8 Tips on Reaching Students via YouTube


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Washington College Campus Recreation is reaching its students via YouTube.

“We thought it would be the best way for students, faculty and staff to access fitness videos at home while they are coping with the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Steve Kaneshiki, the coordinator of Campus Recreation.

Videos on the YouTube page are coming from two sources. One is the Sports Performance team and the other is an outside contracted fitness instructer who is hired during the school year. “Once we get a video, I edit them the best I can and upload them to YouTube,” said Kaneshiki. “I rushed five out at once so we would have a library, and I will be adding about two per week to keep it fresh.”

In putting together this offering at other campuses, Kaneshiki shared eight tips and things to consider when starting your own YouTube fitness program:

  1. You can record stuff on a phone. You don’t need fancy cameras/recorders to do this.
  2. You can use any video editing software. You might even be able to edit it right on your phone with the right app.
  3. Make sure the music is not too close to the recording device or you will drown out your instructor’s voice. Best results are having the music come from the ceiling, but if you have your instructor and recording device north-south, the music should be pointed at the instructor from an east-west position.
  4. If you are paying instructors for these videos, start out with a variety — one or two of each genre. See what type of videos get the most views and focus your money on paying for more of those videos. Our HIIT and strength training videos are way more popular than yoga and barre. I need to maximize the money spent during this time of uncertainty.
  5. Contact the college health professionals and let them know about your videos. They want to promote healthy lifestyles to battle isolation and depression. They will most likely help market your videos to the entire campus community.
  6. It does take some time to upload these. Depending on how fancy you edit your videos and the settings, it could take 2.5 hours for a one-hour video to upload to YouTube. That does not include editing and rendering your session into a usable video for YouTube.
  7. I suggest using a generic email address if you start your own YouTube channel like ours — example: campus_rec@washcoll.edu. If you use your personal email, you will get a ton of alerts, and if you change jobs, you’ll have to coordinate changing over the account to someone else.
  8. If you use music, it can’t be mainstream music or your video will receive a copyright strike/claim. Sometimes, it’s better for the instructor to not record it with music and you can add your own later. The YouTube audio library has a complete catalog of copyright free music to add to any video during editing. Even if you have three seconds of a song played, your whole video could be claimed or taken down.

Need more virtual offering tips? Check out the COVID-19 Resource Page here for online fitness programming articles, webinars and more.

Heather Hartmann
Heather Hartmann is the editor for Campus Rec Magazine. She can be reached at heather@peakemedia.com.

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