Photo courtesy of garryknight(CC ShareALike)

According to a recent study by The Intelligence Group featured on emarketer.com, teenagers frequent YouTube 14% more than Facebook. That is nearly double the frequency of Itunes, Instagram, and Twitter.

Teen viewership is up as they consume rich media content. They look for content beyond the words, but are often looking for short video and scannable content that addresses their immediate need.

While many schools have poured resources, both in staff time and money, toward social media channels, this data begs the question: “What are you doing on YouTube for your higher education marketing campaign?”

Here are some ideas to get you started or to hone what you might already be doing:

1. Start Collecting and Organizing Your Content

Gather your video assets from your school. If you don’t have any, begin creating videos. They don’t have to be professional or even long: 1-2 minutes is best. Be sure to use content that will show off the unique aspects of your community, as well as any experiences, individuals, or popular items with current students and parents.

Overall, be sure you have engaging, authentic content that you can upload to YouTube.

2. Create a channel

Once you have your content, be sure to create an account on YouTube and set up your school’s channel. The channel will be the “official” location for your videos. Be sure to describe your channel by filling out the description, updating artwork to match your brand, add web links both on the channel and your other digital assets (Facebook, Twitter, website) to make it part of your full higher education marketing campaign.

3. Start leveraging Pay-Per-Click

Once you have content in place on your channel, start leveraging that content to drive traffic by signing up for Pay-Per-Click advertising. Most think PPC is just for the search page, but YouTube PPC is very effective to allow you to add short “bumper” ads to other videos. These ads can be geotargeted and you only pay when the are viewed.

You can take a look at the Google YouTube Trends Map to get an idea  of what videos are popular with your particular location and age group. Also be sure to use the Adwords planner to identify the subjects and videos you might want to highlight in your higher education marketing campaign.

One idea: my son is really into rockets and engineering. If you wanted to market your engineering program to him, you could purchase bumpers in the Indianapolis market for rocket videos, Mythbusters clips, or common questions about college. You will only pay when those videos are viewed. PPC on YouTube becomes the sniper approach to the historical shotgun approach to broadcast.

One reason to focus on PPC to reach your audience:

Higher education. The young generations still maintain confidence in the value of higher education, but students increasingly are looking at schools that satisfy their own personal criteria rather than fighting for slots in a tier of schools that other people deem desirable. Community colleges—once widely regarded as a higher-ed training ground—increasingly seem like a savvy choice. These increasingly debt-averse individuals often regard community college as a way to satisfy core requirements without racking up mountains of student loans.  from: https://thefuturescompany.com/business-categories/truwhats_new/

4. Call to Action and Landing Pages

Be sure to leverage call to action (CTAs) and landing pages. This is critical for all PPC and inbound marketing from sources like YouTube and other social media. Look for ways for your viewers to engage at the next level. Landing pages make perfect next step pages with offers to engage deeper and provide direction for your higher education  marketing channels.

5. Understand your Goals

You’ll need to discuss with your team and review your strategy to have the proper tactics aligned to assure you are reaching your goals. Goals could include:

  • Inbound marketing
  • Brand awareness
  • Testimonials
  • Enrollment
Keep in mind that you’ll want to set realistic goals that fits within your larger communications plan. You cannot start marketing on YouTube with the goal of being the next viral video and looking to get several million views.

6. Get Direction through Strategic Partners Focused on Higher Education Marketing

Youtube can be a part of your higher education marketing campaign but as mentioned in #5, it has to play a part in your larger higher education marketing plan. By searching for partners who are savvy in all aspects of marketing, but have a focus on education, you’ll find those relationships will help you get to where you need to be in a more direct manner.

What do you think?