Young people in the UK are now spending more time online than they do watching television. Last year, Childwise reported that the average time spent online is now three hours per day, compared with 2.1 hours watching television. One of the chief reasons that children go online is to watch videos. Is it time your school made more of an effort to get videos in front of prospective students?
Some schools are already creating videos, which aim to show the school to be a place where parents can be confident that their children will thrive, whilst also projecting a place that young people will feel comfortable.
Other schools are more cautious, perhaps perceiving video production to be costly, or concerned about content being shared publicly on the internet.
But there are plenty of reasons to overcome those preconceptions and embrace video, including:
- Video is growing rapidly in popularity: we now spend around 30 minutes per day on our phones watching videos, up from just four minutes in 2012 (Zenith).
- Videos can easily be uploaded and shared to YouTube, where teens spend 34% of their video time (Trendera).
- Parents and students are increasingly looking to social media to get a feel for the schools in their area, with video content holding the most sway.
- Videos can help increase your school’s reach (the number of potential parents/learners your school is exposed to), increasing the chances your school reaches capacity.
- Videos are a great way of improving a school’s reputation, showing it to be progressive and student-focussed.
Schools hardly need reminding that it’s within their interest to minimise the number of surplus places it has available, with state funding based on the number of students rather than a school’s capacity. Videos have a big role to play in minimising the surplus. While for private schools, the more they generate in fees, the better facilities they can provide.
What video content should you be producing?
Video content can serve a number of purposes for a school. The obvious role is the one we’ve already touched upon: to ‘sell’ the school to prospective parents and learners. Generic school ‘commercials’ are the most obvious means to do this, but videos documenting school life are also a good way of painting your school in a positive light.
Video can also help with new student integration. Footage showing ‘the day in the life of a Year 7 student’ can be shown to new starters to help with anxiety, allowing them to get a feel of what to expect. As a consequence, teachers will benefit from being able to dedicate less time to pastoral care.
Similarly, a school tour can be captured, allowing learners to get a feel for their surroundings, while parents can get a good look at the facilities on offer.
It’s not only prospective parents and learners that can benefit from a school’s video content – so too can current parents and learners. Everyday school life can provide plenty of rich video content which can be shared with parents and students alike on social media. It certainly beats a monthly newsletter.
Here are some of the events that can be captured on film:
- Concerts and theatre productions
- Sports days
- Charity and fun day events
- Award and prize giving
- School prom
There are a couple of other uses for video that can have a profound impact on the quality of a school’s education.
Videos can be produced to illustrate what it’s like to work for the school, with staff doing the talking. Or educational videos for teachers, i.e. ‘Tips for NQTs’. Both types of video will help attract great staff and position the school as a great place to work.
There is also the opportunity to put students in front of the camera, offering advice for their fellow learners on various things, from revision tips to making the most of their time at school.
Who should produce the content?
This depends on your capabilities for capturing and editing videos. Most schools might have somebody who is comfortable with a camera, but perhaps doesn’t have the time, skills or inclination to pull footage together and make it shine.
That’s where partnering with a video content agency can pay dividends. A digital content creation agency will map out key messages and reportage style before committing anything to film, ensuring that the video does its job through a clear structure and purpose.
They will also be able to bring in their marketing knowledge about what types of video work best – in terms of length, style, tone etc. – and how they should be shared so that they effectively engage parents and learners at the right time.
M2 Bespoke has worked with a number of schools on content creation. We are able to take ownership of the entire video production process or adapt it to your current capabilities. If you only want us to help edit and deliver your video content, that’s fine. Or we can go all the way for you and take care of your video content from planning to delivery. Get in contact to hear about the different options.
We will also be putting together a blog on how to share school content on social media, so keep an eye on your timeline/inbox!