The MassInteract Blog

college virtual tours

4 Sure-Shot Ways to Attract International Students to Your University

It is human nature to seek greener pastures or brighter possibilities when you are growing up and trying to find your foothold in a fiercely competitive world. So, it is no surprise that for decades, students have been testing new waters when it comes to higher education. In other words, studying abroad has always had its own attraction for those who are looking for something more than what their home countries offer. So, most universities already realize the importance of drawing international students to their courses, as it not only means more revenue, but also better recognition at a global level. However, attracting international students to your university takes a bit of strategy and creativity. Keep these tips in mind.

  1. Give your website an extra edge – For starters, make your website multilingual. Integrating your CRM with Google Translate can do the trick. Better still, if you can create different sites for different languages, you can incorporate cultural cues and address students of different backgrounds in a more realistic way. For example, the cultural context for someone whose first language is English might be different from someone whose first language is Spanish. Make sure your website has all the necessary information related to courses, deadlines, admission, documentation, scholarships and financial aid. Make sure that international students have a way to contact an admission counselor through the site. Application forms should also be easy to translate in different languages.  

  2. Show the real picture with virtual tours – One of the best tips to attract international students to your university involves creating a virtual tour. Remember that studying abroad is a major decision for most students, especially those who have responsibilities back at home or are planning to take a break from work to pursue an expensive degree. And an immersive, engaging and interactive virtual tour is the best way to give them an exact idea about your institution, facilities, the locality and community, the campus culture, placement opportunities and so on. Plus, virtual tours are perfect for boosting brand awareness and drive conversions when students can’t visit your university in person before making a choice.

    Read – 5 ways to Assure Students That your College is Perfect for Them

  3. Put student testimonials to good use – Before taking an important decision like studying abroad, most applicants want to make sure that you can live up to your claim of being that dream university. So, to earn their trust, put together some glowing testimonials from your current and past international students. You can create blog posts, website stories and social media posts that showcase what they feel about your institution, what do they like the most there, how they have benefited from a particular course or scholarship, or what kind of jobs they have secured after graduating. This kind of brand advocacy can have a far-reaching impact and convince potential applicants that they are making the right choice by going with you. Try and include testimonials that answer common questions – they might be related to the cuisines served at the cafeteria, courses that have global appeal, housing options that allow students of the same culture to live together, and so on. 

  4. Power up communication – A brilliant marketing strategy to attract international students is to make communication smooth and easy. This means reaching out to them through social media channels, emails, text messages, WhatsApp, Skype and so on. Keep the language simple and avoid abbreviations as much as possible. Remember that not all students will be familiar enough with English. On your website or social media pages, make the contact button easy to see and enquiry forms should be simple and short. Try to reply at the earliest and keep a student’s background, culture, personal situations or needs in mind while doing so. You can use a Customer Relationship Management system to track all queries and comments better. Try to include more visual information in your communications, so that students don’t get tired of reading through a lot of text. Well-shot pictures, videos, infographics or simple graphs are recommended.  

So, you now know how to attract international students to your university without spending a lot of money or wasting a lot of time. Understanding what they might need or look for is the biggest key to the success of your marketing strategy. And if you need guidance with photographs, videos or virtual tours to take the game up a notch, shoot us an email at info@massinteract.com.  

Read Also –  Top 5 Ideas to Make your College Virtual Tour More Winning

Assure students that your college is perfect for them

5 ways to Assure Students That your College is Perfect for Them

Yes, the pandemic is still here, but life is gradually and carefully adapting to a new rhythm. Take college admissions, for instance. While students are eager to start a new phase of life, they are not too keen about travelling much or meeting a lot of people in person just yet. They want an easier way to find out about different campuses, compare them and then make a choice. So, how do you convince students to apply to your school even when you can’t meet them personally? Here are 5 smart tips that can help: 

  1. Informative and engaging blogs or articles – Any college worth its salt knows the importance of having an attractive and informative website. Along side a strong website, in-depth, interesting blogs and articles are the best way to add value to it. In fact, you can also churn out guest blogs to draw potential candidates from other reputed sites. How-to articles and guides can especially help students to find out more about your institution, how to apply, what courses to consider, how to get financial aid, and more. Plus, by including relevant keywords (phrases that potential applicants use while searching for colleges), you can rank high on Google over time and boost awareness. This will get you more traffic to your website and conversions.

    Read – 5 Mistakes to Avoid While Creating Custom Virtual Tour of Your College

  2. Appealing and meaningful visuals – One of the best ways to convince students to attend your college is to use visual media like well-shot images, exciting videos and immersive college virtual tours. Pictures speak louder than words, and so, include powerful visuals wherever possible, on your site and social media pages. They will ensure more engagement, better recall, and can help you beat competition. Virtual tours, especially, are perfect if you want students to explore your campus in a realistic manner and imagine their future there. You can also embed buttons like “Apply Now”, “Plan a Visit”, “Contact a Student Ambassador” etc. to drive conversions. 

  3. Smooth and effective communication – If you wish to attract students to your college in this tech-savvy era, you need to warm up to channels like text messsaging, email, WhatsApp, Skype, Zoom and so on. It can be a super effective way to send out updates and notices, especially if you want to reach students anytime, anywhere. This way, they won’t miss out on anything important, be it the last date for application or documents needed at the time of enrolment. Having multiple channels of communication also means students can get their doubts cleared whenever they want and appreciate your support. You can share visual information too, to hook them fast. This can lay the foundation for a long-term relationship. 

  4. Tap the power of social media – Social media marketing is among the best tools to increase college enrolment without spending a ton on physical or online ads. Building eye-catching pages that are rich in information can be your starting point, whether you are on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or all of them. Since youngsters spend a large chunk of time scrolling through their social feeds, your institution will come across as smart, progressive and friendly. You can create interesting and visual-rich posts about important events, the majors you offer, your faculty members, and your facilities, ranging from the lawns, pool and gym to dormitories, lecture halls, library. Sharing virtual tours on social media platforms is another clever way to ensure better engagement.

    Read – Top 5 Ideas to Make your College Virtual Tour More Winning

  5. Let your alumni speak – In order to convince students for admission, you have to walk the talk. Essentially, you have to prove what you claim. And for that, you can loop in alumni members and request them to create short videos where they talk about their on-campus experience, how they bagged good jobs from your placement cell or earned a prized football scholarship, how they enjoyed running around the gardens or splashing in the pool, how the locality or community made everyday life easy for them, and so on.    

