The MassInteract Blog

Customized Virtual Tours

5 Reasons Why You Need Customized Virtual Tours

In a world where both small and big businesses have started fighting for the consumer’s attention with virtual tours (yes, these realistic and immersive tours are catching on fast), it makes sense to take your game up a notch. And for that, you need customized virtual tours, which are crafted especially for your business and goals. These tours highlight specific strengths of your venture or establishment just the way you want and everything from the script and lighting to angles, icons and layouts are planned as per your needs. Whether you are running an educational institution, a restaurant, a hotel or a gym, custom virtual tours can be your ticket to success. Here are 5 reasons why:

  1. They grab attention fast – Be it your website, blog or social media pages, if they can’t hook your potential customer quickly, you will experience low traffic or a high bounce rate. And that won’t be good for your business. But with a customized virtual tour, you can resolve this problem smartly. The moment someone sees such a tour, they become curious to know more and end up exploring your business. In any case, visuals stick to the human brain better than just text, and virtual tours are the best form of visuals you can use. 

    Read – Why Visual Marketing is the Future for Businesses

  2. They build credibility – If you want to get more website traffic and engage with your potential customers, custom Google virtual tours are the way to go. They dive deep into your business, highlight even nooks and crannies, and show viewers what it is really like to visit your shop, café, college or hotel. In other words, they build trust through transparency. For instance, if you run a steak joint, a customized virtual tour can highlight showcase your décor, kitchen, dishes, ingredients, lighting and even the cutlery. Or if you rent out a ballroom for weddings and parties, your tour can highlight the beautiful carpeting, chandeliers, furniture, drapes and so on. This way, prospective clients will know you have nothing to hide.   

  3. They help make decisions – One of the best aspects of customized virtual tours for businesses is that they help viewers to make easy comparisons, weigh the pros and cons of doing business with you, and make an informed decision. For example, an university that has a virtual tour on its website (showcasing everything from green lawns and beautiful buildings to bright lecture halls, a swanky library and a crystal clear pool) will get more brownie points than one that lacks a virtual tour and has only text or still images on its site. The same goes for say, a fashion outlet. If someone can check out what all you offer from the comfort of their home (by taking a virtual tour of your shelves), they will be more likely to visit your store instead of one that only lists down their products in text.    
     
  4. They encourage sharing – Custom virtual tours are usually designed with social media share buttons or you can simply add the tour link at the end of your signature when you are sending out marketing emails. You can send the link through modern messaging apps like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger or Snapchat as well. Since these tours are easy to share, if your potential customers like what they see, they will end up spreading the word in their circle of friends too. And this will lead to better brand awareness and website traffic.  

    Read Also – Does Your Business Need a Virtual Tour?

  5. They give you that competitive edge – As mentioned already, custom virtual tours bring you more traffic, leads and convert prospective customers into paying ones. They help you rank higher on the Google search results page as well, especially when optimized with the right keywords. They improve the relevance, usefulness and interest quotient of your content, which search engines value. Plus, by adding a virtual tour to your Google My Business listing, you can get more local customers to click on it or visit your business. So, if your competitors are yet to tap the power of virtual tours, this is the best time for you to get ahead of them.

By now, you know how customized virtual tours can help you in ways nothing else can. So, why wait to get started? Shoot us an email at info@massinteract.com and we will get back to you to discuss your objectives and craft a smashing tour in no time.  

boost student enrollment

5 Digital Ways to Boost Student Enrollment at Your High School

There was a time when school-going students depended solely on their parents’ discretion and decision when it was a matter of choosing the right institution. However, today, tech-savvy students, especially those who are ready for high-school, explore their options as much as their parents. So, if you are wondering how to boost student enrollment at your high school this year, digital marketing is the way to go. From your website to social media pages to emails, everything needs to be aligned with what your prospective students like and need. Here are 5 tips that will help.  

