Visual storytelling was a key component of our 2015 UMSocial strategy. Investments were made to our audio/visual technology, and efforts to streamline accounts and increase the frequency of content were implemented. By revitalizing our content approach we gained over 3,000 new YouTube subscribers and surpassed one million views within the course of the year, resulting in 4,976,669 minutes worth of viewing time. Additionally we broadened the types of content we provide, posting performances by gifted artists, lectures by esteemed authors and professors, and videos that capture the life of a Wolverine and even our Snapchat stories in order to curate our work on the popular mobile-only network.

Below is a list of our most-viewed YouTube videos in 2015:

1. Our highest performing video was of a Mammoth Excavation Near Chelsea, Michigan that made headlines around the world. Captured by the Michigan News team, faculty and students unearthed the monumental discovery of an ancient mammoth in a small-town farmer’s field. Through the power of YouTube, U-M Director of the Museum of Paleontology, Daniel Fisher, was able to share his expertise and the exclusive footage with 693,993 viewers.

2. Our second best performing video welcomed new and returning Wolverines to the Ann Arbor campus. Featuring beautiful images of our iconic stadium and university President Mark Schlissel offering his warm greetings.

3. In 2015, the University of Michigan was ranked as the No. 1 public university in the U.S. At the annual campus Winterfest event we asked students why U-M was their No. 1. The video of their responses really resonated with our viewers and inspired others to share why Wolverines everywhere love calling U-M hoMe.

4. Prior to our renewed YouTube strategy commencement coverage was previously uploaded in its entirety, creating a rather long video that received very few views. In 2015, each speaker was segmented out and lower thirds and branding were applied. Collectively we say over a 2,000% increase in views of the 2015 footage when compared to 2014. The speech by Zingerman’s Founders Ari Weinzweig and Paul Saginaw at 2015 Spring Commencement came in at #4.

5. Introducing new video series or projects proved to be a successful piece of our 2015 efforts. Across all platforms, communities value the concept of exclusivity and appreciate being treated as a VIP. One such project, Inside the M, provided a behind-the-scenes look at Michigan Dining, its chefs and nutrition specialists, and all the hard work that goes into feeding campus each day.