All in all, it is not impossible to attract students to your college, despite the tremendous competition in the education sector, if you are a little creative and know how to keep up with the times. And the above tricks and tips must have made it evident how crucial visual marketing is, when it comes to improving college enrolment statistics. So, send us an email at info@massinteract.com if you need help with stunning photos, videos or virtual tours, and we will do it all for you.

Read also – Self-Guided College Virtual Tours Need These 5 Things

Self-guided college virtual tours

Self-Guided College Virtual Tours Need These 5 Things

Remember those days when prospective and wide-eyed students used to flock to your campus in large numbers and take guided tours before deciding to apply? Well, the pandemic has changed that picture drastically. And no one knows how soon things will go back to normal. Naturally, most colleges are coming up with virtual tours to deal with the situation, so that students can explore the campus and its facilities without compromising their and others’ health. Self-guided college virtual tours, especially, are a rage as they allow candidates to find out about institutions at their own pace and whenever they have the time. However, here are 5 things that you must incorporate in such tours so that the gap between real and virtual can be bridged as much as possible.   

  1. Help them imagine campus life – Sure, beautiful buildings and manicured lawns look great! But, that’s not what campus life is all about. Students who are thinking of applying to your college needs to know what it really “feels” like. So, in your self-guided campus tour, include real images and videos of the faculty, current students and other staff members, to show what your culture is like. Promote diversity and let professors and students share their experiences and emotions through the videos. Show students playing, chatting, laughing, walking around, and attending lectures, for a realistic vibe. Include a live-chat feature so that viewers can get in touch with admission staff or student ambassadors.

  2. Customize based on student interests – Different students look for different things when applying for a college. So, your tour should account for varied interests and address them accordingly. For instance, international students might want to know if there is a buddy system in place to help them blend with a new culture. Some students might want to know about scholarships, while others might be keen on athletic programs. Prospective students might also want to know about your drama society, library, placement cell, community activities, cafeteria and more.   

    Read – 5 Mistakes to Avoid While Creating Custom Virtual Tour of Your College

  3. Make navigation easy – Even if in-person visits were happening, new-age students wouldn’t really know how to get around with a physical map. So, use Google Maps to create your self-guided tour map. This will help students to guide themselves around the campus, no matter how many blocks it has or how big it is. Make it easy for them to spot important buildings or stops, whether it is a lecture hall, residential area, playground, pool, or admissions office. Enable zooming features too, so that a prospective student can explore a particular place in details if they want.  

  4. Provide insights about the locality – Campus life largely depends on the locality and community around your college. Is it a friendly neighborhood? Are there enough stores, ATMs, parks or clinics in the vicinity? Is it easy to reach your campus or what all can students do when they are out and about after class? By offering these insights through your self-guided virtual tour, you can make prospective students feel more at home. It will help them decide more easily between you and other colleges as well.

  5. Let them take action – A virtual tour for college gets you the right results only when it is embedded with smart CTAs or call to action buttons. Unlike a physical guided tour, convincing a prospective student to actually apply is not very easy when things are virtual and self-guided. So, apart from telling an appealing story about your institution, its specialties and facilities, you need to egg on the student to take action. Here is where tabs or buttons like “Contact a Student Ambassador”, “Talk to the Faculty”, “Schedule a Meeting”, “Apply Now”, “Check Scholarships”, and “Top Events” can help.  

To cut a long story short, virtual self-guided tours are the way to go if you want your college to draw students safely during the enrolment season, in the wake of the pandemic. And by keeping the above tips in mind, you can actually make the most of it. Not sure how to get started or create a tour that gives your competitors a run for their money? Drop us an email at info@massinteract.com and we will get back to you soon.

Read – Top 5 Ideas to Make your College Virtual Tour More Winning

virtual tour of your college

5 Mistakes to Avoid While Creating Custom Virtual Tour of Your College

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you already know why Google virtual tours are such a student-magnet during the college application season. They are super immersive, interactive, realistic, and can be explored remotely to make comparisons and decisions. Essentially, they minimize a prospective student’s need to visit every college, and waste time, money, and energy. However, creating a college’s custom virtual tour is easier said than done, if you want finesse and something exclusive (Gen Z is hard to connect with, right?). Check out the custom virtual tour mistakes you need to avoid, so that you get maximum applications. 

  1. Not hiring professionals – If you are thinking of promoting your college through a virtual tour, you are not the only one. So, if your tour is difficult to explore due to technical glitches, is not smoothly rendered, or has poor audio or video quality, you are more than likely to lose out to your competitors. That’s why, hiring professionals who have experience in creating such tours makes so much sense. They will know exactly where to shoot, how to shoot, what to highlight, and the kind of lighting and editing to use, and so on. This can take a huge load off your mind.

  2. Not preparing the college – One of the common virtual tour mistakes is not to prep the campus well enough. When a prospective student takes a tour remotely, they want to visualize how their day to day will be like when they start living on the campus. So, to convince them, the college should look right. This means, ensure zero clutter and dust, and have the right furniture and decorative pieces and even flowers in place, to boost the visual appeal. Your lawns should be manicured and waste bins should stay out of sight. The use of artificial light is also important when you are shooting inside, since you want to be careful about shadows. Also, plan ahead about the places and unique aspects that you want to highlight in the custom virtual tour. For instance, the gym might have the latest cycling machines, or there might be a massive lake with ducks on the campus, or the library might have floor to ceiling windows for a unique setting. 

    Read – Top 5 Ideas to Make your College Virtual Tour More Winning

  3. Not connecting at a personal level – While putting together the virtual tour of a college, it is not enough to just flaunt picture-perfect study halls, dormitories and facilities. You need to connect with students at an emotional level, which can be done if you feature the admission staff or student ambassadors leading the tour. Or, you can insert videos showing current and past students talking about their experience. For instance, someone might love jogging around the campus or digging into the different kinds of cuisine you serve at the cafeteria or taking laps in your large pool after classes. These interesting tidbits can motivate prospective students to consider your institute over others. 

     
  4. Not providing clear CTAs – One of the top mistakes while creating a Google virtual tour of your college is not providing clear and effective CTAs or call to action buttons. After all, you want prospective students to act after watching the tour, right? So, insert CTAs like “Apply Now”, “Talk to the Admin”, “Scholarships”, “Schedule a Meeting” and so on, which will drive students to convert from passive viewers to candidates who want to enroll. Make sure the CTAs are strategically placed, easy to see, and have bold fonts and colors.  

