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Videos in higher education marketing increase clickthrough rates by 96%. What’s more, prospective students are 84% more likely to research schools online, and 68% point to videos as an influence in their final school decision.

This means a well-crafted promotional video can help your school meet marketing goals, attract prospective students, encourage alumni donations, and showcase what makes it so special.

But how exactly do you make a promotional video for your educational institution? Let’s check out eight ideas.

8 Great Promotional Video Ideas for Your Educational Institution

There’s no shortage of inspiration when it comes to promotional video ideas for educational institutions—over 86% of colleges and universities have a presence on YouTube.

Consider these eight ideas for your institution.

1. Campus Tours

Campus tour videos let applicants imagine themselves as students lounging around in the dorms, laughing in corridors with their new friends, studying in the library, or having lunch in your school’s dining hall. They trigger excitement and interest in your institution, highlighting what makes your campus such a great place to study.

Campus tour videos are also great for connecting with students from faraway areas. International students or those who can’t physically visit your campus can use them to virtually walk through your campus before making their final decision.

Take a look at UNSW campus tour and NYU’s campus tour videos for inspiration.

2. A Day in the Life

“A Day in the Life” videos feature personal accounts of students as they navigate their daily life at your school. These videos give insight into what it’s like to be on campus, study in the classrooms, and what a typical student’s schedule looks like.

When done right, they help viewers relate to the featured students, find out more about campus life, and spark their interest and curiosity in your institution.

Take a look at this A Day In The Life video posted by the University of South Florida.

3. Testimonials—Student, Faculty, Alumni

Students put a great deal of value in what their peers say—undergraduate students are 33% more likely to value reviews by current university students when considering their school options.

The good news is that testimonials don’t have to be limited to students—alumni, parents, and faculty testimonials are equally effective.

Alumni testimonials highlight the opportunities a program or degree gave them, while faculty testimonials give insight into research opportunities and facilities, student and classroom culture, areas of focus, and more.

Middlebury College’s Our Lives at Middlebury video is a good example. This student testimonial video features three students from different ethnic backgrounds, highlighting how Middlebury helps them find support, success, and academic and personal fulfilment. Another good example is this UNSW Business School’s student testimonial, which promotes the school’s Information Systems program.

What’s more, if you’re a primary or secondary school, including parent testimonials instead of student reviews may be more helpful in gaining applicants. Prospective parents are more likely to connect with the words of other parents who have made the same decision they’re currently considering.

This testimonial from Forman School is an excellent example of an emotional, engaging parent testimonial video. It features parents sharing their experiences with the school and how it has helped their children transform and grow. The video does an excellent job of highlighting Forman’s unique purpose (educating differently-abled children) by focusing on three students’ journeys.

4. Alumni Success Stories

Alumni story videos highlight how your institution can transform fresh students into accomplished, talented, and confident individuals who are successful in life.

Take a look at these eight alumni success stories we did for UNSW. It was a four-month adventure that took us from Canberra to as far as Indonesia. The result? Eight high-quality videos showcasing the struggles and triumphs of successful UNSW alumni and the impact they’re creating.

5. Events & Celebrations

Videographing school events and celebrations introduces prospective students to the amazing things that happen on campus. This welcome ceremony video by the University of Sydney is a good example.

Unique university factors are 36% more likely to influence prospective undergraduate students, meaning event and celebration videos are especially effective if you feature a unique event or tradition that defines your institution.

If you don’t wish to pre-record event videos, you can also live stream them on YouTube or your school’s social media channels. Live video is three times more engaging than on-demand video content.

6. Sample Course Content

The quality of curriculum, teaching, and faculty is one of the most important criteria for any prospective student. A great way to highlight your school’s curriculum and the calibre of your teaching staff is to demonstrate it.

This can be in the form of course overviews, lecture clips, or flipped classroom content that gives viewers a feel for your faculty’s expertise, teaching style, and the classroom environment they foster.

Here’s the video of a sample lecture by the University of Groningen to inspire you.

7. Research Spotlights

Universities are more than just educational institutions—they’re also important research centres. Showcasing this side of your institution builds credibility, boosts your university’s image, attracts collaborators, and helps you recruit top researchers.

There are different types of research spotlights, such as those highlighting specific projects, research findings, or focusing on a specific researcher. When targeting a larger audience, make sure to spell out the details of your featured research project and its practical application to give your video mass appeal.

This researcher spotlight video by McGill University is a good example.

8. Student Generated Content

Re-sharing user-generated content is a well-known marketing strategy. In the case of educational marketing, prospective applicants and students are more likely to be drawn to your school if you re-share or feature student-generated content.

That’s because student-generated video content helps showcase your school more authentically. It’s also a low-effort, cost-friendly way of facilitating your video marketing efforts without creating videos yourself.

Take a look at this video re-shared by Toronto Metropolitan University, featuring a student discussing what she typically eats in a day as an online student at the university.

Best Practices for Creating Educational Promo Videos

Now that you know the types of promotional videos you can create for your educational institution, here are five video production best practices to ensure you get it right:

  • Tell a good story—Storytelling is a powerful way to connect emotionally with your audience, whether it’s through humour, inspiration, or pride. Anyone can make a good video but not everyone can come up with a compelling story angle for their promotional video. The easiest way to do this is to feature student, staff, and alumni stories, highlighting their journeys of growth, challenges, and learning. This student acceptance reaction by Stanford University is a great example of an emotionally-driven promotional video.
  • Use high-quality visuals—Shaky footage, poor audio, and jump cuts have no space in a promotional video. Invest in good production quality to ensure your video is visually appealing. If you’re producing videos in-house, invest in basic equipment (advanced smartphone/digital camera, microphone, tripod, and basic lighting kit) and stick to simple content your team is capable of producing. If you’re aiming for a professional quality, complex promo video, outsourcing to a video production company is the best way to go.
  • Edit to perfection—Seamless editing is essential to turn your raw footage into an engaging, snappy promotional video. If you’re editing in-house, consider using a beginner-friendly yet effective editing tool. iMovie is a great free option with a variety of controls and transitions to explore and play with. Other editing software recommendations include Animaker, Nero Video, Filmora, and CyberLink PowerDirector.
  • Promote on multiple channels—A promotional video is only as strong as its distribution strategy. It’s always recommended to post your promotional videos on multiple forums, from social media platforms like Instagram, Youtube, and Facebook, to your institution’s website, email newsletters, and paid advertisements.
  • Optimise for different platforms—Don’t forget to optimise a given video for different platforms. A 15-minute detailed campus tour will work great for YouTube but will gain little traction on social media. Feature longer video content on your institution’s website or YouTube channel, and trim videos down to quick, engaging reels or TikToks under 60 seconds when posting on social media.

How Ivory Media Can Help Your Educational Institution Shine

Promotional video marketing helps capture the unique spirit of your educational institute and create compelling narratives that will resonate with audiences and help drive your message home.

But if not done professionally, it can drive prospective students away instead of attracting them.

That’s where we come in.

We have four decades of combined experience in conceptualising, filming, and editing promotional videos tailored to educational institutes and are ready to bring your ideas to life for effective promotion.

Call us now or visit our website to get a free quote today.