  1. Remember that content will always be the king – These days, students as well as their parents know the importance of making informed decisions. And good content can help with that. So, your website, blog, and even social media pages should have engaging, useful, original and updated content. And that doesn’t just mean plain text. Experiment with different content formats like images, videos, virtual tours, infographics, and even memes to attract students. School virtual tours are especially a good idea as they are immersive, super realistic and help students imagine what their actual experience will be like.

  2. SEO is the key to ranking high – Did you know that 75% of those who look for something on the internet don’t even go to the second page of the search results? This means that your school website must appear on the first page, to get maximum clicks. And search engine optimization or SEO is one of the best tips to boost student enrollment this way. Make sure your website loads fast, is well-formatted, and the content is easy to read (use headings and subheadings). Apart from creating high quality content regularly, also include the right keywords. But make sure you don’t stuff your site with keywords as it will defeat your purpose. Weave keywords into image descriptions, captions and alt texts too. Your website should be mobile-friendly as students or busy parents will want to check up on you on the go. Your contact information and social media buttons should be clearly featured on your site too.
     

    Read – 5 Ways Virtual Tours Can Power Up Your Campus Recruitment Strategy

  3. Make the most of social media – If you are wondering how to boost student enrollment through your Facebook, Twitter or Instagram pages, stay aware of the latest trends. Use visuals generously and introduce a fun element wherever possible. For example, user generated content clicks with potential students amazingly well, as they are honest. So, you can share videos where your current students talk about why they love your school. Or create videos of graduation ceremonies, reunions, sports events, and orientation days. To share updates in real time, go “live” on Twitter or Facebook. You can also create different groups on Facebook based on different study streams, sports, and extracurricular clubs. Since every student has a unique preference, this will give them a chance to find out if your school will suit them.     

  4. Tell a story they want to hear – Storytelling is one of the top marketing strategies to increase student enrollment. This means, potential students or their parents don’t just want to know about your state-of-the-art facilities, stylish classrooms, or bright green grounds. They want to know about your vision and goals, how you pay attention to every student, whether they can pursue their future goals through your curriculum, how they can develop their social skills, and so on. Students want to find out if they will enjoy studying at your school, if you offer scholarships or financial aid, if the commute will be easy and if the neighborhood is safe. So, tell a story that covers how you started, how far you have come, how your past students have succeeded in life, and what you do to prepare students for the real world. A virtual tour can be particularly effective, if it shows how students at your school study, play and interact.   
     
  5. Keep communication crisp and effective – One of the best ways to boost student enrollment is by keeping the communication channel easy and crisp. Apart from incorporating a chatbot on your site, you can communicate through emails, WhatsApp messages, and texts. Make sure students and parents can get in touch with someone from admissions or a student counselor. Keep messages or emails readable and subject lines easy to understand. Personalize the greeting and stick to the point. If you are sending marketing emails, don’t do it every day. And always add a call to action at the end of your message or email, so that students know what the next step is.

It is possible to boost student enrollment despite stiff competition when you have a smart strategy and can put the above tips to good use. And since digital marketing is so much about visual marketing, contact us at info@massinteract.com for amazing images, videos and virtual tours.

Read – 4 Proven Tips to Market Your College to Parents

Virtual Tours for campus

5 Reasons Why 360 Virtual Tours are a Must for Campus Marketing

Anyone dabbling with modern-age marketing knows that ‘seeing is believing’ for customers. So, if you are looking for brilliant campus marketing ideas, know that this proverb holds true here as well. This is the reason why so many institutions have started using 360 virtual tours to bring in more students or boost enrolment. These are way more effective than still images or the usual videos you knew about till now. Reason? Well, they are super realistic, immersive, interactive and engaging. So, if you are still not sure whether you should go for these tours to market your campus, here are 5 reasons that will convince you.

