Producing Inspirational Educational Videos
People remember about 95% of what’s being said to them in a video. However, the same people were only able to recall 5% of the material that they learned when the same information was presented in a text-based format.
As a recruitment officer or internal communications professional who wants those you work with to retain information and learn effectively, the path forward is clear. Video is essential to learning.
For those that are unsure of how to go about planning, producing, and showcasing this content, we’ve put together this framework on creating education videos for students, colleagues, and parents. Read on to ensure that your school’s success skyrockets!
1. Define Your Purpose
The first thing you’ll want to do is to define the video’s purpose.
Internal communications departments may use educational videos for faculty & staff alignment, school announcements, parent’s messages, supporter’s messages, or stakeholder outreach. If you’re a recruitment officer working to sway new students to attend your private K-12 school, one of the most important uses for video will be as a platform for recruitment.
There are so many possibilities, and you need to consider who your audience is for each of them!
When recruiting students, you’ll need to consider the interests of applicants.
Are you working within a specific department of the school? What do most people who choose your department want to study? For example, if you have kids interesting in fashion, and your school throws a New York Fashion show, incorporate that in your story.
Or if you kids are into gaming, show students creating games and working together.
In addition, you will want to showcase that your school is a fun place to learn. Emphasize social events, athletics, and unique clubs as well as academics. Because students want to participate in interesting events in their downtime, this is a great way to get people interested in your program. Unique career experiences could be applied to this as well.
Answering these questions will give you an idea of what your viewers are enthusiastic about so you can cater to their interests. These strategies can also be used for non-recruitment videos targeted toward students.
Kids are more likely to attend school in a location that their parents approve of, which means that gaining their support is an invaluable endeavor. With one study showing that one in three parents worry about their child’s safety while at school, emphasizing safety may also be important as one of the core tenants of the school when talking to parents (especially now).
In addition to safety, showcasing the academics, investments, and communities will likely drive home the qualities and value the parents feel their children will receive.
You will want to consider that a mature audience is viewing these videos and therefore keep things professional and oriented towards academics.
2. Define Your Sales Proposition
Once you define your audiences, you’ll want to craft your sales pitch, e.g… why are you better than the alternatives?
So, what makes you better – the answer could be any number of things. Are your teachers more experienced and qualified? Does your school have an award-winning program for students that want to go into a specific industry? Do you offer scholarships and aid that make your program less expensive than others that they may be considering?
For example, Shady Side Academy in Pittsburgh may want to boast that 73% of faculty members hold advanced degrees. This is a high bar for any K-12 school and is definitely something to be proud of… and also something that they would want to promote.
What Position or Service Are You Focusing On?
In addition to defining what makes your school special, you will want to talk a bit about the unique service or position that you’re focusing on, and be as specific as possible.
If you’re trying to recruit students to join a nationally-recognized debate team, you will want to take the perspective of someone who is interested in critical thinking, research, and the open sharing of ideas. This will be a fiercely independent position.
However, if you’re trying to get someone to come to your school because they want to be a musician and you have an amazing band, you will need to take a different approach. Rather than emphasizing words in your video, show how people can be brought together through music. You want to show people as being more group-oriented and as helping one another.
3. Choose Audience and Perspective
Once you’ve chosen a position, you’ll now need to define who you’re selling to, and what persona would be the most effective in selling to this audience.
When selling to parents, you can take the perspectives of students, teachers, headmasters, and other parents. However, when selling to students, you only will want to take a student or teacher perspective. Children- especially older children- tend to be resistant to what parents say but trust implicitly in their peers. They also trust teachers as an authority in education.
For example, let’s say that you’re part of the recruitment team for North Country School in New York and looking to recruit students for your renowned art program. Having current students discuss what they love about the programs, will entice prospective students to want to learn more.
If trying to recruit new teachers, taking on the perspective of other teachers is a good idea – this way they can form an idea of what their colleagues think of their workplace. Or using a headmaster might ensure that teacher candidates see your school as an authoritative, reliable, and reputable place to work.
4. Brainstorm Video Ideas
Next is brainstorming video ideas, with formats below that you can choose from:
- Docu-Style, is a video approach that entails capturing authentic stories through interviews of students, teachers, and/or parents. We pair this with beautiful B-roll to tell a powerful story about your school. You can think of this like a branded documentary, except short and designed for advertising. This grounded and emotive approach gives you the opportunity to connect and sell your audience on their level.
- Animated Explainers, which are motion graphics and or illustrations best used for conveying data and statistics in a fun and engaging way.
- Talking Head Videos, which are essentially videos in which one person or several people speak about the merits of your school to a camera (this person should be chosen to portray someone of the appropriate perspective, as we have discussed)
Select one of these video types, write the script, then pitch the idea to your subject matter expert.
Generally the best ideas come quickly, so try and limit the iterations to 3 max, and then pull the trigger!
5. Choose an Overarching Idea
After deciding on formats, you’ll want to define an overarching motif that you want to convey throughout it.
You want this idea to be positive.
You also want to make sure that these tones are conveyed in a way that is age-appropriate for your audience. K-12 private schools may make videos catering to children that use smaller words and have simple themes and motifs that engage them. However, videos for parents and university applicants like those at Sacred Heart University in Connecticut may want a more complex and adult-oriented theme.
Creating motivational videos for student learning can be a challenge, especially now considering the challenges we’re facing in our current at home / hybrid education challenges we’re all working through.
We’re hoping this helps and if it sparks some ideas, awesome! Additionally, if you feel like any of this can be explained more or better over a call, we’re here to help – just give us a ring 🙂