How to Create a Successful School Video Marketing Strategy for 2019-2020

Part six 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?“ and part five “27 Video Marketing Ideas for School Marketers.”

Wondering how to start 2019-2020 out on the best foot possible? If you’ve been avoiding building a video marketing strategy for this coming school year, now is the time to get started. Video marketing is slated to continue its growth in the coming year; if you don’t start working this powerhouse medium into your marketing strategy, your audience is going to turn elsewhere.

Whether you’re using your video marketing for organic content or paid advertising, your video marketing strategy is, beyond a doubt, one of the most important marketing strategies you will use in the coming year.

An increasing amount of video content is being watched every day. According to Statista, 85 percent of all internet users watch video every month. And the demand for video content is increasing, with 54 percent of consumers say they want to watch more video content. For these reasons, it’s not surprising that 87 percent of marketers are using videos as part of their marketing mix. Incredibly, video marketers receive 66 percent more qualified leads than other types of marketing.

While people love seeing videos on all types of social media, YouTube is notably the second largest search engine, second only to Google. More than 1.5 billion users view over 1 billion hours of video each day.

Ready to get started on a video marketing strategy for your school?

Here are 5 steps for a successful video marketing strategy.

Step #1. Determine the purpose of your video marketing strategy

Your video marketing is going to struggle if you aren’t clear with your goals. You absolutely cannot be too promotional with your content because it will be perceived as “spammy” and will be ignored.

The goal of your marketing strategy should be to educate, entertain and inspire your viewers – this is the type of content that gets shared and remembered.

While you will want to encourage your viewer to take the next step, your goal shouldn’t be for them to walk away feeling like you’ve assaulted them with a sales pitch.

You will want to share your content on social media, making it easy for families to find your school online if they want to fill out your inquiry form. So focus on creating a video that will be a memorable experience that will compel them to want to learn more about your school.

In order to determine the purpose of your marketing strategy you will need to know these three things:

  • Know who your target families are
  • Understand what they want to know and share
  • Create content that you know they want, need or will appreciate.

Step #2: Determine the topics and formats to include in your video content

Once you understand your purpose and your target audience, it’s time to figure out the topics and formats will connect with them best.

There are four basic types of videos every independent school should consider producing.

These are:

  1. Explainer videos
  2. Testimonial videos
  3. Alumni testimonials
  4. Fundraising videos.

Click here for more information about these types of videos and here for a SchneiderB podcast episode titled “Your Old School Video is Dead with James Pizarro”.

Research and experiment to determine the most effective style and topics for your families – and don’t be afraid to borrow ideas from others that have already been successful. Some of the best marketing campaigns have been those that took a strategy from an unrelated industry and integrated it into their market.

Want more ideas for video content for your school? Click here for 27 video marketing ideas for school marketers.

Step #3. Decide who will produce your video content

The video production process typically involves:

  • Writing a video brief
  • Storyboarding and script writing
  • Location scouting
  • Acquiring and maintaining equipment (cameras, lights, microphones and props)
  • Pre-production setup
  • Production (filming)
  • Post-production (editing)
  • Special effects

Basically, you have three options for video production.

  1. You and your team can develop the videos yourselves.

If you plan to develop videos on a regular basis, and are a tight budget, this may be the best option for you. However, if you do this you will still want to ensure that the videos maintain a certain level of quality – even if they are amateur productions. You have an opportunity to accrue in-house talent and you can draw from a deep knowledge of your school, as well as re-use the equipment you purchase. In the long-run, in-house is almost always less expensive on a per-video basis.

Types of videos are generally a good fit for in-house videos:

  • School updates
  • School culture videos
  • Social media videos
  • Explainer videos
  • Nurture videos
  • Informal testimonial videos
  • Educational videos
  • FAQ explainer videos
  • Internal communications
  1. You can work with an outside agency to produce videos.

