Adoption of Video Marketing in Academia: 9 Common Challenges in Execution and Strategy


Let us first begin by deciphering this basic question –

Why is video marketing important for academic institutions?

With an explosive growth witnessed in smart phone technology and internet data services getting cheaper, video streaming is becoming easily accessible on small screens. It has widened the scope of experimentation with different video formats.

Live streaming video technology has become a major force in the world of digital marketing since Facebook launched this feature.

With the increased possibility of incredible engagement with videos, more academic institutions are becoming avid users of this technology. They are ready to experiment its impact across social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram or LinkedIn.

Social media marketers working in academics are constantly looking for the best video format which works for them: short form, long form, web-series, 360 video, live video, interactive video or the recent big thing – Augmented Reality (AR) / Virtual Reality (VR).

Many colleges across the globe are undertaking innovative work in video marketing to further the mission of teaching and research in higher education. The majority of their time and resources are now directed towards focussing on digital marketing activities and harnessing their benefits.

According to online sources, “Over 98% of social media users say they prefer to, and have watched a video about a product or a service to gain a better understanding.” This has pushed back text posts into obscurity as users are opting for more enchanting video content not only for personal consumption but also willing to share it with their friends and acquaintances.

As a matter of fact, social media experts worldwide believe that videos will continue to dominate the game of content marketing in 2018.

Common Challenges / Problems faced by Academic Institutions in Execution and Strategy of Video Marketing

Although a large number of academic institutions have started adopting social media technologies in fostering their brand, a lot of them are yet to make a strategic shift in approaching this new technology. They are still working without a proper strategya lot of the academic brands are unclear about adopting video marketing.

For smooth transition from traditional ways of content marketing to social technology era of video marketing, institutes have to first recognize the problems commonly faced by them in adopting it.

Implementation Problem #1: Differentiation with Marketing of Corporate Brands

Marketing of academic products / services is different from the marketing of any other brand since the stakes are high. After all, it is about one’s career and its foundation for a successful life ahead.

Students have to undergo a thorough decision making often involving conflicts or budgetary tension before deciding on the final choice of college. This is usually an uncomfortable feeling for any consumer and may lead to cognitive dissonance. Here the buyer either takes his / her money elsewhere or experiences remorse over the purchase. Along with prospective students, the same feeling is experienced by their parents as well during admissions.

So, how to develop videos that do not simply appear to be another promotional content but really helps your target audience to differentiate your brand is a big challenge.

Implementation Problem #2: Content Selection

“Producing content is easy. Producing good content is much harder.” And even harder is choosing the right content. Educational institutions often fail to realize that not every content produced is worthy of publishing. For engaging brand storytelling, one ought to be careful while choosing stories to publish on social space.

Apart from the student community, institutes also need to create a favourable perception among recruiters / companies and other experts for strengthening ties with the industry.

All this is a big challenge for any academic institution – how to position your brand strongly amongst stakeholder community so that it is convincing enough to get associated with.

Implementation Problem #3: Lack of Strategic Planning

Firstly, institutes do not maintain a regular production schedule of video content. Secondly, they fail to leverage in-house expertise and industry knowledge to connect with an audience beyond their regular / immediate target group such as researchers, policy makers, media and think tanks. This can limit the brand from reaching out to people whose voices matter and can pull back your online PR efforts in longer run.

Implementation Problem #4: Insufficient Resources

This includes lack of sufficient budget and skilled resource to do the job.

Whether you do the job in-house or through someone else, you will be paying for the job. . So why not focus on creating quality videos that can positively impact the video marketing plan?

Good quality video production takes time, effort and care. Therefore, education institutions should be keep a dedicated budget for developing high quality video content.

Implementation Problem #5: Blindly Following the Bandwagon

Whether shooting a video on campus life or a faculty interview, someone else has probably done it in the past. As competition increases to lure the audience, producing consistently high quality content is necessary instead of just producing average content.

Implementation Problem #6: Lack of Understanding of Trends in Paid Promotion

Sometimes, simply publishing great content and expecting it to spread organically just isn’t enough. But shifting priorities from organic to paid promotion is a challenge with many colleges since they have limited budgets. Advertising return on investment therefore becomes more accountable in such a set up.

Implementation Problem #7: Setting Unrealistic Expectations

While aspiring to get along new trends in social media like live video streaming etc., colleges typically set high aspirations, but unfortunately succumb mid-way.

This is perhaps the most important challenge to overcome. In their pursuit to achieve immediate results, colleges overlook the fact that even with a strong social media marketing team behind you, it can take a few years to establish your academic brand.

Implementation Problem #8: Over stretched Publishing Schedules

With so much content produced in-house on a daily basis, the sense of urgency to just push the content out without a goal in place is difficult to ignore.

There are already innumerable guidelines advising you that publishing at least once per day is enough for your content to achieve its desired success. However, many educational brands simply can’t refrain from over publishing content and over stretch quantity over quality.

Implementation Problem #9: Averse to Experimentation

When it comes to video promotions, we tend to stick with what works best. We keep applying the same formula to our next video production and fail to look for additional themes that too can resonate well with our audience.
Majority of Colleges continue to use the most basic form of video content – interviews, campus tours, college events etc and fail to provide their target audience a purposeful engagement.

In our next blog we will take up key solutions to overcome these challenges so that academic institutions can craft smarter implementation strategy for publishing video content. It will also examine how you can tap the benefits of video content marketing for powerfully telling the untold story of your academic brand.

Stay tuned!