The MassInteract Blog

college virtual tour ideas

Top 5 Ideas to Make your College Virtual Tour More Winning

Virtual tours are like the cool new kid on the digital marketing block, thanks to their visual appeal and the realistic experience they offer. And many colleges are warming up to it, to drive more students to their website and get more applications. So, how do you stand out from the crowd and make your tour a truly winning one? How do you cater to the exact needs of your target audience (potential students and their families usually) and bring in that wow factor? Here are some smart college virtual tour ideas that can guide you:

  1. Get your storytelling right – With so many other colleges using virtual tours to market themselves, you need something unique to cut through the noise. So, one of the best college virtual tour ideas is to tell your brand’s story in an engaging (and informative) way, which is different from others. Your tour must highlight your institution’s specialties, show why a student should choose you over others, and connect at an emotional level. If possible, you can rope in alumni members to give your tour credibility and realness. Let your college virtual tour reveal the spirit of your college and its success stories, instead of just facts and figures. 

  2. Be mindful while shooting the tour – While shooting a 360 tour, pick locations that will look best and also assess the lighting they receive. These locations need to be absolutely clean and tidy, since powerful cameras pick up on minor imperfections too. You can also add a little extra appeal to these spaces with the right picture frames, vases or furniture pieces. Also decide when to shoot which location. For instance, outdoor shots come out best right before sunset, when the natural light is mellow.  

    Read – Using Virtual Reality in Education Has Many Benefits

  3. Provide the information your students need – College virtual tours shouldn’t just focus on the aesthetic aspects of the campus or show how well-equipped the gym or computer lab is. Provide information on bus routes to reach your college, financial aid, placement cell activities, scholarships, facilities near the campus (like clinics, markets, ATMs etc.). If you have a well-known faculty member or are offering some exclusive courses, highlight that. To attract out-of-town students, one of the top college virtual tour ideas is to provide information on residential and health aid facilities, buddy programs, cultural activities and so on.

  4. Make the tour easy to access – No matter how awesome your tour is, unless it is well-distributed and easy to navigate and explore, you can’t expect high conversions. So, embed the tour in a prominent part of your website, like the landing page, Admissions page, About Us page and Contact page. Include the link when you send emails or text messages too. Even if you have physical marketing materials like brochures, you can mention the tour link there. College virtual tours should also be shared on social media pages and college apps, so that students can easily share the same with their peers. This will boost your visibility and brand awareness. Make sure that the tour is easy to view across devices as well.

  5. Encourage students to take action through the tour – One ofthemost effective college virtual tour ideas involves the use of CTA (call to action) buttons strategically. For instance, by placing prominent buttons like Apply Online, Schedule a Visit, Call a Counselor, or FAQs, you can encourage students to take actions that might probably lead to conversions in the future. Embedding a VR button in the tour also makes sense as those with VR headsets can enjoy a more realistic experience and feel motivated to choose your college over others.
     

Apart from keeping the above ideas for college virtual tours in mind, get professional help to build the tour. This can make it more engaging, information-rich and different from others. Professionals will be able to use the perfect angles, lighting and editing to make your visuals stunning. They will also know how to combine visuals and text and where to position CTA buttons for maximum conversion. So, are you ready to give it a shot? Email us at info@massinteract.com and we will get back to you soon.   

Read Also – Tips To Get More Applications During COVID With Your College Virtual Tour

custom virtual tours for schools

5 Ways Custom Virtual Tours Can Give Schools a Whole New Edge during COVID

Empty school grounds are one of the many reminders of how life-changing the COVID pandemic has been. However, like many other businesses, schools are brainstorming and coming up with ways to boost applications and admissions once normalcy sets in. And 360 virtual tours are one of the best digital marketing strategies for them in this context. These custom virtual tours are eye-catching, information-rich and allow both students and parents to explore a school’s length and breadth from the comfort and safety of their homes. Here are more reasons why custom virtual tours for schools will be essential in 2021: 

  1. Connect better with website visitors or social media followers – Virtual tours are immersive and realistic in nature, and when created professionally, can be bright and attractive. So, when you add them to your school’s website or social media pages, you are likely to get more engagement from prospective students and their parents. They will tend to spend more time on your sites as well, which can lead to more queries or applications. In other words, the conversion rate will shoot up on adding custom virtual tours to school websites.

    Read – Using Virtual Reality in Education Has Many Benefits


  2. Showcase what is unique about your school – 360 tours give you the unique opportunity to highlight all the best things about your school, be it a sunny cafeteria, vibrant playground, beautiful garden or sparkling white classrooms. In the wake of the pandemic, you might also want to showcase your health aid facilities and what measures you are taking to maintain social distancing and hygiene. So, one of the benefits of custom virtual tours for schools is that they help you to stand out from others and drive the decision-making process of potential students or their parents. 

