How to Prepare Your School for a Video Production

How to Prepare Your School for a Video Production

Part II of the School Video Deep Dive Series

Finding a video production company to make awesome marketing assets for your school was a challenging first step, but the hard work isn’t over yet. Now that you have a great video crew and marketing partner on your side, you’ll need to begin the planning process for filming. The most important thing you can do before filming day is to prepare your school for video production.

If you’ve never had to coordinate and prepare a school institution for filming, you might not know where to start. Without proper planning and organization, you could end up disrupting your school’s daily activities and wasting valuable time. To get the most out of your experience and investment, check out the following step-by-step guide.

Scheduling Film Day for Your School

Ideally, you’ll want to schedule your film days according to your school’s calendar. Ask yourself if there are any important exams or events that will cause the campus or population to look differently on camera. Find a stretch of time where activity on campus will be “normal” or typical. When it comes to capturing interview content, students, teachers, and staff shouldn’t be preoccupied with extraordinary circumstances or too stressed and busy to participate. Otherwise, they might perform below average on camera, leaving you with unusable footage.

In addition, filming during special events will limit the crew’s ability to film certain scenes. For example, if it’s final exams week you don’t want to disturb the students, or if there is a field trip for a whole section of the school, there might be a lack of students in the hallways to film candidly. Even if you can organize all the key participants, there won’t be enough content for a video without quality B-roll footage. 

Communicate Expectations to Students and Faculty

In order to get the most out of your film day, the entire school body must understand your expectations. Announce that there will be camera crews and instruct everyone about proper behavior during filming. 

Even if your school doesn’t enforce a strict dress code, emphasize appropriate attire. As a precaution, keep an extra wardrobe on hand for those who may need to change. Replace any overt branding or offensive prints with school pride clothing.

Finally, remind everyone that not all footage will be used. You’ll have a lot of content to work with, so not everyone will make it into the first school marketing video. Preemptively addressing this expectation will spare hurt feelings.

Map Out the Day for Filming the School Video

Identify the locations and interviews you need and allot the appropriate amount of time to effectively capture each scene. While creating your schedule, remember that a common mistake is to only shoot one video at a time. You’ll end up having to schedule another film day for each video and run the risk of disrupting educational processes at your school.

Thorough planning will allow you to get a lot of footage that you can repurpose later for other marketing assets, otherwise known as “evergreen” video content. Allow ample time for shooting B roll and substantial interviews that might come in handy for other videos. Write out a schedule that everyone can follow, including interviewees. For B roll, line up all the locations before film day and verify that the film crew can capture daily activity in those settings.

Overall, be prepared yet flexible. Things can change at the last minute, whether due to the sudden unavailability of an interviewee or a change in location or scenery for the shot. Regarding the latter, the film crew might identify and advise you on a better filming opportunity for your marketing assets, and it may be in your best interest to change plans in that moment.

Prepare Interviewees for the School Video Format

It’s hard to predict how interviewees will perform on camera. To avoid discomfort and unclear messages, run pre-interviews. During these meetings, identify and address any issues and preview what to expect during on-camera interviews. Try going over the questions with interviewees ahead of time and practicing their answers, though they don’t need to answer exactly what they practice, just the idea is fine. 

Even investing only 10 minutes to go over the basics can improve the finished video product. Try to catch students in the hallway during recess or at lunch. Schedule time during free periods for teachers and staff. If there’s anyone in particular who doesn’t seem prepared or comfortable, prioritize speaking with them to improve the articulation of their ideas on camera.

Maximize Your School Film Day Potential

Without prior experience, you can effectively prepare your school for video production by following the steps outlined above. Get your school community excited about film day with proper organization, planning, and troubleshooting. With the right strategy in place, you’ll obtain not only stellar interviews promoting your school, but also evergreen video content to strengthen your marketing funnel. Monzo Media Productions can assist you throughout the school video preparation and filming process. Looking to start your video production project? Contact us today!

