People in the UK spend an average of 3.5 hours per day watching online videos. And that figure went up even further during lockdown. No wonder that video has become a popular format for marketing of all descriptions.
Add in government guidance that recommends schools consider alternatives to face-to-face open events. It’s easy to see why so many schools are producing school promotional videos this year. Call them virtual tours, call them school marketing videos – the clock is ticking to get the message out and boost application numbers.
Planning a school promotional film may seem daunting, if you’ve not done this before. But planning is the operative word. The better you’ve prepared, the better the final outcome. Here are five things to take into account:
1) Get on-message
Start at the end – with your goals. What do you want this video to achieve? For many schools, it’s all about attracting new families and boosting enrolment. But it might be part of an effort to change how your school is perceived in the local community.
Think about your audience. Who are they and what do they have in common? What are their most likely questions or concerns?
Finally, it’s time to list your school’s particular strengths. At Blue Apple Education, we believe each and every school is remarkable in some way. We’ll make it our mission to unearth your remarkable story and to bring it across in videos and other communication formats.
Investing a little time at this point pays off. It makes it easier to present a persuasive, coherent message to your audience. And that makes it more likely that they’ll respond in the way you’d like.
2) Tell your story
Storyboarding was invented by animator Webb Smith, who worked for Walt Disney in the 1930s. You may already use storyboards for literacy classes. They’re also the standard way of planning films of all kinds of lengths.
Just to be clear, a storyboard is a simple series of drawings that shows the shots in your video. Planning your video in this format will make it easier to see what resources you need. Think locations, people, equipment and a high-resolution school logo. It gives you more control over the final outcome. And it gives everyone working on the project a solid working plan.
3) Practice Runs
Many school promotional videos feature an interview with the head. Narrated montages of different classes and activities around the school are also popular. Science experiments, sport and performance subjects appear often, because they’re visually appealing.
The enthusiasm of your ‘cast’ can make all the difference here. Let’s face it, not everyone loves the camera. Volunteering teachers or students, particularly at short notice, can make people feel put on the spot. Ask people how they feel and maybe do a few dry runs with a smartphone camera first.
4) Plan your day
Your videographer or film crew will probably only be with you for a single school day. Your storyboard can help you to get the most out of this time, by giving you a list of things you need.
Your video should present the whole of your school. But the more people you want to feature, the more complicated the filming schedule gets. That usually means wasted time, when the crew is waiting for their next appointment. Keep things simple and plan the whole day out in advance.
5) Permission slips
You’ll need to make sure you have permission to film your students – it’s a no-brainer. How about choosing a group of say 15 students for the video? This could make both your schedule and seeking permissions a lot simpler.
Planning is key to getting the most out of your school promotional film. But help is at hand. At Blue Apple Education, we can take strain including full project management, from first discussion to final edit.
If you’d like to know more, please get in touch. We can’t wait to hear more about your school.
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