  1. Better visibility – The biggest benefit of virtual tour campus marketing is that it improves your brand awareness significantly. Why? By incorporating a virtual tour on your website and business listings, you stand a good chance of ranking higher on Google. That is because, more people will find your content relevant and useful, and the click-through rate will shoot up. Plus, when prospective students spend more time on your site while taking the tour, Google will consider your site to be rich in information. Gradually, your local search rank will go up.


    Read – 5 Creative Ways to Increase College Enrollment

  2. Easy to share – After creating a virtual college tour, you can not only share it on your website, but also on your social media pages and even marketing emails. It is also easy to circulate the link to your tour through messaging apps. Plus, when students like what they see, they can easily re-share the tour with their peers or parents. This leads to better visibility, brand awareness and even recall.    

  3. Smarter decision-making – The thing about virtual tours is that they help give potential applicants a clear picture about your college, be it about the aesthetics, design, programs, faculty, extracurricular activities, or facilities. You can highlight the best aspects of your institution through college virtual tour marketing, be it a swanky library, beautifully manicured lawns, spotless residence halls, state of the art lecture rooms or something else. Plus, you can include snippets of past students talking about why they love your college and how it has helped them bag a great job offer or a famous sports scholarship. All these nuggets of information can help a prospective student make a decision or pick you over others.  

  4. Saves money and time – There is no doubt about the fact that the current pandemic has made it almost impossible to make in-person visits even if students want to explore their dream colleges up close. Safety is at a huge risk here. Luckily, 360 virtual tours make up amazingly well for physical visits and make the experience as normal as possible for applicants. However, even if the pandemic was not in the picture, it can be challenging for many students to spend a lot of money or time to visit multiple colleges individually and compare them. Virtual tours address these pain points effectively and let them find out all about your college from the comfort of their home, for free.  

    Read – 4 Proven Tips to Market Your College to Parents

  5. Lends competitive edge – 360 virtual tours campus marketing is also a wonderful way to stay ahead of your competition, especially if they are not yet doing it. When you offer potential students something so exciting and visual, they won’t have to consume and process a lot of plain text or mundane information. And this will help them when they are on the go too. By inserting powerful calls to action buttons like “Apply Now”, “Contact a Student Guide”, “Schedule a visit” and such, you can drive more conversions too and make sure that more students try your college rather than others. Also, 360 tours are a great way to connect with Gen Z and show them that you are aware of their preferences and can meet their needs perfectly.  

So, what are you waiting for? Get ready to put together an information-rich and super engaging college virtual tour that attracts and converts. Email us at info@massinteract.com if you need some guidance or a professional touch.

Read – 5 Ways Virtual Tours Can Power Up Your Campus Recruitment Strategy

to make your college virtual tour stand out from the rest

6 Things that Make a College Virtual Tour Smashing

If you are reading this, you are not the only one. There are countless colleges out there trying to woo students with visual marketing strategies, especially by way of virtual tours. So, if you are wondering how to make a college virtual tour engaging, remember that honesty, genuineness, and storytelling are certain key elements that go a long way. Of course, you might need professional guidance too, more so if you are new to virtual tours. But the best part is that no matter how much time, energy or money (it won’t cost and arm and a leg) you invest in it, the pay-off will be impressive. So, read on to know about what makes a virtual tour engaging.

  1. Getting the basics right – If you want your virtual tour to stand out from the competition, make sure you are using the right tools and techniques. Blurry or shaky shots, background noise, poor lighting and wrong angles are some of the things that can go wrong with a tour. So, getting professional help is recommended (just using a tripod is not enough). Experts also know how to use the right editing software to make your campus look appealing and yet realistic. Plus, you should decide the script beforehand – for instance, how you want to highlight important statistics or facts, how much text you wish to impose on the visuals, where you want to pause during the voiceover (for effect) and so on.  

  2. Targeting both students and parents – This is one of the top things that make a college virtual tour smashing. Try and gauge what students and their parents are interested in or want to know (they are often different) and then plan your tour content. While a student might want to know how well your basketball team does, their parents might be keen on the residential facilities or placement opportunities. Or students might wonder if you offer unique majors, while parents might care equally about the fees or financial aid. So, try to address both their concerns.