School Video Deep Dive: General Admissions Video

School Video Deep Dive: General Admissions Video

Part I of the School Video Deep Dive Series

We’re now in September! With classes back in session, the energy in schools is at peak excitement for the year. However, the conversation should never have to “return” to enrollment and admissions if a level of enthusiasm and interest is sustained throughout the year. This raises an important question: How are you using your school video marketing strategy to get prospective students and families aware and excited about your institution? 

In this blog series, we will take a deep dive into how a robust video marketing strategy can improve enrollment and retention. We’ll explain in detail which videos you should add to your marketing armory, and how you can maximize their value. These are the same types of videos we recommend to our own school clients.

For this first blog, we’ll be focusing on the cornerstone of this strategy, the general admissions video.

What Is a General Admissions Video?

The general admissions video is the flagship of your marketing strategy. In this video, you’ll need to showcase the core of your institution, including values and unique offerings that set it apart. You should be highlighting school culture, value proposition, and extracurriculars. Most importantly, you should encapsulate the student journey and experience that’s promised to prospective families during the admissions process.

To start, capture a combination of staff interviews, student testimonials, and action shots that showcase the essence of life at the school. Focus especially on how teachers add to that experience and reveal what makes these educators excited to work every day. 

Usually, general admissions videos should be between 90 seconds and 3 minutes long. If a video is too short, it could lack the substance that tells a compelling story. If it is too long, you might have too much “fluff” and lose the viewer’s interest. Extending beyond 3 minutes is justified, however, if you are expertly weaving together a fascinating story that keeps viewers engaged.

At the end of the day, the most important result is that a prospective family gets a gut-feeling about the school. This is the video that will determine if they want to continue learning more or not. They won’t decide to enroll their student right away, but this video will play a key role in capturing their interest so that they take further action.

The Role of the General Admissions Video in Marketing

On one hand, people think of marketing as casting a wide net and capturing as many leads as possible. On the other hand, an unorthodox way to think about good marketing is that it not only nurtures good leads but also turns away leads that aren’t the right fit. The latter can be an effective marketing framework for a school admissions process, when the end goal is not to drive revenue but to build and foster a community and culture. When creating and marketing this general admissions video, you shouldn’t be afraid to narrow in on what sets your school apart and which prospective families it serves.

For example, if the school serves students with learning differences or takes a different approach to student testing, your goal should be to market specifically to those families. Identifying which niche you serve will likely turn some families away, but it will save you marketing dollars and improve retention.

When it comes to marketing the video, make sure it’s accessible. Feature it at the top of your website’s homepage and pin it to the top of social media feeds. Direct site visitors to play the video by making it prominent enough to command attention, setting up a click-worthy thumbnail, and including a “watch video” graphic or a play button graphic. 

Expert tip: Uploading a general admissions video directly onto social media platforms instead of linking it from other sites like YouTube or Vimeo helps promote more views.

Further, use this general admissions video to engage in more targeted marketing. Send it out in your direct email marketing campaign as an introduction for prospective families and a way to nurture leads. You can also use the video for advertisements such as pay-per-click (PPC) Google ads[2]  in combination with a landing page, or Facebook ads. Finally, don’t forget to use this video at events such as open houses, which will help set the tone for the event and encourage discussion. 

Start Your School Video Marketing Campaign

Your general admissions video is a solid foundation on which to build the rest of your video marketing campaign. Other types of videos for the school, such as those that highlight sports and special extracurricular programs, should all follow the lead of your first video with tone and themes. 

If you had to only create one type of school marketing video, the general admissions video would be it. However, at Monzo Media Productions we strongly encourage clients to build a suite of videos, and therefore a marketing funnel, that will attract and nurture leads. If you’re interested in learning more about creating a great general admissions video and marketing campaign for your school, contact Monzo Media Productions today. 

