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Video Shareability = Young Adult Engagement

Your school is different, right? And what makes your school so special? Its great programs? Diverse student body? Amazing career placement? Gorgeous campus? And how are you currently communicating this message to your prospective students? Via dizzying bodies of text on your crowded website and outdated brochures? Staged photos of intercultural mingling peppered here and there?

These may seem like a lot of questions, but marketing to young adults these days requires a rethinking of your appeal and how you package it. The audience is there to listen to your message — it’s up to you to make sure that message is in a format that can be received.

Since the text-driven website and printed brochures are what everyone tends to do, you may think that’s enough. You may even think it’s risky to venture outside that box. However, the numbers don’t lie. They tell us that young adults respond best to video advertising. According to Insivia Reports, viewers retain 95% of a message from watching a video versus mere 10% from reading text. And the Social Ad Effectiveness study by Unruly showed that video enjoyment increased purchase intent by 97% and brand association by 139% among adults 18 to 34.

So where’s the real risk? In investing in good video? Or in putting it off to some other year? If a video is well made and targeted, it has incredible potential for raising applications and building student loyalty. Over 6 billion hours of video are watched monthly on YouTube alone — that’s almost an hour for every person on earth! Nowadays, anybody with a camera could potentially be a “videographer.” But not everybody has the skill set to be a good one, because good video requires that the audience connect to a story of some kind. And building that story, both in the script and in the visuals, takes training and experience. This doesn’t mean you can’t do effective video marketing on a budget. But you do need to hire the right people with the right skills.

The right people with the right skills are also on top of the micro-trends within the overall video trend. Short-form videos, for example, are quick on the rise. Thousands of these original, 10-second-or-less, low-fi videos are shared daily on the Internet. As the effectiveness and sharability of this style has become clear, corporate giants have been experimenting with it. Oreo, for example, has a wildly creative Vine profile. Same with Home Depot. Also in the Vine mix are Virgin Mobile, Ford and Trident Gum. Original content, paired with successful self-branding and marketing, is what makes successful short-form video stand out.

For industries where the target audience is perennially young, such as education, this is a trend worth embracing. It doesn’t replace the more traditional one- to two-minute videos, but it’s a timely addition and should be part of the marketing mix.

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