By now, the power and popularity of video content should come as no surprise—especially when faced with eye-opening statistics that show just how important video is as a marketing tool. According to recent research, 87% of video marketers said that video gave them a positive ROI, with 86% saying that video helped generate leads. In fact, video engagement has even been used by 62% of marketers as a measure of success.
Schools looking to boost recruitment can use video advertising to reach and better engage their audience. Listed among the top five purposes for creating video content, advertising can help schools target key prospects in an effort to increase brand awareness and lead generation. With a high-quality video, your school can share what makes it truly stand out all while speaking directly to the prospects you hope to attract.
Because of our waning attention span, short-form video has become a notable marketing tactic—one that provides various opportunities for engaging storytelling and transparency. By using video ads in creative and purposeful ways, schools can provide more value to interested prospects. In doing so, they can better connect with prospects and build more meaningful relationships. Read on to discover our tips and tricks on how your school can use video advertising to drive positive results!
Present Engaging Videos that Introduce Your School and its Community
Video content can give your school an opportunity to stand out and share a compelling story or message that resonates, allowing you to connect with your viewers and attract more attention to your school. By presenting these engaging videos, you can vividly show your prospects what your school is all about.
Produce Video Advertisements that Communicate Your School’s Brand and Vision
Brand videos showcase a school’s personality and mission in action, often directly speaking to the audience via an authoritative narrator. Here, prospects can peek into life on campus, getting a general idea of what they can expect as students at your school. These videos often showcase a variety of shots, featuring a diverse range of student experiences and campus facilities to attract and engage viewers.
Often, brand videos carry a message that illustrates the school’s unique selling features. The focus can be on the school’s values and mission, delivered with a sense of character and personality that’s aligned with the school’s overall branding. Communicating these points effectively can help your school’s brand stand out in today’s competitive education market.
Example: Audencia Business School dedicates a video to its tagline, “Never Stop Daring.” Narrated by a charismatic student, the video quickly captures the viewer’s attention with witty dialogue and humour. Viewers learn about why “audacity” matters at this business school, exploring the campus and its vibrant student community along the way. The video also ends on a strong note, “welcoming home” prospects who resonate with the school’s message.
By taking a similar approach, your school can center its content creation video marketing efforts on communicating its brand to prospects. The same research mentioned previously reveals that 94% of video marketers believe video has helped increase user understanding of their product or service. This statistic shows a lot of promise for schools seeking to use video as a way to introduce their brand and community—broadening prospects’ understanding of what they can experience and be a part of as an enrolled student.
The University of Suffolk also incorporates brand messaging in its video, shown below. The video instantly connects with the school’s tagline, “A university for a changing world.” However, it pushes an even stronger message—one about embracing that change and “mov[ing] forward together.” The creative editing and the addition of student voices, in the beginning, make it an impactful video, prompting students to learn more.
Pro Tip: Brand video advertising can provide a great opportunity for you to tell your school’s story, giving you the chance to showcase your school’s unique character and personality. Brand storytelling can be a creative way for your school to connect with prospects at a more personal level, laying the foundation for a strong future relationship. These videos can also be repurposed as hero background videos to be displayed on key pages of your school’s website.
Showcase Your School’s Student Experience with “Day in the Life” Videos
Prospects are likely curious about the student experience and hearing it directly from current students can make a big difference in influencing their decision. Consider creating videos that introduce prospects to your current students and their daily routine at your school.
These videos are usually personal vlogs, making them feel more genuine as they appear unscripted. Through them, prospects can more easily imagine what life would be like at your school—allowing them to become more familiar with your campus and their program of interest. The University of Sheffield does this well by creating different “Days in the Life of” videos, tracking the routines of different students. In the video below, we follow along with Tom, an engineering student at The University of Sheffield:
The chapter breaks and time-stamps in the video make it even easier to follow along, giving prospects the sense of a complete day on campus. This idea can be stretched into a series to further enhance your school’s video content marketing efforts.
