As the daily time spent watching television in the U.S. for those aged 18-34 dropped, daily digital video views increased 16 minutes in early 2014, according to Nielsen. If you aren’t taking advantage of video in your higher education recruitment and marketing, you’re doing it wrong.
In case I haven’t convinced you yet, over 6 billion hours of video are currently watched each month. And remember, most computers come with their own video technology, making it easier than ever to directly connect with prospective students around the world. Here are some places to get started with video.
Take a Tour
Most prospective students know the college they choose will be their home for a while, so your campus is vital. How big is the gym? Where are the cafeterias located? What do the dorms look like, and will I have to share a bathroom? Prospective students who don’t have the opportunity to visit campus can explore all of these answers through virtual tours. Access to a video tour gives prospective students a sense of connection to your college.
These videos can be structured in different ways, depending on the type of school. They can include things like a bicycle tour shot with a GoPro, a simple video of an actual tour or a string of videos connected through a responsive map. Products like YouVisit.com and CampusTours.com take it a step further by helping you create interactive multimedia campus tours and maps for prospective students and parents to explore.
Recruit a student group, your Greek system, or a rising star or sports team; find what draws prospective students to your school and use that. Whether it’s funny, heartwarming, surprising or musical, if you can create and effectively distribute a video that clicks with your students, alumni and adoring high school hopefuls, you will draw in new prospects. Creating content your audience wants will only make you more loveable. Be sure to make it shareable, and use all of you appropriate social media outlets.
Accept YouTube Applications
You should not only accept but also encourage prospective students to submit a YouTube video component to their application. Create a prompt for an optional YouTube video, a time limit and a title requirement to include “[School name] video application…” before the creative title. This will be a huge attraction for prospective students your school might not have reached before. Individuals who excel in creativity will be drawn to this, as well as those who are unsure if they have a shot at getting into your school on transcript and recommendations alone.
You shouldn’t make the video component mandatory or require prospective students to make their videos “public.” Be respectful of your applicants’ privacy. However, when students do choose to make it public, it puts your school name on otherwise unreached computer screens.
“Hangout” on Google+
Connect directly with prospective students through your computer’s own video technology. College counselors and recruiters can create a schedule of Google+ Hangout topics, such as how to join your school’s basketball team, or how to write an eye-catching application essay. Distribute the calendar via email, social media and your school’s website, at the least, and include a link to sign-up forms for the different hangouts. By paying attention to which Hangout fill up, you can learn more about your prospective students’ interests. Each Hangout can include up to 10 people at one time.
As your knowledge and the power of technology progress, continue finding ways to bring people together and connect with your school through video. Do you use any higher education video marketing I didn’t mention?