How to Create Evergreen Video Assets

How to Create Evergreen Video Assets

Getting started on filming for your main marketing video is exciting, but before you dive in, you might want to consider the opportunities of what you’re about to capture. You might have thought that film day preparations ended with setting up plans for this one video, but you’d be doing yourself and your brand a disservice to not think further ahead.

As part of your overall marketing strategy, you should be integrating this video into a solid sales funnel or enrollment funnel set up for your school, nonprofit, or business. Whether you’re looking to get more leads, increase sales, improve enrollment, or promote more fundraising opportunities, creating “evergreen” video assets as in repurposing content used or not yet used will set your organization up for continued success while saving time and money on filming. 

Creating evergreen video assets is a matter of identifying what you should film and edit so that you have a bounty of usable footage for future videos. Properly build up evergreen video assets during your film day(s) by keeping the following tips in mind during your pre-production, filming, and editing processes.

Planning During Pre-Production

As you’re looking to create assets that will capture your brand identity and achieve conversions, you should be doing ample research on your film location and the people you’ll be interviewing. While you think ahead about actions, events, and wide location shots that you can capture on film to build up valuable B-roll footage, you should also compose interview questions that will elicit both general and specific comments from interviewees with future video subjects in mind. 

For example, if you are filming a marketing video for your private school, you’ll probably have a list of students and faculty to interview. You’ll of course want to get their comments on their experience at the school, but you’ll also want to ask questions targeted towards their expertise and interests. If you interview a student who is very involved in the music program, you should ask them about their experience playing in band and plan to shoot B-roll footage of the music department. You might not use this footage for the first video, but these shots can be utilized for other content.

Staying Flexible While Filming

A general rule of thumb for film day is that you should get more footage than you believe you’ll ever use. Once filming is over and you sit down to review the footage, you’ll likely realize that there are many options to work with, but for this particular subject, a majority won’t be needed for the first video you produce. That doesn’t mean your film day was a waste, but rather you can use that footage for future video content to improve your sales funnels. Maintain this mindset as you film throughout the day, and don’t be afraid to think on your feet. Stick to your plans to capture footage for your first video, but think about all the footage as reusable in the future. 

Make sure to capture enough shots of the location and the activities that take place there. As you interview people, notice whether they’ve said something really interesting that can branch off to become its own video. For instance, if a teacher mentions how they’ve integrated technology into their classroom, make sure to get footage of computers and other equipment in the school.

Editing with Potential Content in Mind

Once you sit down to edit, you’ll realize you have hours of footage for only a 2- to 3-minute video, and that’s great news. Not only will you be able to pick out the best shots for your first marketing video, but you’ll be able to shelve hours of content for future use. 

As you go through each shot, think about the content in different lights. Does this interviewee have something really unique to say? Ideally, you would have planned ahead for this scenario and captured relevant B-roll footage, but sometimes people have surprising answers to questions. If you didn’t capture enough relevant footage, you can still use their soundbite as a short video for social media, email marketing, or other lead-nurturing content.

Fill Your Content Vault with Evergreen Video Assets

When you’re going through the video production process, it’s essential to plan ahead and remain flexible. Whether you have one day to film or a whole week, you can properly plan and film with evergreen video assets in mind.

To fully utilize your filming time, you can hire experienced professionals who prioritize your marketing plan and set you up for success. Monzo Media Productions is passionate about telling your story and helping your organization achieve its goals. 

Ready to tell your story? Connect with us today to maximize your video content production and optimize your audience reach. 

What to Look for When Hiring a Video Production Company

What to Look for When Hiring a Video Production Company

Regardless of whether you are a private school, a business, or a nonprofit, if you’re considering hiring a video production company that doesn’t have a lot of reviews or a substantial portfolio, hit the pause button. You might have been thinking that you can find a recent college graduate or a startup that might do videos for free or lost cost in exchange for “exposure.” Sure, they’ll carry out the task as requested and leave you to market the rest, but remind yourself why you’re hiring a videographer in the first place. Can this company or individual really deliver a quality product that saves you valuable time and, most importantly, generates results? Maybe they can (and trust me, we’ve been in that place) but that makes it even more important to vet them out.