  3. Create more awareness and rank higher on Google – Apart from your website and social media pages, you can add virtual tours to your Google My Business listing as well giving it a bump in its SEO ranking. This will get you more clicks from students near you. And when Google spots that, it will rank you higher than others in local search results. Naturally, this will boost awareness about your school and your site will get more traffic. Plus, 360 virtual tours are easy to share, which means students can easily let their peers know about your school if they like what they see. 

    Read – Why Visual Marketing is the Future for Businesses

  4. Give easy access to information – The need of custom virtual tours for schools becomes especially evident when students and parents want to gather all the information they can, but cannot step outside or travel. So, in the middle of this pandemic, you can do your bit by offering them informative virtual tours that are easy to navigate and combine images, videos and text. This way, they can zoom in and take a closer look wherever they want, jump to different areas of the school without having to follow any particular sequence, and even get in touch with admission authorities to get their doubts cleared. You can also embed a VR button in the tour for those who want to enjoy a more live experience with their VR headsets.  

  5. Earn trust and make them comfortable – Using custom virtual tours for schools in COVID is agreat way to earn the trust of potential students, their families, and maintain transparency. It will help them visualize how your school environment will feel like, in reality. Moreover, these tours can lend a professional and progressive touch to your online presence, thereby building credibility. Even before students or parents pay an actual visit, they will know what to expect or enquire about.

To wrap up, the benefits of custom virtual tours for schools are many and extremely relevant in the wake of COVID. By adding these to your website, you can show how much you care about the student community and want to make their lives easier. What better way to market your institution than by leveraging goodwill, while you let digital technology take care of engagement and conversions? So, to create a virtual tour that steals the show, shoot us an email at info@massinteract.com.  

Read Also – Tips To Get More Applications During COVID With Your College Virtual Tour

add 360 photos to a Google My Business

Adding 360 Photos to a GMB Listing has Many Advantages

Every small business that is aware of the benefits of digital marketing has a Google My Business (GMB) listing these days. It essentially gives them a better chance to appear in Google search results when potential local customers search for what they sell. However, simply creating a listing is not enough to rank high on Google (which is ultimately what you want). You need to make it as engaging, informative and convincing as possible. This is why adding 360 photos to a GMB makes absolute sense, especially if your business has a physical presence. So, find out why cafes, restaurants, hotels, gyms, golf courses and even educational institutions are making 360 photos an integral part of their GMB listings:

  1. Better customer engagement – Since 360 photos offer a holistic view of your business, potential customers can visualize what it will feel like to eat at your restaurant or stay in your hotel or study at your college. Bright and crisp photos can grab eyeballs quickly, engage viewers and nudge them to explore more about your business. Another reason why adding 360 photos to Google My Business listings boosts engagement is because visual content is easier to register and recall than plain text. And potential customers consider your business to be well-established and professional when you make an effort to highlight its best aspects with the photos.

    Read – Why Visual Marketing is the Future for Businesses

  2. Better ranking and visibility – The more people click on your photos or engage with your listing, the greater will be your chance to rank high on Google. Why? Because this search engine is intelligent enough to figure out that your content is helpful since so many people are clicking on it. Naturally, it gives your website’s rank a good push. And the better your rank, greater is the visibility. Basically, adding 360 photos in GMB is your key to generating greater brand awareness and interest.  

  3. More transparency and conversion – If you add 360 photos to a Google My Business listing, it shows that you are transparent about your business and have nothing to hide. Good quality pictures that show panoramic views of your establishment, products or services can give them a fair idea about what to expect. This can help you earn their trust easily and more viewers will convert into paying customers. In fact, if your listing has 360 photos and your competitor’s doesn’t, prospects will tend to choose you over others. After all, using 360 photos also indicates that you are up to date and ahead of the competition.  

  4. Making the most of Google Maps – Did you know that 41% of business searches (on average) that take place on Google Maps lead to actual or onsite visits? So, with the help of 360 photography, you can make your listing more powerful and increase chances of getting more customers through Google Maps searches. It has also been observed that listings that feature photos or virtual tours encourage customers to buy something almost 30% of the time.

    Read Also – Does Your Business Need a Virtual Tour?

Things to remember for 360 business photography

Unless you are an expert with the latest camera models (especially the ones used for 360 photos), hire professionals to do the job. Remember to check their past experience, portfolio and ask them questions about how they will decide the right lighting, angles, décor etc. Find out what kind of editing they might render to the photos. And don’t forget to describe the photos, preferably in a search engine optimized manner (with the right keywords), so that your GMB listing has a better chance to rank high on Google.

So, you now know why adding 360 photos to a GMB makes so much sense, right? They get your business the visibility as well as traffic it needs to become more profitable. As one of the best forms of visual marketing, 360 photos are attractive, convincing, trustworthy (unless heavily edited), and will lend you a competitive edge too. So, if you are all set to boost the uniqueness and credibility of your GMB listing and draw more local customers Call us.   

Read – Does Your Business Need Google Street View? The Pro & Cons of Google Street View

    Top