Education Finds Returns Through YouTube Video Research

Fast-Car-ASome might view Universal Technical Institute (UTI) as one of Google YouTube's unlikely beneficiaries, but the technical training school managed to reduce its cost-per-lead and achieve 10% higher enrollment rates on the video site, compared with display ads. It's been a learning experience for all.

UTI found a benefit in reaching potential and existing students, specifically "Gen C" males, ages 18 to 24, a demographic that regularly moves across devices and media platforms, making it difficult to track. This demographic influences $500 billion of spending annually in the U.S., according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and chooses to consume content on a variety of screens. Some 45% of Gen C-ers are likely to view little TV.

The school has relied on new and traditional media like digital, TV, and out-of-home advertising, but began to tap YouTube as a content hub where it uploads student testimonials, tech tips, and campus videos to give prospective students more information.

Overall, more than a billion people find YouTube channels they can connect with monthly; many screen hop. Site visitors now watch more than 50 million more hours daily compared to a year ago of a 50% increase.

UTI ran a YouTube TrueView ad in-stream test in 2012 targeting Gen C auto enthusiasts, supported by a library of 60-second TV-like spots visitors could search, as well as informational videos on its YouTube channel. Since the first test led to lower CPLs and higher enrollment rates, the school moved on to the second campaign focusing on motorcycle topics and music. The campaign more closely tracks audience behavior, expands targeting options, testing remarketing, tracking follow-on views, producing made-for-YouTube creative, and testing multiple ad creative pieces.

TrueView allows marketers to create one ad that runs across all screens and the One Channel design for brands, which launched in March, enable viewers to have a better experience.

Video increasingly continues to play a role in research for education. One in four students now report using video as part of their educational research. It turns out video used in educational research rose four times during the third quarter of 2012, compared with the year-earlier quarter, according to Compete's Custom U.S. Education Study, Q3 2012. Participants were prospective students of higher education.

Multiple screens are essential to reaching Gen C-ers, according to Google. The demographic taps YouTube throughout the day, using the site on smartphones about the same as PCs. Some  41% tune in to YouTube on their smartphone as they wait for something or someone, 18% while commuting from work or school, and 15% while commercials are running on TV.

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