5 Ways to Attract Students with Video Content

27.04.2021 Content Strategy
Eoin Dowdall
Creative Director

Cast your mind back to your student lives. Those halcyon days of tasting your first flavour of freedom, making new friends, and becoming fully independent in your young adult lives set out the blueprint for your future careers, habits, and opinions. With the number of school-leavers registering for higher education steadily increasing over the years, it is important to remember that although some people will be excited to discover the realms of possibility in their newfound independence, many prospective students will be feeling nervous, doubtful, and uncertain about what their future at university will hold. What do you wish you’d known before starting university? Budgeting tips? Course content? Research facilities?

This is where the appeal of video marketing comes in. Video allows prospective students to virtually explore everything their chosen universities have to offer, ranging from research facilities to societies. This format also helps universities maintain a strong social media presence, engaging and encouraging future students to enrol. Social media is hugely important in your marketing strategy, as 16 to 24-year olds make up the highest demographic of social media users. YouTube and TikTok will be the helping hands you need for your content marketing strategy. 

These 3-4 years of study are the stepping stones in transforming a nervous and excitable 18-year old into a fully-fledged, competent adult. Therefore, hitting the spot in marketing is crucial in reassuring future students about any concerns they may have. Presented below are five ideas for video content marketing you can use for your university.

1. Virtual Open Days and Tours Through Video Content Marketing

Although physically visiting a university is the best way to experience its atmosphere, virtual tours and open days have many benefits in attracting students. As the norm is for students to study further afield, video can save parents and students a lot of hassle. Most undergraduates don’t just want to study an in-depth course to improve their employability. They also want a taste of independence, away from relying on parents and obeying curfews. 

The final two years of school revolve around researching potential universities and organizing day trips to visit them. Depending on how far and wide doting parents have to drive their children to their potential future destinations, devising virtual tours and open days is an excellent way for students and parents to explore what your university has to offer. Everyone saves time and money spent on travelling and makes finding the right university a lot easier. Students can explore every nook and cranny from the comfort of their homes. They’re also free to take tours at their own pace, allowing flexibility in their busy revision schedules. 

1.1 How Video Addresses Accessibility Concerns 

Virtual open days don’t just assist in searching for the right university. They also significantly help students with disabilities. Those with mobility issues have to factor in extra time and special requirements, so exploring a university virtually lifts several burdens. They can also see how accessible particular rooms are including lecture halls, seminar rooms, and accommodation. Demonstrating your commitment to accessibility through both physical and virtual means is imperative in encouraging students with disabilities to enrol.

Open Days and Tours
Open Days and Tours

2. Taster Video Content of Lectures

Now that we’ve discussed how to advertise your university’s facilities through video, showing the type of content courses will teach is the next step. From summaries of module content to taster lectures, prospective students can see whether your lecturers inspire them enough to pursue their studies with you. Professors can explain how a course is structured and graded, and what academic support is available. In doing so, lecturers can begin to build a rapport with prospective students, further inviting them to attend their university. 

Ultimately, course content is one of the most significant factors in why students choose their university. Being as welcoming and informative as possible about a degree’s expectations, signposts their way to the right course. These videos can mention what materials will be discussed, so those keen to start on the right footing can read ahead. Check out King’s College London’s MA in Climate Change video for an example of how we can achieve your goals.

Course promo is also a fantastic way to exhibit the variety of opportunities available through a specific course. Have a look at our promo video for St George’s University’s medicine course to see how we can help you.

Taster Content
Taster Content

3. Featuring Students in Your Video Content Marketing Strategy

Current students are the face of the university. After all, who else is better suited to advertising a university to prospective students? Prospective students need first-hand accounts from current students about expectations of academic and social life characteristic to that specific university. Authentic and believable, students can explain why that university stood out from a myriad of academic institutions. A recruitment film, for example, is a brilliant way of encompassing all of these aspects.

These student testimonials don’t just have to add some authenticity to the face of your university. They can also be used to give lifestyle and study advice. Tips on budgeting, time management, and independent living are always welcome in the student community. With so many young adults delving into their newfound freedom, the lack of parental guidance can be very overwhelming. They are suddenly plunged into the deep end of adult responsibility, many with no clue about looking after themselves. With students’ mental health becoming much more of a concern, students must clearly explain how students’ well-being is supported. 

