Posted by Brad J. Ward | Posted in Analytics, Free, Higher Education, Marketing, Recruitment, Research, Thoughts, Video, YouTube | Posted on 11-25-2008
When we last left off, a video project got sent to the good project graveyard, never to be seen again.
That’s not what this post is about. This is about a video that survived. Why? It didn’t go to the dreaded committee, I just did it.
Looking at our comm flows, there is really no communication between when the application is submitted (Nov 15 deadline) and when the decisions are mailed (Dec. 17). Isn’t this a great time for a touch point with a student? When they are just sitting around, wondering what’s going on with their app at your school?
So I decided to put a video together. I called Megan, a counselor and blogger, and told her what I wanted to do. 15 minutes later, we were ready to roll. I grabbed the Kodak Zi6 and went up to her office.
The premise of the video would be this: Here’s what happens to your application after you submit it. Pretty simple, keep it around 2 minutes. No script, just say what you would say to a student if they asked what happened. So we went around the office to various areas that an application will travel through, and filmed the video. We did the whole thing in 1 take.
Total filming time: 10 minutes
Total downloading/converting time: 15 minutes
Total editing time: 15 minutes
Total uploading to YouTube time: 15 minutes
Boom. A fully ‘produced’ video in under one hour. So the next step was to get it in front of the students. I put together an email, wrote the copy, designed it, and took it to my boss and said “I want to send this to everyone who has applied before the Nov 15th deadline.” She took a look at it, didn’t see anything that needed to be changed, and approved it. Alright!
The email was designed with the video as the call-to-action, and when the video is clicked the URL directs the student to our http://go.butler.edu/cs/forums area, where a post with the video was placed. So here is the email, the video, and the results.
1,303 views as of this post (the video has been live for 7.5 days, the email was sent 4.5 days ago). 2nd most viewed video on the Butler Bloggers YouTube channel.
99.1% emails were successfully sent.
There were 2,205 unique opens (52.3%). There were 3,391 total opens.
There were 1,157 unique clickthroughs (27.4%). So, 52.4% of those who opened the email also clicked through. (I like this measurement better than clickthroughs/sends.)
There were 1,444 total clickthroughs. (42.5% of total clickthroughs out of total opens)
Google Analytics tells me what happened after we got them there.
I sent the video around to the office as well. Everyone loved it and gave good comments and feedback on it. The students who I’ve talked to that have seen the video also enjoyed it and found it helpful.
The ‘Next Time’
I see in Analytics that students did not stick around long on average. Pages/Visit, time on site, and bounce rate are all way off the average mark for the site. I had put some links above the video to try and engage them in the BUForums more, but they seemed interested in the video only. My Hot Spots tell me that the ‘dark scene’ was where I lost most students. Maybe I could cut the video to 1:30 and leave out the part about the BUForums and Bloggers since they were already there?
In all, I consider this project worthwhile. 2 hours from idea to implementation, 25% of our app pool found out what happens to their app, and our BUForums increased by nearly 100 new students. Those who did stick around after the video are now getting more questions asked. The video avoided the good project graveyard and was successful.
As always, comments, suggestions and thoughts are appreciated. Leave a comment!