Engaging with your students on YouTube - how to get your voice heard

Engaging with your students on YouTube - how to get your voice heard

Adam Omar
13th October 2017

YouTube, once just the home of funny cat videos, is now the internet’s go-to place for video content. Whether it’s ‘how to’ videos, lifestyle vlogs, short films, music videos, or pretty much anything else you can imagine - people of all ages are using YouTube for all kinds of amazing things.

It’s now the second biggest search engine after Google and it’s helping to raise the next generation of students. But the good news is - it’s really easy to get involved with.

The tools offered on YouTube for publishing video content are exactly the same for you and me as they are for huge corporations. We all click the same ‘Publish’ button to get our  video out there. It’s a level playing field. Getting your stories out there has never been easier and this is a huge opportunity for everyone.

Here’s some stats:

●                YouTube is 2016’s most-loved brand among children aged 6 to 12

●                87% of 13 - 17 year-old internet users in the UK use YouTube

●                300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute

●                Almost 5 billion videos are watched on Youtube every single day

Growing up online - why YouTube is a big deal

Young people today didn’t grow up with kid’s TV - stuffed animal puppets and broom cupboards - like we mostly did. They grew up online, with videos available to watch whenever they wanted and on topics covering all aspects of life.

Whilst there’s numerous sources of online video (BBC iPlayer, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) YouTube is, and has been for many years, the driving force in the market.

Not sure how to apply your make-up? There’s loads of YouTube videos to help. Need some assistance with your maths homework? The explanation of how to find the answer is on YouTube. Need some information about what it’s like to live in England to study over here? There’s a YouTube vlog of a student who’s done the exact same thing.

Content is king and you have a secret weapon

With hundreds of hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute it can be difficult to be heard in such a crowded marketplace.

But universities - you - have a secret weapon.

Every year thousands of young people come to university for the first time. For most it’s the first time moving away from home, the first step to independent living. There’s a lot to learn, a lot to discover. And who’s better placed to answer those questions than the universities themselves, from dealing with homesickness to navigating around the local area and everything inbetween, the university staff have seen it all.

YouTube is where students will go to learn how to do things they don’t understand. If you can provide answers to questions that you know they will ask, then you’re not only helping out your students, you’re establishing yourself as the voice of knowledge and understanding within your student community. If you’re able to get this across from Freshers’ Week then you’re helping to develop a fantastic relationship with your students.

You’ve got easy access to a platform students use every day. You’ve got the information students will look for. So get on YouTube and get your voice heard!