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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