One of the great things here at WizMotions is that we get to work with a large variety of clients. From small businesses just getting started to long established brands and from non-profits to educational institutions, we serve all kinds of organizations.
We wanted to shine a well-deserved spotlight on some of these clients who are doing amazing things and talk to them about how they are using their animated videos.
First up is Augustana College. Based in Rock Island, IL, Augustana is a private liberal arts college that offers more than 90 majors and other academic programs in the traditional liberal arts and sciences. It also offers pre-professional programs and certificates.
Augustana provides students with unique learning benefits from its location in the Quad Cities, its high ranking for Academic All-Americans, and its Augie Choice funding program for high-impact learning experiences. In addition, as a residential liberal arts college, Augustana is able to integrate activities on campus with students’ academic lives.
Augustana had wanted to try using animation for a while, says Editorial Director Beth Roberts, who works in the Office of Communication and Marketing at the college. The school chose animation so it could appeal to both prospective college students just coming out of high school and their families.
However, Roberts adds, Augustana didn’t want their videos to be too cartoony because the message is also aimed at prospective employers and concerns professional skills and qualities.
“We thought the stick-figure animation could deliver a serious message in a light-hearted way,” Roberts said.
The college had some hefty goals to accomplish with their animated videos. They wanted to show prospective employers that Augustana students are highly employable while also showing prospective students that Augustana is a place where they can gain skills that will land them lucrative careers.
“We wanted to demonstrate to employers that our grads are highly employable, and to show potential students how they can gain such qualities here at Augustana,” Roberts said. “We also wanted those students and their parents see that we are connecting employers with our students. Our immediate goal was to include these videos as part of our ‘yield’ for the current admission cycle, aiming for 700+ students to commit to Augustana by May 1, 2017.”
Roberts, along with Augustana Creative Director Quan Vi; Director of Recruitment Communications Meghan Cooley; and Assistant VP of Communication and Marketing Keri Rursch, looked at data collected by the college. They identified three main skills that employers are interested in that students also develop at Augustana. Those skills were:
Working on the process one video at a time, Roberts wrote the scripts and envisioned the initial concepts for the artwork. Then, she and her colleagues fleshed out the concepts in the final videos, working with Federico Perez at WizMotions. Each video addressed one of the three skills, showing how Augustana helps students develop that particular skill.
While it’s not yet possible to tell how much their animated videos have helped the school with admissions for the current admissions cycle, the numbers for new admissions are well ahead of the last few years at this point in the year. The increased admissions are due to a number of factors, including an increased presence on social media.
“The higher-ed market is in constant flux,” Roberts said, “and it’s not always easy to see exactly why our market share increases or decreases”
Although Augustana is happy with the videos, Roberts says, if she had to repeat the process, she would want to determine in advance exactly what deadlines the school needed to meet, stage by stage, in order to meet its final deadline to make the process smoother.
From prospective students and their families to prospective employers, Augustana College identified their target audience and used research and data to form their video concepts to appeal to those target audiences. A comprehensive approach like this is the best way to create a video that will provide maximum return on investment.
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