Higher Education: The Key to Meaningful Messaging is Video

If your college or university wants to stand out in the crowded online marketplace, video messaging is critical. Whether you are connecting to donors, engaging alumni, or presenting your institution to potential students, video messaging is the single most effective way to convey your mission.


Video captures the spirit of a place and its people more accurately and effectively than any printed publication. Video messaging is a cost-effective means of replacing or supplementing the personal contact, tours, and visits students, donors, and alumni expect. This means that video messaging will still provide a return on investment, allowing you to create community and stay connected even when COVID 19 has passed.

Consider the following when choosing how to spend your marketing dollars

Video allows you to show how your institution is unique.

Students of all abilities are overwhelmed by the number of choices available to them: community colleges, junior colleges, public universities, private colleges. Given the similar offerings, choosing where to apply is often based on a feeling – an unquantifiable sense that a particular institution will be a good fit.

Statistics, graphs, and lists of courses are useful, but only video captures the spirit of the students, faculty, and facilities of a school. Only video feeds that feeling that students — as well as alumni and prospective donors — are looking to find.

Video can be targeted to specific audiences.

If you’ve been on the receiving end of solicitation mail, you know how easy it is to ignore messaging that doesn’t speak directly to your specific interests. Video allows you to market directly to special interest groups in meaningful, cost-effective, and cohesive ways.
Incoming freshmen have different interests than alumni do. Potential donors to an Annual Fund have different motivations than donors to a new Fine Arts building do. Whether the call to action is “Apply Now” or “Donate,” video messaging can be tweaked to speak to those groups in specific and meaningful ways, while keeping the hallmarks of your brand consistent.

Tips for Using Video Effectively

Recruitment Videos and Virtual Tours

Recruitment Videos are sales tools, used to tell your institutional story in an engaging way. Built around a central theme, these videos often combine professionally-produced video with user-provided content; in other words, they tell the same story from different points of view.
Drones, 360 degree shots, and long, smooth tracking shots are just a few of the tools used to make polished Recruitment and Virtual Tour Videos.

Welcome Videos

Whether you’re welcoming the freshman class or a reunion of alumni, a Welcome Video should feel exciting. You may want to incorporate several different story threads into this video, but the overall message should be “You made the right decision, and we’re glad you’re here.”

Here’s a Welcome Video we produced for UNC Charlotte:

Fundraising Videos

What compels a donor to donate? The feeling of being part of a community. The assurance that their donation will truly make an impact. The emotional satisfaction of supporting a cause they believe in.

Video is the most effective way to create community from afar, to show the impact of donations, and to convey the importance of your school’s cause. Video answers the question, “Why should I donate?”

Here’s a fundraising video we produced for Gardner-Webb University:

Alumni Videos

Keeping alumni engaged in the life of your school is critical. Video allows you to showcase the impact your school has on its alumni, as well as the impact your alumni have on both the school and the world beyond your university.

Video celebrates alumni engagement and success, and is a meaningful way to reach potential students, donors, and other alumni, as well.

UNC Charlotte decided to redefine what the word “alumni” meant, and launched a program called “49er Finish” that brought students who had never finished their degree back to campus to complete their studies.

Check out this video about UNC-Charlotte’s 49er Finish program:

About Kim Brattain Media

Kim Brattain Media is your one-stop shop for video. Let our team of expert storytellers, writers, editors, and producers guide you to your finished product: Videos that will resonate, motivate, and articulate exactly what makes your institution unique!

Check out some of our other work here, then send us an email and we can start brainstorming right now.

Make your stories unforgettable

Subscribe to follow inspiring stories from people making an impact in their community while learning new trends in the world of videography.

Share this resource with your network
Scroll to Top