Application of Video Content Marketing in branding the twinning programmes of Management in Higher Education Institutions
Manoj M S, Research Scholar, Canara Bank School of Management Studies, PG Department of Management Studies, Bangalore University, Bangalore, India, [email protected]
Dr. Ritika Sinha, Senior Assistant Professor, Canara Bank School of Management Studies, PG Department of Management Studies, Bangalore University, Bangalore, India, [email protected]
Abstract: Higher Education Institutions have been using the same marketing tactics like print advertising and brochures in order to attract and enrol the best prospective students possible. Since there is a rise in the fee structure and growing number of programs has led to prospective students to carry out an extensive research when deliberating their applications. Today’s prospective student looks for content that is not only informational, but also engaging which can give insight on the higher education institutions.
Video is an amazing tool for communication, which is very much suitable for transmitting required information while creating emotional response from the students and other stakeholders. For institution to integrate video content into the marketing strategy of institutions, it requires planning and an understanding of the task infront of them and trying to accomplish through the intended message. This also enables to create a useful, interesting content for the prospective students and also encourages them to engage with the institutions further.
Video Content Marketing can provide higher education institutions with an attractive, versatile and extremely shareable medium for them reach the prospective students and other stakeholders.
This paper outlines the description of video content and its development and application in determining the suitable content to create efficiencies for the institutions enrollment process while inducing prospective students and other stakeholders to enroll for the twinning programs.
Keywords: Video Content Marketing, Higher Education Institutions, Twinning Programmes
In the recent few years, digital world has evolved very exponentially due to the continuous upgradation of technologies. Millennial students have evolved from the usage of desktop and laptop to search the information on web and interact with the content, and they are completely dependent on the mobile phones and tablets. Due to the technology getting cheaper and cheaper every day, practically there is no virtual restriction on how they interact with the content.
Due to the evolution of digital world, content marketing has also undergone many changes where it may succeed based on what students and other stakeholders want, when and how they want the content to be delivered.
It can be very much easy to keep up with the changing digital environment, when an institution invests in the latest trending innovation in the forms of content, such as video content marketing. In the fast phasing digital world, video content marketing is one of the few types of online material which may provide value, relevance and flexibility based on the needs of the prospective students and stakeholders.
II. REVIEW OF LITERATURE
Strong brands are based out on a story which communicates what really is the company; and authenticity is to communicate what really are the customers (Denning, 2011)
In order to understand a company and its products, consumers has to have to know what type of company they are, as well as what kind of values are associated with the company and how its employees engage the customers and meet their needs (Denning, 2011)
Content Marketing can be said as contemporary marketing paradigm where it comes with long term benefits for the companies such as building up brand loyalty by engaging with the target audience with valuable content without the use of any promotional techniques (Pulizzi, 2012)
Content marketing is used by the companies as an alternative method to connect with the users and to build strong relationships with the customers instead of simply giving out information about new products and promotions (Hillerbrand, 2014)
Defining content marketing is more of a challenge as its meaning keeps on changing, which depends entirely on the context. Marketers are increasingly adopting content marketing in order to replace the interruptive advertising and to attract more attention of customers to the brand (Du Plessis, 2015; Zahay, 2014)
Content marketing is ideal for the companies as it uses unobstrustive pulling and not the pushing techniques to attract more consumers to brand content (Liu ; Huang, 2015)
Customers and organisations are both interdependent in the market, where a company has to initiate and execute the marketing activities in order to satisfy the consumer requirements. In the current era of information-driven era, customers do request the company to provide factual and useful information to aid them in decision making process. The art and science about content marketing is to share the valuable information with the target audience, as customers are more smart and intelligent. They do have the right to choose what kind of information is to be received, and in what kind of format that the information is in and whether to believe or not to believe the content (Hipwell ; Reeves, 2013)
Content marketing is making a path towards modern communication, as it is making a significant growth. Constant up gradation is a clear indication that it will evolve even more in the future with mass adoption by organisation as a leading way of dialogue with the market. Constant search of information has made internet a main location for the business and consumer activities, and given that it has made one of the base for the modern content marketing strategy with lot of options and innovative opportunities, and is on route for the organisations to build a relationship (Rahim ; Clemens, 2012)
