If you see a student walking around campus, camera in hand and talking seemingly to no one, there’s a chance it’s one of the newest social media interns vlogging about life here at Colorado State University.
It’s part of a new experiment from the CSU Social and Digital Media Team, which has enlisted the help of students Ryan Haynes, Grace Crangle, and Jamie Ittershagen to film and edit fresh video content every week. The goal is to build an affinity for CSU among young individuals who may someday wish to become a Ram.
These paid student interns document life as a student at CSU in a new YouTube vlogging series called “A Ram’s Life.” The term “vlog” simply refers to a blog that is distributed in video format — a video blog – which tends to be more intimate than a scripted video, often highlights life at a very ordinary level and resonates with a younger audience. A Ram’s Life opens the door for prospective students to become familiar with the campus and culture at Colorado State before ever arriving in Fort Collins.
After launching in April, the channel has seen a recent surge in traffic, generating more than 750,000 video views and 6,705 subscribers. The videos have amassed more than 6.8 million impressions from an audience primarily in the age range of 13-24 years old.
According to a Pew Research study, 85% of American teens say they use YouTube, and 32% of those consume YouTube content more than that of any other social media platform. The immersive nature of video lends well to experiencing people, places and things from a distance – perhaps a reason that college campus tour videos produce hundreds of thousands of views. CSU’s social media team is taking a softly branded approach, allowing the three vloggers to document an authentic perspective of life at CSU without any forced agenda from the University.
So far, the strategy is working. The vloggers are starting to get recognized around campus, and prospective students from around the country are reaching out to them in personal messages wanting to know more about CSU, mentioning a desire to transfer or apply. The series will feel like a success if even one viewer comes to realize that Colorado State University is a place where he or she can feel welcome, accepted, and at home.