In addition to personal vlogs, your school can consider filming a “Day in the Life” video that is presented in an interview-like style. Videos can show current students speaking to an interviewer in a casual environment balanced with b-roll, which serves as cutaway footage that provides context and visual interest.
Example: Carnegie Mellon University Africa embraces this type of interview as it introduces one of its students, who also shares her personal experiences—showing the positive impact the school had on her personal and professional development.
Pro Tip: Including student testimonials in your video marketing strategy can help your school showcase the diverse range of experiences prospects may benefit from while allowing them to better connect with your school’s community. These testimonials can also be shared on social media to promote engagement. The example below shows how EC English Language Centres uses YouTube Shorts to share its student testimonials and highlight the benefits of attending the school:
Add Creativity to Classic Campus Tours in Your Content Creation Video Marketing Efforts
Campus Tours are a classic way to engage prospects and show what life is like at your school. They can also be somewhat formulaic and predictable. That’s why creative and fun campus videos quickly stand out, engaging prospects more effectively. There are various ways to add a creative twist to these videos, but these ideas all have the same goal: providing value for prospects by helping them see themselves fit in as a part of the school community.
In its “Walk Through Campus” video, Columbia University adds a more personal flair to the standard campus tour video by artfully uncovering its rich history. The video incorporates relevant historic photos from the Columbia University Archive that showcase the evolution of key landmarks and buildings, which also helps to reinforce the school’s authority and credibility. The addition of a warm and inviting narrator also encourages prospects to feel more at home, drawing them in as they learn more about the school’s unique history and story.
Student-led campus tours are a great way to build a connection with prospects, adding interest while showcasing your school’s vibrant community. By introducing your campus from a current student’s perspective, your school can give a more realistic tour that shows how each facility and aspect of your campus plays into the full student experience.
With the magic of video editing, your school can add footage that adds to the tour—showing how the different spaces explored in the video can look on a regular basis or even during special events. This can be a great way to highlight orientation day, busy career fairs, festivals and any other interesting events.
Example: The University of Ottawa embraces both of these ideas by sharing a student-led campus tour filled with fun cutaway footage of the school’s unique events and community. This includes candid shots of the school’s winter activities as well as the uO Show, a social event on campus that kicks off the new academic year.
Curate Videos to Strengthen Your School’s Video Content Marketing Strategy
Although content curation isn’t a new marketing tactic, it can still have a positive impact on your school’s overall content strategy. Content curation typically refers to the act of sharing a collection of high-quality, credited work produced by others to bolster your content efforts. By curating videos, you can build or strengthen connections with other creators and offer your prospects a wider range of interesting and relevant content.
Feature Student Ambassadors in Your School’s Video Strategy
To stay top of mind with your prospects, you’ll need to regularly put out high-quality content that is both engaging and relevant—a task that is often easier said than done. Producing this type of original content can take a lot of time and resources, making it difficult to sustain. This is where video curation can help, allowing your school to select and share content from other creators to continue engaging prospects.
The key is to understand your audience and curate videos that reflect their needs, interests, motivations, and concerns. To do this, you’ll want to develop effective student personas that give your school a general overview of who exactly you’re trying to reach. Creating a playlist of videos that speak to these key points can help you show that your school listens to its students and prospects, taking active measures to provide them with valuable experiences and helpful resources.
Example: The University of Brighton has a playlist uniquely dedicated to student life, aptly titled “Student Life: An inside guide.” The videos curated in this playlist are created by actual students in a vlog-type style as they share their personal insights and experiences. In doing so, prospects can better connect with the school’s community and get the answers they need about the student experience from firsthand accounts.
Source: University of Brighton – YouTube
Here’s a video shared from this playlist, introducing a PhD student as they reveal how they manage to study from home. This video can help hesitant prospects decide whether online learning is for them, giving them tips that can even influence their decision to enrol.
