The Cook School was already interested in video by the time I came on board. The Dean invested in a quality camcorder with microphone and Final Cut Pro, and the previous coordinator already conducted interviews with a few MBA students and professors. Nothing was put together into a nice package for MBA students though, mainly because everyone was unsure on things like video length and what would be the best way to present the MBA program.
When it came to length, the usual notion for web videos is the shorter the better. Anything longer than a minute is hard to hold viewers. But an MBA degree is a big investment that covers more topics than you can fit into 60 seconds. We decided to use time-on-site as a metric to help determine video length because it’s a good indicator of how deep people dive for information on that topic. Our average time-on-site for our MBA landing page was around 5 minutes, so we determined that we can go a little past the 1 minute barrier. Often, we’d split the more top lever content on landing pages with greater detail deeper in our navigation, maxing out at around 3-4 minutes each.
For presentation, I could sort of see what the previous guy was going for. He had some good, natural student interviews, but he also had some that seemed too “stuffy”; suit-and-tie management speaking about graduation rates in a downtown office building. It seemed out of spec to our target market, especially for our One-Year MBA program. We recorded new videos on campus, and instead of scripting the videos we did one-on-one interviews with our students, recording he interview throughout and taking the good content to create a great view of out MBA degree from our students point of view. It created a good natural element to humanize our MBA program.
Response has gone well; time on site increased by about two minutes which shows that people are spending time on the video, and we’re increasing our reach to start videos for our Accounting and International Business programs.