Having been a Director of Admission and now working at a higher education marketing firm, I always keep my eyes open for new and creative ways of adding social media into the undergraduate and overall marketing mix. Creative possibilities abound, and keeping an open mind helps me get beyond the “we already have a Facebook page” mentality.
Recently, I interviewed Jill Gainer,BSc, DipM, DipDigM, the Senior E-Marketing Officer at the University of Huddersfield about “Aliens in the Hud,” an intelligent YouTube video that explores what happens when aliens visit the University. At twenty-two thousand views, it’s picked up quite a bit of traction in the social web.
1. How would you briefly describe the University of Huddersfield?
The University of Huddersfield is an inspiring, innovative University with 24,000 students from over 130 countries. We are based in West Yorkshire, in the North of England.
2. Where did the idea for ‘Aliens in the Hud’ originate? What was its ultimate goal?
Within the UK, there is a rapidly changing environment in Higher Education with competition between Universities becoming fierce, and as a result our marketing efforts have to become smarter – we have to do more with less.
We recognise that video can appeal more quickly to the emotions than print and photographs, and we wanted to develop film content which would capture the emotional appeal of Huddersfield. There are a number of Universities who have created ‘viral’ film clips but we wanted to create something a little bit different which reflected the University’s personality. Our goal was to create an online film campaign which would attract attention to the University whilst subtlety reinforcing our key messages to the Undergraduate target audience. The ultimate goal was to increase the undergraduate applications for September 2012 entry.
The E-Marketing Team worked alongside a film production company called Mocha.tv. The film company came up with the film concept which was inspired by Huddersfield being a UFO hot spot in the UK.
We identified our KPIs such as number of views, likes, retweets, sentiment, comments etc and set targets for each for a given time period. This activity will help to assess whether the project is a success or not.
3. When the idea was initially proposed, was there resistance from University administration? If so, how did you convince them to move it forward?
We are lucky in that we have a great senior management team who are confident in the University marketing team’s activities. The University ethos is to inspire others and that involves being brave with our marketing efforts.
4. Who was involved in production? How long did it take to produce?
The E-Marketing Team worked alongside a film production company called Mocha.tv on the production of the film clip.
We were keen to have staff and students acting in the film clip to give it a certain level of authenticity so we had our budding actors and actresses audition for roles in the film. Once our key actors/actresses and extras were chosen, filming commenced. Filming took less than 5 days and the film company completed post production work in less than 3 weeks which was fantastic – we were able to launch the clip whilst the filming was still fresh in staff and students minds.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of my interview with Jill on Tuesday, February 7. What do you think? How can you incorporate KPI’s into your YouTube channel. What examples have you seen that are worth noting?