To help you avoid the common mistakes that organizations make when choosing a video production company, we’ve put together a list of values, skills, and services that are essential to find in a partner. If you can’t check off most of these boxes, it’s fair to say they might not be a great fit and you’ll be wasting your marketing budget.

Your Video Partner Understands Overall Marketing Strategy

It goes without saying that you need a company that can prove high-quality production capability, but what about one with marketing experience? Marketing and communications professionals can put together a plan and try to direct the video production themselves, but they shouldn’t have to. 

When hiring a partner for your video project, you shouldn’t have to micromanage. A good video production company will fully understand marketing principles and how video content fits into marketing strategy. Videos are not just fancy pieces of content, and they should not be filmed and produced without consideration for the rest of your content strategy and goals.

An experienced video production company will sit down with you to get to know your brand and your marketing goals. They’ll ask about your values, target audience, what’s currently working and what’s not working, your unique value proposition, and of course the goal that they want the video(s) to produce. By the end of the first meeting, you should be confident in their ability to frame your videos as a part of your marketing strategy.

They Offer More than Just One Video

“Tequila” by The Champs. “I’m Gonna Be” by The Proclaimers. “Hooked On a Feeling” by Blue Swede. These are all one-hit-wonders. While these songs are iconic in their own right, have you ever bothered to look further at the album? How often has the band stayed on your mind? 

One-hit-wonders may propel a group to fame, but the record deal proves to be a costly bet when the rest of the music doesn’t live up to the hype. It’s similar for businesses, schools, and nonprofits that put up just one video, hoping to jump sales by 500%, yet don’t support their hit with a cohesive video marketing plan and other engaging content.

A good video production company should advise against putting all your eggs in one basket. One video is truly not enough when you’re carrying out a marketing plan. Surely, you want each video to knock it out of the park, but you’ll need a steady flow of content to connect with your target audience and build loyalty.

You want to work with a video production company that doesn’t lose sight of results. Your target audience should be compelled to seek more content and keep discovering information about your brand, value, and points of differentiation. By producing more than one video, you can build a better relationship with your audience and increase conversions. A great example might be a private school in the Philadelphia area who has a great general admissions video, but also has multiple videos about the programs they offer, how they handle tuition assistance, and any extracurriculars. These are just some examples of how a school can use multiple videos to propel their value to prospective families.

They Set You Up for Success

Hiring a video production company shouldn’t mean just exchanging money for a finished product; rather, your investment shouldn’t stop at posting the video. As stated previously, find a video production company that sets you up for success by helping you maximize on your new content for months, even years (and that will help you save money and time in the long run). 

You should be confident your video partner can provide:

  •     Evergreen content that can be repurposed
  •     Educational resources and marketing guidance
  •     Advertising distribution services that boost the reach of your new videos (or they know of someone who can help with distribution)
  •     A long-term partnership, built on trust and communication, that keeps your future efforts in mind
  •     An actionable plan with strategies to get measurable results 

It helps when your video production company asks, “What does success look like for you?” Based on your response, they should lay out a plan with actionable steps to achieve success. Clearly communicating goals and working together for results is the hallmark of a strong partnership that will be poised to meet your marketing goals and hopefully exceed them. 

Find Your Ideal Video Production Partner

Knowing what to look for in a video production company is essential when choosing a partner. You need to be confident that the money you invest converts to results now and in the future. Monzo Media Productions holds steadfast to these values and services, underscoring the importance of a well-rounded marketing plan and the high-quality videos that play an important role in your content strategy.

So, we ask: What does success look like for you? Connect with us today, and let’s work together to put your marketing plan in motion.

The Value of a Testimonial Video

The Value of a Testimonial Video

In the last blog, we talked about what a branding video is, what goes into it, as well as the importance of having one. One of the elements we discussed was the fact that you can include testimonials from your clients or customers to help tell your story. Taking that to the next level is having a testimonial video. These types of videos will help elevate your brand by providing deeper stories about clients or customers who have used your product or services, what it was like, and how it has changed their lives.

