Whilst there’s a whole range of platforms at your fingertips to leverage your video content, YouTube stands out as one of the most powerful channels to showcase the fantastic footage of your school. Not only can YouTube be a key part of your SEO strategy, but it can also be an excellent portal for prospective parents and students to learn more about what you offer.
However, simply creating a YouTube channel and uploading content isn’t enough. In this blog from the Small Films team, we explore crucial areas to consider for your school’s YouTube channel to ensure it reaches its full potential.
Optimise for SEO
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a key way to ensure your videos appear in search results. Start by understanding what prospective parents are searching for, such as ‘schools in Berkshire’ or ‘sporty schools in the UK’. To do this we recommend using an SEO tool such as SEMrush, Ahrefs or Moz. Then look to use these keywords in relevant video titles, descriptions, tags, and even the video content itself to increase its visibility in search results. But make sure you’re not keyword-stuffing.
To read a step-by-step approach from the Kings of SEO, HubSpot check out their article on ‘How to optimise videos for YouTube search’.
Organising your videos into playlists is an effective way to enhance user experience and keep viewers engaged on your channel. Categorise your content into different playlists, such as “Pastoral Care,” “Sports Matches,” “Interviews with Heads of Departments,” and more. This allows viewers to easily find and watch the content they are interested in, keeping them on your channel for longer.
Remember to add descriptive titles and eye-catching thumbnails to each playlist to entice viewers to explore more of your content. Playlists also increase the chances of your videos being recommended to users who watch similar content, helping you reach a wider audience.
Craft an Excellent Description
The video description plays a significant role in engaging viewers and optimising for SEO. Start with a compelling introduction that hooks the audience and clearly states what the video is about and the benefits of watching it. Incorporate relevant keywords naturally into the description to help search engines understand the content better.
Include essential links in the description, such as links to your school’s website, social media profiles, and other relevant videos. You can also encourage viewers to subscribe to your channel, enabling them to receive notifications for future content.
Create Eye-Catching Thumbnails
A visually appealing thumbnail is an essential part of grabbing viewers’ attention and enticing them to click on your videos. Design custom thumbnails that represent the content accurately and incorporate bold, easy-to-read text highlighting the video’s main topic.
Ensure that the thumbnail is consistent with your school’s branding, using the school logo or colours where possible. Avoid misleading thumbnails, as users will then click on the video and bounce. This can harm your channel’s credibility and lead to disengagement from viewers.
Engage with Your Audience:
Building a strong relationship with your viewers is crucial to the success of your YouTube channel. Encourage interaction by responding to comments and addressing any questions or concerns promptly. This fosters a sense of community and shows that your school values its audience.
You can also engage with your audience by running polls or Q&A sessions, where viewers can provide feedback and suggest future video topics. Creating a sense of inclusivity and genuine interest in your viewers’ opinions will increase loyalty and encourage them to become advocates for your school.
Analyse and Improving Performance
Regularly analyse the performance of your videos using YouTube Analytics. Pay attention to metrics like watch time, engagement, and viewer demographics to understand what content resonates with your audience the most.
Use this data to refine your video strategy, creating more of the content that performs well and adjusting your approach for underperforming videos. Continuous improvement based on data insights will lead to a more successful and engaging YouTube channel.
A well-optimised YouTube channel can be such a powerful marketing tool for your independent school, and when done right can significantly increase school admissions. If you’d like to speak with our experts about how to create a YouTube strategy and the right sort of film content then just drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org