Marketing Your School, College or University with Online Video Post COVID-19.
Updated: Oct 8, 2020
The new academic year is just around the corner and there has never been a more important time to communicate online with your current and prospective students and parents. Businesses around the world are expected to have reinvented the way they operate in order to keep their customers safe and respect social distancing measures. Educational institutions need to be connecting with their students and parents online in order to reassure and inform them with innovative and adaptive video marketing tools.
"How your school behaves right now is going to be remembered for a long, long time."
2020 has unfortunately been one of the most catastrophically impactful years in recent memory. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused enormous pain, disruption and chaos to industries and families all over the world. You want your institution to be recognised for having reacted and adapted to the disruption with innovation, dedication and consideration.
There are a number of new problems that have arisen for Schools, colleges and universities in the lead-up to this new academic year and beyond - but fear not. There are a wide variety of marketing tools at your disposal to solve these problems and bridge the gap between your school and your customers, all whilst keeping everyone safe. In this article, we will be exploring some of the video marketing options that your organisation can implement to communicate with your students and parents and adapt with the times.
Firstly - what are the problems we are facing?
Parents and students are uncertain about their safety when on school grounds.
Open days often involve mass gatherings of people, which many parents and pupils would be very reluctant to do with the current state of affairs.
Online information with written content and photos often lacks a level of authenticity and human connection.
Parents and students want to see and explore the facilities of your school.
Parents and students want to meet the heads of each department and get an understanding of the teaching practices at your school.
Schools, universities and colleges need to be tackling these problems with innovative, current and up-to-date video marketing tools that show how seriously the organisation is responding the global pandemic. Your school needs to stand out, to shine brighter than the competition and to not get left behind when other organisations are doing more to reassure their parents and students. You want to be connecting with your customers on a human level, to give them a real and authentic insight into the personality of your school. You need to show that you truly care, and are doing everything that you can to provide the highest level of attentitiveness and consideration for every pupil.
Your school needs to replicate what you would normally offer, but in innovative ways on your online platforms. Don't comprimise the ways in which prospective parents and students can access and understand your facilities. You should go above and beyond to provide these services in new ways that are accessible, engaging and just as good (if not better!) than before.
"Above all, your institution needs to show transparency. You need to be truthful, communicative and sincere about what your business is doing to look after your pupils."
You must not cut corners when it comes to conveying these messages. Your pupils deserve to know every detail and be informed every step of the way.
What video marketing tools are available?
Virtual Open Day Videos
Virtual Open Day Videos are an absolute essential for every school in the coming year. We won't be returning to a world anytime soon where large numbers of prospective parents and students can be visiting your school without concerns for their health and safety in terms of social distancing. This doesn't mean that students and parents aren't looking to learn about your facilities, faculty, department and educational practices. Whether it's for this year or next years marketing reach, open day videos will allow your school to educate future pupils about all aspects of your education. Better yet - this means that you won't be limited to a few days a year to have open days at your school.
"Now, students and parents can access this same information from anywhere in the world, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week."
When looking to put together open day videos, it is wise to split the content into separate videos to help students and parents to access the relevant information they are looking for. Your school's open day videos could include:
One video for each department of the school.
A speech from the head of department, talking to camera as if directly addressing parents and students.
Footage of facilities, equipment and current students taking part in lessons.
Open day video packages can be catered to each individual school, college or university to meet their requirements.
Meet The Headteacher Video
Authenticity is more valuable today than any other asset in your school's marketing strategy. Your school can achieve this authenticity by having your headteacher express your schools core values on video, connecting directly with parents and students. There is no staff member more passionate about your institution than the head, and this makes them the perfect person to peel back the curtain on. Allow students and parents to get a better understanding of what school life is really going to be like, and engage with them on a real, personal level.
"Meet The Head videos are an ideal way to provide a true human connection and provide a genuine insight into the best qualities of your organisation."
When piecing together a 'Meet The Head' video, there are a number of options that you could choose to best convey your school's message.
Express the school's core values, beliefs and aims.
Allow the headteacher to relate to students, express their own personal feelings and their emotions towards being a headteacher.
Display a broad range of imagery of the school including facilities, lessons, activities and inspiring moments.
Explain how your school operates differently to other schools.
Virtual 3D Tours
[Example from View3D virtual tour of Sheffield Hallam University STEM Centre]
Allow parents and students to remotely explore your educational settings like never before with virtual 3D tours. By using state of the art technology, it is now possible to create high definition, interactive virtual 3D tours for businesses and organisations. Put the explorer in control to look around a space. Allow future students to explore their new school and reduce anxieties before their first week of term.
