YouTube Best Practices


The most recent education-industry research from Google (now owners of YouTube) shows that 62 percent of prospective students watch videos on YouTube versus 57 percent on university websites. Their research also shows that searches for higher education-related video content increases 70 percent year over year. These statistics speak to the power of YouTube as a marketing tool, particularly to prospective students.

And the YouTube demographic data, which includes 21.6 million teen viewers, shows that prospective and current students make up the majority of its 128.2 million monthly site visitors.

Producing YouTube Videos

With the vast reach and growing popularity of education videos, if you have staff available to shoot video, you want to be on YouTube. But like any other social network, you have to have a plan. The videos that do best on YouTube:

  • Are only one to three minutes in length.
  • Grab a viewers’ attention within the first 10 seconds.

Do you have the video staff or student employees to shoot and edit short, exciting videos like this? If not, YouTube might not be the social network for you. Or if you have academic content (lectures, panel discussions, etc.) that have value, your school, office or department could find a niche in the growing trend of online courseware.

If you’ve identified your niche and understand your level of staffing, you can better understand what kinds of videos you’re capable of producing. Even if you have just a couple of student employees, technology has improved to allow users to create high-quality work quickly and relatively cheaply. A high-quality video can be shot with a cell phone, point-and-shoot digital camera, or a digital SLR. For high-quality audio, a separate recorder will probably need to be paired with your cell phone camera, point-and-shoot or digital SLR.

Setting Up a YouTube Channel

Once you have your plan and your staff to create content, setting up a YouTube account is easy. If you already have a Google account for your office, just visit and log into your account.

You can add a profile picture, cover photo, and begin to search for videos related to your office or department and favorite them. Favorited videos can then be organized into your categorized playlists on your YouTube channel.

You can also learn quickly from YouTube what videos are working and what videos are not working. YouTube provides in-depth analytics (thanks to Google) that can show you demographics on your video views, how long people watch your videos and more.

Use the YouTube Creator Playbook to review details about creating a successful YouTube presence.