When it comes to video content, many schools are still slightly cautious of using video marketing as part of their school marketing mix. Perhaps this is due to a preconception that video production is costly, could slow down the performance of school websites or is risky when sharing sensitive content online.
But, with video growing rapidly in popularity and reliability, and showing no signs of slowing down, it’s time to overcome preconceptions and add it to your school marketing mix!
Why Your School Should Use Video
Video Marketing has the ability to reach and capture the attention of your audience instantly and conveys your unique school ethos in a way that other media cannot.
With research showing that video is one of the preferred ways for young people to access entertainment, learn and communicate, it’s an easily accessible tool for engaging your school with this tech-savvy generation.
What Makes Good Video Content
Not all video content needs to be created by a professional videographer. Everyday school life can provide heaps of rich video content, which can be captured and edited in-house for regular video news, including:
- Curriculum video tutorials
- Concerts and production
- Headteacher and staff vlogging (video blogging)
- Sports days
- Charity and fun day events
- Award and prize giving
- School Prom
Whilst we would definitely recommend you create your own content, there are some instances where a professionally storyboarded, filmed and edited video would be more appropriate, including:
- Generic school ‘commercial’
- Headteacher’s welcome
- School tour
- Curriculum overview – a snapshot of curriculum and facilities
- A day in the life of a Year 7 student (a video for prospective students to smooth the transition between schools
- Working for the school (staff recruitment video)
A further benefit to having engaging video content on your school website is for the search engine optimisation (SEO) benefit that your website will enjoy. SEO for schools is the process of ensuring your website ranks higher on search engines and is aided by engaging video content to help boost your websites ranking.
How to Make Effective School Videos
From planning to delivery, follow our hints and tips to get the best out of your video marketing:
- Key messages – what do you want to get across in the video?
- Style – do you want something that is reportage style or a film that is more structured and pacey? Will you be having any narration to help tell a story?
- Staff and student selection – if you are including vox pops (interviews) of students and staff, carefully select individuals who are passionate about the school and curriculum, who can speak clearly and confidently. Like photography, you should obtain relevant permissions from them prior to filming.
- Setting – ensure any locations are clean, tidy and show off the best of your school. Consider natural light and acoustics as these will affect the final image and audio quality.
- Briefing – brief any interviewees about the key messages of the video.
- Warm up – when interviewing staff and students, give them time to warm up and feel comfortable in front of the camera. Avoid a fully scripted or autocue approach as this can sometimes feel unnatural or disingenuous.
- Video length – on average 5% of users will stop watching a video after 1 minute and 60% by 2 minutes, so keep videos short and snappy.
- Graphics – top and tail your video with animated graphics to reinforce your school brand and theme videos. Consider captions with names and titles for interviewees.
- Safeguarding – like images published on a website, avoid full names of students alongside video footage of them.
- Finishing touches – final details like transitions and music can add interest to your video. Avoid using editing techniques that could make your video look outdated. Also note that most music is copyrighted, so ensure you have relevant permissions.
- On your website – a video on the homepage is instantly engaging and also beneficial for SEO. If you will be posting regular video footage, set up a video gallery page on your site. When embedding video, turn off auto-play, as this can annoy regular visitors.
- On a disk – a generic welcome video can support a digital prospectus burned onto a disk and given to parents, saving on print costs.
- On social media – video can be shared through your social media channels, helping create awareness of the content and encouraging clicks through to your website.
- On YouTube – YouTube is a power-house of video, so why not set up a branded channel for your school. Hosting videos on YouTube means that you don’t need to worry about large video files taking up space on your website server and slowing things down. 4 out of 5 users will click away if the video stalls while loading, so serving videos quickly is critical. You can also disable comments on videos if this is a particular concern.