Livestreaming at School: 6 Practical Ways Schools can Leverage Livestreams for Content Marketing
Livestreaming is a steadily growing way for companies, organizations, and even people to connect with one another in meaningful ways.
When it comes to content marketing, livestreaming is also one of the most effective ways to make that connection with your audience. Livestreaming allows for real-time engagement and a dialogue to happen in the ‘now’, creating a dynamic that is unlike most other forms of content marketing and engagement.
What I find when talking with leaders is that they don’t know where to start exactly. In response, I created an Ultimate Livestreaming Guide that you can find here, as well as a practical way to get great looking livestreams within a strict budget. If you have time, check out those two resources to get a better understanding of how you can leverage livestreaming in a powerful way.
As livestreaming becomes more accessible with smartphones being the norm and cheaper as internet data from cell phone and cable providers drop in cost, schools and universities have an avenue to make an impact with their audience like never before. You now have the means to engage with your students, prospective students and their parents in relevant, actionable ways.
If you don’t know where to start with livestreaming for your school or university, or need some ideas to power up your content marketing, this article will highlight some of the practical ways that you can start using livestreaming in a meaningful way, right now!
One of the most obvious ways that a school or university can start leveraging the power of livestreams right away is with school-sponsored events. School-sponsored events are great for a number of reasons: Sponsored events usually appeal to a large group of people, are planned out several months in advance, utilize some of the equipment you need to make a livestream great (see my guide here for things to be aware of), and don’t require any creative planning to engage your audience.
With school-sponsored events, all you need to do is simply show-up and livestream. There might be a few technical hurdles such as getting the sound just right or finding the best place to set up your phone or camera to livestream, but those are easy to accomplish with the planning that is already happening with the event.
Here are some ideas for school-sponsored events that would work great with livestreaming:
Music Performances: Capture your school-sponsored musical program so that people can watch it anywhere if they are if they were unable to make it. You can also turn these musical performances into evergreen content that can be reused later on (check out these evergreen content tips)
Seasonal Events: Events are spring, fall, winter, and summer are great opportunities to livestream. If you have a unique set of activities happening at your Christmas event, take the time to meet with people at the event, do curated interviews and guide your audience through the event, as if they were there.
On-campus Speakers: When a special speaker comes to your campus for a Spirit week or a special Sabbath service, livestream their appearance or speech. You can even have some interviews with them to get the audience familiar with what is happening at your school.
Worship Services: Every week you have an awesome opportunity to get the gospel out and connect with your audience while on the move by livestreaming (don’t fall for some of these poor livestreaming mistakes though!)
Live Classroom Streaming
Schools and universities have a unique opportunity for content that most organizations or businesses don’t have, the classroom. The classroom or lecture hall is a place where learning, discussions, and powerful conversation all happen. Livestreaming within specific classrooms or for specifier lessons offers unique content and provides your audience with a more intimate experience than just reading about your school or university online.
While every classroom isn’t suitable for livestreaming, there are ways that you can turn the classroom into a way to generate content by letting your audience peak in and be a part of it. Here are some out of the box ways you can use livestreaming to engage your audience within your classroom or lecture hall:
Live Seminars: Seminars on specific topics give a great place for a livestream to happen. A seminar can move beyond the curriculum of the classroom and allow lecturers and professors to cover specific items that can be widely enjoyed.
Guest Professors: Bringing in a guest professor to cover a specific topic within a classroom is a unique way to offer value to your audience without interrupting the curriculum of the classroom.
Remote Students: During school year breaks, students can tune in remotely to livestreams to see a special webinar, live seminar, or segment that the school is putting on but they are unable to attend. This type of engagement can help keep your school, and the student’s studies, top of mind even during their time off.
Uniquely engaging students on-campus is important in building a relationship with the school and the student. While creating some of these more unique segments might be more involved than the ones above, they can offer real, lasting value.
Every school is different and creating content that appeals to the students on-campus is just as unique. Instead of giving a template of what to create, it would be better for you to get together with other key decision makers and influencers within your school and follow the steps to create tailored segments to use as content.
