Using Video in Enrollment Marketing

It may not have the catchiest title, but Ruffalo Noel-Levitz’s new study, 2015 High School Students’ and Parents’ Perceptions of and Preferences for Communication With Colleges, is full of information that college admissions offices will find helpful and insightful. This is the first of several posts exploring some of the findings of this study.

One of the most striking findings involves the use of online video. No doubt you have noticed the rapid growth of video on the Internet. If you aren’t already, you really need to be using video to communicate with prospective students and their families. While video production is typically thought of as expensive and time-consuming, one look at social media shows how an iPhone can produce a quality video. It’s important that you have strategy and focus before you begin utilizing video. But where do you start? Video blogs? Campus tours? Slick introduction videos? Student testimonials? Sample lectures?

Ruffalo Noel-Levitz asked prospective students what video they found valuable. Their answers were overwhelmingly clear. Over half (53%) of respondents said they wanted to see student testimonials. 29% of respondents said they wanted to see video campus tours. Every other type of video listed in the survey came in at 6% or lower—video of athletic events (6%), polished video introductions targeting prospective students (4%), videos of student performances (4%), video blogs (2%), and sample lectures (2%).

The good news is that student testimonials are some of the cheapest and easiest videos you can produce. Video tours aren’t necessarily as cheap or as easy (so start with those testimonials!), but still, it is helpful to know where your investment makes the most sense. 

5° Branding has produced different types of videos, from commercials to campus tours, for different admissions offices. As you consider your strategy for 2016, let's talk about how your institution could begin embracing the power of video in student recruitment.