Published: 5th April 2024

A Strategic Guide to Top-of-Funnel Success for Student Recruitment

In the competitive landscape of higher education, universities must continually innovate their recruitment strategies to attract new students. Video marketing has emerged as a powerful tool at the top of the recruitment funnel, serving as a dynamic method to raise awareness and spark interest among prospective students. This comprehensive guide explores how universities can effectively use video marketing to enhance their visibility and appeal, driving student recruitment efforts with compelling content.

The Role of Video in Top-of-Funnel Marketing

Top-of-funnel marketing is all about awareness. It’s the initial touchpoint where prospective students first encounter your university. In this phase, the goal is to capture interest and nurture curiosity, setting the stage for deeper engagement through subsequent stages of the recruitment process.

Video content is uniquely suited for this purpose due to its ability to convey rich information in an engaging and digestible format. A well-crafted video can communicate the essence of your university’s culture, academic offerings, and campus life more effectively than text or images alone.

Strategising Video Content for Maximum Impact

To maximise the impact of video marketing in student recruitment, universities should focus on creating content that resonates with their target audience—prospective students who are exploring their educational options. Here are several strategic approaches to consider:

  • Highlighting Campus Life: Prospective students are not just interested in academic programmes; they want to know what it’s like to live and study at your university. Create videos that showcase vibrant campus activities, life in halls, student clubs, and social events. These glimpses into student life can make your university more relatable and inviting.

  • Virtual Campus Tours: Given that not all prospective students can visit in person, virtual tours are crucial. These should go beyond mere walkthroughs, incorporating interactive elements such as clickable information spots that allow viewers to learn more about specific facilities or departments as they ‘move’ through the tour.

  • Student and Alumni Testimonials: Videos featuring current students and successful alumni speaking about their experiences can significantly influence prospective students. These testimonials should highlight how the university has helped them achieve their academic and career goals, providing authentic insights into the value of the education offered.

Creating Engaging and Informative Admissions Guides

Simplifying the admissions process is vital in converting interest into action. Video guides that clearly explain how to apply, financial aid options, and choosing courses can demystify the process for prospective students and reduce anxiety around application submission:

  • Step-by-Step Application Guides: Produce clear, concise videos that walk viewers through each step of the application process. Include tips for writing a compelling application essay, how to submit transcripts, and preparing for interviews if applicable.

  • Financial Aid Explained: Financial considerations are a significant factor for many prospective students. Videos that explain different types of financial aid, how to apply for scholarships, and cost-saving tips can be particularly effective.

  • Course Selection Overviews: Help students understand their options by providing overviews of different courses, including insights into what each course covers, its career prospects, and any prerequisites.

Leveraging High-Impact Promotional Videos

Promotional videos are designed to be eye-catching and are often the first point of interaction with the university. These should be crafted to make a strong impression, using high-quality visuals and compelling narratives that highlight the university’s unique selling points:

  • Cinematic Quality: Invest in high-quality production values to ensure that your videos stand out. Use drone footage to show off the campus from above, employ dynamic editing styles, and incorporate music that enhances the emotional appeal.

  • Clear Calls to Action: Each video should have a clear call to action, directing prospective students to visit the website for more information, sign up for a newsletter, or apply. Make sure these calls to action are visible and reiterated throughout the video.

Measuring Video Marketing Effectiveness

To continually improve video marketing strategies, it is crucial to measure their effectiveness. Use analytics tools to track engagement metrics such as views, shares, time spent watching, and conversion rates. This data can inform future video projects, helping to refine messaging and targeting strategies:

  • A/B Testing: Experiment with different versions of your videos to see which elements resonate most with your audience. Test variations in video length, messaging, and calls to action.

  • Feedback Loops: Encourage feedback on your videos through surveys or comments. Direct feedback from viewers can provide valuable insights into what content works and what needs improvement.

Video marketing is a powerful tool in the arsenal of university recruitment strategies, particularly effective at the top of the recruitment funnel where raising awareness is crucial. By strategically crafting video content that showcases campus life, simplifies the admissions process, and clearly communicates the value proposition of the university, institutions can engage prospective students effectively, increasing their chances of converting interest into applications.

Through thoughtful planning, quality production, and ongoing analysis of effectiveness, universities can leverage video marketing to not only reach but resonate with potential students, setting the foundation for successful student recruitment campaigns.

Hatty Wilmoth

Hatty is the Marketing Manager for Maia Films. Passionate about all things video related, Hatty loves creating content, delving into the challenges of SEO and brainstorming with the team. When not orchestrating marketing campaigns, Hatty can be found exploring London markets, firing up the pizza oven or trying her hand at pottery.