    Read – 5 Ways To Improve Your College’s Student Retention

  3. Storytelling – College virtual tours are not just about highlighting swanky gyms, enormous pools, beautiful lawns and such. Potential students want to know what drives you as an institution and how you care for those who enter your hallowed halls. So, talking a little about the history of your college, how you grew, things you believe in, your vision and your community involvement can earn you brownie points. Featuring short videos of current and past students explaining why they love your institution and how it has helped them can strike an emotional note. If you are showing classrooms, laboratories or the games room, keep it as natural as possible, so that students can imagine what their life will be like.

  4. Giving VR due importance – By embedding a button for virtual reality in your tour, you can allow students with VR headsets to get a more exciting look and feel of your college. When they explore the nooks and crannies of your buildings, they will feel more engaged and spend more time on your website or social media pages. And the more time they spend on these, the more likely they will be to convert (or apply). Apart from that, make it easy to navigate and zoom.

  5. Making communication easy – Another way to make a college virtual smashing is by including buttons for calling, messaging or chatting with the right people in your institution. Potential applicants might want to get in touch with a faculty member, someone in the admissions department or a student counsellor before making a decision. You can also let them schedule video calls for more credibility and to forge a bond. Or let them leave their contact info, so you can get back via text, call or email.


    Read – 5 Ways Virtual Tours Can Power Up Your Campus Recruitment Strategy

  6. Increasing visibility of the tour – Once you create a virtual tour, upload it on your website’s landing page, admissions page, contact page, and pages for majors and facilities. This way, site visitors will have little chance to miss it. Also share the tour on your social media pages, brochure and marketing emails. Since your target audience is Gen Z, you have a better chance of reeling them in on platforms that they frequent, like Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn. Make sure you communicate promptly through all these channels, to get maximum applications.

Now that you have a fair idea about how to make a college virtual tour smashing, get started. Check out what your competitors are doing and gather a few ideas that you like the most. And then, to make the process absolutely stress-free, get in touch with us at info@massinteract.com. We will design your dream tour in no time.

Read – 4 Proven Tips to Market Your College to Parents

Improve Your College's Student Retention

5 Ways To Improve Your College’s Student Retention

Any business needs customer loyalty and not just great traffic, if it has to be truly successful. The same holds true for colleges as well. Attracting an impressive number of students or bagging tons of applications is not enough. You need to retain them as well. Often, students tend to drop out when they realize they have signed up for the wrong major, don’t have bright job prospects, are stuck with financial problems, are having a hard time fitting in, and so on. To address such issues, make students feel happy and confident, and boost student retention, there are a few things you can take seriously.  

  1. First impressions matter – This means giving your website an extra edge (often, students start from there), incorporating chatbots that can handle question and inquiries during off-office hours too, sending heartfelt welcome emails when a student is accepted, and creating fun and informative videos and sharing them on social media pages, to name a few. The best strategies for improving student retention from the start is to make your website easy to navigate, include brilliantly shot images of your campus, lecture halls and facilities, and investing in a virtual tour to give potential students a realistic feel for your institution even before they step inside. Providing powerful call to action buttons that let them contact you, apply, or ask questions. 

  2. Show that you care – Monitoring the progress of your students from the first day is a great way to detect their strengths and weaknesses. This can help you draft personalized emails every week or month, which encourage them to do better or show them ways in which they can overcome challenges or improve their grades. It is a smart way to improve student retention rates. Make sure you provide clear and constructive feedback that tells them what resources to consult or how to prepare better for tests. Use fun and engaging visuals like memes or GIFs if need be, to forge a friendly bond.  

