Big Rapids Ferris State University is trying a new marketing strategy this school year – the power of video and visual appeal. In May, the Department of Enrollment Services contracted DW Video & Multimedia, LLC, to produce three videos to market the university. The completed videos have been entitled, “Welcome to Ferris,” “Campus Life” and “Bulldog Parent Testimonial.”
“One of the things we’ve been trying to do is to provide visitors with as much flavor of the campus as possible,” said Kristen Salomonson, FSU’s dean of Enrollment Services, and director of Admission and Records. The most influential experience for prospective students is their campus tour, Salomonson said.
Last year, the university put together a committee to maximize the experience of visitors after hearing feedback. “Some visitors said they didn’t get as much of a flavor of campus as they would have liked,” Salomonson said. “We asked ourselves, ‘When visitors come to campus, how do they feel? Were all their questions answered?’
The committee questioned how the enrollment department could make a visit to FSU a special experience that people will remember, Salomonson said. The committee decided to create and present videos that encompass what FSU offers. “The main purpose of the videos is to be used during campus tours,” said Duane Weed, video producer of DW Video & Multimedia,
LLC. “Tours begin with a presentation at Williams Auditorium. The videos give PowerPoint presentations a huge boost.”
Weed began the video-creation process by researching other videos, he said. “As the producer, my main goal was to make the video real – not scripted,” Weed said. “We wanted to tell the story through interviews. The team agreed and the process of setting up interviews and video capture began.”
However, the department and Weed faced a challenge – many of the university’s visitors are not prospective students. “Many of our visitors are parents,” Salomonson said. “So, we decided to do some video to relate to them as well.”
Lindsey Cuddeback, FSU admissions coordinator on social media, and Jason Daday, FSU admissions representative, helped Weed set up interviews with parents, students and professors.
“A key element in any production is teamwork and communication,” Weed said. “I spent nearly 40 hours of producing, making phone calls, scheduling and setting up shots all before the cameras were even taken out of their cases.”
Weed called on members of his creative team, including Dan Salas, Frank Krywicki and Ben Slater, to begin capturing on-location video. “Captured video resulted in nearly a half
terabyte of raw footage and 10 days of video capture,” Weed said. “Frank and I spent around 80 hours of editing.” A terabyte is a large unit of stored information, equal to 1,024 gigabytes.
The cost of contracting DW Video & Multimedia, LLC, was between $4,000 and $5,000, Salomonson said.
“We felt it was very cost effective because we can use the videos in a variety of ways,” Salomonson said. “We were really attracted to working with Duane because he is a Ferris alumnus and did a lot of previous work in the community.”
The range of cost is based on how much work is put into creating the videos, Weed said. “The number of days of on-location video capture, scripting, producing, graphics, motion
graphics, animation, editing, encoding and authoring the final video are key items to consider,” Weed said.
Videos produced by Weed typically range between $500 and $10,000, he said. “We live in a media-driven world and video is a key element in how a message is delivered,” Weed said. “Video has an impact for all businesses, nonprofits and schools. Telling their story in a short amount of time is important.”
Video can reach a larger audience compared to other marketing strategies, Weed said. Other key factors include print, billboards, radio and TV.
FSU markets through videos – By Cortney Erndt Pioneer Staff Writer. bigrapidsnews.com
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We also produced a fun Behind the Scenes video on the making of the Ferris Videos.
Promote your business with video, contact Duane at 231-937-5420 to discuss your projects.