In this digital age, video storytelling is arguably the most powerful marketing tool available to higher ed institutions. Unlike other forms of content, video allows prospective students to virtually experience life on campus and academic programs through current student, faculty, and alumni stories.
Though many higher ed institutions are beginning to incorporate video into their marketing mix, we nevertheless found ourselves mining through countless mediocre videos just to find a few good ones to share in this post. Many of the college marketing videos out there range from pep rally fight songs to building launches, to “State of the University” president speeches, to research program discussions. Unfortunately, most fail to convey any sort of compelling narrative on behalf of the college (and others could easily be prescribed as an effective sleep aid for chronic insomniacs).
We’re here to let higher ed marketers know that video offers an enormous opportunity to connect with prospective students. Here are 6 examples of higher ed video storytelling done right.
1. University of Maryland
The University of Maryland’s impact video opens with powerful images that represent some of the biggest crises humans throughout the world face on a daily basis—poverty, climate change, pollution, water scarcity, health disparity, and more. The video then transitions to images showing how the University of Maryland provides the necessary academic programs, funded research, and learning environment to produce quality graduates that go out and make a big impact on the world.
2. Ohio State University
Ohio State University released a series of student perspective videos where current students give their personal testimonies on why they chose Ohio State University and why they believe they made the right choice. Students highlight their experiences with course study, day-to-day campus life, and the spirit and traditions that distinguish Ohio State from other universities.
3. Syracuse University
This student profile video tells the story of a current student’s entrepreneurial journey made possible through her undergraduate experience at Syracuse University. Courtnee Futch’s first person narrative demonstrates how Syracuse University can provide the necessary academic programs and resources to help its students follow their passions to find dream careers.
4. Brown University
Brown University’s alumni spotlight video features 2006 alumnus Adam Braun. Braun is the founder of Pencils of Promise, a nonprofit that creates schools, programs and global communities around the common goal of education for all. In this instance, video storytelling is being used to showcase an alumni success story that represents the value of an education from Brown University.
5. Penn State University
In this video, Psychology Professor Dr. Andrew Peck discusses his unorthodox approach to making education fun for students. He offers a passionate perspective on what makes Penn State University a special place for its undergraduate students—diversity of educational experiences, myriad resources, and unparalleled spirit, among others.
6. Northeastern University
While most prospective students (and their parents) would agree that there’s no substitute for an in-person campus tour, they'd also admit that it’s impractical to visit all the colleges they’re considering—especially if some of the schools are out of state. Virtual campus tour videos have gained popularity over the last few years because they allow prospective students to tour the campus anytime, anywhere. In this Northeastern University tour video, students serve as tour guides to provide history, facts, and other important information about their school. Warning: These guided virtual campus tour videos tend to be overly scripted, but the overall benefit outweighs the melodrama.
To learn more about how you can create and use student personas to recruit higher quality prospects for your college/university, download a free copy of our ebook.