  3. Make lessons exciting – Wherever possible, include games or role play to make lessons interactive, interesting and easy to retain. Use visual aids like infographics, colorful graphs and charts, slides and videos to make tough concepts easier to process. Use virtual tours to allow students to explore things that would otherwise be difficult or super expensive, like exploring oceans, exotic national parks, industrial activities, sophisticated medical experiments and so on. Virtual reality is also perfect for letting students tinker with lifelike situations or problems and learn, without causing placing them in a dangerous situation with any real harm or side effect. These are effective tips to boost college student retention.  

    Read – 4 Proven Tips to Market Your College to Parents

  4. Use modern communication techniques – Prompt and seamless communication is the key to better student engagement. So, use texting or WhatsApp messaging to keep your students informed about lesson plans, quizzes, events, results and more. Let them get in touch with the faculty through these channels, so they can receive fast replies to doubts and queries. You can create an online forum as well, where students and faculty members can virtually meet, exchange ideas, learn and teach, and feel free. This way, even those who usually shy away from interaction in class might open up.

  5. Go the extra mile – Remember that your college is more than just a place for learning, it will become home for a student who decides to spend a few years in a new environment and prepare for an independent life. So, to improve student retention rates, try to focus on their mental and social wellbeing as well, by arranging counselling sessions, implementing a buddy system, setting up soft skill and networking workshops, or motivating them to participate in community events. Offer them a platform to speak their mind freely, without compromising privacy or inviting judgment. This can help them do better in academics too and feel safe and valued. Make sure you endorse diversity so that students from different regions or countries can feel at par. 

Boosting your college’s student retention can be a piece of cake if you keep the above pointers in mind and keep an open mind. All you need is a bit of creativity, empathy and foresight, so that you can identify those at risk of leaving your institution early on and intervene. And if you are looking for ways to make your online presence or lectures more exciting and immersive with visuals, shoot us an email at info@massinteract.com.

Read – 5 Ways Virtual Tours Can Power Up Your Campus Recruitment Strategy

Increase College Enrollment

5 Creative Ways to Increase College Enrollment

At the end of the day, the success of a college is largely determined by how many students get enrolled or can’t wait to get enrolled. And that in turn is something that depends on how well you connect with potential applicants, how effectively you can guide their decision, and convince them. So, to increase college enrollment or give your competitors a run for their money, you need to think like Gen Z and get pally with technology, especially digital marketing. After all, the pandemic is anything but over, and you need to go the extra mile to see results. Here are some tips that will help you.  

  1. Don’t take SEO lightly – Be it your website, blog, business listings or social media pages, search engine optimization is necessary, if you want Google to sit up and take note of you (give you a high rank that is). For that, researching, identifying and using the right keywords in your digital content is essential. For instance, if you want students searching with “affordable colleges in Boston” to find you, the phrase needs to be there somewhere in your content. However, remember to use keywords naturally and avoid stuffing, so that search engines know that your content is useful and not hardcore selling.   
  2. Make your website better – One of the best ways to increase college enrollment is by making your website attractive, easy to navigate, and informative. Get professional help if you want to improve the design, layout and content. Including a chatbot that can answer common questions can be immensely helpful for students who check out your site after work hours. Make it easy to find information related to courses, admission, fees, residence halls, scholarships and so on. Try and understand what are the things that motivate your students. What kind of majors, careers, or lives do they want? Provide information that can help them picture the future after they become a part of your community.

