don’t just say “increase website traffic” or “increase enrollment.” Pick something specific and measurable, like “increase enrollment by 5 percent” or “get 100 sign-ups for the next open house.”
Keep this goal in mind as you move forward with planning your video content. It’ll help to guide you and ensure you’re making decisions that help you to see the results you desire.
Not Writing a Script
It’s easy to assume that you can just sit someone down in front of the camera, ask them to talk a bit about your school, and get a great video out of it. It rarely works that way, though.
If you don’t create a script, you’ll have a harder time making sure your message gets across. You’ll also likely end up spending more time creating the videos because you’ll have to record a lot of additional takes to try and get one good clip that you can use in the finished product.
It’s always worth it to sit down and write a script before you start filming, even if you’re only making a 15-second video for Instagram. A script gives your actors something to reference and can help them to feel more confident when the camera starts rolling.
Even if you’re not an artist, it’s still a good idea to do some storyboarding before you start trying to record a marketing video for your school.
Storyboarding helps you to visualize the journey you’re going to take your audience on. It also helps you to get a sense of how many different scenes you’ll need to film.
In general, a marketing video will include these 4 elements:
- Problem statement
Make sure you include each of these in your storyboard, as well as a timeline so you know when in the video you’re going to hit each one. For example, at 0:00, you’ll state the opener. At 0:30, you’ll move on to the problem statement, then provide a solution at 0:45 and a call-to-action at 1:00.
Not Thinking About Your Audience
When you’re writing the video script or are starting to storyboard, you must think about your audience.
What kind of person (or people) are you trying to target with your videos? Do you want to reach recent high school graduates? Does your school mainly serve older students who are coming back to school several years after graduation?
Whoever your audience is, keep them in mind so you can deliver a message that will resonate with them and get them interested in what your programs have to offer.
Poor Production Quality
Whether you’re making a Facebook video or filming a TV commercial, your production quality is key.
People aren’t going to want to attend your school or learn more about your programs if you’re sharing low-quality videos, will they? They’ll see these videos as a reflection of the quality of education they’re going to get from you and will look elsewhere.
The following are some examples of poor production quality that can hold you and your team back:
- Dim lighting (or no lighting at all)
- Shaky, obviously hand-held camera work
- Low-quality picture and graphics
- Low-quality, staticky, or muffled audio
- Bad editing
When you prioritize and invest in quality upfront, you’re more likely to see a significant return on your investment later. It’s worth it to purchase good lighting tools or editing software if it helps you to create better videos that resonate with your audience.
Working with Bad Actors
You don’t always have to hire actors for your marketing videos. In fact, sometimes, the best “characters” are students or staff members.
That being said, there are times when it’s a good idea to work with actors when you’re creating video content for marketing purposes.
Reaching out to people who have experience being part of marketing videos can help to streamline the filming process and ensure you get a quality video faster. Professional actors will also be more comfortable doing things like voiceovers or reenactments. They won’t be camera-shy and will be able to take in and implement corrections quickly.
It probably won’t be too hard to find actors in your area who are looking for work, either. Reach out to local talent agencies and ask if they can recommend anyone to help with your video. If your school has a drama department, you may even want to start your search there.
Making Videos Too Long
Video marketers have a mere 10 seconds to grab people’s attention and keep them interested. If your video is too long and takes (what feels like) forever to get to the point, people are going to click away and you’re going to lose an opportunity to sell them on the merits of your school.
Furthermore, even if your video is interesting and engaging, people likely aren’t going to want to stick around and watch for an inordinate amount of time. The ideal length of videos, for marketing purposes, is about 2 minutes. Anything longer than this and you’re going to start to lose your audience.
This is another reason why scriptwriting and storyboarding are so helpful. When you take the time to do these things, you can avoid wasting time on irrelevant information and get straight to the meat of the video.
Not Optimizing Video Descriptions
If you really want to see great results from your video marketing efforts, you need to make sure you understand SEO for videos.
