We have been busy launching a student testimonial initiative called My Michigan Tech over the past few months. This is really neat project that has allowed us to talk to a bunch of our students and learn about their Michigan Tech experiences.
In August, an admissions and enrollment consultant came to campus. One great idea shared was to prioritize letting prospective students learn about Michigan Tech through storytelling by our current students. This could be accomplished through quotes and stories in text and video forms.
Storytelling is a powerful marketing tool. More importantly, though, it is a genuine way to share great information about Michigan Tech. Our students are our story, after all. Why not hear from them?
We put together a Google Form asking five basic questions about our students’ experiences. We then put together an email list of student ambassadors that Undergraduate Admissions works with and invited those students to tell their story. We also invited the campus community to refer students directly to our form via a Tech Today announcement.
We used a voluntary approach to collecting these initial testimonials to speed up the process. Student ambassadors are passionate about Michigan Tech making them the perfect students to talk to. Opening the invite to campus via Tech Today made sure no one was left out.
As responses came in, our editorial team started categorizing them. Some were perfect for the web and some perfect for a video testimonial. We blocked a couple dates, times, and locations with our videographer and emailed more than two dozen of the student respondents—explaining the video component of our initiative and inviting them to choose a time slot to be filmed. In total we contacted ~30 students with the goal of filling 12 video time slots.
We used a first-come, first-serve approach to scheduling video to move quickly and efficiently, knowing there was a desire to show immediate progress. We wanted to mature our concept, knowing that a successful product would lead to more interest in helping us down the road.
In total, 60 students voluntarily responded to our initial Google Form. Their stories were truly outstanding. We used those responses to identify more than 200 quotes and stories for our websites. We also created nine testimonial videos.
As of February 12, our My Michigan Tech videos have been viewed more than 2,600 times on our websites and YouTube. Additionally, we are running the videos natively on the various Michigan Tech social media accounts. And, we are using these videos in various UMC-driven digital ad campaigns.
These quotes, stories, and videos have been distributed across the program pages on the Admissions website and extra content has been shared with relevant academic CMS liaisons for use on their own sites. In particular, the School of Business and the various departments within the College of Sciences and Arts have done a great job of getting testimonial content onto the majority of their recruitment webpages.
For the spring semester, we are expanding our My Michigan Tech video series by scheduling seventeen additional recordings. For this round, we are working to create a more well-rounded view of our campus and the programs. We are also finishing processing some footage captured in the fall.
The campus community is invited to share potential testimonial students with UMC by emailing email@example.com. We will continue this series in the summer and fall and will need additional volunteers. We can also use some backups for the spring, in the event that some previously identified students can’t participate. We are excited to work with you!
Create Your Own
You can also model your own testimonial series to match ours by following these tips:
- Create a digital questionnaire using Google Docs or Google Forms
- Send the questionnaire to your students. Student ambassador lists are a great resource as are learning center coaches, lab supervisors, and student workers.
- Edit the quotes and stories for your social media accounts and CMS website. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like any editing tips.
- We can recommend a local video vendor to assist you and can lend you our graphics package. Email email@example.com for more details.
The Digital Services team is really excited about this project, the progress that we’ve made in a short time, and future stories that we will be capturing. We have such special students. It is exciting to give them an avenue to share their experiences with future Huskies and and we’re thankful for the opportunity to work with them. Feedback on this initiative is welcomed.
Director of Digital Services