The combination of cheap video cameras, fast video-editing software and social media means all schools can use video to communicate a wide range of messages!
I've a few tips on planning and using video, but for more technical advice visit MyWebPresenters here - and please add your ideas by commenting!
1. To integrate video into your marketing planning you need to consider four areas - planning, shooting, editing and sharing. And check your school's safeguarding policy covers videos.
2. You can use videos in place of or to complement any other marketing activity - a prospectus, a newsletter, even an invitation. In terms of target audiences, videos tend to be more engaging to younger audiences (such as potential Sixth Form students) - parents may be more used to written documents.
3. Wherever possible plan to let students communicate key messages in words or actions - don't spend too long on talking heads from senior management (even the Head!)
4. Brainstorm creative ideas for shots in advance but also be open to new ideas from those you are filming. Chemistry teachers often have some good ideas (I've filmed people having their hands set on fire - you can't fake those reactions!).
5. Find a good but small HD video camera (and a small tripod) and take it with you when following up any stories. You can transcribe a video and use the best bits later in a written prospectus, but you can't turn written notes into a video!
6. Try to use the best equipment for a major video - but don't worry if you're stuck with a camera phone if you see something newsworthy.
7. Don't make people stick to a script (unless it's a song like the Eton video!). The best video interviews are with people who know generally what they will be asked, but have flexibility to change their answers.
8. Take time - stop and reshoot if there are problems. Video cameras now have a lot of memory while it is usually obvious where you've edited clips! The downside is that videoing will ALWAYS take longer than you think.
9. Get help from others in the school if you're not that good at editing. Students and art teachers are often very good!
10. Use social media such as YouTube to put videos on your website (the videos on this page are hosted by YouTube) and share them via social media. Remember to show them at Open Days and any other suitable occasion!
PS - By contrast to Eton, below is the best ranked UK school video prospectus on YouTube on 18/11/12 - a community school in Cumbria!