How to Choose the Right Videographer for Your School

Part eight of a nine-part series on video marketing for schools. Click here for part one “How to Maximize Your Reach Using Video Marketing”, part two “36 Video Topics That Will Generate More Views & Engagement for Your School” part three “How to Increase Inquiries for Your School Using LinkedIn Video“, part four “Facebook Watch vs. YouTube: Which One is More Important for School Video Marketing?“, part five “27 Video Marketing Ideas for School Marketers” part six “How to Create a Successful School Video Marketing Strategy for 2019-2020” and part seven “How to Get Your Administrators, Faculty and Staff Comfortable in Front of a Camera.”

For many schools, bringing in video production to your marketing team represents unchartered territory. Figuring out how – and when – to start can be challenging.

Whether you are looking to hire an in-house or outsourcing a videographer, there is no one-size-fits-all practice for integrating video into a larger school marketing strategy, and each school’s story will be unique.

Why Bring Video Into Your Marketing Mix?

As discussed in previous posts, video marketing is a powerful way to engage potential families. Studies show that video marketing moves people from skeptics to potential enrollees. Videos help humanize your school’s brand, while tapping into potentially millions of mobile users. They also garner the attention of Google’s web crawlers and are a great way to build trust with potential parents.

A Clear Need for Higher Quality

There are many examples of businesses starting out with limited videos – even screenshots and videos produced on mobile phones. But often, as the company sees the benefit of using video for marketing, they begin to hire a video producer to work with their team. They find they outgrow the resources available on their existing team. They understand their need to hire someone who is able to produce higher quality vides with voice over and graphics.

What to Look for in a Videographer

  1. Look for someone with empathy

One of the most important things is to find someone who will be patient and understanding with the person in front of the camera. Most school personnel have never “acted” in a video before in their life. It doesn’t mean the person in front of the camera doesn’t have the potential to do well, just that the video producer needs to have the skills to help them reach their potential and build confidence.

When you’re looking for a video team member, look for someone with empathy, who can relate to people. They should be able to connect well with your administrators, faculty and staff members and be easy to be around. Does this person care about those they are videotaping, do they show characteristics of being a caring person when interviewing?

  1. Look for someone who understands how potential parents think

It is essential that a videographer for your school is obsessed with the way your parents think.

Not the way the marketing team or administrative team thinks. When they are obsessed and eager to connect with parents it produces the best content because they can help guide the content.

  1. Experience

A videographer without experience most likely won’t be equipped to handle your projects. Inexperienced videographers are essentially using your video project as a learning experience and often the results will be disappointing. Make sure you find someone with experience, and hopefully someone with experience in a school setting.

  1. Understands your goals

An experienced videographer should prioritize understanding what your objectives and desired outcomes are and be willing to learn as much as possible about your school and potential families as possible.

  1. Samples of finished projects

A potential videographer should be able to show you recently finished projects – not a demo sample reel with blips of various projects. A demo reel will not adequately show what a finished project from this videographer looks like. If they don’t have one, it’s a red flag.

  1. References

A videographer should be able to provide a list of past clients you can speak with. If this isn’t available, or if you find that available references don’t have much to say about this person’s work, it is an obvious red flag. A professional videographer will strive to satisfy their customer’s needs and if there is any sign of dissatisfaction or mediocrity, the same could happen to you.

  1. Professionalism and flexibility

Just as with any other professional business, professional appearance, punctuality and customer servicer are traits to take note of when interviewing potential videographers. Video requirements can change as the process unfolds; you want a person or team that is able to be flexible if the need arises. Choose a videographer you feel comfortable with.

A good videographer will be able to make the videotaping process simple, stress-free and enjoyable for you and your staff. If you sense personality traits, conflicts or lack of concern for your needs, these will be magnified as the project progresses.

  1. Personality traits

Here are some identified personality traits to look for in a videographer.

  • Desire for personal growth and can accept criticism.
  • Interested in new technologies and workflows
  • Able to work independently
  • Own the production process and know what it takes to make great content
  • Self-starting and treat your school’s brand as if it were their own
  • Have good communication skills, are able to interview and make people comfortable
  • Energetic and able to get excited about the project
  • Lifelong learner and able to identify new learning opportunities
  1. Technical skills

It’s a great sign if your videographer has a degree. It shows discipline and formal training. However, it’s not necessarily a deal-breaker. Here are some common technical skills to look for in a school videographer.

  • Proficient with video editing software (i.e. Adobe Premier or Final Cut Pro are the most common)
  • Experience with Adobe After Effects or Motion is preferred
  • Experience with Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator is a plus
  • Can conduct research and purchase needed equipment
  • Can operate and maintain proper levels and calibration of cameras, audio and video recorders, and other production equipment
  • Embraces new technology (like virtual reality, augmented reality, etc.)
  • Understands the importance of tracking video marketing metrics
  • Proficient at storyboarding, scriptwriting and concepting
  • Understands basic and advanced composition techniques
  • Understands the fundamentals of branding
  • Very detail-oriented and able to identify quality issues in video and audio
  • Understands the basics of social media marketing

Utilize the above criteria to help align some of the best video marketing talent with your school’s marketing department. Use your own judgement and apply these specifically to your industry to make sure you find the best possible fit. Choose carefully to save yourself a world of hassle and frustration.

Has your school hired a videographer? What qualifications and traits do you think are important when hiring a videographer? Please comment below…

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