Planning for delivery on multiple platforms
The past few years have brought on a shift in video delivery for our clients. The days of uploading a video to YouTube and embedding it on your website have fallen behind us. Don’t get me wrong, a video on your YouTube channel is still an important piece, but it’s just that: a piece of the overall strategy. In September of 2021, the Admissions Office at Princeton University came to us looking for a way to broaden their scope and usability for two video series, a veteran student series and a transfer student series.
Instagram has quickly become the go-to for reaching your audience, with algorithms specifically favoring reel views and shares over traditional posts. So we knew that our video series needed to end up on Instagram in a way that looked like it was created solely for the platform. But that wasn’t the only use case. Admissions also needed videos to be used in private emails, mailing lists, on the road at college events, published on their website for general viewing and the central University website. A tall order for sure. (continued below)
Here’s how we tackled it.
We knew with each series that we wanted to cover topics that Admissions often received questions on. So we asked our student interviewees those questions and how they handled those same situations and what the process was like. Each of the three students in the series were generally asked the same questions, give or a take a few that were unique to their situation, like financial aid benefits or coming to Princeton as an older student. With the information in our hands after filming, we decided on creating three breakout videos per student in addition to a long-form video. Those breakout videos would also be formatted as both horizontal and vertical videos to be used on different platforms. Each breakout covered a unique topic that could be targeted at specific audiences. Have a question on what the transfer community at Princeton is like? View this video. Want to know what national programs exist for veterans wanting to go back to school? Look into this video. They even covered mental health issues, such as imposter syndrome and staff/faculty support.
The breakout videos alone provided a comprehensive view of what it was like to be a transfer or veteran student. But now Admissions could share those directly to students interested in the various topics, without having to ask them to watch a 5+ minute video for a student perspective. We then worked together on choosing the best soundbites from each video (based on our project goals, of course) to assemble a “full” video, covering about 4 minutes. The series has become a very successful strategy model we will (and have!) continue to use in the near future. It gives the Admissions Office fresh content to share for an extended period of time rather than just sharing the same 5 minute video over and over as was previously the strategy of many before the social media video boom.