Why Peer-to-Peer Student Video Content is Essential for your College



College marketing and communications has become more challenging in recent years. The proliferation of social media and digital communication channels has meant that students have more access to a wider variety of information than ever before, not all of it controlled by the Colleges themselves.


For example, the arrival of WordPress in 2003 spawned the era of the ‘blogger’ and, within a few years, the inevitable rise of ‘Influencer Marketing’.


The significant power that many superstar influencers began to wield, combined with lucrative financial rewards, generated a vast army of influencers who work with brands on paid campaigns to promote their products and services.


And with more channels giving more people a platform to share their views, the rise of disinformation, ‘Fake News’ and ‘Alternative Facts’ has led to increased distrust among Millennial and Gen Z audiences in corporate messaging, who prefer to rely on peer recommendations more than ever.


“They have diminished brand trust compared to past generations and they want insights from people whose lives are like theirs.”

Entrepreneur.com


Behold the new era of Peer-to-Peer Marketing (P2P), where authenticity and trust are sacrosanct. P2P content is seen as genuine, believable, and trustworthy. For Millennial and Gen Z audiences, it is some of the most highly valued and influential content a college can include in its marketing campaigns.


Luckily, Colleges have two significant advantages when it comes to P2P marketing content:


1. An audience of voracious content consumers

2. A campus of native content creators on their doorstep


Let’s look at each of these in more detail.


Gen Z and Millennial audiences own 4 or more social media accounts, on average. Their consumption of online video content has skyrocketed in recent years, up 52% in the last 2 years alone.


Video has become the predominant format for media consumption. Whether delivered by email, on social channels, in newsletters, or on a website, audiences prefer to absorb information from video rather than read text descriptions.


This is true of almost all generations, especially Gen Z and millennials, who favour the speed of information and visual engagement video delivers over other media.


So, we know they love video. But not all video is created equal.


Student-generated content is more highly sought after and trusted than more corporate college messaging. As Diego Fanara from Unibuddy points out


“Student-to-Student connection has taken over as the most influential & helpful factor when deciding where to apply to University. Students are the heart & soul of institutions, so it’s no surprise that prospective students value the authenticity of their experiences above all else.”



Incorporating more Student-Generated Content (SGC) in your communications campaigns will help to increase application yield, enrolment levels, and engagement with campus communications to improve student retention.


SGC gives college recruitment and marketing teams far more freedom and flexibility in the variety of ‘voices’ that represent the college and speak to different target audiences.


Student Generated Content Increases:


1. DIVERSITY – reflecting the broad mix of students that thrive at your college, students with different backgrounds, interests, genders, goals, etc.


2. AUTHENTICITY – spotlighting the student's own voice and stories, told in their own way, is powerful content that can really differentiate your messaging and make a greater impression on your audience.


3. NUANCE – text brochures on web pages struggle to capture the different experiences across your student cohort. Still, video gives you the option to showcase more voices, adding more depth and nuance to your messaging.


4. RELEVANT – collaborating with students and faculty to create compelling video content that speaks to the different topics that prospects are interested in will give you a vast library of relevant content and ensure that each message is specific, not broad and generic.


5. UNIQUE – Every student's experience is different and individual. The uniqueness of their stories, perspective, and feedback gives SGC such impact and represents the real life of your college in a tangible way for prospective students.




Capturing the Student Voice


The value of SGC for colleges is clear. Creating this content hasn’t always been easy, but we are helping to change that.


Students are digital natives, many of whom create video content all the time. Colleges need easier ways to


- Collaborate with students on specific video campaigns


- Help elevate the quality of student content so it’s suitable for their campaigns


- Gather, manage and own the rights to all the footage


- Standardise formats


- Edit SGC with approved college b-roll footage


- Add college branding, captions, voiceovers, music, subtitles, etc.


- Securely sort all video files in an accessible, searchable format


- Quickly publish to all relevant channels


And this is where Video Sherpa comes in.




The Video Sherpa platform enables you to work WITH your students and faculty as content creators, safe in knowing that you can manage and sign off on all video content before publishing.


SGC is the most powerful tool colleges can use right now to reach and influence potential students.


Contact us today to see how we can help you to do this easier than ever before.