  5. Using inexpensive cameras or software – The list of custom virtual tour mistakes is not complete without this one, as many colleges end up using cheap software or equipment to save money. In other words, you can’t expect your smartphone to do the job that a top quality digital camera and tripod can best achieve. The perfect angle, lens, and accessories can go a long way in capturing beautiful panoramic or 360 degree shots. Similarly, using any run-off-the-mill, cheap editing software can make your tour seem blurry, dark, unattractive or unreal.  

To wrap up, avoid the virtual tour mistakes we discussed above, to reel in more students faster and stay ahead of the competition. Plus, a decent dose of creativity is also required to help your campus stand out from the rest. So, shoot us an email at info@massinteract.com if you are not sure how to go about it or need expert guidance.

Read Also – Using Virtual Reality in Education Has Many Benefits

virtual tour of your college

How 360 Virtual Tours Are Different From 3D Virtual Tours

If you are reading this, you are already aware of the power of visual marketing. And you have also heard about 360 virtual tours as well as 3D virtual tours. Now, both these visual marketing tools are attractive, engaging, and can do wonders to boost a business’s traffic and conversions. But the problem arises when these terms get used loosely or interchangeably. Even if they seem the same, 360 virtual tours are a little different than 3D virtual tours. So, find out all about their differences based on 5 parameters, so that choosing the right tool becomes an easy task for you.    

  1. Composition – 360 virtual tours are like a slideshow of 360 panoramas, where you can tag specific spots with extra information (if required), like videos, images, text or links that lead to other websites. While 3D virtual tours are similar to that, they ensure a more immersive and interactive experience by providing 3D depth and navigation features.

  2. Experience – When it comes to 360 virtual tours vs. 3D virtual tours, the difference in experiences that they offer is significant. If you are not gunning for an emotional experience or don’t need to evoke specific reactions from your viewers, a 360 virtual tour can be adequate. For example, if you simply want to make your Google My Business listing look a bit different than others that use plain images or videos, 360 virtual tours can do the trick.

    Read – Find Out Why Your Business Needs 3D Mapping for That Competitive Edge

However, if you wish to connect with your viewers at a deeper level, make the experience more immersive and realistic, and want better recall, 3D virtual tours are the way to go. For instance, if you are promoting a luxury resort in a unique location, allowing potential guests to explore every nook and cranny through a 3D virtual tour can delight them and drive a positive decision.   

  • Floor plans and 3D models – The difference between 360 virtual tours and 3D virtual tours becomes especially evident if you are a real estate developer looking to market a property. In case you go with a 360 virtual tour, you will have to create floor plans and 3D models separately. However, if you go with 3D virtual tours, then the concerned platform can churn out 3D models automatically. It will also be easy to use 360 panoramas to put together floor plans in this case. Basically, you will end up saving a lot of time and effort if you choose 3D virtual tours.
      
  • Spatial information – Providing spatial information to viewers essentially means showing them how much space you have at your disposal. This may not be necessary always, and can determine whether you need 360 business virtual tours or 3D tours. An example can make this clearer. Imagine you run an upscale restaurant and want to attract the right crowd. So, no matter what the exact size of your establishment is, if the theme, décor, and ambience click with your audience, it will be good enough. So, in this case, a 360 virtual tour will do the trick. But if you rent out your restaurant for corporate events, parties etc., viewers will need an idea about how big it is and what is the layout like. This means, a 3D virtual tour will work better.      

  • Money and time – 360 virtual tours (even big ones) usually don’t take much time to create. Professionals can especially do it fast with the kind of software they have, after asking you a few questions about the rooms you wish to show, the sequence, and any other information that you might want to add. Naturally, this doesn’t cost much. However, 3D virtual tours require more finesse and time, and hence, are costlier. So, which one you pick will depend on your budget, timeline and the other aspects that we discussed above.  

All in all, who wins the 3D tours vs. 360 virtual tours battle will depend on your type of business, your target audience, the kind of marketing results you want, and the time and money you are ready to invest. If you are still not sure, email us at info@massinteract.com and we will guide you towards the right decision.

Read Also – Does Your Business Need a Virtual Tour?

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

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

When high-school students decide to take multiple college tours before zeroing in on the one that best suits their needs and goals, they usually look forward to the smell of freshly cut grass, lofty buildings, student chatter, a vibe from the student union and experiencing collegiate sports first hand. However, COVID has compelled colleges to take the virtual route and provide students with all the information they need online, to help them make a decision. Naturally, college virtual tours during COVID have become immensely popular and the best way to get applications, as they are realistic, visually appealing and interactive in nature. But, since the competition is intense, you need to figure out ways to make your tour better than others. Read on.

  1. Highlight the best things about your college – One of the most effective tips for college virtual tours during COVID is that, you need to draw attention to the best aspects of your institution. It can be the main student quad, stunning architecture, a massive library, a stylish student union that offers a variety of cuisines, or cheery dorm rooms. If your college is located in a scenic enviornment or is surrounded by a host of facilities like hospitals, shops, cafes and such, highlight that too. If you offer unique courses or have an outstanding placement record, these need to be showcased. Essentially, it is important to differentiate your college from others, so that students have a good reason to choose you.

       
  2. Provide all kinds of important information easily – Your virtual tour can earn brownie points from prospective students if you share information clearly regarding courses, deadlines, scholarship, financial aid, contact numbers of student guides, etc. Also note that international students look for information regarding residences, support services, career counseling, buddy system, and so on. Hence, providing all of that through your virtual tour can help them. 

    Read – Using Virtual Reality in Education Has Many Benefits
     
  3. Include call to action buttons smartly – Did you know that the rate at which high school seniors were taking virtual tours in 2020 was 228% higher than 2019? While that gives you reason enough to create a virtual tour, you also need to focus on boosting conversions. After all, your ultimate goal is to get candidates to apply after they view your tour. And for that, including call to action buttons for sharing contact information, calling or emailing the college, talking to a faculty member or admissions staff, or filling up a form, are essential. These buttons need to be prominently placed in your virtual tour. You can also have a button for those who have VR headsets and can enjoy a more immersive experience. Including social share buttons will also encourage students to share your tour with their peers and thereby increase your chance of getting more applications.

