Donovan Group Insights

From Mundane to Engaging: Transforming District Announcements with Video

Communicating with your students, staff and families involves more than releasing a simple announcement. You have to make sure they see the announcement, engage with it, then remember that information in the future. That’s easier said than done—unless you use video.

Video holds the incredible potential to engage your audience. Below, you’ll learn why video is so engaging and how to leverage it effectively.

Signs of disconnect with your audience

Audience members can tune out without you realizing it. Many times, district leaders will release an announcement, then move on to the next item on their to-do list. That’s perfectly understandable; after all, there’s a lot on your plate! Only a select few leaders check to see whether their audiences are engaging with district announcements—and you should be one of them.

Here’s how to tell if your audience is feeling disconnected:

Take a peek at the online analytics

Online content comes with built-in tools that allow you to track engagement levels. Aside from counting the number of likes, shares and comments, you can use online analytics to see how many people opened an email or clicked on a link. Analytics also reveal which web pages receive the most traffic, how long people stay on a certain page, and how long people watch a video. The analytics behind your district announcements can be very eye-opening!

District events have low turnout rates

You announced that election day was coming up. So, why was there such a low turnout at the polls? You sent out several reminders about the next board meeting—and yet, less people showed up than you had hoped. Low attendance at district events is a key indicator that people aren’t seeing your announcements. Or, they do see your announcements, but aren’t taking the time to read them.

People are caught off guard by change

You understand how important it is to keep people in the loop, especially when big changes are in store for the district. People can feel caught off guard by these changes, even if you addressed them several times through district announcements. This feeling of surprise shows that audience members aren’t engaging with your announcements. It’s one thing to send out a message—the trick is enticing your audience to read and remember that message.

Why is video so engaging?

Video is one of the most effective ways to grab your audience’s attention. One study found that people prefer video the most, with an overwhelming majority of survey respondents saying video is their ideal way to absorb information from brands and companies. Also, our brains are wired to process visuals 60,000 times faster than text, so it comes as no surprise that audience members are more likely to watch a video than read an article.

In case we haven’t convinced you already, here are several more reasons why district announcements are more engaging in the form of a video:

The human brain prefers visual content

With a few exceptions, your audience goes through life absorbing information through their eyes. Many of the things in our environment are purely visual, from body language to traffic lights to the decorations in someone’s living room. Visuals provide approximately 90 percent of the data entering our brains, so naturally, viewers would rather get their district announcements through moving images than static text.

Video stands out from the noise

There’s a lot of content online—way more than you can possibly imagine. If you want people to see your announcement, it has to stand out from all the other posts flooding their daily news feeds. Video is an easy way to grab your audience’s attention, as the human eye is naturally drawn to movement. Sites like Facebook, TikTok and Instagram will automatically start playing videos, which means viewers are even more likely to stop scrolling and watch your announcement.

Video messages are easier to remember

Stories told via video tend to stick in people’s brains. In fact, several studies have found that viewers can remember up to 95 percent of a video message. On average, viewers can only remember 10 percent of that same information when conveyed via text. This means that even if your audience reads a written announcement, there’s a much lower chance they will recall that information later down the road. Your announcement should be so engaging, people remember the message long after viewing it!

Video creates authentic human connections

Audience members are more likely to stay engaged when it’s clear they’re interacting with a real person. With email, letters and articles, the audience can only read your words. But with video, they can hear your words, hear your tone of voice, see your facial expressions and see your body language. Human connections are important to your audience; use video to show that real people are running your district, and to let your passion, care and enthusiasm shine through.

Tips for engaging video announcements

Generally speaking, video is bound to perform better than text or still images. However, if you really want to maximize engagement, we recommend familiarizing yourself with the ins and outs of producing effective video content.

Keep these tips in mind as you create your first video announcement:

Achieve the optimal video length

Not all platforms are created equal! 60-second videos might perform well on your district’s website, but they won’t do so well on an Instagram story. That’s because viewers use different platforms in different ways. The length of your video announcement will depend on where you post it, so if you’re going for a multi-platform marketing strategy, you’ll probably have to produce a couple variations of the same message.

Here are the most ideal video lengths on various platforms:

  • Instagram in-feed: 15 to 30 seconds
  • Instagram stories: 15 seconds
  • Facebook in-feed: 25 to 90 seconds
  • Facebook stories: 20 seconds
  • LinkedIn: 30 seconds to five minutes
  • YouTube: two minutes or less
  • X: 20 to 45 seconds
  • Website: 30 to 60 seconds

Write a script (and practice it)

Engaging videos are short and concise. If the speaker is rambling, the audience will keep scrolling. Plan what you’re going to say well in advance, then rehearse it a few times before hitting the record button. Create a video script or, at the very least, jot down some key talking points. Make yourself easy to understand, so viewers stay engaged and watch until the very end.

Make the speaker easy to see and hear

Video announcements don’t need huge production value. What’s most important is that viewers can easily see and hear the speaker. Avoid sitting in front of a window, lamp or any other light source that could backlight the speaker. Also, be sure to film in a quiet area with no disruptions, as background noise can mask the speaker’s voice. Something as simple as making the speaker easy to see and hear can do wonders for increasing engagement.

Start using video if you haven’t already

If you’re looking to boost engagement, video is the clear answer. In most cases, video is better at grabbing viewers’ attention than text and still images. No other medium has the ability to relay incredible amounts of information in such a short amount of time. Video will make your announcements more visible, which in turn leads to a more engaged, informed and involved school community.

Leave a Comment