video marketing for schools

Video marketing is a slowly growing trend for schools. But some school leaders are understandably reticent about the idea. This article takes a look at the advantages of using video marketing in a school context.

There has been a huge growth in the use of online marketing videos by all kinds of private and public sector organisations. However, many schools are either cautious or positively reluctant to include video in their school’s promotional strategy. Concerns over cost and return on investment are part of the reason for this. Not surprisingly, fears about disruption, GDPR, and safeguarding also play a part. However, video is now firmly established as a dominant force in online marketing. Alongside this national policy is forcing schools into ever-fiercer competition. So, perhaps it is time for abstainers to reconsider their position.

Why should my school use video as part of its marketing strategy?

Movies engage audiences with almost unsurpassed immediacy. This makes them an ideal vehicle for delivering key messages related to your school’s unique and valued ethos.

Research shows that online video is a preferred way for the general population, especially young people, to consume entertainment and to communicate. However, by the same token, it is also a preferred way to access information and to learn. This makes video an invaluable tool for engaging increasingly tech-savvy students and their parents.

YouTube, alone, is a testament to the all-pervasive nature of video in the 21stCentury. With more than two billion active accounts (around 70% of internet users), it is now the second-largest search engine on the web. However, the exponential growth in competing online video services over the last decade underlines this still further.

Videos make ideal content for your school’s website and social media channels. They can also be hosted and distributed over the internet at virtually no cost. This means that videos give a favourable return on investment, even though production costs may seem high. This makes them a good alternative to traditional printed media.

What does good video marketing for schools actually look like?

Schools are incredibly rich environments, in which interesting and exciting activities are a daily occurrence. Sadly, this means that so much newsworthy activity is often overlooked. Everything from a vinegar volcano in a science lesson, to the choir singing in the annual carol service, is visually interesting. These activities not only show students at their most engaged but also show what a vibrant learning community your school is. So, why not feature as much of this activity as possible in regular video posts to your website and social media channels?

This simple video showcase for a curriculum project was filmed using a smartphone.

It’s easy to assume that if an online video isn’t produced professionally, it won’t be useful in promoting your school. It may be true that your key marketing videos should be produced to the highest standards possible. However, you can shoot newsworthy video reports of day-to-day activities with a decent smartphone and a little care. By way of example, the video above was filmed, handheld, on an iPhone 6.

Some of you may be desperately worried about the idea of using homegrown video to represent your school. However, the BBC News website shows that even Auntie’s happy with wobbly footage when there’s a good story. What’s important is the regular stream of content to your public-facing internet channels.

More formal video content

Along with regular snapshots of day-to-day learning, your video output should include more generic, high-level content. For example:

School marketing video/video prospectus

This celebrates the good work of the school and communicates its key messages in a clear, concise, and engaging way. It can be a centerpiece on your school’s homepage and should be reposted on your social media channels regularly. Just like a printed prospectus, this kind of video has a potential shelf life of several years. It only becomes redundant if the school undergoes major change during that time.

Headteacher’s Welcome

These work well if posted just before the start of the new school year. They can be simple talking-head style videos but could also benefit from engaging B-roll, to help illustrate key points. You could also add messages from the Head Boy and Head Girl to give a student perspective.

Annual Report to Parents

This is easily extracted from regular reports to school Governors and can be used to publicise KPIs. Again, this might be predominantly shot as a talking head but illustrated with slides of key data.

Virtual Tour

This could be a simple tour of your school’s facilities or a curriculum overview that includes visits to key spaces. It could feature staff, or student ambassadors talking about exciting aspects of your school. Rather unsurprisingly, these became very common during COVID lockdown – see this previous article.

Transition Video

These are aimed at new students entering year 7, and also their parents. They contain key information and reassuring messages from current students and staff. Again, these were popular during lockdown but could be potentially useful as an annual project.

Recruitment Video

These have a very different target audience from most of your promotional material. Therefore, both production style and production values will need to be tailored to account for this.

These more formal presentations demand more serious pre-production work, along with higher production values. Therefore, at this point, you may want to consider enlisting professional support.

Some of the ideas above may be more relevant to an established audience, but they can still be shared more widely. This quickly turns a focussed project into a general marketing asset.

Where next?

I’ll be offering some simple tips for schools wanting to begin their online video journey in a follow-up post. This will include key principles that should be adhered to for even the most modest in-house video production. I’ll also be looking at important considerations for more involved projects, intended as key online marketing assets.

Find out more about my video production services for schools.

Example school marketing videos (quirky) (generic, visual only) (generic with talking heads)

Stourbridge-based Mooma Media offers video production, filming, photography, live-streaming, and media support services to schools throughout the Black Country and West Midlands region. To find out more about the range of services available, please visit my Media Services for Schools page.

Video marketting for schools in and near:

West Midlands county: Birmingham, Solihull, Sutton Coldfield, West Bromwich, Dudley, Walsall, Wolverhampton.

Staffordshire: Lichfield, Tamworth, Stafford, Cannock,Burton upon Trent.

Shropshire: Telford, Shrewsbury, Bridgnorth, Kidderminster, Ludlow.

Worcestershire: Bromsgrove, Reditch, Droitwich, Worcester,

Warwickshire: Warwick, Stratford upon Avon, Leamington Spa, Coventry, Nuneaton,



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