  4. Promote your tour actively – This is one of those college virtual tour tips that you cannot ignore, no matter how awesome your tour is. You must make sure that your virtual tour is super easy to search and land upon. This means, you need to embed it on your college homepage as well as the navigation bar. This way, no matter which part of your website visitors are exploring, they can take the tour anytime they want. For better access, you can include the virtual tour link in the header and footer of your site. Plus, your admissions page should also be embedded with the tour.

Apart from these strategies, make sure you include the tour link in email signatures and promote it across social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. While LinkedIn is a place where you will find more alumni than prospective students, the tour can help them fall in love with their alma mater all over again and share it with others.    By keeping these tips for college virtual tour during COVID handy, you can attract more applications than you probably thought was possible. And if you need a bit of professional guidance to create a tour that reflects all of the above and turns out to be a major success, shoot us an email at info@massinteract.com.   

Read – 10 College Campus Virtual Tours You Should Check Out

Virtual Field Trips

5 Reasons Why Virtual Field Trips Will Be Popular In 2021

2020 has made it crystal clear that the world needs online education. Naturally, schools and colleges have had to shift from the conventional classroom teaching environment to virtual lessons. And to make them as interesting and effective as possible, many educational institutions are opting for virtual field trips. After all, reality-based learning is a major buzzword these days, so that students can relate their formal lessons with what actually goes on in the world. Moreover, since the pandemic is likely to make parents and students cautious about stepping outside unless absolutely essential, virtual trips can help students explore it all from home or school. No wonder it’s a win-win for both educational institutions and learners.

Here are some more benefits of teaching through virtual field trips in 2021:  

  1. Fun, appealing and engaging – Bright and beautiful images, realistic motions, great sound effects and even animation come together to make virtual field trips super fun and exciting. They grab eyeballs in seconds and boost student engagement. Students can understand and appreciate it all just like on an actual field trip, which keeps them focused. They can zoom in on a particular view or area, rotate an image in different directions and take their own sweet time to understand things.  

  2. Explore anything, anytime and from anywhere – This is a big reason why virtual field trips will steal the show in 2021. Students can not only take the trip from anywhere they want, but they can also explore the depths of the Pacific, the summit of Mount Everest, the museums in far-off countries and life on the Gobi Desert, without having to actually go. From planets, volcanoes, rainforests and mighty waterfalls, dangerous islands to art galleries, and national parks, they can see everything up close and learn in a manner that encourages better retention. Physical or geographical restrictions won’t matter in this case.   

    Read – Photography In 2021 – What to Expect

  3. Absolutely safe – Another major reason behind virtual field trips becoming popular is that, they are completely safe. No teacher or parent supervision is required. Plus, since everything is a virtual affair, no one risks having to get hurt or end up lost. Another advantage is that students won’t feel rushed in virtual field trips, as is often the case when an instructor takes them around. 

  4. Cost-effective and energy-saving – Taking students to a zoo, park, archeological site or one of the top museums can be expensive. It usually involves tickets, meals and transport costs. However, with virtual field trips, none of those costs will worry parents anymore. An internet connection is all that they will need. And instead of wasting their energy on chaperoning students, teachers will have more energy to take them through interesting facts and figures and address individual questions in a better way. In case the students involved have special abilities, it will be easier for teachers to guide them, make sure they understand and handle all their concerns.

  5. Can be customized as needed – Virtual field trips in 2021 will earn brownie points due to their ability to be customied. They can be aligned with your school’s lesson plan or syllabus, so that you can ensure maximum outcomes from students in terms of grades. Plus, quizzes and tests can be added in between or at the end to make the field trip more robust and effective. For example, a set of questions might be based on how the student hopes to apply what he or she learnt virtually in real life. 

By now, you probably have a fair idea why virtual field trips are going to be big in 2021. Engaging, interactive, budget-friendly, safe, and designed to improve learning outcomes, these trips will make your educational institution ready for the future. By embracing innovative technology, you will not only be able to keep students hooked, but you will also be able to convince parents of your progressive view. So, if you can’t wait to get started with some amazing virtual field trips, but not sure how to create them, send us an email at info@massinteract.com and we will get back to you soon.   

Read – Why Visual Marketing is the Future for Businesses

Virtual Reality in Education

Using Virtual Reality in Education Has Many Benefits

There was a time when understanding how a generator works or how the human body digests food seemed either complex or boring, thanks (or, no thanks) to the traditional classroom environment. Lectures were uninspired and keeping students interested was a colossal task. These days though, virtual reality in education is changing things for the better. From making complex concepts clear and providing students with an immersive experience to fuelling their imagination, VR has a ton of benefits to offer.

  1. Instant engagement guaranteed–One of the biggest benefits of virtual reality in education is that, it hooks students in an instant through bright and attractive imagery. Unlike plain text or conventional lessons plans, VR makes students more attentive as it mimics the experience they usually enjoy on smart devices. Plus, by using virtual reality while teaching, you can boost student participation and improve their responses and reflexes.

  2. Can be accessed from anywhere, anytime – Another major plus of using virtual reality for education is that students can access the course material from anywhere and anytime. Even before the pandemic, many students were unable to pursue what they wanted just because their choice of school or college was too far or the costs of living on campus were too expensive. VR can change all of that. Even in schools for children with special needs, virtual reality can make the learning process easier and more interesting.

  3. Complex concepts become simple–Since VR helps students to visualize real life scenarios in a safe manner, it is perfect for teaching them things like first aid, how to fix a car, what to do in case of a fire, and so on. Students pursuing degrees in medicine, chemistry, or mechanics can learn about complex concepts in a simple and engaging way, without putting anyone at risk. One of the top benefits of virtual reality is that it gives them an immersive and interactive experience, which helps them understand how things work, cause and effect, and minute details of any living or non-living matter. 


    Read – Why Visual Marketing is the Future for Businesses

  4. Fun with zero distraction – There is no doubt about the fact that learning through VR is a fun-filled experience, thanks to all the colors, visuals and realistic movements. So, while students easily get distracted when learning passively or through textbooks, VR keeps them focused and engaged. They develop an interest to find out more, retain the knowledge better, and even understand how to apply what they learn. One of the benefits of virtual reality in education is also that it encourages students to become more social. When they learn in a fun way together, they tend to share their experience and excitement, which leads to better classroom bonding.

