Know where video fits and why you’re doing it!
Let’s first start by differentiating between a marketing or promotional video and a communications video, to be clear. In order to do that, we need to analyse where the video is used in any customer buying journey or experience.
Marketing and promotional videos are hooks, they’re inspirational, they make you weep or laugh, ultimately. They make you want more information, as whatever feeling the video gave you, it certainly made you feel like it solved a pain point, issue or need for you as a consumer. This type of video is above-the-line marketing, a video is meant to capture interest through emotion, not through facts, to the masses. Above-the-line marketing is about mass outreach to drive engagement, as opposed to direct personal contact. As such, as an education provider, you have precious few seconds to attract and emote to a wide audience. Also, this is not usually a passive audience looking for solutions necessarily, but rather a ‘passing’ audience who may be looking for stimulation, but NOT looking for you!
A communications video is there to tell a user information about things, it’s your bullet point list, it’s your syllabus, it’s your facilities and services provision. Crucially, it is typically much farther down the line in a buying journey. It’s where consumers want to get to know details about a particular product or service, or in this case, the education they can expect for their beloved child(ren). As providers of this education, school marketers are faced with very challenging roles to ‘sell’ and differentiate their own provision to a sensitive and savvy audience who are intending to spend large sums of money on their most emotionally vulnerable asset.
Why do I need to market myself, we’re a school!??
The buying journey is the same for any luxury brand where people part with piles of money and expect a service. Schools are no different, which is why you should be treated like any other luxury brand in how you deliver your brand message, how concepts are determined and how this marketing function is executed. To perfectly describe your school, and why you need to and should be marketing yourselves, you are effectively a £20-30m a year turnover industry selling nationwide and many times, internationally, to a discerning audience with 10’s to 1000’s of choices of provider. Your consumers are considering a purchase of what could be considered, in many households, a discretionary spend item, so tell me why you wouldn’t?!
So I do need a video, where does it fit?
Having covered the basics, where does video fit and why are you using it? If you’re looking to reinforce your brand position in the market, or change historical perceptions, or simply add a (specific) population to the top of your admissions funnel, then you need to attract from the top, from the beginning of the customer journey. That is certainly a marketing film, one that emotes and tells a story (better yet, that shows one, as language agnostic takes hold catering to the international landscape of schools’ stakeholders). If you plan on putting a communications film at this stage of the customer journey, expect to have wasted your money. It’s not the right place or time to share that information. Don’t get me wrong, it’s important to have information videos, just not placed at this crucial stage. We’d rather not make the right film if it’s meant to be placed in the wrong part of the journey, or make the right film for the wrong reasons or objectives. Last point, these objectives…please have them! A video is meant to DO something: produce results so we know what those expectations are and choose the right film for your needs.
Thanks to Taralyn for her insightful article. Visit Affixxius Films to read Steps Two and Three of Video Marketing for Schools in the Independent Sector and to view more of their amazing and inspiring videos!