Are you using video the right way? Follow these tips to give your flicks a zing!

Video marketing to reach students and alumni alike is more important than ever. Universities are making it a priority to step it up like never before. 86% of universities have a presence on YouTube. Most are using video across social media such as Snapchat and Facebook.

Posting any old video on the internet just won’t do. Instead, make videos creative and use them strategically. How?

Well, here are five ways to do it:

For prospects, include existing students

Prospects are more likely to listen to existing students than anyone else. Faculty members and admission counselors can only say so much. What counts are the thoughts of the students who attend your school.

Prospective students want insight into college life. They want to know if your town is fun and student friendly.

Enter existing students.

Allow existing students to be the face of your Snapchat campaign. Some universities allow students to temporarily take over their social media.

Colorado State University allowed their Rams Snapchat to be run by students.  Under strict guidelines, a “day in the life of Ram” began.

Students showed college life through their eyes.

This gave insights into accommodation, college events, and sports. They have since done several successful takeover campaigns.

Videos can include testimonials, a day in the life or, question and answer sessions. Students can also tell inspirational stories about their journey into higher education.

Be super creative in the way you include students.

Check out this example from Harvard University. Here students give their insights into attending the university.

Incorporate videos into your email marketing

If you want to take email marketing to the next level, include videos in your emails.

A video in the subject line boosts open rate by 19%.

Send videos containing updates and guidance from admission counselors. To reach graduated students and turn them into dedicated alums, add subjects like ‘tips on job searches’ or ‘life mistakes to avoid.’

Everyone wants to open an email containing free, valuable information! A video explaining how to ace an interview is sure to get clicks.

An email about the University’s board of governors meeting?  

… not so much.

Give your blog posts a boost as well. Providing your information in video format gives readers more options.  Some students don’t want to read a 2,000 word post. A video giving them the same information will hold their attention.

Video consumption continues to rise, especially with 18-24-year-olds. Step up your video marketing by having videos on your website and landing pages.

Make your videos awesome with and without sound

A whopping 85% of videos are watched without sound. A good online video can get the message across with awesome visuals alone. Subtitles make it convenient to watch videos on smartphones and tablets, without headphones. This is ideal for those on the move or in a public place.

If you want your videos seen; make them easy to watch on all devices with no fuss.

Check out this video from the University of Sussex. It displays the beautiful beach town of Brighton as well as the campus, and student life. You’ll see it’s a short visual that doesn’t need sound.


Use videos to teach

Start showing the wealth of knowledge available from lecturers, professors, and admission counselors.

Offer webinars as introductory courses, exclusively to prospective students. These can be on popular academic subjects or tips on general topics useful to grads and alums. Interviewing skills, essay writing or how to enter the job market, for instance.

Promote these ahead of time and create a buzz on social media.

Free lessons for prospects will create a strong presence for your university on YouTube and other social media outlets. It will give prospects a real insight into your school and the talented staff who work there.

Online video will account for 74% of web traffic this year.  If you want your university to get noticed, make great teaching videos.

Arizona State University has a “You Asked” series. Some important topics addressed are financial aid, scholarships, and tuition.

Debt is the biggest worry of college applicants. Teaching videos on filling out financial aid forms and finding the best scholarships can be popular.

Give videos a strong call to action

Present a call to action (CTA) during or at the end of a video. The whole video could be a CTA. Whether it’s signing up for your newsletter or registering to attend an event, a CTA can turn a video from a pretty little visual into an awesome conversion tool.

Provide links to a landing page or create a pop out CTA. Embed contact forms, too. This will be a great way to build up a list of subscribers.

You can measure the success rate of your videos this way, as well. The more sign ups the video resulted in, the more successful it was.  This is a great way to plan your marketing strategy for the next enrollment period.

Remember, the goal of your marketing videos is to increase attendance to your events, get more email subscribers, and convert prospects. Incorporate these 5 simple strategies to step up your video marketing game.

Irene Leiner is a freelance writer specializing in Ed Tech and higher education marketing. She is the founder of


  1. Debbie Capeci

    Love the attention-grabbing statistics in this article! In addition to the ones above, other stats show using video will positively affect your school’s search engine rankings: You can expect an average of 157% increase in organic search engine rankings by using video (Brightcove), and having a video on a landing page makes it 53% more likely to show up on page 1 of the search (MistMedia). Video is a powerful tool to reach our audience – thanks for the inspiration.

  2. Ben

    Nice one. Dont forget to mark smt about clickbaiting and other “grey” promotion stuff, because its almost a half of video prom success.

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