How to Create Unskippable Videos

Vol. 15 No. 7

advancement eletter Vol15 No7 unskippablevideo

Video is a strong medium to incorporate into your school’s advertising mix. After all, what better way to communicate your school’s story than by showing a day in the life of your students?

Therefore, the question isn’t if you should focus on video marketing. You absolutely should! Instead, ask yourself: How do we create videos that capture and hold viewers’ attention, generating buzz and interest in our school?

Your video strategy will be as unique as your school’s mission. There is no easy template, perfect example, or rule of thumb you absolutely must follow to create compelling video content.

However, there is a certain science to video engagement, as reported by Google in an Unskippable Labs experiment. Here are some key points to help you create watchable videos that will resonate with prospective families.

Place Your Logo Appropriately

There may be some questions about whether you should prominently place your school’s logo at the beginning of your video.

Google analyzed thousands of ads across 16 countries and 11 verticals to find that placing your logo or mentioning your product (in this case, your school) within the first five seconds of your video can increase brand recall and therefore awareness. However, heavy-handed brand placement in the first five seconds also resulted in more people clicking away from the video entirely.

Therefore, it’s a fine line to walk between mentioning your school while not being overly pushy. The trick is to avoid using a floating logo, or a still shot of your school’s logo or mascot. Instead, show the logo as part of the narrative, such as on a student’s t-shirt or in the middle of an athletic field.

Set the Right Tone

Selecting the right tone for your school’s video can be challenging. Your tone should echo that of your school’s mission and help audiences immediately understand what your school is focused on.

Google’s research found that videos with a humorous tone were more likely to keep viewers engaged and showed higher rates of recall and brand awareness. However, you may decide a humorous tone isn’t right for your video and that’s OK. It’s important that the tone meshes well with the rest of your school’s messaging.

Suspenseful and emotional videos also showed higher rates of recall, according to Google’s findings. Whatever tone you select, friendly and recognizable faces can help result in higher viewership as well.

March to Your Own Beat

There also isn’t a one-size-fits-all recommendation when it comes to music for your school’s video. Google had no conclusive results in how music impacts viewership or recall. It therefore recommends creating multiple versions with different styles of music, as well as no music at all, to test audience reaction.

Incorporate Feedback

Once you create your video outline, work with various constituencies—such as Trustees, faculty, staff, administrators, families, and donors—for their feedback.

Keep in mind that everyone will have an opinion and you probably won’t be able to please everyone. However, your current constituencies, especially families, are immersed in your school’s culture and can provide valuable insight into how you’ve captured your school’s story. You can then incorporate their feedback to create the best version of your video.

Once the video is complete, keep an eye on the video’s analytics—how many viewers do you have? Are they watching the full video? You can make tweaks based on the data you collect.

Don’t be afraid to continue to revise to create the perfect video for your school.

Additional ISM Resources:
The Source for Private School News Vol. 16 No. 4 Your School’s Stories on Instagram
The Source for Advancement Vol. 13 No. 1 Your Introduction to Annual Fund Videos
The Source for Advancement Vol. 12 No. 10 Seven Video Thank-Yous From Private School Development Offices

Additional ISM resources for Gold Consortium members:
I&P Vol. 41 No 7 The Marketing Communications Director: The School’s Bridge
I&P Vol. 40 No 10 Marketing Communications and the Student

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