Digital technology has brought upon the verge of transformation for brands and organisations because of the engaging content, as nine out of ten companies have applied content marketing in their business to engage, interact, convert and remind consumers of its brands and products (Jutkowitz, 2014)
Transmission of content and information by the company has an effect on consumers and brands. Interactions between consumer to consumer in an online and offline environments has an everlasting effect on the preferences, attitudes and buying behaviour of consumers (Berger and Milkman, 2012)
An organisation cannot focus on a push marketing strategy in an online environment, and they have to direct its effort on a pull marketing strategy as it would invite more interactions and participations with consumers. Content marketing is a suitable avenue for any organisation that has online presence (Elderman, 2010)
Paradigm shift in the marketing philosophy is very much required and suggested across, as this would imply switching from a selling perspective to more of a helping perspective, which can be achieved through content marketing (Jefferson and Tanton, 2013)
The main goal of content marketing is to provide consumers with content, which they are likely to engage with. Creating user-generated content enables content to be shared, liked, commenting and adapting the message and then spreading it across. Psychological engagement in content is very much dependent on the consumer’s goals and motives (Ashley & Tuten, 2015)
Content which create positive self-images, are tend to be engaged by consumers, which indicates that consumers may not engage in content about the products they like but rather in brands which corresponds with the ideal self (Schau & Gill, 2003)
Consistent message about the organisation must be created, captured, delivered, customised and content should be managed across the organisation, where it should be very useful to the customer (Parkin, 2009)
Organisation do use digital content marketing in order to support the implementation of multiple business objectives such as attraction of customers, brand awareness, along with the creation of leads and the maintenance of customer relationships or loyalty etc. (Rakic et al., 2014)
III. STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
With the evolution of technology, content is rapidly undergoing transformation where the traditional methods such as print advertising and brochures are becoming obsolete, as the information given out in the advertisement are not convincing and engaging enough for the students to make a decision.
For this very reason, institutions are looking towards technology through which they can relay the content which is information as well as engaging, where it can give an insight on the programmes or higher education institutions. Through videos, content can be made as informative and more engaging that can relay information for the prospective students through a personalised technology such as phone or tablet. Instead of reading an extensive handbook or brochure or filling an elaborated online catalogues for the information, video content can appeal to even the most dismissive stakeholders, where the students can share and comment on the video content either through the website or social sites with just a click of a button. Video content is a suitable tool for the higher education institutions to engage all types of prospective students and stakeholders.
This paper highlights an alternative approach for the content which can be marketed through video and how video content marketing is used to attract the prospective students and influencing them to enroll for the twinning programme.
IV. TWINNING PROGRAMMES
Twinning programme can be defined as an innovative educational concept where a mutual arrangement is made between two higher education institutions where one is domestic and one is international institution to provide an opportunity for the aspiring students to pursue studies in a collaboration mode.
Table 1: List of Higher Education Institutions providing Twinning Programme in Bangalore
Institution (Domestic) Institution (Foreign University) Course or Programme
Christ University (CU) Western Michigan University (WMU) MBA (Master of Business Administration)
Christ University (CU) Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) MBA (Master of Business Administration) under Christ University + MS (Master of Science) under VCU
PES University Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) MBA (Master of Business Administration)
St. Joseph’s College of Commerce Swansea University, UK / Eastern Institute of Technology, New Zealand BBA (Bachelor of Business Administration)
Mount Carmel College Binary University MBA (Master of Business Administration)
Advantages of enrolling for the twinning programmes:
• These programmes are unique where they are associated with the foreign universities
• Prospective students who wishes to enrol to these programmes will get an opportunity to pursue studies in foreign university for a certain period of time with an international exposure
V. TWINNING PROGRAMMES
Video Content Marketing can be defined as the creation and distribution of informative content delivered as video in order to convert the online information seekers into customers and current customers into repeat buyers.
