How to Add Short Form Videos to Your Higher-Ed Digital Marketing Experience

People are consuming content at faster speeds than ever, which makes short-form videos the perfect place to start creating content for today’s students.

 

Key Takeaways:

  • Short-form videos appeal to today’s prospective students
  • Search activity is a good guide to video content
  • Creating student personas will help identify your students’ needs so you can create content that answers their questions and piques their interest
  • Short-form videos are a way to make real connections with your audience

Higher education institutions engage prospective students, transfers, and parents through digital marketing in the form of websites, newsletters, social media, and emails. But one important channel may be missing: Short-form videos. In the age of TikTok, quick-hit videos add an important arm to the array of digital marketing content, one that can capture the immediate attention of today’s student viewers. 

 

Short-form videos are snippets that play so fast that you don’t have time to close out before they’re delivered their message. People’s attention spans last about 8 seconds according to a study Microsoft conducted, and the high volume of content we consume in a short period of time on social media has pushed this even lower. Another study done by Deloitte shows that about 84% of Gen-Z and millennials watch short-form videos. 

 

Short videos are the perfect fit for this short-attention-span environment. The content plays in a short, informative, and engaging manner that catches viewers’ attention. They’ve gained popularity and played a role in expanding the boundaries of higher ed digital marketing experiences. 

 

With the right strategy, you can learn how to analyze your audience group and create short-form videos that will catch their interest and build it around your brand. In this post, we’ll look at how to do that and the value of creating intentional content that leverages social media in your digital marketing experience. 

 

What are short-form videos?

 

Platforms that use short-form videos include TikTok and Instagram Reels. These videos usually last no longer than 2 minutes and 30 seconds. A higher education institution’s audience group makes up the generation that consumes the largest amount of short-form videos, so generating this type of content about their university can engage the audience in a very relevant way. Creating content that prospective students can relate to and get excited about will appeal to them and help their decision-making process. It can also help them take the next step toward visiting the school, which will further propel their interest in your school. 

 

What to include in a short-form video

 

A good starting point for creating content is search activity among your users. Determining the most visited or searched pages during a prospective student’s visits to your website or social media page will help you find common themes and questions they want answered. 

 

Prospective students go on campus tours and sit in on real classes to get a feel for the overall college experience. That’s why colleges do campus tours, let you sit in on real classes, and host prospective students for a weekend. They get to see what it’s like to get immersed in the college’s culture, activities, and academics for a couple of days and ask questions about the school. 

 

Think about the things during those visits that highlight the best parts of your school. This will help narrow down content to use. Choosing content that has real value to current students will work to your advantage and gain audience trust in a way that connects with prospects. 

 

How to address the needs of your audience 

 

Understanding what kind of content prospective students want to see and the topics that will impact their decision to attend the school will help you identify the right topics for short-form videos. Creating student personas can further help identify their needs. 

 

Not every prospective student has the same background or needs. Each comes from a different demographic and has a different purpose for attending college. Figuring out a couple of personas that fit into the prospective student category can help you create content based on your findings. Understanding the circumstances surrounding where they’ll be viewing the video, how engaged they are, and some background information about your audience groups will all help create a persona you can use to brainstorm content ideas for your videos. 

 

Every prospective student has questions about schools before deciding to attend one. Answering these questions while sharing things students didn’t even know to ask will help with creating short-form videos. 

 

Highlight what makes your school unique. Does it have any special traditions it’s known for? Are there certain programs that make the school unique from other schools with a similar program? Include a short clip relating to these events or programs that encapsulates the values of the school itself. Show what makes your university stand out from others through a short clip. 

 

If your university is allowing campus visits again, short-form videos are a perfect way to promote those and showcase the things students can do or see during them. 

 

KWALL can help you rebrand your higher education institution and analyze your digital marketing strategy. We can also help you incorporate videography into your digital marketing strategy to support your brand. Our knowledge and awareness of higher ed websites helps you increase student engagement and target the right audience to make your marketing strategy effective. Contact KWALL today to find out how we can help you make the most of your digital marketing experience.