On a month-to-month basis, people watch over 6 billion hours of video on YouTube alone. When you add in the likes of Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok, marketers are forced to reach an inescapable conclusion:
Internet users love watching videos.
As such, a well-coordinated video marketing campaign can work wonders for your enrollment numbers. But even if videos might seem like a good idea on paper, the prospect of adding them to your school’s advertising mix can be daunting.
Fortunately, we’ve got you covered.
First, we’ll explain why video marketing is picking up steam. Then, we’ll talk about why schools need to start using video before explaining how it can be done in four steps. Finally, we’ll give you a short list of tips that you can use to get more from every video your team produces.
Sound good? Keep reading.
Why Video Marketing Is Here to Stay
Marketing circles have a reputation for hyping up fads. Video marketing, however, isn’t one of those passing trends. There are at least three reasons why advertisers are adding video to their marketing mixes:
1. Video Is on an Upward Trajectory
In 2019, Social Media Week reported that there would be 1 million videos per second on the internet by 2022. Using these numbers, video views were set to account for 82 percent of all traffic.
Unlike VHS and DVDs, video isn’t a dying medium on a downward trend. Content creators are struggling to keep up with the growing demand. For this reason, video marketers aren’t just experimenting with a new approach — they’re using a medium that hasn’t yet begun to peak.
2. Video Has a Better Chance of Going Viral
As any advertiser will tell you, the best marketing campaigns are the ones that have genuine excitement behind them. These are the concerts that are driven by people sharing links with their friends. These are the memes that capture people’s imaginations.
It used to be the case that blog posts and articles could pick up momentum on Facebook. But as time has gone on, video has established a track record as one of the most highly shared mediums on the internet. According to the data, video on social media platforms has generated 12 times as many shares as pictures and text combined.
If you want to create marketing material that punches above its weight class, video can deliver the kind of word-of-mouth marketing that drives enrollments and signups.
3. Online Video Is Turning Viewers Into Action Takers
According to Google, 75% of viewers found that YouTube was a helpful complement to their shopping journeys. Meanwhile, many advertisers found that using video action campaigns with product feeds generated 60% more conversions while lowering total costs.
For a casual online user, the journey from YouTube video to enrolled student isn’t so simple. After all, tuition is significantly more expensive than most physical products. But the overall lesson is still the same:
Video can be used to create stronger connections, expand reach, and put your school top of mind for prospects ahead of the semester. The unique ability of online video to drive action can do a lot of the heavy lifting on your behalf.
Why Universities and Trade Schools Should Use Video
Although we’ve just made a strong case for video marketing in general, those main points don’t answer the question of whether your school should be marketing itself with video. In our experience, video has transformative potential for school marketing teams. Here are some of the biggest benefits:
1. Video Can Be Used More Than Once
With many marketing strategies, the key to success is constant content creation.
You always need to be producing more blog posts or adding more content to web pages. After all, how successful would your Instagram account be if you made a post once every blue moon?
Video is different because the creative can be repurposed. As a result, one video could spawn dozens of social media posts, annual newsletters, and course lists.
This is important because if you’ve been reluctant to get into video marketing because of the perceived workload, that impression couldn’t be further from the truth. You can keep using the same videos in different contexts over and over again.
2. It Can Be Distributed Across Multiple Social Media Platforms
Imagine making a video once and then watching it attract hundreds of potential students to your school website without much prompting from you. Thanks to social media, you can accomplish exactly that with a catchy video.
Between Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok, marketers have a plethora of social media sites to upload to. With a well-planned marketing strategy, you can amplify your reach with very little effort on your part.
3. Tell the Story of Your Academic Brand More Effectively
Williams College, among other sources, says that the human brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than it does text. What this means for marketers is that video allows you to use visual cues, scripting, and atmosphere to sell your school to prospects in 30 seconds or less.
As a college or trade school, there are only so many ways that you can showcase your institution through text and logos. Video allows you to enhance your brand while giving prospects a taste of what life is like at your school.
They say that people need to see and encounter your brand multiple times before they’ll remember it. This is your chance to engineer another touchpoint.
Video Marketing in Four Steps
Okay. Let’s say you’ve read these benefits and you’re completely sold on video marketing for your school. What you’re interested in is how to create and launch a winning video campaign.
Luckily, the process is simpler than you might initially think. Here’s a list of four steps that will take you from idea to full-fledged video promotion:
1. Map Out Your Customer Journey
This is the part where you and your team will sit down and focus on the fundamentals. Here, you’ll be asking questions like:
“What’s special about our school?” and “Where in the school selection journey are people usually finding us?”.
