How to roll out a video

Video is back and bigger than ever. On the heels of a COVID-19 renaissance when video was the only method of communication, the medium is now a critical part of most marketing strategies as an engaging alternative to written paragraphs of information.  

When departments approach us about video, a frequently asked question is, “what do we do with it?Here are our recommendations for how to utilize video content: 

Social media 

Social media feels like the most obvious answer for those programs with active platforms, and you’re correct! Social media is a great place to show off video content. The trick, however, is to keep the videos short: 90 seconds or less. We recommend clipping some of your favorite moments—whether highlighting an interesting project or student, a frequently asked question, something that best represents the culture of the program, etc.—and releasing them as smaller clips on social media over the course of a few weeks to months. Make the most of your content and the time spent creating it by stretching it out.  

Website 

Adding a video to your website brings your content to life. It gives your audience a chance to hear directly from current students, faculty, and staff, as well as get a better feel for the atmosphere and personality of the department. This is the best platform on which to embed the video in full: we recommend placing it on program pages, where we know students visit to learn more about degree requirements and the application process.  

Email 

Drip email campaigns allow us to communicate with students throughout the various stages of the application process. At the same time, we are all in a phase of email overload. Including videos in your emails can help your content stand out from the crowd and provide another avenue for your audience to learn about your program. We recommend a length of 3 minutes or less: if your video is longer, clip what you think is the most essential part to be included. Remember: they can always find the full video on your website!  

All of the above 

The real answer to the question of “What can we do with it?” is all of the above! You spent time, energy, and funds to create this video, so you should leverage it as much as possible. A seven-minute FAQ video can be shortened into quick, 10-20 seconds clips for social media; a shortened version of the video can be embedded in an inquiry email campaign; and you can embed the full video onto your program page so prospective students can view it at their leisure.  

Video content is a great asset to your marketing portfolio, even if time-consuming to create—from ideation to production to editing to posting. Use your time and funds wisely and try to get as many eyes on your hard work as possible. Keep an evergreen content strategy in mind when planning your video shoots; you want the videos to be valuable for multiple application cycles, not just for the immediate future. Plan your video content with all those possible pathways of posting in mind; don’t post it in one place and never touch it again.  

But MarComm Team, what about the videos we made two years ago, posted on the website, and forgot about?

Great question, anonymous department! Is the content still accurate? Do you think prospective students would find value in it? If so, then the advice above still applies. Make short, snackable segments; embed the content in your inquiry campaigns; make it front and center on your program pages. If the content is accurate, we encourage you to give it new life by adapting it for new platforms and purposes.  

If you have an interest in creating new video content, the marketing and communications team is happy to talk about a strategy for success.