  5. Time and space travel becomes possible –With virtual reality, exploring the vastness of space and chilly depths of oceans can become a piece of cake for students. They can sit in the classroom and gasp at how beautiful the rings of Saturn look or how dangerous piranhas can be! By introducing virtual reality in education, you can make it possible for students to travel in time and discover how the world was like in Ice Age or what it might look like 100 years from now.

  6. Visualizing future careers becomes easy–High school or college students these days care a lot about what their future might look like. This means, before deciding what field to pursue, they want to know if they will fit in and if a particular career path will make their dreams come true. And with virtual reality, it is possible to give them an idea about what a day looks like for doctors, engineers, scientists, writers, fashion designers, fire fighters or trainers. Creating virtual tours of an office, institution or factory is also a great way to give students a taste of the professional world.

To wrap up, the benefits of virtual reality in the field of education are many. Especially, in the wake of the pandemic, VR is the way to go to make lessons interesting, easy, interactive and accessible. So, if you need a bit of expert guidance to create awesome virtual reality stories or tours, shoot us a mail at info@massinteract.com.

Read – Read – 10 College Campus Virtual Tours You Should Check Out

top 10 College Campus Virtual Tours

10 College Campus Virtual Tours You Should Check Out

Virtual tours have become a marketing buzzword for colleges for quite some time now. And the pandemic has made it crystal-clear why virtual is the way to go if you want students to explore your offerings from the comfort and safety of their homes. But, in order to stand out among countless colleges in the USA, just knowing how to create a virtual tour is not enough. Get ideas from these 10 college campus virtual tours that have stolen the show for many reasons. Read on.

  1. Marietta College – This tour starts with a sweeping view of the lush college ground and stately architectures. Prospective students can explore every corner, starting from Harrison Hall and Fayerweather Hall to Anderson Hancock Planetarium and Hermann Fine Arts Center. It is easy to zoom in, zoom out, and ‘Apply’ or ‘Visit’. A map shows the exact location of the college and its surroundings.

  2. Northwest Mississippi Community College – Listed among the top 10 college virtual tours, it shows a crisp menu on the left side so that students can click on the part of the campus they wish to explore, be it the academic building, the residence hall or the athletic facilities. Apart from buttons that make contacting the college or applying easy, the tour has plenty of social share buttons.

  3. Covenant College – The fact that the campus is surrounded by gorgeous scenery becomes evident from the virtual tour’s start. The stunning architecture, as well as the Barnes Gymnasium, Kresge Memorial Library and Lucas Art Workshop, are covered by this tour. Navigation is super simple and students can share the tour on social media channels quickly.  

  4. Virginia Tech – A mix of aerial and panoramic views greet you when you start this tour. The campus layout, the verdant surroundings and the beautiful buildings can impress any prospective student. Availability of buttons for navigation, zooming, rotation and viewing and sharing the tour map make this one of the top college virtual tours.

  5. Webster Vienna Private University – This virtual tour allows students to explore the university floor by floor with the help of an easy menu on the left. A map in the corner makes real-life navigation easy. The tour takes you all around the beautiful vintage-style establishment, while focusing on the facilities.

  6. Ohio State University Mansfield Campus – Made stylishly, this virtual tour takes you through the Ovalwood Hall, Conard Hall, Memorial Center, Village Apartments and Eco-Lab Wetlands. The gorgeous lawns and contemporary structures add to the appeal. Buttons for scheduling a visit, applying and registering are clearly visible at the bottom.

  7. West Liberty University – From the College Hall and College Union to athletic spaces and educational halls like Campbell and Arnett, this virtual tour offers a holistic view of this university. Students can click and explore any place in any sequence they like. Social share, audio and VR buttons are on the right.
  8. Illinois State University – Gorgeously landscaped grounds and modern structures have been highlighted in this tour through aerial views. As one of the top college campus virtual tours, it is straightforward, with options to check out academics, athletics and student life. Crisp pop-ups explain important aspects of the campus. You can download the tour for offline viewing too.

  9. Mississippi Valley State University – This tour starts with the image of the campus wrapped around our planet, for a unique feel. On clicking, the image expands to a close-up of the university. Students can explore every part of the campus, starting from William Sutton Administration Building and R.W. Harrison Complex to Business Education Building and J.H. White Library. Aerial views and campus videos are available too.

  10. Cambridge College – The ultramodern architecture of the college makes for a great start to the tour. Minimalistic pop-ups appear to provide important information, while the menu on the left side allows students to explore the entrance, atrium, standard and skyfold classrooms, seminar rooms and more.

So, you now have a fair idea about what makes top college campus virtual tours click, right? An immersive, interactive experience that highlights the best things about your institution and reveals the real picture of student life is what prospective applicants look for. Plus, the tour needs to be easy to take and should feature actionable options. Looking to create a smashing tour soon? Shoot us an email at info@massinteract.com.

Virtual Tour of a College

Things to Remember While Creating a Virtual Tour of a College

There was a time when students used to visit multiple colleges in person before they could decide which one to go for. Thanks to technology though, virtual tours are slowly and surely replacing physical campus visits and making the experience easier and more affordable for students. But, what you need to understand is that many colleges are taking the virtual tour route, especially in the wake of COVID, and you need to go the extra mile to stand out. So, here are some tips for college virtual tours that will come in handy.   

  1. Hire professionals to make the tour – Creating an immersive, interesting and highly informative tour is not a cakewalk. Professionals who know A to Z about photography and videography can help though as they have enough knowledge about where to shoot, how to shoot and when to shoot. They can advise you as to what to focus on, the kind of extra information you can include and how you can bring in more applications.  

  2. Include information that is not there on Google – This is one of the top things to consider for college virtual tours. Students can easily find out about the departments you have, courses you offer, the kind of faculty you boast and so on, with a simple Google search. So, your virtual tour should show something extra, like what are the latest majors, what kind of food your cafeteria serves, and activities that students enjoy on weekends. 

  3. Help students make informed decisions – If a student is taking multiple college virtual tours, they will want to compare every minute aspect before taking a call. Plus, many applicants have specific questions related to academics, sports, exchange programs, and so on. So, highlight every aspect of your institution, ranging from the classrooms, dorms and labs to gym, library, garden and pool. This will help students decide if your college fits what they have in mind. Highlight past achievements of students or where they got placed to earn confidence.