Once you have solid answers to these big-picture questions, you’ll have a firm grasp of what the new video needs to accomplish.
This is important because video can have multiple uses for trade schools and universities. Previously, we’ve talked about how video can include student testimonials, campus tours, and course overviews, to name just a few examples.
When you know that this upcoming video is for people who want to change their careers, you can build your video with that final result in mind.
2. Create a Strong Video Concept
Think about the last time you saw an online video that made you check out a product you’d never heard of before.
Maybe you were struck by the value proposition. Perhaps the video spoke to a deeper emotion, like embarrassment or fear, that you’ve been struggling with for years under the surface.
You’ll need to apply the same concept when making videos for your future students. Many of them will be people who always wanted to get into the trades or pursue an education, but didn’t get around to doing it. Maybe they’re tired of not having money or feeling underappreciated in their current workplaces.
You don’t want to put out a generic video that could have been produced by literally any other school. You want a video that will hit all the right notes. In other words, you’ll want to show potential students how enrolling at your school will allow them to have the life they want.
You may need to experiment with voiceover scripts. Maybe you need to dramatize a full-scale before and after. If you want a video concept that’s both budget-friendly and quick, maybe you’ll want to shoot a student testimonial.
No matter what you decide, here’s the bottom line:
You need a video concept that will press the right emotional buttons.
3. Shoot and Edit the Video
At this stage, you’ve put together a top-notch script. You know exactly who the video is for and what you’re trying to say to them. Now it’s time to execute.
When preparing for a video shoot, you’ll want to make sure your tech is in working order. You’ll want your video production team to be comfortable with your choice of video editing software. You’ll want to test your cameras and your ring lights to ensure that your visuals are in tip-top condition.
Test your mics. Test your cameras. And then test everything again.
Shooting and post-production are often the most time-consuming aspects of creating a video. And this applies even if you’re opting for cartoon and graphic-based videos.
The best way to approach this is to familiarize yourself with the software and go from there.
4. Roll Out Video on the School’s Social Media Accounts and Website
You’ve got the footage. You’ve recorded a brilliant voiceover. And your video has turned out way better than you thought it would.
Now it’s time to show your new creation to the world. We’ve found that blending social media and SEO can drive a steady stream of inbound traffic straight to your site and your course catalog. You’d be surprised at what a well-planned share campaign can do to put your school in front of new audiences.
Video Marketing Best Practices
As it turns out, there are a few tips and tricks you can use to get even more use out of your new video. Here are some strategies that can help you get maximum results from your video marketing efforts:
1. Have a Video Marketing Plan
At this stage, everyone knows the likes of Superman, Batman, and Captain America. But even though people are familiar with the superhero pantheon, studios still roll out PR campaigns, commercials, and social media pushes ahead of every movie.
Why? Because their marketing teams understand the importance of treating every movie like it’s the first in the series.
Similarly, you could post your video on YouTube and other social media and get a few likes here and there. But you’ll likely need a combination of SEO, paid ads, and organic pushes to get more out of each video.
For this reason, it’s often recommended that school marketing teams create a promotional plan for every video they make.
2. Be Accessible
When you’re working from a desktop, it’s easy to forget that the vast majority of people will be seeing your video on mobile. In addition, some of your future students may be visually or hearing impaired.
Fortunately, the solution is simple:
You can make a point of creating a video that’s capable of reaching multiple types of people.
You can use captions. You can test the video out on multiple phones while using mobile view. If you want to be even more diligent, you can see how the video looks while compressed and you can preview it before uploading.
Either way, don’t create a situation where the perfect student is trying to see the video but can’t due to oversights and tech-related incompatibilities. The more possibilities you consider, the better your potential reach will be.
3. Perfect Your Video SEO
One of the most exciting elements of video marketing is the fact that video has a long tail. Sure, you can have viral moments and huge social media pushes. But you can also get traffic for years to come by choosing the right keywords.
You’ll want to put the keywords in your video description, your video title, and in your video tags where possible. That way, when the right student is researching courses like yours in three years, your video will be sitting on top of the search engine results.
Get More Students With Video Marketing
As more and more people get into the habit of consuming online videos, advertisers around the world have been looking at how to make video marketing work for them. Even when the basic pieces are in place, however, high-performance video campaigns can be difficult to deliver.
We help trade schools, colleges, and universities get more from their advertising. Contact us to see how we can take your school’s marketing efforts to the next level.
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