How to Create a School Video Marketing Strategy in 5 Easy StepsAugust 21, 2020
Take it from me, creating a well-defined video marketing strategy is just as important (if not more) than the videos you create. But, there are still a lot of brands and schools out there who don't have one in place. In this guide, I'll show you how to create a solid video marketing strategy from scratch in just five easy steps.
1. Set solid objectives
The first step in creating an effective strategy is setting objectives. Take a moment to think about what it is that you're hoping to achieve and what steps are going to help you get there. Your objectives should aim to support your existing marketing strategy, as well as your school's broader business plan. Let's take a look at some examples of the kinds of objectives you might like to set.
Increase brand awareness
Do you want to get more eyes on your school? Setting an objective of increasing brand awareness is a great way to achieve this. An objective here, for example, might be to gain exposure by getting more views on your school videos.
Achieve a conversion target
Looking to boost enrollment applications? Then perhaps you might like to set an objective that's based on conversions. An objective like this is typically measured by the number of conversions that are made on your videos. For example, this might be that someone has clicked on a call to action button at the end of your video.
Increase channel engagement
If you’re creating video content for your social media channels, setting an objective around audience engagement is a great place to start. For example, you could set an objective to increase your YouTube audience by 20 new subscribers per month. Alternatively, you can also measure engagement by looking to increase the number of likes, comments, or shares on your videos.
2. Build some guidelines
Now that you’ve set your video marketing objectives, it’s time to get some guidelines in place for your content. Just like your school’s brand guidelines, your content guidelines will help you to keep your content consistent and determine how you’ll stand out from competitors.
Looking at your school’s USP is a great place to start when writing your guidelines as it will guide you to include those defining qualities that make your school special in each video. We just love Concordia Lutheran College’s example of this in their brand-new school video.
Your video content should aim to distinguish your school but also maintain your branding and work towards your campaign's objectives. Like Concordia Lutheran College's video, it includes a catchy tagline that encourages prospective parents to “see it to believe it,” all while showcasing the college's USP.
3. Choose video formats
There are a bunch of different video formats available, each offering different ways to reach prospective families along their enrollment journey. The key is to decide which formats you'll focus more attention on to help achieve the objective you set earlier. Let's take a look at some of the different formats you could create.
School brand video
Just like a company culture video, a school brand video is a great way to show off your school and raise brand awareness. In this video, you would highlight elements like your school values, mission, and USPs. Take a look at Redeemer Lutheran College's 'Principal Welcome' video below for inspiration.
Redeemer Lutheran College - Principal's Welcome
A walk through campus tour or open day video allows prospective families to experience your school virtually. With a video, families will be able to get a deeper understanding of your school than photos could ever provide. Having a great tour video can be a great resource in the consideration stage, encouraging prospective families to find out more about your school.
Kings Christian College - Virtual Tour
Filming a series of interviews with different teams at your school can be a great way to recruit new talent. Staff interviews are a great way to give prospective employees a backstage pass to your school so that they can get a feel of what to expect. These videos can be used in SEEK job ads or on social media to help find the right people. If you'd like a little inspiration, take a look at some of the staff interviews we've filmed here at Digistorm.
Highlight videos are a great way to keep your audience engaged and up to date with the various goingons of your school. Highlight videos should be short and authentic, you can even use your smartphone for this one. Anything from a swimming carnival to a dance recital, highlight videos can help families stay engaged with your school.
Varsity College - Athletics Carnival 2019
Live video stream
Live video is a game-changer, yet still a relatively new concept for most schools. We know that at first live video might seem a little daunting, the pay-off can be huge! Live video has incredibly high engagement rates, according to a survey conducted by the New York Magazine, 82% of people would rather live video from a brand compared to a social post. Whether you’re live streaming an open day or concert, this format is very effective in all stages of the customer journey.
4. Pick your digital channels
When choosing channels for your video content, it's important to understand which channels are going to support your objectives. Each platform comes with a few pros and cons, so take the time to determine which will work best for your campaign. A key consideration when deciding your channels is where your target audience is already consuming content.
YouTube is an obvious choice – it's the second largest search engine with over 2 billion monthly viewers. Whether you're looking to run an ad campaign or post organic content, you're bound to reach and engage a larger audience. For those of you who are interested in running an ad campaign, YouTube ads are quite effective and can be targeted based on specific audience criteria. If you ask me, one of the best parts of YouTube ads is the price! You'll find that compared to other forms of digital advertising, YouTube ads have a lower cost per view and tend to be far less competitive.
Should Your School Invest in YouTube Ads?
If your campaign objective is to grow a following of your school community you might want to consider focusing your efforts on your Youtube channel. Youtube is an amazing platform to store and share your school videos and what’s better it’s free!
Now, obviously Facebook is a must for schools, but let's talk about how video performs on this platform. You might be surprised to know that Facebook has four times the number of interactions on native videos than any other platform. Facebook video ads are highly effective and easy to create thanks to Facebook's video creation kit. This free tool allows you to import and edit photos or videos, add templates, call to action buttons, logos, and text to your ad.
If your school has an Instagram account, you're definitely going to want to share video content on this channel. There are a variety of video content opportunities on this platform, from Instagram Stories to in-feed posts. As a highly visual platform with over 1 billion monthly users, Instagram makes for the perfect platforms to share video content.
5. Monitor, optimize and repeat
Well done, you're almost finished! There's just one crucial step that's a must in your video marketing strategy: monitoring and optimizing your content. Your video analytics can say a lot about how your content is performing, so it's important to know which metrics you should be tracking. If in doubt, always refer back to your objectives – these will help you to understand which metrics are important to your campaigns.
Another advantage of understanding your analytics is A/B testing. This helps to test different aspects of your videos against each other. For instance, if your play rate is low you might want to try a different thumbnail or even different video lengths. To get started, simply create two versions and closely monitor them, it will help you get an understanding of what elements best resonate with your audience.
Which metrics are best to track?
Your video content is just as important as the strategy behind it. With a solid strategy in place, you're not running the risk of losing direction with your video content. Once you’ve established your strategy continue to look back on it. As your objectives change and you learn more about your audience you should update and make optimizations as you go.
Looking for more information on video marketing for schools? Take a look at our resources below:
- Handbook: Upskilling for School Marketers
- How to Create Quality Videos on Your Smartphone
- Should Your School Website Contain Video?