Why Schools Are Missing Out if They Aren’t Using Video for Recruitment

Mia Johnstone


I recently took a visual survey of the types of videos secondary private schools are posting to their Facebook page. I was quite taken aback that there were hardly any recruitment-based videos. I checked out independent, Catholic, and private schools. There weren’t even slideshow of images set to music. The only videos I saw were cell phone video clips of sport events. But once you understand how video helps forge closer relationships with prospective students, you’ll see why most schools are missing the mark by not adding it to their recruitment efforts.

Why Schools Are Missing Out if They Aren’t Using Video for Recruitment

Fifteen years ago, if you had told an admissions representative that they could create a marketing video in less than 10 minutes, circulate it to prospects in the same day, and do it for free, they wouldn’t have believed you. Marketing videos advertising upcoming open houses or featuring a parent’s testimony used to take hours and cost hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars to create. But today, every single one of us has access to this kind of technology. Video creation is fast, taking just minutes to create.

According to Cisco, video will make up 80% of consumer online traffic by 2020. Per an Animoto survey, 64% of consumers said that watching a marketing video on Facebook influenced a purchase in the past month. Maybe that’s why 76% of small businesses using video have said it had a direct impact on their business. Videos that you make could be the key that transforms your prospects into enrollees. So here are 5 really simple ways to put your cell phone to better use and forge stronger connections with your prospects with video.

1. Create a video inviting parents to the open house

Schools post nicely designed images and postcards welcoming prospects to the open house. But what about video? A 1-minute video mentioning the date and time, along with what parents can expect to see, the current students they can meet, and faculty that will be available, can help generate excitement for your open house and ensure a good turnout. You can post your video on Facebook and send it out via email, too. If you don’t feel confident creating the video yourself, then ask a student do it for you.

2. Create a video testimonial

Select a parent or student who is an enthusiastic speaker — it will make your life easier and make for a better video. You’ll want the video to be less than 60 seconds, so ask the speaker to give his or her testimony in less than 4 sentences. Animation is important, so be sure to include a little b-roll to cut away to that shows the school facilities or students.

3. Do a video tour of your office

Create a 30-40 second video showing your desk, computer, where you hold interviews, and then show what the application and brochure look like. You can even talk about your favorite part of the office. This may sound mundane, but it will help your prospects create a personal picture of you. People love behind-the-scenes videos, and they also are more likely to contact you if they have a picture of you and what you are like.

4. Put together highlights from the past year

Gather your favorite images from the last year that shows off your school. Then, make a 1-2 minute-long video slideshow set to music. You can post it on Facebook, email it to all current families and students, and also send it to your prospects to let them see what your school is like. This costs absolutely nothing, and it’s an amazing way to show off your school.

5. Make a deadline reminder

Take screenshots of your application pages, if it’s online, or photos, if it’s a paper application, then mix in text that states the important deadlines for admissions. Your video only has to be about 15-30 seconds long. Add music, publish, and post. Parents will appreciate knowing when and how they should apply.

With practically no cost, video is one of your most accessible recruitment tools. So few schools are taking advantage of video and the benefits it can bring for drawing in prospective students that the field is wide open for your school to use video to stand out. So get in the game before the other schools in your area catch on.