3 Types of College Video That Are Worth the Investment

Last week during the .eduGuru Summit Seth Odell gave a presentation titled, Inside Web Video Marketing for EDU. In the presentation he asked some thought provoking questions on video in higher education. What are the purposes of institution’s YouTube channels and the whole point of putting video on the web? Seth told us that many schools shoot and upload video to the web to say that they are doing it. They aren’t always thinking about what is the real goal of doing it.

One revealing stat is that 97% of college videos on YouTube will not exceed 10,000 views. Also roughly 50% will receive less than 400 views. If we do some math and assume that it costs $1,000/completed minute of video and the average uploaded video is between 3-5 minutes long then we can say that it costs $3,000-$5,000 to complete each of these videos. From a financial standpoint it has to be asked:

Are we willing to pay $10/video view?

That is a very optimistic price assuming that each of those videos receive 400 views.

How to Get Real Value Out Of Video

When attempting to extract tangible value for a video Seth directs us to the real financial driver for schools and how videos can have a positive impact on student recruitment. As a marketing asset for the recruitment process Seth gives us three examples that can significantly help students decide to apply to your school.

  1. Videos for virtual tours – Of course virtual tour videos spiked our interest and we couldn’t agree with him more. As we’ve said a million times before, a physical visit of campus is commonly the single most important element of the decision making process. We also have data to prove this. Getting them to make this very important step is a whole lot easier when they can get a taste on your website and nothing does that better than a virtual tour that includes video. We have already put together a ROI calculator for a virtual tour so it’s very easy to see the financial benefit of this use of video.
  2. Videos for virtual open houses – Although virtual open houses aren’t something that every school does, Seth did share the example of Mercy College’s Virtual Open House. It is a novel approach and the big takeaway for open houses is that software scales where people don’t. We aren’t arguing that human relationships aren’t important and you ultimately want to get to that point but being able to reach a wider audience is also very important.
  3. Targeted videos for admitted students – We admit that this is a novel approach and it is harder to tie a value after a student has already made a decision. With that said you can’t deny the warm fuzzy feeling of getting a video that makes you already feel a part of the campus community after making one of the biggest decisions of a student’s life.

Video Marketing Takeaway

So these are just three examples of shooting videos with a financial purpose. The real eye opener is to not just shoot video for an event just to say that you have it recorded. Is there a significant financial benefit to having the video? Can we not only justify the cost but actually benefit from it? Maybe instead of simply filming a guest speaker you spend some time afterwards to ask some very specific questions that help tell the story of the institution or dive into recent news?

What are your thoughts on valuable uses for video on the web?

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