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Google’s Managing Director of Education, Michelle Bandler, explains why video plays a key role when students are researching their higher education choices. Hint: It’s more than just building brand awareness.

Over the years, I’ve spoken to hundreds of lead generation marketers and they all share a common struggle: attention scarcity and information overload. As people become much more research obsessed, their options seem endless. Their consideration set expands and narrows multiple times throughout the journey. This means a marketer’s job isn’t over once someone fills out an information request form. Marketers need to find new and interesting ways to engage with prospects at multiple touchpoints.

One example of a research-intensive journey is completing education applications. Remember when you were in high school, applying to the university of your dreams? School campus tours, recommendations from family and friends, and your future career aspirations likely influenced your decision. Today, the process is much more research-heavy and video plays an important role — especially for students looking to enroll in higher education programs at online universities.

Google partnered with Greenberg Research, Inc. to understand how that journey has changed. Our discoveries might surprise you.

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Video augments research

Digital research intensifies after a prospective student completes a form. And video helps to enhance it. In fact, prospective students who intend to go back to school at an online university and have submitted an information request form do 1.5X as much digital research as prospective students who have yet to fill out a form.1

University marketers have an opportunity to differentiate their institution by nurturing prospective students throughout their journey, especially after they’ve submitted an information request. Here, video can help prospective students move forward in their journey.

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Video drives intent

After all, video doesn’t just drive brand awareness. It also drives intent, influencing students to apply to an online university. Educational videos are a powerful tool for driving action. Eighty percent of prospective students who planned to attend an online university said that watching an online video influenced their application.2 It makes sense. Watching a video helps students better visualize what their experience could be like — and that makes them more motivated to apply.

An educational marketing video explaining the university’s offerings could be used to drive people to submit an information request. Then a video showcasing the post-graduation successes of a university’s students could be used to encourage applications. By tapping into intent signals, marketers can showcase the right video at the right time and better assist them throughout their journey.

You can use video throughout the journey to entice prospective students, deliver valuable information, and build relationships.

Video enhances positive emotions

Prospective students who planned to go back to school at an online university were significantly more likely to say they felt confident, excited, or enthusiastic after watching program-specific or brand videos. And those happen to be the same emotions people report feeling after enrollment. You can use video throughout the journey to entice prospective students, deliver valuable information, and build relationships.

Sight, sound, and motion are a powerful combination. We’ve all experienced it. A video can give us goosebumps, move us to tears, or give us the feeling we can take on the world. Video can help you to encourage positive feelings among prospective students and build a relationship that will last well past their first day back to school.