Online video consumption has had a pretty meteoric rise the last few years. It is becoming a critical communication channel and is a preferred medium for many people to consume content.
It's time to use video to improve your school communication plan.
Did you know...
- Youtube reports mobile video consumption rises 100% every year. (from Insivia)
- 1/3 of all online activity is spent watching video. (from Insivia)
- Facebook generates over 8 billion video views a day. (from TechCrunch)
I don't know about you, but I think those are some pretty staggering statistics. Despite the growth of video consumption, I am seeing very few schools implementing video as part of their school communication plan. Why? I think it is a lack of time, discomfort with video and/or lack of knowledge about shooting/editing video. I'm here to tell you...it doesn't take a lot of time, there is nothing to be afraid of and with the basics you can handle most of your video needs.
Video has the potential to quickly become a critical communication medium for your school. Here's why:
- Video gets and keeps peoples attention. In other words, videos are engaging.
- Video is a proven way of increasing trust. Isn't gaining the trust of your stakeholders critically important?
This got me thinking about some of the great ways schools can use video to improve communication. The list below only scratches the surface. There are so many ways to incorporate video. My hope is the list below gets your creative juices flowing.
Almost every school we work with sends out some kind of weekly or monthly news announcement. Why not include a "principal's update" via video in this communication? You can quickly discuss things like goals reached, important objectives you are working on and anything else that let's parents know how much you care.One of the biggest benefits I think you'll see by doing this is building trust with parents and helping them get to know you. Unless you have a very small school, the likelihood you will get to know every parent is pretty slim. Video is a great way for them to get to know you without meeting you face to face.
Live streaming of video is becoming very popular. It's kind of the TV equivalent of a live sports broadcast with the viewer watching you in real time. Facebook Live, Periscope and Youtube are the more popular services I see marketing professionals mentioning frequently. Live streaming allows you to broadcast a video live to your followers and provide them a chance to interact with you directly.How can you take advantage of live streaming? Why not host a monthly Q&A session where parents can get their most pressing questions answered? How about hosting a live "town hall" type meeting with parents? You could also discuss important initiatives the school is focused on and get feedback from parents via a live stream.
Many (not all) parents like to reinforce what is being taught in the classroom at home. If one of my kids has a math test coming up I'd sure like to have the ability to run through some problems with them. Here's the issue...the way I learned math is not how it is being taught today or I may know how to do it but have difficulty explaining it. There are number bonds, making a ten, doubles facts and who knows what else. I was a math major in college and like to think of myself as a pretty analytical person, but some of this stuff makes no sense to me.Why not provide parents with quick video tutorials so they know how to reinforce what is being taught? Teachers don't even have to shoot the video's themselves. Most the tutorial videos any teacher needs are already on Youtube and very easy to share. If the tutorial doesn't already exist, shooting a screen capture video is quick and easy. My favorite resources for this are Screencast-O-Matic and Loom. They are free and super easy to use.
Are you seeing how this might be beneficial for you? Getting started with video is not difficult.
Keep it simple. Most smartphones today shoot pretty darn good videos. You can use your smartphone to shoot and record videos. Videos can be uploaded to a number of places for viewing: Youtube, Facebook and Google Drive are a few places you might want to consider.
Keep your videos short. People are busy. You will get a lot more people to watch your videos if you keep them to two minutes or less.
By the way, most of the tools mentioned in this article are free. Implementing video in your school communication plan will not cost you a dime. If you choose to "upgrade" a few of these tools you might spend a little bit of money, but it won't cost much.
Here are some additional resources you might find helpful:
- How to Use Facebook Live: A Complete Guide
- Create a YouTube channel
- Screencast-O-Matic : this is the free screen recording software I like. There are a host of others if this doesn't suit your needs.
- 10 Tips for Shooting Better Video on Your Smartphone
- Fiverr : this is a great place to get video intros and outros made very inexpensively. They don't have to be to fancy, but will make your videos look a lot more professional.
Start using video today and you'll improve communication, build trust and engage stakeholders. The possibilities are only limited to your imagination.
If you need help with any of this please reach out. We'd be happy to give you some free guidance and point you in the right direction.
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