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09.23.19

Enhancing Your College or University's Video Advertising Game

Peter Chapman

1 cup student testimonials
A dash of event highlights
¼ cup faculty & student research
2 tbsp. social media takeover
1½ tsp. campus tour
A pinch of student tips
Combine ingredients in a bowl. Season to taste. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

When mastering the recipe for the ultimate college or university video marketing strategy, your ingredients may vary, but the outcome should be the same—an engaged and entertained audience ready to take the plunge and enroll. So what should higher ed marketers do to optimize this likelihood?

Here are a few tips for enhancing your university's video advertising game.

Student Testimonials

Virtually every school features student testimonials talking about how great their college is and that high school students should come to their campus. So how can you stand out? To start, they shouldn’t be exclusively long-form videos, since most potential students will be watching via their phones on the go. Shoot for around 60 seconds, including b-roll of the featured student participating in activities explicitly mentioned in the testimonial. Remember that you don’t need the student to talk about everything the campus offers in one short video. Rather, utilize multiple students in different videos to cover more college offerings. This will create a well-rounded student experience persona that will target more prospects.

Event highlights

Quick, 30- to 60-second event highlight videos can be fun, engaging video content for your social media. Source video or photos from students who were in attendance, and use that footage to bring more of a personal, student point of view to the video. Cater the content to the audience you intend to view it.

Academic Research

Faculty, and more excitingly, student research can effectively depict the exciting things that happen academically on your campus. Student research shows the application side of learning. These videos can range from two to five minutes long—just be sure to highlight a student who can communicate well on camera. Getting students to passionately talk about their research will always make for engaging content. Then, cover their interview portions with b-roll of the profiled students working on their research and interacting with other students in their departments.

Takeovers

Social media takeovers on Instagram or Snapchat are great ways to show prospective students what life is truly like on campus. Have student ambassadors run the account for the day. Create an outline of key points that you want to make sure the ambassadors highlight from their days, such as a particularly unique class or visually engaging student activities. Going into the account takeover with a plan will give you a better-crafted story for those who view it. When you’re done, you can save that story to your school's Instagram highlights so that it can be viewed by people looking at the school profile days or months later.

Tour Videos

Having professional campus tour videos is great for showing off the beauty of your spaces. To add a personal touch, you can have students give tours of their resident halls or academic buildings in which they spend a lot of time. They could even use their phones to film to position it similarly to a vlog. There’s nothing quite like getting a behind-the-scenes look at the inner workings of a campus, such as a theater department during production of a show or student perspective of the student union, to gain some authenticity factor.

Tips & Tricks

Student tips for incoming freshmen can be a great way to engage with new and prospective students. Lifehacks for campus or quick tips, such as where to get the best coffee or where the best place to study is, are easy, effective posts that can be featured on your university social accounts where students are likeliest to engage with your content.

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