3.1 Student Hacks

Freshers will be constantly on the lookout for effective ways to manage their independent adult lives. Videos of student hacks can include but are not limited to, cheap recipe ideas, budgeting tips, and study advice. This type of video content is a persuasive technique in attracting more students, because not only does it demonstrate your university’s understanding of an undergraduate’s life; it is also very shareable. YouTube and TikTok are the perfect social media platforms because engaging content is easily created and reaches the right demographic. The more fun and accessible you make your videos, the more inviting your university will appear. 

This is also where the Student Union plays its part. This small group of students is representative of the whole student body, so they must help market to future students. They are the students who are most passionate about your university, so ensuring they are at the forefront is imperative. Introducing themselves via video will guarantee a much more welcoming manner in appealing to students.

Student Testimonials and Hacks
Student Testimonials and Hacks

4. Promoting Video Content of University Social Life

Of course, not everything about university is to do with education. The whole point for a lot of students is to meet and befriend from other backgrounds in a sociable environment. Many will also be eager to continue their homegrown hobbies or develop new interests and skills. Every bit of experience, paid or voluntary, gives employers an insight into a student’s willingness to participate in new organizations. 

Promoting nightlife, local leisure facilities and student-held productions via video showcases the wealth of opportunities available to students. Excerpts of concerts and theatre performances give a flavour of how your university supports those interested in the arts. Videos of university sports competitions and awards ceremonies emphasise students’ sense of achievement outside the academic sphere. Those students worried about balancing both academic and social life will see that anything is possible at your university.

Students also want to see what life is like outside of campus. No student wants to be holed up in a university bubble; what nearby towns and cities have to offer in terms of incentives is key to attracting students. Videos of local cafes, cinemas, and pubs can further push students to choose your university for their future. Lots of bars, restaurants, and shops often have student deals, so making videos of these particular places can prove that they’re friendly not just in terms of customer service, but also regarding a tight student budget.

4.1 Video Content Marketing for Societies and Clubs

Universities also have a wealth of societies for specific interests and cultures. Students can delve into sports teams they never had the chance of playing in back at home, or they can continue their music or dance interests. For international students, in particular, a society promoting their culture can help offer advice and support in overcoming cultural barriers and homesickness. These societies organize events from pub crawls to international tours, so they are the heart of a university’s character and social life. 

It is also important to remember that the number of students abstaining from alcohol is steadily increasing. Although British universities have a loud and proud drinking culture, in publicizing your university’s social life teetotal students cannot be forgotten when advertising functions. Demonstrating via video your university’s ability to organize events where alcohol isn’t central to the fun and games reaches and welcomes more students, who are already wary of justifying their drinking choices to future friends.

Social Life
Social Life

5. Marketing Research Facilities With Video Content

Universities aren’t just about studying and socialising. Academic research is the grounding of every academic institution, therefore videos promoting funding, projects, and researchers reinstates the university as a centre passionate about groundbreaking research, not just about being an academic establishment. 

Video clips about the history of your university showcasing different areas of interest, previous achievements, and the facilities available to conduct certain investigations shed light on your university’s competency and dedication to inspiring and preserving academic research. 

Compilations of your research facilities will also boost your university’s credibility as an academic institution. Exhibiting laboratories and archives displays your state-of-the-art equipment and resources in undertaking research as well as the volume of documentation available to scientists and researchers. Displaying your university’s seriousness and enthusiasm for independent research further motivates students to see the benefits of your university in supporting their investigations. Students can see the wealth of information left to discover and the potential of making their revelations at your university.

Videos of guest lecturers and conferences are also excellent ways of promoting your university’s credibility as a research institution. Exploring a large variety of topics, be they known or niche, highlights how students can learn from experts outside their academic fields.

5.1 Extra Qualifications

Obtaining qualifications outside a student’s area of study is also of great interest to someone wanting to add something extra to their CV. If your university makes it possible to study a language as an extra-curricular subject, why not show videos of classes taking place? If it is then possible for such language students to subsequently partake in a Year Abroad, why not obtain a student’s first-hand account of this experience via video? These are all exciting opportunities prospective students will be interested and eager to participate in, as these are what will make their university experience unique and unforgettable.

Research Facilities
Research Facilities

Final Thoughts

Following these five simple ideas will help you achieve your video marketing goals for your university. Success, in our experience, is more to do with the right formatting for the target audience rather than big budgets and overly ambitious concepts. Shorter videos are needed for shorter attention spans, so less is more, especially when catching the attention of young, hopeful academics. Over the last decade, we’ve partnered with 100s of clients to produce 1000s of award-winning videos and animations across the education sector. Give us a call to get our creative partnership started. 


Start A Video Project With Us Today

    Let's create your video