Some universities in America are trialling different and creative methods of attracting prospective students using YouTube, vlogs and social media. Georgetown University in Washington D.C uses Georgetown Stories to guide students through their first year of university.
The website has blogs with pictures and videos showing campus life and students settling in. A YouTube video shows a student in her Italian language lab what it’s like studying at the university.
A typical student in 2016 goes online to find all their information. A Google search shows more about a university than they would get from prospectus and brochures. Students want information quickly so they can make their decisions. They also like to see what other students are saying about the university.
Students searching online
Living in the digital era, the first point of research is online. A 2013 Google report revealed that international education searches were rising. People typed in broad search terms sometimes adding location rather than looking for a specific institution.
The same report also found 9 in 10 students don’t know which school they want to attend when they first start searching online. An internal study run by Google found that advertisers who ran video ads on YouTube registered a 12% increase in search volumes for their brand.
Videos for university recruitment
Video marketing will be a key trend in 2016. Facebook is also seeing 8 billion views on average daily. Universities and other educational institutions can’t ignore the power of video in reaching out to prospective students on social media and online. Videos can help universities showcase their best qualities and boost student recruitment because of right place, right time marketing.
Videos can be a good way to introduce a university to its students before they set foot on campus. Virtual tours or introduction videos help a prospective student get a feel for the classrooms, the educators, campus facilities and why they should be choosing that university over others. It needs to be benefits focused. Current students are ideal choices for actors so the viewer can identify and relate to them.
Videos to convey information
Videos are also an excellent way to pass on useful information to a large group of students at once, don’t need lengthy explanations and can be used for open days and orientation both on campus and online. With large numbers of international students coming to study in Australia, videos can have embedded open captions/subtitles in various languages and do away with the need for interpreters. These videos can be available anytime online for students to view and pass on important information during events, open days and orientation.
Good return on ROI
Videos are a great marketing tool in that they can be played over and over again on different social media channels, on university websites, on screens in the buildings and wherever there’s video playing capabilities. Low cost video advertising can lead to a boost in students enrolling by being shown the ad when they’re searching for a university online.
Brand building tool
With 9 out 10 students unsure about which university to attend, videos can act as a persuasive piece of marketing communication and help put the university’s brand front and centre online and in social media.
Videos add credibility to the university’s position especially when students act as brand ambassadors to attract other students. It can give the university or institution a competitive edge over others in the market and help to attract the best talent.
In today’s digital age, universities and other education institutions need to evolve and present information in the format preferred by their current and future students when they’re looking for it.