How to Use YouTube to Build Your Higher Education Brand

On 8/25/11, we held our monthly Social Media Social Hour where we discussed the key components of using YouTube for building your higher education brand. We broke the discussion down into two components – the organizational and the technical (or creative).

It’s important to remember your brand consists of conversations you have about your institution internally and externally. Your brand grows out from the inside.

This means if you want your branding campaign to be successful, then you must insure cooperation of internal constituents—IT, faculty, staff and current students. Make sure all contributors are clear on the guidelines you set forth for your institution.

One hurdle most schools overcome is a fear of loss of control. Remember, we are all content creators—people now communicate at upload speeds. As soon as something happens it’s uploaded.

And you can’t control it. Control is a myth.

You can monitor and engage the conversation in order to maintain your reputation. By doing this, you solve two problems,

1) You identify potential issues you didn’t know existed

2) You can see who your most fervent supporters are.

Once you build an internal foundation, you must create your content. This means understanding your audience. Prospective students, parents, donors and alumni are all looking for different things—your content should represent that mix.

Students love to see students on video.

Let your students lead the way with content. Students know what’s interesting to them and they have the creativity to do it. With the right support from your internal team you can build a lasting content relationship with your students.

As I see it, there are five types of content that you can employ for your audiences:

Shows: ongoing series of ‘news’ type shows or webisodes

Informational: Slice of student life

Education: faculty seminars and classes

Sports: general sports footage

Viral: hard to pull off and measure, but if done well can be a real winner

Consistency is your friend.

Whichever type you choose, the general rule of thumb is to keep your time under 1:30. Sure, there are examples of five-minute videos done famously. More often than not, those are one hit wonders.

A better strategy is to provide a steady stream of consistent content that your audience can acknowledge and share. Several short clips with a few hundred views each are far better than one with a million. They give you far better reach in terms of online distribution.

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Building Higher Education Brands with YouTube

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The Top 5 Things I Learned as an Intern at TWG Plus

Hello Everyone!

Rhea “The Intern” Friesen, here, my first week with TWG Plus is a massive gear change from the syllabi and lectures of college life and I’m enjoying every minute of it! The people at TWG Plus are warm and welcoming, although, it helps to bring candy on the first day…

In my internship I feel every morning is a chance to present fresh ideas, meet engaging people, slipup and learn from it, be a team player, and gain unique experience I can pull into my future career.  As I stumble along, lessons are found in every office space, here are just a few.

1) Prioritization

A skill I previously thought I mastered, but when all deadlines are ASAP and everything is important it adds a new meaning to the word busy. I find the best method for me is to divide the largest task into 2-hour blocks of time and work on other projects for 30-minutes between the blocks… somewhat similar to studying for a Physics final. It’s not a perfect method, things change and adaptability is key.

2) Communicating with Educators

It is important for educators and admissions directors to know our values are sincere and our goals are set with them in mind, “It’s not just about how we do it… it’s why”— Tal Boyd.

3) Keep the Message Positive

This actually came up twice in one day. Once in a Luncheon by a speaker from Dell, Allison Dew, and again in a meeting discussing Sprout Social. It is important to keep all communications positive and authentic to make a personal connection through all media especially social. “You are OK”—Don Draper, Mad Men.

Printing Press4) What a Printing Press Looks Like

Not sure I can put this one in words, you’ll just have to come by the office and see it. Trust me it’s cool. Then again, I think Magic the Gathering  and Legos are cool.

5) Setting Tangible Goals

When a task feels daunting I break it down into smaller pieces. For example, I need to enter 180 rows of items into a database so I break it into 15 items an hour.  I also set extra goals outside of my assigned work, such as researching new technology or helping a co-worker.

After a topsy-turvy week, I’m walking into the next week excited and slightly more knowledgeable. I may still have on blinders, but at least now, I’m turned in the right direction… Maybe more candy will help!

Best Practices for QR Codes in Higher Education

In June, we did a webinar on QR codes in higher education. Here’s a related white paper on how colleges and universities are integrating QR code technolog into their communication strategies.

Download the white paper on QR codes.

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Higher Education Marketing Links of the Day

Each day, TWG Plus gives you a short synopsis of current events and best practices from the world of higher education and higher education marketing. Dr. Taylor Trussell is your curator.  To receive daily updates to the blog, subscribe to TWG Plus by email.

A Quarter of Parents Want the Government to Regulate College Costs, Survey Finds (Chronicle). “Thirty-eight percent of parents don’t expect their college-bound children to receive any student aid, and 25 percent think that the president and the U.S. Congress should regulate college cost… .”

“That Sucks”: Negative Feedback after Launch (Grundy Home). “Every time we make a major change to the design of [Notre Dame’s] homepage, we get feedback. And it’s overwhelmingly negative.”

Take back the liberal arts (LA Times). “[W]hat is being taught is no longer attuned to undergraduates looking for a broader and deeper understanding of the world.”

2011 ACT scores show problems with college readiness (Washington Post). “[O]nly 1 in 4 graduates of the class of 2011 who took the exam met four key benchmarks that supposedly show readiness for success in the first year of college.”

Class of 2015 (Three Billion Reports).