Curating these types of videos can be a great way for your school to feature its student ambassadors and the work that they create. Student ambassadors can represent your school on social media and connect with an even wider audience, boosting your brand awareness efforts. You may also consider sharing high-quality and relevant videos created by your school’s faculty or alumni. Doing so can help showcase your school’s vibrant community and attract prospects to become a part of that.
Promote Video Content to Boost Your School’s Engagement and Discoverability
With so much content available online, it can be easy for prospects to feel overwhelmed or for your school’s efforts to be swallowed up by today’s competitive education market. That’s why you’ll want to consider promoting your videos on different platforms. By doing so, you can ensure that the right audience encounters your work at the right time.
Showcase Videos of Your School’s Events and Accomplishments on Social Media
Video marketing and advertising on social media can help schools showcase their latest activities, campus services, and accomplishments in a more effective way. Social media has long since proved its importance as a digital marketing channel, but the combination of video makes it all the more powerful.
According to Sprout Social, 54% of marketers identify video as the most valuable content type for achieving social media marketing goals, and social media video helped 93% of companies acquire new customers. These statistics show that social media video can have a strong impact on your school’s overall digital marketing strategy, helping you find and attract new prospects.
Focusing on your school’s events can be a great start. School events are all about maximizing engagement, and what better way to do that than with a video on social media? Consider sharing short clips of fun events, like special festivals, fundraisers, and career fairs to name a few. Your school can also showcase graduation and on-campus holiday celebrations in this way. These videos can give prospects an idea of what happens on your campus and how students can make the most of their experience—conveying a stronger sense of community built around support and celebration.
The video below by the University of Leeds is a perfect example of this, introducing its Fresh Start Festival in an engaging way on TikTok:
@universityofleeds Find your people or try something new at the Fresh Start Festival this week #uniofleeds #leedsuni #campuslife #universitylife #studentlife ♬ Simple riff songs easy to use for video Background music – G’s
A recent survey conducted by Forrester shows that TikTok is now the most popular app for US Gen Z youth, indicating that 63% of this audience use the app on a daily basis. Capitalizing on TikTok’s popularity and effectively using it to reach Gen Z can help your school boost its engagement and brand awareness campaigns, making social media video an important tool for communicating your school’s unique selling points.
Pro Tip: You can use social media video to spotlight groundbreaking research and standout faculty, showing the level of academic expertise and excellence your school can provide. Doing so can help you generate interest and excitement around new or budding research that is conducted by your school’s community. This type of video content marketing for higher education can engage prospects seeking to make a difference in their area of interest, proving to them that your school is a great choice.
In the example below, Cambridge University introduces its research on sand dunes—incorporating interesting footage and captions to inform and intrigue its TikTok followers:
@cambridgeuniversity Researchers at #cambridge found that #Sand #dunes ‘communicate’ with each other after building a giant #dune ♬ Sandman – J.V. Peach
Consider Over The Top Video Advertising to Better Target Your Prospects
Over The Top (OTT) video advertising is about capitalizing on the popularity of streaming services, like Hulu or HBO Max, to display video ads that better reach a target audience. Research by Deloitte reveals that 69% of surveyed Americans have at least one streaming video subscription instead of paying for traditional TV, proving that streaming content is quickly gaining traction.
Ad-supported streaming services allow schools to overcome the limitations of traditional TV advertising. Here, your school can rely on advanced digital advertising tactics to target specific demographics (i.e. age group, location, education level, etc.) and get real-time analytics to measure your success. By optimizing your ads through data-driven targeting, your school can provide a personalized experience that resonates more quickly with prospects. In this way, OTT video ads can open a world of new opportunities for brand awareness campaigns.
With the right video content strategy and a strong understanding of your school’s target persona, your video ads can effectively strengthen your digital marketing efforts. Starting with clear goals and remembering to optimize your video content can help your school boost its efforts and drive success—ensuring that the videos you make continue to reach, attract, and engage prospective students.