What is incredible about these virtual 3D tour experiences is that it is possible to embed relevant information throughout the spaces that users can engage with whilst exploring each building.
"These are perfect to be used in conjunction with virtual open day videos - allow parents and students to manually explore a space and then interact with additional information points filled with text, videos, images and PDF documents to further inform them about what makes your department unique."
Virtual 3D tours are effective and unique for some of the following reasons:
They put the user in control.
Allow students to become familiar with the school, plan their routes to classes, explore the classrooms.
Great marketing tools to demonstrate what the school has to offer.
Can include links to reviews pages, or ofsted reports within the tour.
Turn your virutal tour into an interactive prospectus. Allow departments to showcase what they have to offer by adding media directly into the tour. This could include students on video explaining why trhey chose to study there, or what they enjoy about their lessons and activities.
School Tour Videos
In addition to virtual tour videos, it is definitely worth considering having guided tours produced for your various departments throughout the school. Virtual 3D tours are fantastic for allowing parents and students to explore areas of your school at their leisure from their computer screens, but often people are looking for the easiest option. What if you could take them through the tour, without them having to press a button?
School tour videos work perfectly in addition to Virtual Open Day packages. When parents and students are simply looking to explore the facilities and departments that your insitution offers, school tour videos can be a quick and easy way to show people around without comprimising on social distancing measures.
"Virtual 3D tours are fantastic for showing the inside of buildings, but lets not forget how incredible your premises can look from above. Capture your school with stunning aerial drone video to give a cinematic overview of your entire premises. "
School tour videos can include as much or as little information as you are wanting to provide. Depending on how extensive you are looking to be, school tour videos could include:
Independent videos for each department of the school.
Highlights of key features & facilities in each area of the school.
Motion graphics and information to appear on screen to compliment the visuals.
Highlights reel to show all the best aspects of the school's facilities in one, compact video.
Aerial footage to show the entire premises in all of their glory.
Allow parents and students for years to come to explore your school from their own homes. Although school tour videos are ideal for current times to accomodate social distancing measures, their lifespan will reach far beyond.
Explanation of changes around the school due to COVID-19
Every organisation around the world has had to pivot their operations in order to comply with new COVID-19 social distancing regulations. We all have a duty to keep our students, visitors, staff and parents safe. You have been working extremely hard behind the scenes in order to ensure the safety of every individual that steps through your doors. It is important to educate every person on new regulations, safety measures, and precautions that your organisation has put in place in order to keep everyone safe.
You can send out video explanations through emails, social media campaigns, online on your website and even shown on big screens for returning students, staff and parents when your school reopens. Quickly, efficiently and effectively educate everyone on every aspect of these new changes.
"Times are extremely strange at the moment, and you don't want any detail to be missed. Ensure that you can convey your message in the utmost detail with a video explanation of changes around the school due to COVID-19."
Some of these changes or reassurances could be:
Newly implemented one-way flows around the buildings.
Safe working areas.
Hygene stations for sanitisation.
New hand-washing regulations including instructions on proper practice.
Communicating new measures in place specific to your school.
In addition to posting videos online for mass consumption by students and parents, you should also consider producing internal remote teaching videos to educate your staff on new practices withing the school. The world is a minefield when it comes to health and safety relating to COVID-19 and you don't want to be stuck in the mud. Create educational tools that can be used well into the future to ensure everyone that steps into your building complies with new, strict social distancing measures. Do your very best to keep everyone safe within your school, college or university.
Upgrading your video marketing is an essential strategy for Schools, Colleges and Universities in the coming months. Video production of these types can be incredibly fast. It doesn't have to be a long and drawn out process to get the videos you need, quickly and to a high standard.
Here at Blink Vivid Video we are available and ready to meet all of your education marketing video production needs. It doesn't matter whether you've already decided on specific products that you want, or if you're not sure which products are right for you - we are able to guide, inform and collaborate with you to ensure that you are fully equipped with the video marketing materials to help your school, college or university to reinvent itself in the new normal.
If you have any video production enquiries, or just want a chat to see what might be right for your business, please head over to our Contact page to get in touch. If you're looking to get a quick quote for a video, you can fill in our form on our Get Your Quote page and hear back from us within 24 hours.
If you'd like to learn more about our services, you can read more on our Services page.
Written by Aidan Joseph of Blink Vivid Video.
#videomarketing #backtoschool #virtualtours #openday