    Read – 4 Proven Tips to Market Your College to Parents
  3. Focus on visual marketing – Usingbrilliantly shot, crisp and relevant images, videos and virtual tours is one of the top tips to increase college enrollment. They can get the point across without an applicant having to digest a lot of text. Virtual tours are especially realistic and immersive affairs, through which you can let students explore your campus, facilities and even the neighborhood. Try and include short videos of past students who feel wonderful about your college and can share why it has helped them succeed. This will lend more credibility to your institution and claims. Infographics and memes are also smart ways to pack in a lot of information, without wasting an applicant’s time or energy.
  4. Utilize your social media presence – Reaching out to prospective students through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or even LinkedIn (it’s not just for professionals) is a great way to build a bond and create brand awareness. You just have to figure out which content formats work best for which platform. For instance, posts on Facebook can have a lighthearted touch, while Instagram posts can show amazing pictures of your campus, and LinkedIn posts can be informative and targeted towards those who take their future goals and careers super seriously. Just make sure everything is easy to understand and use visuals wherever possible. Trigger words like “How to”, “Tips”, “Guide”, “Hacks” can especially encourage applicants to click and read more.  
  5. Become mobile-friendly – Among all the ideas to increase college enrollment that you might come across, this has a special place. Students often find it easier to check out colleges when they are lazing around or running an errand. If your website is mobile-friendly, it will make things easier for them. Less text and more numbers, graphs, images and videos are recommended. In fact, by optimizing college virtual tours for mobile devices, you can encourage potential students to watch and share on the go. Apart from your website, make sure your email communications and social media posts are also optimized for mobiles. Make it easy to apply to your college through mobile devices as well, so that no one feels too lazy to prop open a laptop or head to a desktop.  

Whether you try all the above tips, or a few of them, make sure to tell a story about your institution. The best way to increase college enrollment is by standing out from the others. So, let students know what your brand stands for, what your vision is, what you believe in, and what you do to make a difference. And if you want a bit of guidance with visual marketing (that’s the way to go if you want the above tips to work), shoot us an email at info@massinteract.com.

Read – 5 Ways Virtual Tours Can Power Up Your Campus Recruitment Strategy

College virtual tours

5 Ways Virtual Tours Can Power Up Your Campus Recruitment Strategy

With the second wave of COVID hitting the world hard, it has become crucial for colleges to do everything creative they can to power up their student recruitment plans without compromising safety or convenience. Naturally, virtual tours for campus recruitment is the way to go if you want a win-win strategy. Since in-person visits and college fairs are simply out of the question, with the pandemic still on, it pays to invest in a marketing tool that is innovative, immersive, very Gen Z and simple. So, read on about how virtual tours can give you great results during the recruitment season.  

  1. Show that you care – In the wake of the pandemic, a smart campus recruitment strategy is to show prospective students that you care. And by putting up a virtual tour on your website and social media pages, you can show how you take social distancing, isolation and safety seriously. Plus, students from anywhere can access these tours without having to waste time on visiting your college physically or spend a lot of money on such travels. Using virtual tours to market your institution also shows that you are in sync with what the new generation wants and prefers, as they are way more tech-savvy than their parents and grandparents.
  2. Get more visibility and traffic – Campus recruitment through visual media like virtual tours can boost your website’s rank on Google. Why? Because people tend to click more on sites that have visually attractive content. Plus, if the tour is optimized for search engines and features on your Google My Business listing, it will get more visibility and traffic. Google will read this as relevance and rank your site higher than competing colleges.  

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

  3. Get better engagement and conversion – College virtual tours, being immersive and exciting, usually encourage students to stick around on your site for longer and explore everything in detail. And the longer they stay, the higher is the chance of engagement. Greater engagement also translates to more conversions. The fact that everything about your campus, from the manicured lawns and bright lecture halls to the swanky gym and cozy library, seems real, helps the student make an informed decision.  
  4. Help spread the word fast – One of the top campus recruitment tips is to get the word out about why your college is special, fast, and virtual tours can do just that. They hook potential applicants in seconds, give them a fair idea about what you offer and why, and are easy to share on social media channels. In fact, you can include a link to your tour when you send emails to both students and their parents. If they like what they see, they will simply share your virtual tour link in their circle and get you more exposure in the process. Plus, “seeing” what your institution is all about is way faster and simpler than going through a lot of text on your website.
  5. Show that you are different from others – Using virtual tours for campus recruitment is a wise choice because it lets you highlight what’s unique or different about your college. After all, every other higher education institution is vying for the attention of the same students. With a virtual tour, you can give prospective applicants a chance to find out about your highly qualified faculty, or exclusive majors, super clean residence halls (the pandemic has made safety extra important), placement cell (you can include snippets of past students who bagged great jobs), student support groups, scholarships, community life and more, in detail. You can showcase impressive figures, glowing testimonials and track records in a stylish way.    

