Creating Emotional Connections: Video Production Strategies for University Branding

A university isn’t like any other business. Most brands need only attract or persuade their prospects, but universities have to go one step further: they have to inspire them. 

Students head to college because they want to grow and achieve their dreams and ambitions. If you’re a higher educational institution, you need to position yourself as the place to do it. Your prospective students need to see themselves blossoming, shining, and reaching their full potential at your institute. And the best way to achieve this?


Brand Video Production – The Key to Your Success

Choosing a university is as much of an emotional decision as it is rational, and emotions have the power to sway a decision into your favor – if you have the tools to summon them.

Video production is that tool. When done well, it can tap into your prospective students’ hopes, dreams and aspirations by delivering an intense multisensory experience that can create a visceral reaction. 

This emotional engagement leads to a stronger connection and trust, making the audience more likely to remember and connect with the university’s brand​ – a critical factor for building long-term relationships.

Plus, video travels widely: According to YouTube, more than 2 billion users sign in to YouTube monthly, and more than 1 billion hours of video are watched daily. Research also shows that video is the most ‘shareable’ type of online content. 

Couple video’s emotional power with its exponential reach, and you’ve got an irreplaceable way into your prospective students’ hearts. 

Here’s a list of 5 ways a video strategy can elevate your university’s messaging.

7 Ways Video Production Services Can Boost Your University’s Brand

There are many creative ways higher education institutes can marshall the superpowers of video in their branding and communication. Here are just seven:

1. Campus tours and virtual visits

Campus tours and virtual visits are a great way to showcase key buildings, facilities, and student hubs. World class facilities are a huge attraction for students. Consider incorporating drone footage for aerial views or following a student through the hallways and paths on campus. Ensure the tour is guided, either by a narrator or on-screen text, to provide context and highlight the unique features of the campus.

2. Student and faculty testimonials

There is no better proof of a good university than happy students and passionate faculty members. Interview diverse students and faculty members to share their experiences and insights. Keep the videos short and focused on specific themes like academic excellence or campus life. Remember, authenticity is key. Avoid scripted responses; instead, encourage natural, personal stories that resonate with prospective students and families. Our video production team can help you with this.

We made a video for Virginia Tech’s Virginia Cyber Range program featuring interviews with a number of cybersecurity students and professionals from the state. These videos drove interest in cybersecurity and recruited new students and graduates into the field.

Virginia Cyber Range / Virginia Tech – Is Cybersecurity For You?

3. Academic program overviews

Students want to know that their passions and interests will find a place to bloom.  Create videos that explain each major or program, featuring faculty interviews, class footage, and examples of student work. Focus on what sets your programs apart, such as unique courses, hands-on experiences, or successful alumni.

Here’s a video we made featuring George Mason University’s Atmospheric, Oceanic and Earth Sciences department:

George Mason University – Atmospheric, Oceanic, and Earth Sciences Department

Want a guide to attracting students to your degree program? Read our blog post here.

4. Showcase research and thought leadership

Highlight cutting-edge research or innovative projects led by faculty and students. You can use graphics and animations to explain complex concepts. These videos should position the university as a thought leader, so prioritize showcasing research with wide-reaching impact or unique innovation.

5. Alumni success stories

Feature alumni from diverse backgrounds and career paths discussing how their education impacted their careers. Include visuals of their workplaces and achievements to demonstrate the broad applicability and success of the university’s education.

For example, we created a series of five commercials to promote A-B Tech’s Fall Enrollment Campaign. These commercials feature short interviews with recent alumni following the theme “I am A-B Tech.”

AB Tech Community College Promo Video Series

6. Event highlights and recaps

Capture key moments from university events, such as commencement, guest lectures, and cultural festivals. These are a huge part of the appeal of a university and they work because they capture the institute’s culture at its liveliest. Use a mix of wide shots, close-ups, and interviews. These videos should be candid and convey the vibrancy and community spirit of the university, so focus on capturing emotions and reactions. 

7. Educational content and webinars

Produce educational videos or webinars on topics relevant to prospective and current students. Ensure that the content is of high audio-visual quality, clear, and accessible. This content ideally serves as a teaser of the academic rigor and expertise available at the university, so it should be informative, engaging, and reflective of the institution’s educational standards.

Leave it to the Video Production Professionals

In implementing each of these video strategies, the key lies in maintaining authenticity and ensuring high production quality. Tailoring content to highlight the university’s unique strengths and culture is crucial. Here’s where professional video production services can truly make your messaging shine. 

Rock Creek Productions comes with decades of experience in brand video production in Washington DC. Our services bring a level of sophistication and technical proficiency that can transform your university’s branding and communication efforts into compelling visual narratives. This approach not only enhances the brand’s appeal but also solidifies its reputation in the competitive landscape of higher education.

Interested in taking your institution to the next level? Contact us today!

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