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February 8

Video Content Marketing: Part 2 in Our Series


Education Marketing Trends to Watch in 2016. Part 2: Video Content Marketing Trends

In last week’s post, I started the series “Education Marketing Trends to Watch in 2016” by establishing my history as predictor and providing an outline of how content will continue to be a driver in education marketing for the coming year. In this post, we’ll look at how video content marketing will be an additional trend in education this year.

As anyone who regularly follows my blog might already know, I am a Generation Xer growing up in the 1980’s. So many firsts in the eighties actually set up what we take for granted: BetaMax and VCRs for watching television on our time and not when it was broadcast; the Sony Walkman and cassette tapes, innovations that allowed us to make our music personal, portable, and private; and innovations in video including the camcorder which allowed anyone to create and edit videos, and the inspiration for doing your own videos with MTV and music videos. Who didn’t want to film their own version of Thriller?

These innovations created a culture and environment for the adoption of technology and the expectation that we would record our memories in moving pictures. As the price dropped in video cameras, more of my generation added video to our lives.

As Generation X started to have children, those kids grew up with video all around them. That is why the post-millennial generation (Generation Z) has been so comfortable with the use of video and look to sites like YouTube as their “go to” when they need to access video content.

According to MediaPost’s Engage: Teens newsletter:

Young people today are unencumbered by legacy concerns about being captured on video; it’s part of their lives everyday. They were born with screens all around them, with parents and grandparents peeking and smiling. Historically, we consumed media at a distance, slaves to the whims and schedules of faceless corporations. But now, young audiences demand interactive control, real time feedback, and authentic experiences with the content and people on screen.

That demand of “interactive control, real time feedback, and authentic experiences with the content” will drive the trend of video content marketing for education and other markets.

The following contains five areas that will begin to gain traction in education marketing this year as schools understand that video content marketing can be a way to engage prospects and parents:

YouTube Channels

As I described in a previous post, YouTube continues to be the number one social media channel and destination site for all teens. Schools that understand this will develop content-rich YouTube channels to cater to this desire for access to video content.

They do a great job of branding the channel, but the content is not just the typical education uploads – they have recruited their alumnus and YouTube star Zach King to create an edutainment video about Biola University.

The combination of informative videos coupled with entertainment will drive prospective students and parents to discover more about your school. Schools with effective YouTube channels will prevail.

Explainer Videos

Explainer videos are quick, 45-90 second movies that will provide explanation or benefits in a fast-paced manner. While they can cover various topics, many times they are developed as visual infographics. Some maybe focused on providing a lot of information in a quick overview such as this video we created for the Maryland Independent College and University Association:

These videos will provide information that is compacted and avoids the dreaded “talking heads” that are avoided by teens and millennials. Schools who pay attention to various forms of content to drive understanding will have the advantage.

Pay Per Click Video Ads

Since YouTube is the leading site for the target audience, smart schools will use the channel not only for original content but for targeted video ads. Google Adwords provides the ability to use YouTube video content to deliver targeted ads to prospective students and parents.

These ads should be targeted toward your demographic ages, prospective locations, languages and other demographic data. This would be a great source to drive prospective students to your deeper video content or landing pages within your website. Here are some ideas:

  • Ad bumpers for popular music videos targeted toward your prospective students.
  • Ad overlays for videos regarding your prospects’ interests (e.g. engineering, art, picking a college).
  • Placement of ads in relation to localized news content for parents.

Schools that develop a full strategy for their pay-per-click campaign, including landing pages and conversion points, will be successful in PPC video ads.

Live Streaming

In 2015, Twitter launched their live streaming app called “Periscope.” Periscope promises to “discover the world through someone else’s eyes.” Through a smartphone application, users can watch another user broadcast a live stream video of their current experience. Application of this technology has included:

  • Live webinars with Q&A
  • Live events
  • Specialty shows
  • Experience sharing (e.g. riding in a hot air balloon)

Schools that use live video in combination with their social media strategies will see discovery by prospective students and engage other constituents (e.g. Alumni) in new and creative ways that can underscore the school’s brand. A few ideas include:

  • Streaming of homecoming events
  • Live question and answer with admissions counselors
  • The “Admissions” show (monthly show about the college selection process)
  • Other specific streams unique to your institution

360 Videos

My son Nathan came to me a few weeks ago and shared with me a new video he had discovered. “Dad, you have got to see this to show to your clients. It is similar to your 360 images you have been writing about, but it is video!”

I did some research and found a number of cameras that handle the requirements that YouTube has. I settled on the Ricoh Theta 360 Video Camera, as I already had the 360 photography version.

Schools that use this could consider the following strategies:

  • Campus tours
  • Dorm tours
  • Classroom/lecture experience
  • Life in the coffee shop/student center

Schools that utilize progressive tools and technology will gain the attention and respect of prospective students and build content that reflects the brand in new and innovative ways.

Tools and Resources

Video does not have to take a large part of your marketing budget. Here is a list of some cost-effective ways to introduce video into your content marketing plan today:




Stock Video

Engaging prospects, especially the Generation Z students, will be easier with interactive and real-time content that can be achieved through video.

So, how are you using video content marketing in your overall strategy? Need help? Contact us for a free consultation.

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