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Why Our Schools Need to Invest in Online Video Marketing Today

Schools, community colleges, and universities are all struggling to attract the right students in an age of fractured media and short attention spans. One way we can reach students and parents cost effectively is with video marketing. Let's take a quick look at why video marketing is so powerful, and how videos can increase engagement and attract attention to our schools.


Young People Watch Lots of Videos

Younger millennials and Gen-Zers watch content online much more than on TV, according to a report from Defy Media: a staggering 22 hours a week compared to just over 8 hours of TV per the annual Acumen Report. This explains why big brands are spending more budget on creating online video. Gen-Z, roughly defined as those younger than 20 years old, are beginning to spend their own money and are forming buying habits and brand allegiances that will stay with them throughout their lives.

Online Influencers Bigger Than Traditional Celebrities

According to a report from entertainment industry magazine Variety, teenagers are bigger fans of YouTube stars than traditional celebrities from music, movies, and TV. The survey asked 1500 young people how different personalities rated for authenticity and other values. All of the top five, and much of the top ten, were YouTube stars. To influence this audience, we must be where they are already spending time: online video.


Mobile Computing on the Rise

One of the reasons for the increase in video consumption is the ubiquity of mobile devices. Think about your own experience — there is a good chance you are reading this article on a smartphone or mobile device. In fact, people spend more time with media on mobile devices than their desktop computer. Fifty-one percent of time spent with digital media is on mobile, compared to 42 percent on desktop.

It follows by implication that the best way to reach mobile users is with video. Online social media giants like Facebook believe the future of online is mobile video. They have invested millions in new video features like Facebook Live. Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder and CEO, recently told investors mobile and video are the future of their platform.

Video Makes Us Accessible

Video makes our schools seem friendlier and more accessible. The old style of marketing featured advertisers who spoke 'at' audiences. The digital age allows us to speak 'with' our prospective students and their parents. We share real life on campus, talking with actual students and teachers up close. It's more engaging for the viewer and gives them the feeling they are a part of campus life. Video can tell a school's story and make a close connection with students.


Each Platform Is Unique

Video is a natural for the digital world. It thrives on social media like Facebook, Snapchat, and Twitter. But each platform has unique characteristics to keep in mind. It doesn't work to add a YouTube video to our Facebook page. That's because people watch video on Facebook in a different way than YouTube. They view 85 percent or more of videos without any sound at all. For the greatest impact, we must create videos that fit each platform.

Digital media lets us reach prospective students and parents where they spend most of their time. The best way to leverage digital platforms is video marketing. With video, we can create a personable message that resonates with young people. It gets them involved with us from the beginning of their school search.

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