    Read – How Virtual College Tours are Changing the Student Recruitment Game

  4. Create a tour for all gadgets – Among all the tips for college virtual tours, you can’t miss this. Remember that students don’t always lug around their laptop or crack it open whenever they want to check out a college tour. They might want to go through it on their mobile devices while hanging out with friends. So, make sure your tour is mobile-friendly too and not just desktop-friendly. And don’t forget to make it easily shareable via messaging apps and social media channels.  

  5. Be careful about the lighting and décor – Usually, outdoor shots are taken right before sunset for the best colors and contrasts, while indoor shots can look amazing even with artificial lighting. However, if your college receives ample sunlight, professionals might not suggest artificial sources for indoor shots. Talk to them to figure out the best time, angles, and atmosphere.  Plus, make sure every area you shoot is absolutely clean and is decorated to reflect your college’s values. Anything that might be offensive to any kind of student should be removed.

  6. Allow students to reach out – No matter how exhaustive and informative your college tour is, students will always have questions at the end of the tour or even somewhere in between. For instance, while they are exploring lecture halls, they might wonder if the faculty offers extra lessons if required. Or, while exploring the fitness center and sports ground, their parents might wonder about the kind of safety provisions in place. So, insert numbers or email addresses of admissions staff and student representatives wherever needed.

The above guide to virtual campus tours will make it easy for you to plan and execute a tour that convinces students to apply. And since these tours are easy to embed as well, you can feature them on your website, social media platform and even use them for email marketing. As far as professional help and advice is concerned, just email us at info@massinteract.com and we will get back to you to discuss your needs in detail.   

Must Read – Get Your College the Attention It deserves with a Custom Virtual Tour

visual content ideas

5 Reasons Why You Need Visual Content to Market Your Rental Property

Did you know that the apartment rental industry in the USA is worth about $173.4 billion this year? Between 2015 and 2020, its market size has grown by around 1.7% annually. So, if you are planning to attract a steady flow of tenants who are willing to pay a good price for your rental property, you need to strengthen your online marketing strategy. And for that, you need visual content. Beautifully shot photos, videos and virtual tours can make your rental properties truly attractive and get a tenant fast.

Read on to know why the use of visual content is super effective:

  1. Grabs attention quickly – People are known to have very short attention spans when they are looking for something online. And when they are looking for a rental property, they are likely to miss or ignore those that are not attractive or don’t give them the necessary information in the first go. This is where visual content comes in handy. Pictures or videos grab attention in seconds, speak volumes about the property, and are easier to recall as well. A long-winded text description of your rental property won’t do that trick.

    Read – Visual Content Strategy: How to Use Visuals to Get More ROI

  2. Builds trust and educates viewers –Even if you are a well-known realtor, here’s a big reason why you need visual content. Pictures, videos and especially virtual tours show possible tenants what your property actually looks like. They subconsciously realize that you are not trying to hide anything. And this builds their trust. Also, by highlighting the important aspects of your rental property, you can send tenants a subtle message as to why they should pick yours over others. The more information they have about your place, the easier it will be for them to take a decision.   

  3. Helps tenants to visualize – These days, the competition in the real estate market is simply cut-throat. So, you need visual content that offers tenants an immersive and engaging experience. For example, a 360 degree virtual tour can help them visualize their life at your place. Tenants can explore every nook and cranny of your rental property at their own pace and whenever they want, without having to visit you. This can be especially helpful in the light of the pandemic, since most people are trying to minimize face-to-face interactions or are not too keen to step outside unless essential.   

  4. Easy to share on social media– We don’t need to tell you how important social media platforms are, when it comes to marketing literally anything these days! And visual content needs social promotion to grab more eyeballs than you normal would with just your website. This is easy to ensure though, since people tend to share social posts with images more than textual posts. Platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest are especially effective in this case. When your pictures or videos start getting shared, more potential tenants will come across your property, submit queries or show interest. This will put you in a better position to negotiate the rent.

  5. Improves your search engine ranking – Did you know that search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo take social signals into account while ranking websites? And who doesn’t want to be there at the top? So, this means, if your social media posts get liked, shared or commented upon often, you will have a better chance of ranking high on the search results page. And, as we discussed, visual content is your best bet for effective social media marketing.      

To wrap up, visual content can help you market your rental property more efficiently and attract a tenant faster. It is a smart way to boost your online marketing strategy and target potential customers. And if you are looking for visual content ideas that are apt for you, simply email us at info@massinteract.com.  

Read Also – Does Your Business Need a Virtual Tour?

Google My Business Photos

All That You Need To Know While Adding Google My Business Photos

If you are reading this, you are already aware how useful a Google My Business listing can be for your business. However, there are many business owners like you out there who share this knowledge. This is why adding Google My Business photos to your listing can help you stand out and gain a competitive edge. So, are you eager to get started? Read on to know exactly how such photos will help you and the things to keep in mind when you add them.   

Reasons to add Google My Business photos to your listing

  • Establishes trust – Photos that clearly show the inside and outside of your business, the products you make or services you offer, and the people who work with you, help in building the trust of potential customers almost immediately.
  • Improves engagement and decision-making – The importance of Google My Business photos lies in the fact that they help customers understand what you do better. This way, prospects feel interested, tend to contact you for more details and make decisions quickly. They can compare your business easily with others and take a call without having to research much.

How to add Google My Business photos?

Make sure your business is verified by Google before you start. You can either use the GMB mobile app or a desktop to add photos. Just navigate to the Menu section and then the Photos section to add images or videos. Keep these points in mind:

  • Google My Business photos must be in PNG or JPG format.
  • 720 x 720 pixels are the dimensions required.
  • The image file size needs to be between 10KB and 5MB.
  • Make sure that the images have a crisp resolution and are show brightly lit places.
  • Avoid altering the photos or using filters.
  • To add Logo or Cover photo, choose the relevant option in the Photos section and upload. The logo should be crystal clear and the cover photo should be one that looks well on both laptops and mobile devices.
  • Adding videos or Google virtual tours is similar to what you do for photos. Just make sure that the video is at most 30 seconds long and the file size is not more than 100 MB. Go for a resolution of 720p or higher.  

