April 27

Discoverable Short-Form Video Content


by | Apr 27, 2023 | Featured, Strategies, Podcast

Short-form video content has exploded on social media platforms over the last few years. 

Colleges and universities are scrambling to take advantage of these content marketing goldmines, but some are still missing the mark.

Maybe that’s not your situation, but if it is, then you’ll definitely want to read this blog post all the way through.

In a conversation we had with Rob Clark, social media influencer and creator of That Tall Family on The Higher Ed Marketer podcast, he basically gives out his entire playbook for getting traction through short-form video content. 

Believe me, this guy is a veteran TikToker who knows what he’s doing!

Through his “side hustle,” That Tall Family, his content is seeing three to four million views per day.

As of the publishing of this blog post, Rob’s only been with Greenville University for four months, and he’s already seen tremendous impressions and changes on their social media platforms. 

One afternoon, he texted me…

“Hey, we just passed our total view library for the past 20 years of everything that was on Greenville University’s YouTube channel. And we passed it in one day with our most recent YouTube short!”

So Rob is making things happen. They are leaning into short-form video content heavily at Greenville University, and seeing great results. 

You can too! 

Take a look at the work he’s now doing at Greenville University and learn how you can take advantage of short-form video content for your college or university.

The Secret of Short-Form Video Content Dominance

Around 75% of Generation Alpha say their career goal is to be a YouTuber, an influencer. 

I don’t think schools can take this lightly. This is a major social change that is really coming our way soon. 

Even with my own kids (not Gen Alpha), we have to actually ask them to come sit down and watch TV with us because they would rather be watching YouTube or other social media content. 

@greenvilleuniv Follow along as Bing Schuette shows you a day in his life in National Engineers Week!! #nationalengineersweek #eweek ♬ Blue Moon – Muspace

So right off the bat, we asked Rob what the secret was to Greenville University’s brave initiative into short-form content.

Hey, if you want to talk, I will give you all the secrets! The secret isn’t really a secret. 

It’s putting a lot of content out there. 

We’re a mid-sized school, or maybe small school with around 1,000 students here in the Midwest. When I was looking around very similar schools like ours, most schools are putting out one piece of content every three days. 

In some of the schools, they have bigger followings than ours. Some of the schools have a lot more money. Although they only put out one piece of content, it could get maybe five or six times the views that we get. 

But the secret of what we’re doing is putting out usually two to four pieces of content per day. If we average three, and we put them on the four different platforms, then we’re putting out basically 12 pieces of content per day. 

I know that we talked about this on the last episode about quantity over quality. So it doesn’t mean that you just put out anything, but the quantity always wins. 

For us, we’re seeing on any given day between 1,000 – 7,000 views per day. 

Now this is organic, so we’re not paying for it. Also, this is on the four different platforms so when you add them all up [the amount of views becomes significant]. Then when you also look at the [fact that] although we’ve only been [doing short-form video content] for four months,  we’re amassing a fairly good catalog. 

Those old videos are getting views every single day as well! At the end of the day, we’re going to have way more eyeballs on us just because we’re putting out the quantity in this short video content. 

The Tools and Process You Need

To be able to get the amount of content out there that’s necessary to get the traction you need, you might have to change how you approach creating video content.

It’s frustrating when schools tell me that they’ll get a video out once they’ve scheduled the videographer, the lights, and the studio for next week. That’s too long!

So in our conversation, Rob shares his process.

So the tools are the iPhone. That’s it. 

Now, if you want to get fancy, you can get a ring light for 20 bucks on Amazon. But most of the time, just stand across from the window, and [your lighting] will be perfect. 

I’m a big fan of [doing] everything. So it’s not “you do this” or “do that.” It’s like, “yeah, we do it all.” 

Even here, we hired a company they came in, and they did a very nice video. They shot video at the beginning of the year when the grass is green and all the leaves are on the trees, and it’s beautiful. But we just put that video out a couple of days ago because it takes time. 

It’s got to be edited. It takes a lot of energy, and a lot of students, and a lot of involvement. 

Whereas my role is to get videos out every single day. And so it could look like the admissions saying, like, “Hey, we would love just to get something out there about FAFSA’s coming up.” 

I get that text in the morning, and within two hours I’m strolling over there, and we come up with an idea. The [short-form] admissions video that we did got like 30,000 views on YouTube within 24 hours! 

That’s going to perform better than any other video that we do unless we put money behind it. 

It’s just the reality now. How are people consuming content? It’s not that [short-form video content] is necessarily better. It’s just [that] it’s more effective right now. 

Of course, things could always change tomorrow, but it’s like what is effective right now? And how can you move quickly on that?

I really hope that this blog post has taken away some of the anxiety around moving towards creating more short-form video content for your school.

This is a trend that is hot right now, but I feel it’s something that’s going to stick around for a while. 

There are way more insights to learn from in our full conversation here, but the main takeaways are to prioritize quantity over quality. 

Use production tools that are easily accessible and have fewer barriers to entry. 

It’s possible to see the same results that Rob is seeing, and all of it without doubling your marketing budget. 

Discover more when you listen to the podcast!

Like all of our blog post reviews of The Higher Ed Marketer podcasts, there’s so much more to learn in the podcasts themselves.

Listen to our interview with Rob Clark to get even more insights into:

  • The not-so-secret sauce in a good short-form video strategy (8:26)
  • Creating discoverable content for your school (21:43)
  • Predicting what social media platform will be trending in 2023 (33:01)

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Featured image via greenville.edu

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