SEO is short for search engine optimization. It refers to the practices you use to boost your search engine ranking and show up near the top of the page in search engine results.
One of the best ways to boost your videos’ SEO is to optimize the video description and choose a clear, catchy, and easy-to-read title. Make sure you include your target keyword(s) in both places, too. This helps your school to show up when people are searching for schools in the area, schools that offer a specific program, etc.
Not Including Captions
Ideally, your marketing videos will be accessible to a wide range of people, including those who are deaf or hard of hearing. By adding captions to your video, you expand your reach and have the potential to promote your school to a larger audience.
Not only do captions increase accessibility and inclusivity, but they also increase the likelihood that people will stick around, watch the full video, and follow through on your call-to-action.
Remember, the majority of social media videos (including a whopping 85 percent of Facebook videos) are watched on mute. If you don’t captions, people will have no idea what you’re trying to say, and they’ll likely end up clicking away altogether.
Being Too Salesy
It’s important to speak positively about your school and explain the great aspects of it in your marketing videos (and all other types of marketing content).
That being said, if you go overboard, it can come across as too pushy or salesy. This isn’t a great approach when you’re trying to win over potential recruits. After all, people don’t like to feel that they’re being sold to or pressured into doing something.
Focus on showing what makes your school unique or different from others, but try to place more of an emphasis on “soft selling” techniques. For example, you can use a video to tell a story about a particular student who had a great experience at your school or to interview a staff member about how your school stands out from others they’ve taught at in the past.
When you’re creating college marketing videos, make sure that the branding used in the video is consistent with your school’s other marketing materials.
For example, stick to the same fonts and color palette that you use in regular ads, brochures, billboards, etc. It’s a good idea to include your logo in a similar place on the screen, too (e.g., if you usually position the logo in the bottom left corner, put it there when you’re editing the video).
Make sure you’re being consistent when it comes to your tone as well. The communication style used in the video should be similar to the style you use in your other marketing materials. If it’s dramatically different, people might have a harder time connecting to your school, or they may not realize that it’s the same one they’ve seen advertised in the past.
Remember the goal you set for your video marketing efforts? Make sure you’re including a call-to-action at the end of your video that helps you to achieve that goal.
For example, let’s say your goal is to gather a certain number of sign-ups for an open house. If that’s the case, you should include a call-to-action at the end of the video that invites people to register for the open house on your website. Then, you can include the link to the registration page on the screen and in the video description.
Don’t assume that people will automatically know what to do. You need to guide them and do everything you can to eliminate confusion.
Not Monitoring Video Analytics
It’s not enough just to hit the “Publish” button on your video and hope for the best.
If you want to feel confident that you’re making progress toward your goals and getting a return on your video marketing investment, you need to monitor your video analytics. Pay attention to how many people are watching your video, how many people are clicking on the links in the description, and how many people are following through on your other calls to action.
Take note of who is watching your videos, too (what demographic categories do they fall under?) and pay attention to how they’re finding your videos as well (Google search, social media ad, etc.).
Trying to Do Everything Yourself
Finally, don’t make the mistake of trying to do everything yourself. You might fancy yourself as an expert scriptwriter, camera operator, and video editor. Are you really, though?
Just because you can do all of these things, that doesn’t mean you should. Outsourcing and working with a video marketing professional can help you get the job done faster and ensure you get a quality finished product (without having to do a bunch of reshoots).
Keep in mind, too, that video marketing experts can help you decide which channels are the best for sharing your videos, and they can offer guidance when it comes to monitoring analytics and measuring your video’s performance.
It’s almost always worth it to invest in a professional’s help. They’ll listen to your goals and help you create a strategy to ensure you achieve them.
Avoid These Video Marketing Mistakes Today
By avoiding these video marketing mistakes, you’ll ensure you have plenty of high-quality content for posts on social media and other types of online promotion.
Do you need extra help creating high-quality videos for your school? If so, we can help.
Give us a call today to learn more about our video marketing services or to schedule a consultation.