You might be thinking, why do I need a testimonial video? Aren’t Google and Facebook reviews good enough? While those types of reviews are great and you should absolutely continue to utilize them, a video testimonial allows you to dive deeper into the customer experience. You’ll also be able to see and hear all of the subtle (or not subtle) emotions that the testimonial is giving and it’s also a great way to enhance the social proof that you are legitimate. There are times you might wonder if these written are legitimate testimonials or is it just an employee, friend, or family member helping bump those google and Facebook reviews (which is a big no-no!). It is much more difficult to fake a true video testimonial, hence it allows for more authenticity of your brand.

In terms of thinking about how to create a video testimonial, you can do it in a few ways. You can compile short soundbites of all of your video testimonials into one video to showcase the volume and overall theme of your consistent success or you can have one video per customer. Personally, I prefer focusing on the latter because you can then focus on each customer and each story of that experience. It’s also valuable to do it that way because when you are marketing the video on your website or social media, potential customers may be looking for a specific question or concern they have. Having a video testimonial that focuses on that objection and overcoming that objection is a great way to provide value to your potential new customers/clients. 

In regards to where video testimonials land in the funnel- they are great for retargeting ads if you are running social media ads and you can tailor which testimonial is appropriate for which audience. After a potential customer gets a chance to learn about what your offering is and what makes it unique, now they will be looking to see if it’s legitimate and if it works. Lots of studies show that people are more likely to buy when they see testimonials and reviews. It can often be the tipping point of your conversion rate. 

Testimonial videos should be less about facts and more about the emotional connection on why someone should buy from you. How does your prospect feel before they work with you? What is the experience like? From there, showcase what the outcome is that has changed the life or the business in a positive manner. 

Check out a few examples of a testimonial video here:
https://vimeo.com/293051637
https://vimeo.com/317176676 

What is a Branding Video?

What is a Branding Video?

For only being  5 words, it’s a pretty loaded question. Branding videos can look so different in so many ways.  From the structure, purpose, and the platforms it will be used on. One would think that would be a tough question to answer. However, I like to define branding videos like the following:

“A branding video is the video that is the flagship of your brand and marketing for your organization. It showcases who you are, what you do, and what makes you unique in the marketplace by creating an emotional connection with your audience. Ultimately, it is your main video that tells your story and value proposition”

The approach you take towards your branding video may vary based on your product or service, but the definition used above shouldn’t change.

There are lots of different ways to approach your branding video:

  1. Classical Branding Video – This generally comprises interviews, testimonials, and B-roll that matches the story that is being told. Adding in some nice music and motion graphics also helps tell the story of your organization. This has the perfect blend of engaging and educating the audience in how your offer is unique. Here is an example of a branding video:

The Bridge Club

  1. Animated explainer video – This is a type of video that is often used to make sense of some abstract concepts. Sometimes trying to film these visuals aren’t the best way to tell the story in a video, so using motion graphics to enhance and showcase these visuals are a great way to get the points across and showcase your value. Here is an example of what it could look like.

My Home Inventory

  1. Voiceover video – Similar to the animated explainer video above, this type of video uses a script and a voiceover to tell the story and uses B-roll to help support the story. Rather than interviews and talking heads. This is often found in TV ads but it doesn’t mean it has to be corny. You want to make sure the script is compelling and connects with the audience on a deeper level. You will probably need more b-roll for this type of video since it will be filling the spaces where you’d have interviews in example 1.  Having a script and storyboard will help navigate you through this process. Here is an example of what a voiceover video looks like:

Portion Pro RX

These are the basic 3 types of branding videos you can implement.

The branding video is possibly the most important video to have, so make sure it is clear, concise, and is on-point with your brand and messaging. If you have any questions feel free to reach out to us and we’ll be happy to help!