Online Video as a Career School Marketing Tool

Until recently, only a few Internet-savvy career school marketers have used online videos as a tool for promoting their schools. With the recent advances in technology, and more importantly, the low-cost availability of high-speed Internet access for prospective students, that number has increased significantly. In large part, the increase has been because the use of video as a marketing tool has become cost-effective and a simple way to market to target audiences.<br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> No longer can career school marketers ignore online video as a marketing tool. It already is playing a major role in online marketing and will play an even greater role in the future. More and more schools are using online videos to create buzz, to promote their school, and to sell their message to prospects and students alike. Schools are beginning to take advantage of the immediate connection and effectiveness of online video as a part of their overall marketing plan. Most marketers understand the importance of building a relationship with the prospective student. This can be done by introducing the prospect to what the school has to offer, and to the benefits of attending the school. Online videos make it easier to make a connection.<br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> As this trend continues to grow, we will see every Website become a broadcast marketing tool. In addition to turning our own proprietary Websites into mini-television channels, we will explore opportunities and ways to take advantage of videos on specific niche or broad topic sites catering to the interest of our target audience.<br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> No longer is online video the exclusive tool of the large corporate school groups. Even the smallest schools can use and benefit from implementing their own videos. A simple video or digital camera can produce an informational video within minutes. You then can upload these videos to your own Website or distribute them around the Web to various sites and social media outlets such as YouTube, Facebook, and MySpace.<br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> Online video already is being used as an effective marketing tool for traditional products and services. There is no reason career schools can't follow their lead. A few of the benefits of using video to promote your school and/or programs include:<br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> <b>1. Introducing and creating awareness for your school and programs offered.<br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> 2. Building a more personal relationship with potential students.<br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> 3. Creating buzz for new and existing programs.<br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> 4. Enriching the content of your current site.<br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> 5. Keeping current students informed and interested in new program offerings.</b><br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> From a marketing viewpoint, videos, podcasts, Webcasting, and video casting are all phrases for the same thing: They are all ways to get your message in front of your target audience. Remember, people get their information differently. You want to make sure you reach as many of them as possible by providing options. Online video will help you reach more prospective students with a message that cannot be effectively conveyed through traditional media or a static online message.<br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> Perhaps more importantly, online videos can make it easier for you to market your programs and your school to your target audience. It is one more tool marketers should have in their arsenal.<br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> <i>Darryl Mattox is agency director at Gragg Advertising. His role includes overall brand management, strategic planning and implementation, and lead analysis. Prior to joining Gragg Advertising, Mattox was the director of Regional Offices in Kansas City and Phoenix for large national advertising agencies.</i>