With video content marketing, higher education institutions can create a relevant and unique content which is intended to change the behaviour of targeted prospective students and stakeholders over time. Video content marketing can be marketed over various channels like web, email, social networking sites.
Rationale for promoting twinning programme through Video Content Marketing
Twinning programmes are developed to cater the need of international exposure for the prospective students. There are many reasons why institutions must focus on relaying credible information on the programme and then promoting it
When a higher education institution starts recruiting prospective students for the twinning programme, prospective students will have lot of queries on the programme as they would have access to limited information on the foreign higher education institutions and the opportunities it presents for the prospective students.
Higher education institution should furnish information in such way that it clears the hesitation or doubt, through the clear content as it can remove any preconceived notions that affect the institutions image and improve brand image of the institution as well as programme. With video content, it can narrate the how the students are treated and can build trust upon the quality of education, career opportunities and the atmosphere on campus.
VI. LEVELS OF VIDEO CONTENT
1. Awareness: In this level, institution can generate awareness about the higher education institution’s twinning programme into the target audience i.e. prospective students and other stakeholders
Below are the types of video content which works best at the awareness level
a. Brand Film: Through these videos, HEIs can promote their values, mission and brand with the prospective students and other stakeholders. With these video, institution can get the brand of institution across the visuals, sound and storytelling where it would difficult for any other medium.
b. Video Documentaries: Through these videos, HEIs can provide a quick and engaging content to convey lot of information and real world experiences. Strong interview content can clearly make video to be an information packed and attractive medium. These documentaries can enhance the recognition of institution’s brand and helps promote trust and confience.
c. Educational Videos: Through these videos, prospective students can find the content which are to be helpful in making a decision about the programme.
d. Explainer Videos: Through these videos, HEIs can introduce their programmes where the content can be simple and visually appealing where it can sway the prospective student’s mind to enroll for the programme
2. Consideration and Decision: In this level, institution can educate the prospective students and stakeholders on the benefits of enrolling for the programme when considering their queries or doubts about the programme or institution and can make the decision easier when choosing the programme over other programmes.
Below are the types of video content which works best at the consideration and decision level.
a. Videos in email: Standard mail featuring the brochures are becoming obsolete nowadays. By sending out videos with the mail to the prospective students can do excite the prospective students and can differentiate from other institutions as these would be visually engaging and does provide space for the institution to reinforce their brand.
b. About us Video: Through these video, HEIs can deliver a strong source of information about the campus life, history and academic. It can be used for marketing, recruitment and information delivery methods.
c. Alumni Videos: Once the prospective students get far enough information on the institution and programme, they would like to know the institution’s experience of alumni with regard to the campus life, programme delivery, placement opportunities. As students trust the recommendations from people, this video solely focuses on the experience of the alumni rather than the programme and can easily sway the stakeholders mind.
With a combination of all these levels, video can strengthen the content marketing. It can help the HEIs to build loyalty and trust, position the brand in the minds of the students, boost conversion rates, and can develop lasting relationships with the stakeholders.
VII. VIDEO CONTENT MARKETING PROCESS
Following are the steps that can be used to develop an effective video content in order to influence the prospective students and stakeholders.
1. Know the students and stakeholders: Before starting any type of content marketing, HEIs must have a deep understanding of the prospective students. This would enable the institution to craft a content strategy that delivers the right mix of video content to the stakeholders who seeks out information about the programme.
2. Craft personas to improve content relevancy: If HEIs knows the students perception well, they would be able to segment them to reflect common attributes, behaviours, and preferences about the programme. Developing personas related to each segment would enable HEIs to create stories that resonate more deeply. With personas, HEIs can target their content to the unique wants and requirements of each prospective students and stakeholders, this would increase the likelihood of influencing the student and ultimately to make a decision for enrolling to the programme.