So, what are you waiting for? Give your campus recruitment strategy an extra edge with virtual tours that connect deeply, evoke the right emotions, guide a potential applicant’s journey and get you more enrolment. Not sure how to get started? Connect with us at info@massinteract.com.

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

8 Surprising Virtual Tour Statistics to Blow Your Mind In 2021

2021 has made it perfectly clear that for a business to survive and thrive, visual marketing is the way to go. Be it your website, blog, Google ads or social media posts, everything needs to be visual-rich and less textual to send across the right message in the least time possible. Which is why, virtual tours are all the rage now. Immersive, interactive and super engaging, they let viewers (potential customers) explore a shop, restaurant, hotel, college, gym or even a golf course, whenever and wherever they want. They are perfect for driving more traffic to your website as well as conversions. Not quite convinced yet? Check out these 2021 virtual tour statistics to know about the benefits.  

  1. Views for websites with virtual tours are 5 to 10 times longer than those that don’t have them

Shared by Leonardo Worldwide, this is one of those virtual tour stats that show how these tours generate better engagement. The longer a visitor lingers on your website and explores your offerings, the higher is their chance to convert into a paying customer.

  • People between 18 and 34 years of age are 130% more likely to book a service or venue if they see a virtual tour

According to Reimagine Main Street, businesses that wish to target millennials or the youth section of the society should make use of virtual tours, as it appeals to their tech-savvy nature. Plus, virtual tours give viewers a realistic idea of what a venue might be like, which is necessary to build trust.

  • 67% customer want more businesses to offer virtual tours

A survey conducted by Seek Beak revealed one of the most interesting virtual tour statistics 2021 – 2 out of 3 customers are aware of virtual tours and would like more businesses to come up with the same. So, if you were under the impression that your potential customers won’t know what to do with such a tour, think again! If you want them to understand your business better, get started with a virtual tour.

  • 63% of travel websites posted 360 photos or videos in 2016

A study by Social Bakers in 2016 showed how 63% of travel companies were using panoramic photos and videos to attract customers. Even back then, offering a realistic view of what a tourist spot or vacation home might look like thrilled potential travelers. And today, virtual tours are here to make the marketing game easier for travel brands. The same study also revealed that about 54% of automotive companies were using 360-degree virtual tours to engage with prospective buyers. It continues to be a wonderful way of helping people explore and gauge the quality of a vehicle and make an informed decision.

  • 50% of internet-using US adults make property-related decisions based on virtual tours

One of the most intriguing virtual tour statistics is related to the real estate industry. As per Nar Realtor, 50% of US adults who use the internet go by virtual tours when it comes to zeroing in on a property. That is because virtual tours are the best way to become familiar with every nook and cranny, and they help future homeowners visualize themselves in a particular environment. While 89% of prospective buyers feel that images are everything when it comes to house-hunting, most of them are shifting to virtual tours as they are more immersive and authentic.

  • Google Maps listings with virtual tours see 12% more engagement than those without

Laurels Tech found out that incorporating virtual tours in Google listings can boost a business’s visibility organically (or for free). Also, if a Google My Business listing features a virtual tour, Google will throw up 360 thumbnail displays when someone conducts a relevant search. This can get your business more views, engagement, and sales.

  • Virtual tours witness 5 million visits daily worldwide

One of the most important virtual tour stats shared by Panomatics is this one, for sure. It shows how easily virtual tours can attract new and existing customers, connect with them, build their trust, and convince them. Since they are innovative and cutting-edge, customers tend to spend more time on any page that has virtual tours.

