Creating an Amazing Promotional Video for Your School.
“You had me at ‘hello’” – said no-one ever having watched a school promotional video. The job of the video is to keep the attention of the viewer beyond ‘hello’. An array of techniques exists to enthral and encourage parents, children and others checking out your school.
Key to a great marketing video is making it different from the other marketing materials you offer. A school video adds little if it repeats what’s said on a website or in a prospectus. Videos work in a different way; they don’t focus on stark, even captivating, information, they create an emotional response by visually suggesting achievement, trust, fairness – whatever represents ‘the remarkable’ in your school.
In marketing, the concept of ‘story-telling’ doesn’t refer to The Very Hungry Caterpillar at bedtime – it’s about depicting a relatable experience or journey. Although a school video may well feature school teachers, classrooms and performances, it needs at some point to arouse the ‘we’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto’ feeling.
School videos are actually less like Hollywood movies and more like John Lewis Christmas adverts. You have a short time to ‘tell your story’, to draw people in with… with what?
“they create an emotional response by
visually suggesting achievement, trust, fairness – whatever represents ‘the remarkable’ in your school.”
Creating Amazing Promotional Content in Your School Video.
There’s no one way to create an effective video. As with any school promotional tools, the best place to start is at the end:
- What are you hoping to achieve?
- What does your school offer that will help you do this?
Question 1 is easy to answer: you want to win and retain the interest and attention of parents and students; ultimately your goal is to get children registering with your school.
Question 2 is easy to answer, too, because you’ve already thought about it. In working on a marketing strategy for your school, you’ve already unearthed ‘the remarkable’, i.e. identified what it is that makes your school stand out; your unique selling point.
Written materials, even when accompanied by beautiful and engaging photography, need to be fairly straightforward, but videos have a stronger power.
Once you know the message you want to release in your school video, you can start to think about ways to do this, considering what you will use to tell your story:
- Views of your school
- Music, sound effects and narration
- Using your school branding
- Showing activities
You don’t need to try and squash in everything special and noteworthy about your school; you are weaving a (kindly!) spell with your storytelling. There is a spectrum from very realistic and grounded – talking heads giving information to camera – to ethereal and opaque – images and symbols not obviously connected with your school. If, in conversation with the experts advising you, you opt for either extreme, that’s fine; most schools, however, go for somewhere in the middle.
There are endless possibilities in that middle ground. Headteachers in Book Week costumes, helicopter views of the school, parents chanting the promotional message, virtual school tour, cartoons showing ‘My First Day’, a school’s own ‘Horrible History’, or an esoteric dream sequence with nonsense words floating across the screen as Mongolian throat-singers interpret the school song.
Your Amazing School Video Cast.
Obviously, this is your big chance – the wig and the elocution lessons make you the ideal candidate. Or possibly you’re immediately thinking of the drama teacher who was once in a film with Sean Bean (crowd scene). There will be those who must be in it because it makes total sense; there will be the playground supervisors who’ve rehearsed a scene from ‘Dinnerladies’ and are arguing over who plays Victoria Wood. It can be helpful to think beyond the obvious. What about the caretaker or cleaner, especially if they are also a parent? What about quieter children or those new to the school? (What about the refugee child picking up English and friends impressively quickly?) Schools are about children so include them in some way.
Here’s looking at you, kid
Some schools let the kids take over… no, they don’t – that would be silly! But they do let students get involved and use it as a learning opportunity. Whatever direction you go in, with expert and experienced support in educational video production, you can create something not only worthy of an Oscar and Ofsted but something magnificently effective in getting the desired response. Which is where we started, don’t you remember? If not then this movie-making has clearly gone to your head, so let’s just say goodbye and hope we really did have you at ‘Hello’.
AS MANY STUDENTS WOULD PREFER TO WATCH A VIDEO ABOUT A SCHOOL THAN READ ABOUT IT
VIDEO PROMOTION IS
MORE EFFECTIVE THAN PRINT AND DIRECT MAIL COMBINED
OF COLLEGE-BOUND SENIORS LISTED VIDEOS AS THE BEST WAY TO LEARN ABOUT A CAMPUS
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