Below are the types of student personas who are likely to enroll for a programme
• Methodical – Here students want to know the complete information on the HEI and the programme of interest. These students would like to receive the fact based mails, white papers in order to make a decision
• Competitive – Here students want to know whether they are choosing the best institution and the best programme and wants to explore the content very quickly in order to identify the why the institution is better than the other competitive institutions
• Humanistic – Here students want to know all about the institutions heritage and learning environment, as they can be part of a bigger community. They would like to view the student testimonials, and alumni interviews and success stories.
3. Creating clear and measurable goals: One of the most essential tasks for the HEIs to be successful is to set goal
• Branding and Awareness Goals: Metrics related to these should prove the positive emotion which is associated by watching the video content, but also knowledge about the institution or the programme. Branding and awareness goals are useful in helping the HEIs to measure the movement of students who are unaware about the programme, which could help institution to recruit those new leads.
• Marketing Goals: Marketing goals typically measure the number of students who knows about the twinning programme. It would help the HEIs validate awareness efforts being undertaken to sway the students for enrolling the programme.
• Enrollment Goals: When it comes to measure the impact of video content marketing, through well timed and relevant content that educates the students and stakeholders on the topics related to the twinning programmes can have a significant impact on the effectiveness of the marketing team.
4. Creation of strong narrative: Stories are often regarded as easier to remember than the logical information such as statistics and programme features, where it can trigger memory and empathy. When creating brand stories of HEIs, they should find the balance between presenting facts and narrating an engaging story. Prospective student’s decision making can be influenced by emotional triggers than the logical deduction, where by creating emotional response through a video content.
5. Marketing of Video Content
• Video Advertising: Video advertising are audio-visual ads which has the ability to connect with the students and stakeholders through visual content. These advertising can form a base to forge a relationship between HEIs and the students. Advertisement can be broadcasted through online.
• Video SEO or vSEO (Video Search Engine Optimization): vSEO is a process of restructuring the ranking or visibility of video in the search engines, allowing the video content to be visible in the first page of search result. This generally involves creating video metadata which are relevant to what prospective students and stakeholders are searching for as well as building a suitable video content that generates traffic for institution’s related sites.
vSEO leverages the information delivery of HEI and attention capabilities of video content to drive traffic to HEIs related sites in order to promote the conversions and retain the students and stakeholders.
• Social Media Advertising: It is an online content which is designed with a persuasive intent and distributed via social media platform that enables the students and stakeholders to access, share and engage with the content.
Social media platforms offer HEIs numerous ways to pay social media platforms for the exchange of behaviour targeting to reach consumers through display ads, promoted content, and various applications and plug-ins. On the other hand, HEIs may resort to strategic tactics using organic presence, where in they directly disseminate content to their followers online.
VIII. VIDEO CONTENT MARKETING TOOLS
There has been growing trend for the video content, and usage of video content marketing tools are available for the HEIs. Many of the tools available are quite different from each other and can serve for different purposes within video content marketing. Some of the technologies may help to create video content, or may help to distribute content or help them to measure the effectiveness of the video content which is shared across various platforms.
Following are the various tools available for the HEIs to measure the effectiveness of the content.
• Google Analytics: Through this, HEIs can get the customised reports and measure the impact of social media and mobile on website traffic, measure conversion rates.
• IBM Social Analytics: Through this, HEIs can analyse and predict the student behaviour and it also allows creating a custom social media campaigns to attract the prospective students according to their personas.
• Marketo: It is a marketing automation platform which integrates email, social media, and offline events for the HEIs and also helps the institution to prioritize prospective students based on the demographic and behavioural criteria.
The above discussion is an overview of the video content marketing tools that are available. There are many other tools which are available for measuring the effectiveness of the video content marketing in websites, email and social media sites.
Prospective students who are seeking out information regarding the programme or institution tend to find only logical information, these content which are available do have a less attraction to sway the students and stakeholders. As the students want more engaging content, video content can be logical solution for the HEIs which can disseminate the queries on the institution or programme and can provide a prospective lead for the student’s enrollment.
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