  • Virtual tours increase conversion by 16% to 67%

Businesses using virtual tours for marketing witnessed a 16% to 67% rise in conversion, as per TIG Global. The conversion is directly proportional to the level of engagement, which can be achieved with a great background score, fun animation or a nice voiceover. Essentially, virtual tours are the key to better conversion, which is the ultimate goal for any business.

By now, this list of virtual tour statistics 2021 must have proved how important this form of marketing is, if you wish to break the industry clutter and stand out. So, get started today and email us at info@massinteract.com if you need a bit of guidance.

market your college to parents

4 Proven Tips to Market Your College to Parents

Getting more students to apply with your college during the enrolment season is not just about convincing them that you are the best choice. You need to market your college to parents as well, given how vested they are in their children’s future. Parents not only care about the kind of courses, faculty and facilities your institution has, but they also want to ensure that their money (if they are funding their kids’ education) is well-spent. So, taking their priorities into account is as important as addressing the needs of students. Here are some ways to do that:

  1. Give your website the edge it needs – Be it the design, layout, or content, your website needs to be in shipshape to attract and retain parents. It should be easy to navigate and view on mobile devices too, so that busy parents or those who are not too tech-savvy can find out everything easily. Make sure you include top-notch images, videos and Collage virtual tours to give them an exciting experience. A virtual tour is especially realistic, immersive, and can make it easy to promote your college to parents. Include powerful and sensible calls-to-action as well, like “Talk to the Admin”, “Schedule a Visit”, “Parent Testimonials”, “Download Form” and so on. Add social media buttons in such a way that they are clearly visible, so that parents can follow you on other channels if they want to. You can have a dedicated page for parents too, where they can find all the relevant information in one go.   

  2. Make emails work – When it is a matter of marketing to parents, emails work really well since they convey serious intent. Plus, working parents can easily keep track of your mails besides the others that they receive daily. They can forward yours to their children as well, which is bound to get you more interest and engagement. After all, when a student sees that your college seems worthy to the parents, they will be more likely to apply. Just make sure you customize the email to address parents and their usual concerns. So, from tuition fees and financial aid to the locality of the campus, nearby facilities, medical aid, and potential employers who approach your college during the placement season, cover things that parents are keen on. You can also add links to your social media pages, virtual tours or application form at the end of the mail.

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

  3. Create parent-centric ads and target smartly – Creating Google and Facebook ads are among the best tips to market your college to parents. Make sure you forge an emotional bond through these by focusing on how getting into your college will help their children get good grades, bag awesome jobs, live a healthy life and become socially smart. Most parents of high-school students head to Google whenever they need some information and are active on Facebook. So, creating the right ads for these platforms will help you get their attention. When it comes to targeting, you can go for those who are 35 years and above or zero in on those whose budget matches your fees. The ads can be shown to those who have visited your college’s website before but not taken an action or read blogs on how to handle teenagers or the empty-nester syndrome. They are most likely to have children who are ready for college.

  4. Get blogging and social media posting right – Among the college marketing ideas that work for parents, blogging and posting on social media channels rank high. Most parents look forward to detailed how-to guides, checklists and vlogs that showcase campus life, admission procedure, scholarship applications and so on. Many are interested in what extracurricular activities their kids can participate in or what kind of part-time jobs are available in the community. So, crafting informative, original and interesting blog or social media posts can get you parents’ attention. Keep it simple yet engaging and experiment with multiple content formats. For instance, memes, GIFs, graphs and slides can do the trick apart from more text-heavy blog posts or articles. Even if you are focused on text, make sure you include high-quality visuals. Infographics are another great way to hook parents who want to consume information quickly or on the go.

So, are you ready to market your college to parents and win them as well the students over? It’s time to get all your communication and marketing materials sorted. And if you need help with images, videos or virtual tours, shoot us an email at info@massinteract.com.

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

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

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