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.