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Ankit Khare

Ankit Khare, Co founder and Director, Unipro Education.

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5 Ways in Which YouTube and Instagram Will Change Education Marketing in 2017!

Social media is ruling the roost in a quick produce quick consume marketing world, with Instagram and YouTube at the very top.

Photo Credit : ShutterStock,

A picture is worth a thousand words and a video is pure emotion in motion! These are not fancy taglines that sales representatives use to sell camcorders anymore; in fact, they are the baseline of successful marketing strategies in today’s world.

We all know how well visual marketing works, clearly evidenced by the success that billboards and television advertisements have enjoyed since their inception. However, this success is not everyone’s to afford and the costs involved in these campaigns are staggering! Well things are changing now and from where I see it, certainly for the better.

If someone asked me five years ago whether Instagram could be used as a marketing tool, I would throw back a judgmental stare, but it seems the tables have turned and how! Social media is ruling the roost in a quick produce quick consume marketing world, with Instagram and YouTube at the very top. How can anyone forget the Dumb Ways to Die YouTube campaign by Metro Trains, which spiraled into merchandising, meal toys, and mobile games, all because of the YouTube push it got.

In the more specific context of the education industry, Instagram and YouTube have had a slow start as marketing channels. But as marketers realize the importance of instant connect and engagement with an audience that is almost exclusively digital, things are quickly changing. Rather I believe Instagram and YouTube will completely change education marketing in 2017. Let’s see how!

#1 Putting a personality out there!

Nothing puts a vibe across like a picture or a short video tour of life on campus. Where brochures and articles put a brand in front of the students, Instagram and YouTube campaigns go a step further in establishing a personal connect. Besides, it hardly takes much effort to create and share on Instagram.

#2 Utilizing your best marketing assets!

When marketing to students, nothing works better than students themselves. And getting them on a brochure or print advert is like pulling an ice cream cone out of an iceberg – just not enough! When Boston University kick-started their #AwkwardBU campaign on Instagram, they had their doubts. But all it took was two weeks and students across the country were talking about hilarious and witty quips by BU students, sarcastically appreciating the lesser known aspects of life on campus. Of course, a surge in applications for the coming term was a direct testimony to how well the campaign worked.

#3 Starting a conversation!

Sift through an 18-year old’s Instagram for 15 seconds and you’ll surely come across at least one post asking them to share a picture while doing something. Share a picture while surfing, eating, or studying for that matter. What this does is that it prompts your audience to connect with you in a way that is not only easy for them but allows them to become a part of the experience you are offering through your marketing message. Needless to say, it makes them want to be a part of that story and respond to you.

#4 Making ‘viral’ out of the ordinary!

I remember the West Virginia University logo campaign on Instagram. It took a while to pick up pace but when it did, their Instagram was chock full of pictures of their logo on keychain, leaves, stadium stands, flags, and backpacks. Even on jerseys, snapped by prospects from other countries. Sounds really basic, but WVU was everywhere and even on the radar of those who never thought of it before. The spike in their enrollments for the fall intake was proof enough!

#5 Infusing honesty in marketing campaigns!

While images can be touched up and videos scripted, the emotions of students in the moment can’t be faked. This is perhaps the biggest reason why Instagram and YouTube have the highest click through rates among social media platforms (2.5 and 1.9 respectively). Image and video based campaigns are helping lend an element of genuineness to campaign messages, in turn helping marketers move out of the clutter and position their brands firmly in the minds of prospective students.

Apart from the above there’s a lot more that education marketers can do with both Instagram and YouTube and I feel we have only just begun exploring the possibilities. What I am confident of, is that we have indeed woken up to the importance of image and video marketing in the social context. And with a digital savvy audience all keen on the prospects, there’s a lot we can hope to look forward to in this space!

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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youtube instagram Education Marketing in 2017

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