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

Tips to add Google My Business photos that make an impact

To make the maximum impact with your Google My Business photos, keep these pointers in mind:

  • Your logo should be such that potential customers can identify your brand instantly.
  • The cover photo should ideally indicate what your business is all about.
  • General pictures, which can be uploaded by both you and customers, should highlight various aspects of your business. These should help other prospects make an informed decision.
  • Videos can offer behind-the-scenes information about your business or brand, how a product gets made or how your employees offer a particular service.
  • Try and upload both exterior and interior photos to maintain transparency about your business.
  • If you sell products, upload their high-quality photos to make the quality, colors, dimensions, easily understandable. If you offer services, show your workforce in action.
  • If you are in the food business, upload tempting images of your dishes. Same goes for beverages.
  • Upload photos of happy employees or those who directly interact with your customers to seem real and gain trust.

All in all, add Google My business photos to your listing to grab eyeballs quickly, make a lasting impression, earn customer trust and encourage them to choose you over others. It is easy to do as long as you keep the above tips and ideas in mind. And if you need a bit of guidance to go about it the right way, shoot us an email at info@massinteract.com and we will get back to you soon.  

Read Also – 6 Ways in which Google Street View takes your business to a whole new level

visual storytelling rules

Follow these 6 visual storytelling rules for your university website

Did you know that the human brain can process visuals 60,000 times faster than text? So, it’s not really surprising that we tend to remember what we see on videos more than what we read in books. In other words, visual storytelling is a powerful marketing tool that businesses can use to convey their message effectively, without pushing their products into customer’s face. And when we say businesses, we mean colleges and universities too. The number of students who will apply to your institution will depend on how appealing, informative and modern your website is. And using visuals to weave a compelling story is the best way to go about it.

However, keep these rules in mind:

  1. If you can show, why tell? – One of the top visual storytelling tips is to use visuals instead of text wherever possible. Your site visitor will pick up the information faster. For example, if you have a beautiful campus, don’t describe it. Use a virtual tour instead, and offer an immersive, engaging and realistic experience to students.  
  2. Make an impression quickly –Students have very little attention span when they are exploring different university websites, as they are in a hurry to find the perfect place for the next four years of their life. So, the first image or video they see on your website should get them hooked instantly and make a favorable impression. This is why one of the best visual storytelling ideas is to put up a virtual tour that takes them across the grounds, through the halls, inside the cafeteria and more.  

    Read – How Virtual College Tours are Changing the Student Recruitment Game

  3. Give your story a beginning, middle and an end – The art of visual storytelling for colleges requires you to follow a certain narrative arc. Whether you are using a series of images, videos or virtual tours, they shouldn’t be random or disconnected. So, craft a cohesive story that helps the student visualize his or her journey from their first day to graduation. Incorporate elements of excitement or suspense wherever you can, like awards they can win in sports or the scholarships they can strive for in different courses.
  4. Show real people – One of the crucial visual storytelling rules is to show actual people (students and teaching staff in this case) in images or videos so that candidates can relate with your college or university better. For instance, showing a group of happy students playing baseball will build their trust better than showing an empty field.
  5. Include wow factors – Having unique visual storytelling ideas always helps, as they motivate students to pick your university over others. For example, if you are creating a virtual tour for your website, make sure it evokes emotions like happiness, hope, and excitement. If your tour focuses on details like the dishes your cafeteria serves or the books your library houses, it will connect better with the students. Or, candid images of graduating students with their parents might evoke hope.
  6. Keep it short and sweet – Using visual storytelling for your university website means you have to avoid distractions, so that site visitors can stay focused. Don’t throw in too many details that are hard to remember and highlight the most important aspects instead.

So, keep the above visual storytelling tips in mind to strengthen your university’s online presence. At present, this is the best way to attract potential candidates and get them to apply to your courses even if they are staying inside to beat the pandemic. And if you are not sure how to get started with visual storytelling or can’t decide on the right format, email us at info@massinteract.com.  

Must Read – Get Your College the Attention It deserves with a Custom Virtual Tour

Google Street View

6 Ways in which Google Street View takes your business to a whole new level

If you are a business owner who stays on top of things when it comes to online marketing, you must have heard of Google Street View. This cool feature on Google Maps lets people take a virtual tour of your business’s surroundings as well as interiors. And they can do it while relaxing at home or while taking a walk in the park or during lunch break at the office. Now, that’s an awesome way to boost online visibility, engage your potential clients, and give them a sneak peek into what you offer. After all, this is the road that will lead them towards conversion. Whether you are a hotel, café, gym or spa, using Google Street View for business has plenty of benefits. Read on to know all about them.

  1. Makes customers trust you – Having a Google Street View virtual tour means you have nothing to hide from your potential customers. They can explore your property whenever they want and from wherever they want and put all their doubts to rest. Customers will also know that you are not making tall claims for nothing!
  2. Eases the decision process – With Google Street View, small businesses can clearly show prospects how their establishment looks like, the things they stock up on, and what kind of atmosphere they promise. Naturally, this makes it easy for your customers to compare your business with others, research easily and make a decision quickly. In absence of such a tour, they have to waste a lot of time reading other people’s reviews and hunting for pictures before taking a call.

    Read – Why Visual Marketing is the Future for Businesses

  3. Attracts the right kind of audience – Imagine that you are a small boutique that sells only vintage wedding dresses and have some really unique pieces in your collection. Google Street View will help you reach out to the target audience for such dresses easily. When prospects take a tour, they will quickly realize where your specialty lies and why they should choose you over others. Also, by adding such a virtual tour to your Google My Business listing, you can attract more local customers.   
  4. Spreads a good word about you – This is among the top benefits of Google Street View as someone who has purchased something from your store or dined at your café can show the virtual tour to others while talking about the nice experience he had. For example, if a man buys a pair of stylish loafers from your store and talks about it to his friends while showing your street view, they will be more likely to believe his words. And, who knows, they might visit you too!

    Read Also – 5 Ways in Which the Real Estate Industry is Benefitting from Virtual Tours
  5. Prepares potential customers – The reason why most forward-thinking businesses are adopting Google Street View is because it tells people what they might expect when they reach your store, hotel, restaurant or any other establishment. Like, they will know beforehand where to park, how to approach, how to dress, and will be able to gauge the vibe and safety of your locality too.  
  6. Creates a lasting impression – Since the human brain tends to process images faster and retain them more than plain text, Google Street View for small businesses or even big ones can ensure better recall and make a positive impression. Even still images have become passé as immersive and realistic experiences are in. Hence, virtual tours are the way to go if you want to create a deep connection.

