Goucher, a small liberal arts college just outside Baltimore, generated buzz last fall when its president announced applicants could forgo the customary transcripts and SAT scores and instead take the option to submit a graded assignment and a two-minute video responding to the question: "How do you see yourself at Goucher?" With tuition costing over $40,000 per year and competition from 10 other colleges in a 20-mile radius, the folks at Goucher knew they needed to make an impact. Their approach appears to have worked, with the College drawing a record high number of applicants. They were also able to attract a more diverse group of students than ever before.


As tuition costs continue to rise, schools and colleges have realized that getting attention and attracting students can be a challenge. A report published in 2014 by higher education consultants Noel-Levitz, and sponsored by CollegeWeek Live and NRCCUA, found the need for more engaging web content to appeal to the needs and expectations of students and parents. Close to half of college-bound juniors and seniors listed video as among the best way to learn about a campus and community.


It's not just higher education institutions feeling pressure, either. As many K-12 private and independent schools have experienced declining enrollment over the past several years, there is a greater need to differentiate themselves and prove their worth to students. Video offers an insight into a school that is more powerful than words alone.


Don't underestimate the reach of video in regards to enrollment alone. As mentioned above, it's not just students who have moved further into the digital world. Many parents, alums and donors are using the web and social media, be it through their phones, tablets or desktops, to communicate and access information.


How to use video to leverage a successful marketing campaign?

A video should, like any other marketing tool, begin with a strategy that considers:

  • How can we best present the brand?
  • What is the core takeaway we want viewers to receive?
  • What is the action we want them to move closer to by watching the video?


Once you've mapped out your strategy, it's time to determine your target audience. The St. Mary's High School experience promises students a chance to feel supported and connected. Their video introduces current students who are excited and involved, as well as a faculty that nurtures and encourages students to develop to their fullest potential. Their message is clear: If you wish to be motivated both personally and spiritually, St. Mary's is the place for you.


The next step is defining the goal of your video and making sure your content supports these goals. Take a look at Pfeiffer. The University's intimate setting in rural Misenheimer, NC shouldn't fool prospective students. The campus and its community is remarkable. The opportunities available to students begin as soon as they walk through the door, and continue with engaging academics and an emphasis on experiential learning, all in an effort to prepare students for leadership in the global marketplace.


Ultimately an effective video marketing campaign will drive viewer engagement. Convent of the Sacred Heart is an all-girls school for grades K-12, as well as a co-ed preschool and pre-k. The school is always on the lookout for motivated students who wish to take advantage of the challenging curriculum and top-notch resources Sacred Heart has to offer. Enter Face to Face, an animated, interactive microsite chronicling a day in the life of a Convent of the Sacred Heart student. The student videos offer a great overview into the many opportunities available at the school and provide a positive experience for perspective families.


As you can see, there are many ways and areas of focus that can be explored when creating a video for your institution. If you're not fortunate enough to have an audio-visual department at your disposal don't worry, some of the most engaging videos were produced with little to no cost by those that know and love the school most, it's students! There are resources such as iMovie and Animoto available to help transform your photos and videos into high quality, high-definition masterpieces.


We invite you to take a moment to view some additional videos our clients have made and shared with their community.