Back to School on YouTube: College

This is the second part of our Back to School series. In part one, ZEFR Insights uncovered the video trends high schoolers are watching as their summer comes to an end. In part two, we take a look at how YouTube helps high school graduates navigate the transition to college life.

The mindset of high school graduates undergoes major shifts during their final summer before college. The prospect of gaining one’s freedom from constant parental oversight mixes with the anxiety and fear of the unknown. Thankfully, from the moment of writing that first college application essay to putting the final touches on a dorm-room makeover, YouTube video trends provide plenty of tips for anxious freshmen.

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College Application Tips

While parents, grandparents, teachers—and plenty of other adults with strong opinions—bombard high school seniors with their advice on the sometimes grueling application process, YouTube videos from current college students serve as a welcome point of view from actual peers.

Dorm Room Tours

Once the acceptance letter arrives, it’s time to start learning how to live with all of your belongings in a single, small rectangle with another human. Knowing the best tips and hacks for setting up a dorm room can make a huge difference in terms of overall comfort and happiness. As a genre on YouTube, “tour” videos can be found for practically any space, and “dorm room tours” are especially fascinating for anyone looking for tips on how to make the most of a cramped lifestyle.

Some brands have already recognized the unique opportunity YouTube presents for the home furnishing and improvement vertical. Ikea recently partnered with YouTube star Nastazsa for a “Dorm room tour and makeover” video:

College Advice

Dorm room, check. Class schedule, check. Insanely expensive books, check. As college freshmen look over the syllabus of their new, mostly independent life, the number of new situations they will face can be overwhelming. Again, as with college application advice, instead of only being able to call home for help from the parents, today’s generation of college kids know how to search YouTube for help.

Reaching the Next Generation of Students

As brands seek out new ways to reach a younger audience that are “cutting the cord” in ever growing numbers, YouTube is a platform built by and for the next generation of students. When they want to learn a new skill, or get advice about how to handle an unfamiliar experience, the power of video gives them a head start toward mastery. When you reach someone in the mindset of wanting to learn and grow and achieve their dreams, this creates a level of engagement where an authentic, contextually relevant message can make a major impact. Class is officially in session for brands on YouTube.


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