If you'd like to have your very own Youtube channel for your school, you'll be glad to know creating it is merely minutes away. You're among the many school communicators embracing the value and potential of using video to depict their school.
As more and more schools launch Facebook pages, Twitter feeds and Instagram accounts, Youtube is gaining traction as the natural way to tell their school stories in what's perhaps everyone's favorite medium – short videos.
Follow these four simple steps, and you'll have your school channel up and running in no time.
1. Set up your school Youtube channel
Setting up a channel for you school on Youtube is insanely easy. Simply go to www.youtube.com/create channel and a series of prompts will walk you through the process.
There is one important note to consider during the setup process. You’ll need a Google account to setup your Youtube channel. Don’t use your personal account if you have one. Set up a dedicated account for your school. By establishing a new account, you can control who has access to posting videos.
Also, in the final step of creating the channel, you’ll be asked which activities you want to allow on your channel. The options are:
- Like a video
- Comment on a video
- Favorite a video
- Subscribe to a channel
All of these options are designed to promote engagement, so it’s wise to check all of them. You do have the option of not allowing comments, but I suggest you allow them, for the purpose of all this is to promote engagement. Comments can always be moderated.
2. Set production standards for school Youtube videos
Once you have your channel set up, you’re ready to start making videos.
Of course, that may sound easier said than done. After all, you’re not a film maker. Maybe you struggle with a selfie, let alone filming a decent-looking video. Don’t worry. It’s not as hard as you think. In fact, many teachers, administrators, and students find that making the video is actually a lot of fun.
You want to establish some standards for production quality, but at the same time, you don't want to discourage contributions. Here are a few tips to get you started on Youtube video production.
Most smartphones are capable of producing good video. You don’t need an expensive camera system to shoot your own videos. Smartphones have advanced to the point that they’re fully capable of capturing high-quality video.
It’s more important that you shoot a wide frame in landscape mode and that you get plenty of lighting. If you do those two things, you’ll be off to a good start.
Get close enough for good sound quality. While cell phones may capture quality video, the same can’t always be said for sound. You may be surprised when you start shooting to see that the sound just didn’t come through the way you would have hoped.
Always make sure you’re close enough to the action to get good sound. You may find that you need an additional microphone. A quick search online should yield plenty of quality microphones that you can simply plug in to your smartphone.
Use Youtube editor. Youtube wants people watching videos, which means they want your videos to be high quality. To help you with that, they’ve created Youtube editor, a powerful tool for giving your videos the kind of presentation that you used to only be able to get from a professional. You can add cuts, transitions, music, captions, and much, much more. Best of all….it’s free! The editor is available to access when you upload your video.
3. Build your school’s Youtube production crew
One of the ways to keep the video content coming is to encourage contributors. You don’t have to do it all yourself. You can recruit students, teachers, staff members, and even parents to help. In fact, it should be a group effort.
Involving students as associate producers could be one of the best moves you could make as studio mogul for your school. Hand pick some of the more talented students to lend a hand in producing and vetting the videos made by others.
Also, no one expects you to be Steven Spielberg. You don’t have to make professional-quality videos. Authenticity continues to be the mantra when it comes to self-produced videos.
4. Don't let your channel gather dust
When you have a Youtube channel, it’s critical that you post new video content on a regular basis. You don’t want a prospective student or parent looking at your Youtube page and seeing that you haven’t posted a video in a year or more. If you’re not going to post videos, you’re almost better off not even having a channel.
Get the full Youtube picture for your school
Read this post for a glimpse at how some schools are embracing Youtube to deliver their messages, then check out some of the kinds of school video topics – including award-winning content – you can be using to tell your school’s stories.
Marketing director and content strategist for Campus Suite, Jay’s a former school public relations specialist who’s helped businesses, schools and colleges use the power of web communications to improve their image, generate support, and optimize relationships. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him @jay4schools.