If you’re like me, the year 2000 feels like a long time ago, and a much different time. When the 21st Century started, only 52% of all households had internet access.1 By 2005, access had risen to 70%, and in that same year, three former Paypal employees got together and started a video sharing platform called YouTube.2

By 2018, 85% of teens were watching YouTube, according to a survey by the Pew Research Center.3  It is currently the dominant online platform when teenagers spend time. The majority of teens spend nearly an hour a day watching videos, though they usually watch on a smartphone, not a computer, according to a Wall Street Journal article.4

Teens watch videos for many reasons. They are bored and want entertainment. Something grabs their attention and they watch to explore. Or they watch to learn – how to do a complex calculus problem, how to set up formulas in a spreadsheet for an AP science project and to find out what a student’s life is like at a college they are thinking of attending.

Students are watching videos, so the question enrollment professionals should be asking is, “What do I have to show them?”

If you have a videographer on staff – and a marketing department that is asking, “How can we help,” then all we can say is LUCKY YOU! If you lack these resources, here are a few ideas to fill the video void without busting your budget.

Partner With a Professor

If your school teaches marketing, graphic arts, or journalism, then partnering with a professor may give you on-campus access to a classroom full of students who already love your school and can help you create videos. We did something like this at enrollmentFUEL, when we were lucky enough to get an invitation to partner with Professor Terence Oliver, an award-winning motion graphics producer and the Reese Felts Distinguished Professor in the UNC School of Media and Journalism.

Each semester, students form groups in Professor Oliver’s class and produce professional-quality animated videos for “clients,” including non-profits, start-ups, and university-affiliated organizations. enrollmentFUEL participated in the fall of 2019, working with two students to create an explainer video on what it means to flip the funnel when recruiting.

[embed width="610" height="310"]https://youtu.be/IZY5SfGZqCs[/embed]

Flipping the funnel is a concept I often discuss with enrollment VPs, because philosophically at enrollmentFUEL, we believe it makes sense to devote valuable resources to converting inquiries who demonstrate a real interest in attending your school, instead of investing a large portion of the budget marketing to big lists of mostly unqualified leads. This concept struck our team as the perfect topic for an explainer video since it often requires clarification. Partnering with Professor Oliver, we got a well-executed video at a budget price, and you may be able to find a similar option at your school.

Hire Help

At enrollmentFUEL, we have several videographers we work with, including Jay Helms, our own “Captain Video,” who is certified by the FAA as a remote pilot for aerial videography using a drone. If you feel you don’t have the time or skills on staff to devote to internal video production, consider hiring an outside partner.

Factors impacting the final cost of videos include:

  • Who writes the script
  • Video length
  • Whether you have existing, usable footage
  • When you shoot from scratch, the number of locations
  • Captioning for the hearing impaired
  • The need for music or voiceover talent
  • Animations or graphic requirements
  • Where the final video be used – this can affect licensing costs for stock footage and music

There can be wide variances for pricing, so it is best to have a budget in mind before you “shop” to avoid overspending.

Do It Yourself

Several easy-to-use solutions let you produce a video that looks both professional and polished. At enrollmentFUEL, we often create videos for social posts using Animoto.com. The cost of an annual subscription is reasonable. Animoto eliminates the need for design and video editing skills, and it is simple to use.

Today, most computers come equipped with basic video editing software, too. If you are lucky, someone on the recruiting team has skills and can help.

What Videos Topics Should You Consider?

If you are looking for videos to help with recruiting, here are five areas to consider:

  • The online campus tour, but told from a new perspective tying in fun facts or learning moments from students
  • Support for careers, professional programs, and graduate school
  • Student success stories
  • Institutional value propositions – told in a compelling “why buy” way
  • Areas of strength or differentiation

Famed director, Frank Capra, directed the film classic, “It’s a Wonderful Life.” He said. “There are no rules in filmmaking. Only sins. And the cardinal sin is dullness.”5  This is good advice for enrollment professionals. Especially when you think of the heavy-duty video watchers who make up Gen Z. No matter what topic you tackle, or how much you spend—you win when the students watch until the end.

  1. Retrieved from: https://www.nielsen.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2019/04/evolution-of-video-case-study-1.pdf
  2. Retrieved from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/YouTube
  3. Retrieved from: https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/2018/05/31/teens-social-media-technology-2018/
  4. Retrieved from: https://www.wsj.com/articles/teens-explain-their-youtube-obsession-because-adults-dont-get-it-11572341400
  5. Retrieved from https://indiefilmhustle.com/filmmaking-quotes/Video Production – It Might Be the Next Frontier for Enrollment Management Professionals