Reel Deal Monday: Big Things Are Within Reach, Nina Blanco
Profiling current students is one of the easiest ways to show prospective students the potential opportunities available at your institution. This idea isn’t rocket science, but it can have a big impact. Here is the second video in Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s new series “Big Things Are Within Reach.”
- Sharing opportunities available for students attending SIU with prospective students. (“This could be you!”)
- “This series focuses on students gaining hands-on experience and pursuing their goals,” stated Tamarah Cook, manger of social media at SIU.
- Tamarah added that this series directly supports SIU’s overall branding messages.
- “Big Things Are Within Reach” videos are created and produced by students on the Social Media Team. Awesome! Giving capable students a project like this is really smart. They’re in touch with the current student body, have the ability to easily find these unique stories, and the end result will often look more authentic.
- If you aren’t required to have a three to five second intro of your institution’s logo, get rid of it. You can always put your logo at the end of the video or add a small watermark over your frames in the beginning. The first five to ten seconds are critical to retaining your viewers. In some ways I consider those intro-logos to be a punishment!
- I love the b-roll and effects selected for the beginning of the video. Making it clear very quickly that Nina’s story is unique and taking place outside the typical academic setting was a smart decision. As a viewer, I’m curious to see and hear more.
- The shots of Nina in action are interesting and fun. Filming the interview from her DJ chair enhances the story and provides authenticity. Smart visual choices!
- When you’re profiling current students with web video it is really important to select people who will be natural and relatable in front of the camera. Nina was a great choice.
- Layering music or other audio underneath a person speaking is a common practice, but you have to be really careful to not distract viewers from what is being said. The music was well selected for Nina’s video profile, but overall it needs to be toned down. Many video editors will auto-adjust layered tracks for you, known as “ducking.” Make sure you manually re-adjust if necessary. In fact, you might have to reduce the volume of your layered tracks to different levels throughout the video depending on how loudly the person on camera is speaking. Once you have all the audio tracks properly layered and adjusted, always give the entire video one final listen, with you eyes closed. It’s amazing what you might pick up when you remove the sense of sight and just focus on listening.
- It’s important to select your visual effects wisely. Too many transitions, flashes, or filters can be a bit overwhelming.
- Perfect length.
- More could have been done with the description and tags. What if a student wants to take Nina’s path? What is the next step? Why not provide a link to her major’s academic page? And better tagging will increase the likelihood that other videos from this series will appear in the side column of related videos.
- In case a prospective student discovers these type of videos on your YouTube channel, create YouTube playlists for your video series when two or more videos are posted.
- In case a prospective student randomly stumbles across this video, don’t make it difficult for them to discover the rest. Using YouTube annotations you can quickly and easily link to the rest of the videos in your series.
- This video fits well into the theme “Big Things Are Within Reach.” And Nina is a great example of a SIUC student pursuing special opportunities.
- The video has received a modest number of views.
- Selecting a title for the series that is in line with other branding efforts allows SIUC to take advantage of SEO opportunities. For example, notice the first sentence on the how to apply page.
My rating for this video is a 7.5. The video series is a fantastic idea to enhance the “Big Things” tagline and profiling Nina was a smart decision. I took into account that this series is student created and produced, but there were some audio issues and other minor details that prevented me from giving the video a higher score. Overall, it is an interesting and enjoyable video to watch.
Thanks for sharing this series, Tamarah!
Don’t forget to submit a video from your institution.
Next week I’ll be taking a short hiatus from the Reel Deal Monday series. But don’t worry, something even better is in store…