Now that you have a fair idea about the various advantages of Google Street View, it’s time to take action. Give your business a special boost with all-encompassing virtual tours, especially if your competitors are yet to warm up to the idea. Need a little help to get started? Shoot us an email at info@massinteract.com.  

Read Also – Google Interactive Tours vs Street View: Which is Better?

college virtual tours

6 Reasons Why Colleges Need Virtual Tours to Attract Students In 2020

Around 1.4 million people viewed college campus virtual tours between March and April in 2020 (as per YouVisit). This alone shows how important these tours are as digital marketing tools. Long gone are the days when prospective students or their parents went through college brochures or visited every single campus on their list to make a decision. Moreover, the recent pandemic has forced colleges to restrict in-person visits for the sake of students’ safety. Hence, you need an impressive online presence to attract students. And there’s nothing better than virtual tours to help you with that.

Wondering why? Read on.

  1. Highlights the best and unique aspects of your campus – Whether you have a beautiful lawn, state of the art library, funky cafeteria or an amazing location, a custom college virtual tour can showcase all that in the best light. This way, students can quickly zero in on what’s special about your college and why they should choose you over others.
  2. Saves cost, time and hassle – Apart from keeping prospective students safe during this pandemic, virtual tours let them explore your campus without travelling long distances or wasting time. Students get to save money and energy too.  

    Read – Top Online Marketing Tips to Boost College Admissions

  3. Offers students a familiar and personal experience – The best part about custom college virtual tours is they help students visualize themselves on your campus. Candidates can explore all nooks and crannies, become familiar with what will become their home for the next four years.
  4. Tells a story – Virtual tours for colleges are a brilliant way to spin a compelling story about your institution’s history, milestones and achievements. For instance, students will prefer seeing impressive statistics during the virtual tour (like number of medals won when you are showing the sports arena or the percentage of students who got placed last year) rather than read about them in the form of plain text on the website.
  5. Easy to embed on website and social media channels – When you create a custom virtual tour for students, you create a marketing resource that can be used across different channels for years to come. You can embed these tours on your website and also share on social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and so on. This means, you will get more traffic and leads without spending money on ads. It’s a smart way to boost brand awareness and generate interest. Plus, those who watch these virtual tours can share them with others quickly without your intervention.

    Read – How Virtual College Tours are Changing the Student Recruitment Game

  6. Earns trust and helps you stand out from competitors – Virtual tours tell prospective students that your college has nothing to hide and you are proud of your offerings. This, in turn, earns their trust. Also, by adding a virtual tour to your Google My Business listing, you can make your college stand out from others. It will make you easier to find on Google when local students search for a college like yours. Additionally, having a virtual tour will mean that you are aware of the latest trends and this will attract students in 2020.   

To wrap up, custom college campus virtual tours are your best bet, whether it is about spreading awareness or generating the right leads or getting more applications. All you need to do is create a tour that is interactive, immersive, premium quality and exclusive. And if you need a bit of expert help, shoot us an email at info@massinteract.com.  

Must Read – Get Your College the Attention It deserves with a Custom Virtual Tour

Online Marketing Tips to Boost College

Top Online Marketing Tips to Boost College Admissions

Like any other business, higher education institutes need to go online these days, if they want to get more students or improve college admission numbers. After all, high school students who are planning to get into a good college take the online route mostly, to check out websites, make comparisons, or even apply for a course. And the current pandemic has made it essential for them to stay home, stay safe, and use their laptops or mobile phones to research different colleges and universities. And this is an opportunity you shouldn’t miss out on.     

So, take a look at these online marketing tips to get more students:

  1. Know who you are targeting – If you intend to target “all” prospective students, your marketing campaign might fail. Because, not everyone will be a perfect fit for your college. So, identify your ideal target audience and research about what social media channels they use, if they are active on emails, and their online behavior. Then you can craft personalized campaigns about the programs they might like or the facilities (campus location or setting, dorm rooms, cafeteria, gym, library) that will attract them. 
  2. Sell your uniqueness – Why should a potential student choose your college over others? There must be something unique about you. So, one of the online college marketing tips is to highlight that USP. So, your online marketing strategy should focus on your strengths and chief attractions. It might be a location that is easily accessible, or beautiful campus grounds, a massive and well-stocked library, impressive faculty or a canteen that serves a wide array of cuisines.    
  3. Make the website awesome – Ifyou want prospective students or their parents to visit your website more and linger on, make sure it is extremely responsive, fast to load and easy to navigate across all devices. It should look professional yet engaging. Add crisp and well-shot images to increase interest of site visitors and also embed college virtual tours for an immersive and interactive experience. Such 360 degree tours give a clear idea of what your college is like and tell the student how he or she will fit in.

    Read – How Virtual College Tours are Changing the Student Recruitment Game

  4. Optimize site for search engines – Your SEO strategy should be smart and updated, so that you get more organic traffic to your website. For this, you need to use relevant keywords in your web content based on the phrases potential candidates use to search for a college like yours. Even your social media pages and blogs should be optimized for search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo.
  5. Experiment with content formats and marketing channels – Apart from your website,use yourFacebook page to build a community of students and parents, where you can share events, upload informative videos, and create polls or fun quizzes. This will help you communicate better with your target audience, understand their pain points, solve their worries and gradually nudge them towards conversion.

    1. Also try and maintain a blog where you post informative pieces regularly and share them on social media channels.
    2. LinkedIn is a great platform for colleges too and can showcase your formal side effectively. You can also ask ex-students to join your LinkedIn group and share their experiences. This can reel in new students. 
    3. You can also use YouTube to post videos. Or, share the virtual tour on your website on social channels, to get more clicks.
    4. Email newsletters every week if possible, to boost brand awareness and engage students.  

No matter what type of content you share or which online marketing channel you choose, make sure to include a powerful call to action or CTA at the end, like “Find out more”, “Ask questions” or “Apply now”, so that the student knows exactly what to do. This will get you more applications.

Apart from the points mentioned above, make sure your brand voice and tone is consistent across all marketing channels, so that students can easily associate your campaigns (posts, tweets or ads) with you. And if you need the best visuals to boost your online presence, say with college campus virtual tours, send an email to info@massinteract.com.  

Read Also – Why Visual Marketing is the Future for Businesses

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