The cost of a video can be anything between almost nothing (if you have the equipment and the time) to many thousands of pounds – typically in this industry a four figure sum is payable anyway. I can think of an agenda for those who don’t have any video and a pretty powerful rationale for making a commitment, but let’s set all that aside and consider how best to exploit the video you have. I take it as axiomatic that an institution that invests in video will want people to watch it and so get clear and positive messages about the institution. But when, as is often the case, you see that a given institution has posted a video on YouTube, and embedded it on their website, but that after one year it has been viewed only a few hundred times, you have to conclude that – perhaps because they think it’s marginal - someone is missing a trick.
Like most things in marketing it’s not so much a “trick” as applying the little grey cells and then doing something about it. We are begging quite a few questions here (Who was the video for? What, if any, is the call to action? Is it actually worth watching? etc.) but if we – generously perhaps – assume that those angles are covered, what’s next? Here are a few tips:
- Google likes video. Google owns YouTube of course but that’s not all. If you Google the name of a given school, and if that school has a video that carries the name of the school in the title, you are very likely to find it prominent in the results. Google, for example, English Language Centre Bristol, Hampstead School of English, Cambridge Academy of English, TTI School of English and in all cases – and many more – the first page of results includes TWO records offering video links.
- YouTube is also a search engine. In fact YouTube serves up 2 billion (sic) searches per day. So while uploading to YouTube is a good idea, it is also a good idea to make sure that, once done, what you have uploaded can be found there. Search on YouTube for, for example, “French language courses in Montpellier” and you’ll find a video I made for ILA Montpellier last year (embedded above). Now search for “French language courses in France”, and you’ll find it again. And that instance of the video has already been watched 28,000 times – no coincidence.
- If you have a video (that’s worth watching) on your website, make sure it is signposted. And if it’s long, shorten it! And get your agents to embed it or at least link to it. There is no doubt, really none, that there are students and agents out there who prefer to research schools using available video to reading mainly English text on websites (and if you were researching an Arabic or Chinese language course venue you might do the same mutatis mutandis).
- Use sites such as our UKschoolvideos.com and our internationalschoolvideos.com. Why? Because students do. For example, a video we made year ago in Edinburgh for Global School has been watched 2400 times on our site alone, while the Abbey College Academic Courses video has been watched over 7000 times. And the King’s Bruton video over 10000 times likewise. Google “language school videos” and I am pleased to say that this company’s sites enjoy 4 slots in the top ten results – 5 if you count the record of the agent that uses our videos too. Marginal? I don’t think so.
If you’ve made the investment, exploit it to the max. If you haven’t, then take a fresh look.