Donovan Group Insights

Video is a Powerful Communication Medium

Video is nothing new. And unlike other forms of content, its popularity continues to grow with time. Video is growing at a rapid pace, too. Within the past decade, the amount of hours spent online has skyrocketed. Much of that time consists of watching videos, whether it’s through a streaming service or social media platform.

Due to its increasing popularity, video can be an effective way to communicate with your school community. Video tends to draw higher engagement levels, and in many cases, it can convey messages better than the written word. You can use video to fulfill nearly any purpose, whether your district’s main goal is to promote events, increase enrollment or boost its brand image in the public eye.

Let’s take a closer look at why video is so effective and how your district can leverage it to communicate with stakeholders.

The effectiveness of communicating through video

Video is quickly becoming one of the most popular forms of communication. In recent years, more and more online users have flocked to video as their primary method for absorbing information. As a result, video has taken a front seat to many companies’ marketing strategies. A survey of 582 respondents found that 92 percent of marketers consider video a crucial component to their advertising campaigns.

Online users are spending more time watching videos, too. That same survey reported that people spend approximately 19 hours every week watching videos on YouTube, TikTok and other social media platforms. This includes an 8.5-hour increase within the past four years alone. Users are putting most of their attention toward video content, so if you want to break through to stakeholders, video is a good place to start.

Video can also boost engagement in your school community. From the survey, 87 percent of marketers said video has increased traffic to their websites, and another 93 percent agree that video plays a major role in generating brand awareness. Online users are also two times more likely to share a video than a web page, blog, social media post or other piece of written content. With numbers like that, video should undoubtedly become a big part of your district’s plan to engage stakeholders.

Generate buzz for upcoming events

District leaders can leverage video to serve many different purposes. For instance, a quick 30-second video can draw stakeholders’ attention to upcoming events at your schools. You can use video to promote annual banquets, state conferences and anything else that’s worth sharing with the school community. Promoting an event through video can help spread the word and boost the attendance rate.

A promotional video can also generate more excitement about an event. Unlike other forms of content, videos are harder to ignore. E-newsletters can get buried in stakeholders’ inboxes, and they often scroll past text-heavy social media posts on their news feeds. Videos are much better at holding stakeholders’ attention, especially if you enable silent autoplay on social media videos.

When your marketing team creates a promotional video, they should identify which music, video clips and post-production effects are most likely to increase watch time. Generally speaking, a longer average watch time translates into greater engagement. Enticing stakeholders to watch a video can get them excited for an event they might’ve otherwise overlooked.

Rally stakeholders to take action

In some cases, you don’t just want stakeholders to watch a video. You want them to take some sort of action. As mentioned previously, that action could involve attending a school event. Video can also encourage stakeholders to make a difference, whether that means voting “yes” on a referendum or donating to a charitable organization. For these types of videos, you’re looking to do more than evoke a certain emotion. You’re trying to generate tangible results.

Stakeholders are less inclined to read about why a cause is important. You could distribute print materials and announcements about an important cause, but that’s not as effective as creating a video about it. Video can communicate your message in a more concise manner. It gets your point across more effectively, and the visuals, music and animations create a greater sense of urgency. That urgency can motivate stakeholders to take action.

It’s important to keep call-to-action videos short and sweet. The shorter your video is, the more likely stakeholders are to watch the whole thing. The video has to be memorable, too, so that stakeholders remember to take action long after they watch it. Your call-to-action video must have a lasting effect if you want stakeholders to invest their time, money or support in your district.

Draw prospective families to your district

Video isn’t reserved solely for current stakeholders. It can help you stand out among other districts as parents decide where to send their children to school. A marketing campaign that uses video can draw the attention of prospective families. Thanks to video’s high engagement levels, video is your chance to make a good first impression. Highlight what makes your district unique and why parents should enroll their children in your schools.

A strong video campaign can put you one step ahead of neighboring districts. A prospective family is more likely to choose the district that sounds different than all the others (in a good way, of course). Video is an effective way to grab their attention and show what your district offers that they won’t find anywhere else. That way, families will remember your district when the time comes to make a decision.

There are plenty of ways to market your district through video. The marketing team could put together clips of teachers, students and staff describing what they love about their schools. In a separate video, they could create a montage of students doing volunteer work or fans cheering at a football game. The video should portray a welcoming academic environment that children and their families want to be a part of.

Shape your district’s story

Video is a powerful tool for telling your district’s story. Anytime you want to say something, say it using video. Video often evokes a stronger emotional response than text or images alone. Rather than writing about a recent achievement, share it through a video that makes stakeholders feel proud to be part of your school community. Look for every opportunity to share what’s happening in your district, whether you’re celebrating a sports championship or a beloved teacher’s retirement.

To shape your district’s story, videos should go on the channels that stakeholders use the most. Based on the video’s overarching message, decide whether it’s best suited for Instagram, Facebook, the district’s website or all of the above. You want your videos to gain lots of visibility so that your district can maintain control over its own brand. Others will try to define your district, so your voice has to be the loudest.

Video isn’t going away. It becomes increasingly popular among stakeholders with every passing year. In today’s digital world, video is on its way to replacing text as the preferred means of communication. District leaders who leverage video often find it’s easier to connect with stakeholders. They’re more likely to hear you, and they might even take action. When there’s something you want to say, say it with video.

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