Reel Deal Monday: A day in the life of Gettysburg College, Leap Day Photo Project

This post was originally featured on mStonerblog.com

I love starting my week with video. Here’s one from Gettysburg College. What better day than Leap Day to capture campus life via photos and short video?

Perceived Goals

  • To showcase life on Gettysburg College campus.
  • I believe there are broader purposes for this video than simply using it as a recruitment-focused marketing tool.

Evaluation

  • If I was giving out points, I’d give Gettysburg 279 points for creating an interactive and integrated social media campaign for the Leap Day Photo Project. Not only was this video shared on Gettysburg.edu and YouTube, the College promoted the project on Facebook and encouraged user photo submissions on Tumblr and on a special Posterous account for the project.

Facebook Gettysburg College

  • YouTube Insights gives valuable information into the success of your videos. As a regular viewer, I am able to view the top three gender + age demographics for any YouTube video. Of course, when you are trying to recruit a traditional undergraduate student the goal is to have “Female 13-17” and “Male 13-17” among the list. A day in the life hit a home run with the “Female 13-17” demographic. I’m going to roll with awarding arbitrary points and grant Gettysburg 78 points for connecting with half of their target market.
  • As you know from my last review, I think it is extremely important to update description, tags, and the category for YouTube videos. Because this project has an interactive component, I think Gettysburg should have encouraged photo submissions with a link to Posterous or Tumblr right within the video description. And why isn’t “Leap Day” a tag? 40 points awarded for not leaving these sections blank. 18 points taken away for missing an opportunity.
  • The length is perfect. The video moves along and the visuals are nicely timed with the music. (Little details like that make all the difference.) This is the type of video where length can easily get away from you, so kudos for keeping it to just over one minute.
  • Campus looks great, students look happy, and a woman was wearing a Gettysburg hoodie. “Duh,” you might be thinking, “why would I show trash or unhappy faces?” Well, getting these images isn’t as easy as you might think when you are snapping candid photos and shooting random video clips. And most of the photos and videos have that raw, “I just pulled out my iPhone” feel.
  • Academics, athletics, and food. I think my one complaint is every photo or video can be placed into one of those categories. What about the impressive performing arts groups? Or photos of students volunteering with the local youth?

Results

  • By sharing the video in multiple places, the view count is over 1,000.
  • I’m wondering if Gettysburg can attribute new photo submissions on either Tumblr or Posterous directly to this video. (Paul, are you out there? Have any insights?)

Rating

rating 9

I give this video a 9 because Gettysburg paid attention to details. Lining up the images and music may have been something a less-experienced video editor would have overlooked. And this video will be easily repurposed, increasing the return on investment. The length is perfect and I walk away feeling good about life on campus at Gettysburg.

Paul Fairbanks, Director of Web Communications, Communications and Marketing, submitted this video and says, “We feel the video was successful in both capturing the day and reflecting life at Gettysburg College. We are pleased with the view count and will re-use the video in the future.” Well done, Paul.

What rating would you give this video and why? Leave a comment below. And don’t forget to submit a video from your institution.

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About Mallory Wood

Mallory Wood is a Vermont-based higher ed marketing professional with a passion for social media, web video, and event production. View all posts by Mallory Wood

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