If a picture is worth a thousand words, video is that and ten times more. Social media has initiated a huge rise in the creation of videos by businesses, nonprofits and educational organizations to highlight their brand, influence the sale of products, increase donors, engage audiences and share the great work they’re doing.
Why use video?
Video is the most powerful on-demand communication platform ever created. Search engines rank video higher than text. A search term is 53 times more likely to get a first-page Google search result if it has a YouTube video correlated with it. The biggest reason? Google owns YouTube.
Other major search engines now give a lot of value to video content. If your school has a video and an article that includes the same keyword or topic, chances are your video will rank higher every time. Videos have other benefits, too, since they usually guarantee accessibility and user retention.
Video vs. text.
Visitors are more likely to watch a quick two-minute video about your school rather than read a long wall of text. They enjoy video over text because it scales well on mobile devices. With just the tap of a button, viewers can learn about your school through creative messaging without having to use their fingers to scroll down, enlarge the text or move the copy around the screen.
It’s estimated that this year, 74% of Web traffic will come from video. And by 2019, 80% of the Web’s traffic will be run by video. For independent schools and colleges, video is a key strategy in telling your story, selling your value proposition and standing out in the market.
Three essential things that video can do for your school.
- Video establishes your personality faster than print. If your content marketing is built around written content, it takes exposure to several articles or posts for a new audience to truly begin to understand who you are. With video, your audience can see and hear you – not just read your words.
- Video personalizes your prospective family and student’s experience. You can guide your visitors to different sections of your website using videos that make the whole experience similar to a school tour. Videos put a face on the school and make prospects more comfortable reaching out and perhaps even signing up for an open house. Many websites now provide personalized video experiences that cater specifically to the individual consumer’s buying habits, and in many cases, reference past purchases. Consider how you might cater to your prospects’ interests with video. Do they like sports, the arts, STEM? Use video to show off those programs that will further influence the viewer’s choice of school.
- Using video differentiates you from your competition. Few people are using video effectively. The idea of creating a production scares people away. Use experts.
Video syndication helps “spread the word.”
The purpose of content marketing is to get your message in front of your potential audience. With written content, that means you can only publish it in one place. Video is much easier to syndicate. And the whole purpose of syndication is to try and get that video in front of as many eyeballs as possible.
Want to syndicate? It’s simple:
- Upload to aggregators such as YouTube, Facebook or Vimeo. Not only can you mass-distribute your videos with these tools, but the tools themselves will help promote and track your video assets over the Web, easily, quickly and efficiently. They’ll help you to save time, get exposure, learn about your audiences and make your video campaign successful.
- Embed a link on other people’s Facebook pages.
- Stream it from an aggregator to your website or LinkedIn company page.
- Ask your school ambassadors to stream your video to their websites, blogs or social media sites.
- Post your video to relevant Pinterest boards.
Lights, Camera, Action!
Creating a video doesn’t have to be cumbersome. Follow these tips, and you’ll have a video that Rotten Tomatoes and viewers will love.
- Establish your goals: What do you want to achieve? Whom do you want to view your video?
- Production values matter – and so does a beginning that grabs your viewer.
- Keep video within 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add a title page, some nice lighting, a little (copyright-free) background music, and remember to end with a live link to your website along with contact info.
- Include calls-to-action: Subscribe, Visit our channel, Like, Add to favorites, Share, Leave a comment.
- Add closed captions for 40% more views during business hours. What message is your video sending when your viewer’s phone is on silent?
- Increase click through rates and enhance conversions by sharing video links in your email newsletters.
Take a cue from Hollywood and think sequels – go beyond the standard admission video. Consider a series of short interviews with parents, students and faculty. Preview your upcoming school musical or concert. Thank donors for their gifts or launch your next campaign. Show off your athletic programs or team prepping for that big rivalry. Give prospective students and families a sneak peek into various classrooms and let students just say what they love about your school.
Interested in creating some custom videos for your school? Contact our experts at Kalix and we’ll put you in the producer’s chair.
Gerri Baum is Social Media/Digital Manager for Kalix Marketing.