Here is a brief step by step instruction guide to creating impactful livestream content segments:
Identify when students are most active on social media during the day. You will need to understand when students are engaged with social media so you can plan segments around those time frames. Saturday morning at 9:00 a.m. might not be as effective as Tuesday afternoon during lunch. Once you understand that you will need to…
Get a team together of content creators. This could be a team of people who will host the livestream segment that you are putting out, or develop content that will be a part of the segment. For example, if you having a host walk around campus and interview students, find that person and the team of people to make it happen.
Outline a month-by-month livestreaming calendar. Even week-by-week could work depending on your needs. Really the goal is to set up a calendar of events so that you can anticipate and plan these segments out in advance as well as promote them on the social media platforms you’re on. Avoid scrambling for ideas or content the day-of; develop a plan and do your best to stick to it.
Be consistent with your livestreaming and your timeline. Same days, same time, and don’t deviate from it. The more consistent you are about livestreaming, the more aware your audience will become about the segment you’re doing.
Make it evergreen (if it’s good enough).
I’ll keep this section simple - do everything from the On-Campus engagement section, but take it off of your school’s campus. Really this is a cool way to cover events happening in the area, engage with the local community, cover mission projects and more. Apply the same formula but just change the location and the content.
When I was attending school, one of the most important things for me as a student was to know what was happening with my school, how my friends and other students were doing, and also how committed my staff was to my success. I don’t think the formula is any different for any other school (personal opinion!).
Making the connection between staff and students will be especially important at your school or university: Livestreaming is a great way for students to become acquainted with staff members they might not typically encounter on a day to day basis.
Breaking down the wall between student and staff is important in all schools, but especially larger schools and universities. Here are some unique content ideas that you can consider to introduce more staff to students and lift the veil behind what happens within the school or university.
Staff Interviews: Take 10 minutes to interview a member of staff with common questions that students might be wondering about. Give the staff a voice to respond and affirm the student’s own voice.
Behind The Scenes: Consider executing a livestreaming segment where students get a chance to go ‘behind the scenes’ to see how different parts of the school operate and maintain the day-to-day of univesity life.
Staff Town Hall: Getting together specific instructors, staff members, and other university employees together to stream town halls or communal gatherings are excellent ways to break down the walls and give the school a more cohesive staff to student relationship
School Recruitment Events
Livestreaming can be a powerful tool for recruitment and in fact, there are so many options on what can be done to give prospective students a look into your school and what life would be like, that I’m going to give you a laundry list of ideas to run with.
Think of the principles applied throughout this entire guide and apply them to each potential idea. Really it is more about a cohesive approach than throwing everything against the wall to see what sticks. Combine your livestream strategy with multiple content ideas and see what fits the best.
Here are all of the cool things you could do with livestreaming to aid in recruitment efforts:
University Q&A with recruiters
Staff & Faculty Q&A
Campus classroom tours
Campus life tours - dorms, cafeteria, lifestyle, etc
Local community showcase - things to do in the area
Presentations by recruiters on livestream
Interviews with current or prospective students
Classroom streaming session (degree specific)
Live application walkthrough
Recruitment events on-campus
And more (send in your ideas!)
Don’t wait - start livestreaming
Livestreaming offers a truly wide range of different ways to create awesome content that connects. In most cases, the real challenge is buckling down and committing to starting on a strategy.
Your strategy doesn’t have to be perfect, it just needs to ‘be’. Even if you have a rough idea of what to do, get the ball rolling and apply best practice where you can to get the ball rolling and the foundation set. Avoid the ‘paralysis by analysis’ syndrome that many enthusiastic leaders fall into. Just move!
Also, be sure to check out my Ultimate Guide to Livestreaming to see a comprehensive list of the dos and don'ts when it comes to livestreaming content marketing.
Comment below on what you found to be the most effective or what plans you plan on moving forward with.
If you have any questions or are looking to get some advice on what to do, feel free to reach out to me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or on social media @thedigitalpew