Located in Washington, D.C., Georgetown University was established in 1789 and is the nation’s oldest Catholic and Jesuit university. There are nine schools at the private institution—undergraduate, graduate and professional—organised into a wide range of programmes, departments and institutes. In total, across all campuses and programmes (including international), more than 17,800 students attend Georgetown. Ranked as a top 25 undergraduate university by U.S. News & World Report, incoming students nationwide and from around the world look to Georgetown for quality education, and Georgetown looks to them to continue its tradition of academic excellence. Thus, a dynamic online presence is essential for recruiting.
According to the National Centre for Education Statistics, there are approximately 3,000 four-year colleges and universities in the US. Competition is fierce among leading schools for top students, and in recent years Georgetown has incorporated more and more video into its content marketing mix to engage prospective students and their families.
The university has a flagship website, and each of the schools or programmes conducts their own digital marketing efforts as well. In 2014, the university launched a new online platform called Georgetown Everywhere. It includes event coverage, features on campus life and stories about university athletics. In addition, the platform includes a student-produced programme called Georgetown Buzz. To launch this important new video-driven initiative, Georgetown partnered with Brightcove for a robust, cost-effective solution.
Driving Online Outreach with Better Engagement
Georgetown’s Vice President for Public Affairs, Erik Smulson, describes the motivation for developing Georgetown Everywhere. “[The goal was to] centralise the terrific video content being created across campus by different departments and schools and engage the Georgetown community and others in new and exciting ways. We wanted to create a platform that would make this content available across a wide array of mobile devices, tablets, websites and on TV to highlight the exceptional faculty and students and, in general, all the extraordinary things happening at Georgetown.”
Brightcove Gallery delivers powerful, engaging video experiences to help organisations of all kinds generate more views, conversions and time on-site. It includes more than 100 standard templates, and the responsive design optimises layouts for any device to keep viewers watching longer.
“A big selling point for us was cost-savings,” states Scott Anderson, Digital Initiatives Manager at Georgetown University. “The mobile approach we relied on previously totalled 1,500 dollars a month, but because now we could bundle everything into one package with Brightcove Gallery and drop the native code for iOS and Android apps— we started saving 1,500 dollars a month immediately.”
Georgetown Everywhere powered by Brightcove Gallery was up and running for the university within a matter of days—even with customisations to match the look and feel of Georgetown’s branding. “It wasn’t difficult,” added Anderson. “We were very pleasantly surprised by how fast the launch occurred.”
Georgetown Everywhere adds about 10 new videos each month and is on pace to stream nearly 1,000 videos by the end of 2015. A key efficiency with Brightcove Gallery is the ability to create playlists with unique URLs. “The School of Continuing Studies can have its own playlist, for instance. Or our program in Qatar,” Anderson notes. “That way, they can link out to just their own videos from their individual websites.”
Ultimately, Georgetown Everywhere means more effective engagement.
“When students are looking at a university,” Anderson continues, “they want to see how they fit into the community. A lot of our videos highlight students’ faces and voices to convey the message that, yes, you too can be a part of this community. And Georgetown Everywhere also features the high profile speakers that visit the university. President Obama, the director of the FBI, president of the World Bank—all have spoken at Georgetown. So if a prospect sees an image that’s interesting, they click on it. Engagement goes up.”