Outsourcing video production has some great advantages. You get a partner that’s neutral and offers an outside perspective. They will have lots of experience and a ready-made team. Video agencies know what they’re doing and are often better at estimating timelines and budgets.

Outside video agencies often bring in special equipment, software and hardware that would be cost prohibitive for most independent schools. For example, many video production companies own a RED Digital Cinema camera rig that costs $50,000. And, even if they don’t own super-expensive equipment, they know how to use what they do have better and often have post-production specialists on staff.

Types of videos are generally a good fit for outside agency production:

  • School films
  • Homepage videos
  • Promotional videos
  • High-profile explainer videos
  • Testimonials for the website
  • Animated, whiteboard or stop-motion videos
  1. Work with vloggers to create and promote videos

Another way to get videos made for your school is to work with vloggers that will produce and promote videos on topics that are relevant for your families. Vloggers with a large and relevant audience will be happy to work in partnership with you. By integrating your content into their current video format, you are both expanding your reach online.

Types of videos that are best for vlogger partnerships:

  • Student stories
  • Parenting tips
  • Parent stories and insights
  • Teacher stories
  • Curriculum insights
  • Field trips
  • School events

Want more ideas of vlog topics? Consider these topics and if they would be suitable for vlogging.

The best strategy? Do all three options for video production. Build an in-house team but have a professional video agency and a vlogger do things your team can’t or don’t have time to do.

Step #4. Get your target family’s attention and interaction with engaging videos

Marketers are trying hard to create engaging videos because engagement is the opposite of boring.

If your video is boring, people will just click away. And you don’t want that, especially after you’ve gone to all the effort and expense of producing videos.

How do you know if your audience is engaging with your video?

Your insights will show:

  • Views
  • Likes
  • Comments
  • New subscribers
  • Audience retention

Here’s how to produce videos your audience will love and want to engage with:

  1. Be clear

No one wants to watch a video that is confusing. Make sure your story is clear and the audio is excellent. Otherwise, you will lose people.

  1. Give them a reason to watch

Let people know what they stand to gain by watching your video. Be compelling; give the viewer a promise of what’s to come in the video and how it will benefit them if they watch it.

  1. Be energetic

Demonstrate passion for your school by generating excitement and energy. Get excited! Talk with your hands, smile and laugh. Build contagious energy for your audience.

  1. Take risks

Take risks with your videos. Put your school out there and engage with your audience. Show them you think outside the box and why they should join your school.

  1. Tell stories

Storytelling is proven to help your audience engage and retain the information you’re sharing. Click here to learn more about how storytelling is key to forming strong connections with parents.

  1. Live stream videos

Never has it been easier to live stream important moments in your school for those who can’t make it in person, answer questions or discuss important topics your families are interested in. Live streaming is a fantastic way to engage families and a game-changing opportunity to reach potential families.

  1. Add a call-to-action (CTA)

Include a CTA in your video to encourage parents to click through to a landing page and fill out an inquiry form. Here are three free ways to add CTAs to videos:

  • Direct host mentions – look into the camera and verbally tell viewers what you want them to do.
  • Video descriptions – ask viewers to comment, share or like your video in the description.
  • End cards / screens – add a customizable screenshot to the beginning, middle or end of the video. These powerful visual cues add strength to your CTA.

Step #5. Know where and how to promote your videos

There are many ways to promote your videos. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  1. When you upload your videos to YouTube, make sure you optimize them for search engines.
  2. Cross-promote your channel. There are lots of creative ways to cross promote that don’t involve using the same message twice.
  • Social media
  • Blogging
  • Email marketing
  • Promote your channel, not just your videos
  • Take advantage of the holidays to post relevant video content
  1. Find out what works and keep doing it!

Video marketing can be an incredible tool for accomplishing your goals, or an incredible waste of time and money. Learn as much as you can to build your video marketing strategy on a smart, successful foundation.

Are you using video as a tactic for your school marketing? How are you producing your videos? How well are they performing? We’d love to hear more about your experience in the comments below.

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