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

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

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.

Photography In 2021 – What to Expect

There is nothing like photography to capture even the simplest of moments or scenes accurately and treasure them for years. Since 1839, the art of photography has come a long way though, and become more intelligent, intuitive and versatile. Today, it is not just people who capture beautiful images of everything they eat, places they visit, or the things they do. Businesses too are tapping into the immense potential of photography to power up their online presence, connect with customers, get more leads and build a credible brand image. So, being aware of photography 2021 trends is not just helpful, but also essential. To know what they are, read on:

  1. Artificial Intelligence will spread its wings – AI is undoubtedly the future of photography, whether it comes to automatic exposures, autofocus systems, stabilization or tracking. Especially, in case of auto focusing, AI is likely to make a bigger mark by ensuring accurate exposure for entire scenes. Even image editing software and tools will probably use AI more intensely, to get parameters like brightness, color, balance, and sharpness right. With time, AI might also be able to identify the kind of photos that are just right for your purpose and delete others.   

  2. 360⁰ photography will become more popular – 360 degree photography in 2021 will grab eyeballs like never before. As such photos are panoramic and holistic in nature, hotels, restaurants, gyms, golf courses, real estate companies, cafes, and even colleges will make use of these to give potential customers an in-depth peek into their workings. Moreover, these photos can be used to create interactive and immersive virtual tours, through which viewers can explore all parts of an establishment, zoom out or in, click on embedded links, and take in a scene from various angles.

  3. Shooting in natural light will be a new photography trend – One of the top photography 2021 trends will be shooting in bright and natural light, for a realistic feel. When done right, the shadows can make the photos look elegant as well as genuine. Though this trend might work the most in case of outdoor shoots like lawns, gardens, sports grounds etc., interior shoots might make use of sunlight too. Moreover, photos shot in natural light will have white and bright areas where relevant text can be included, especially if you are trying to sell a home, or highlight the best things about a college campus, or showcase the special offers at a restaurant.

    Read – Why Visual Marketing is the Future for Businesses

  4. Authenticity will feature on the list of photography 2021 trends – There’s no denying that times have changed, with people dealing with the pandemic, isolation, remote work and mundane lives. This means, photography will tend to become more ‘real’, and as close to the actual situation as possible. For instance, a hotel or café photographs might portray staff members in masks, campus photos might look deserted, and a fitness centre’s photos might show members maintaining distance while working out. Even image editing might become less glamorous than usual.

  5. VR and AR will make experiences richer – Unlike conventional photography, virtual reality or augmented reality makes it possible for viewers to ‘experience’ a setting, situation or possibility, rather than simply viewing, it. For instance, virtual reality can help a prospective student realize how life on a college campus will actually be like. Or, thanks to augmented reality, someone who is planning to sign up for a golf membership can visualize how it will be like to play on a particular course. This form of photography can make it easy for customers to compare different places and experiences and make better decisions.

To wrap up, the future of photography is all set to be exciting, realistic and as innovative as possible. Whether you want to capture the best moments of a family vacation, improve your website or social media pages, or make your business listing on Google more attractive, visuals will reign supreme. And all the top photography professionals will make sure that they keep up with the above trends to give you exactly what you want. So, what are you waiting for? If you need awesome photographs that help you stand out from a million others, shoot us an email at info@massinteract.com

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

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

5 Easy Steps to Add a Google Virtual Tour to Your Website

The COVID outbreak has made one thing crystal clear for businesses of all kinds and sizes. Going digital is the only way to survive, whether you want to engage your target audience, promote your products, communicate smoothly or get leads. And a Google virtual tour is one of the best digital marketing tools you can use for this. By adding it to your website, and not just your Google My Business listing, you can boost the traffic you see and nudge leads to become buyers. Whether you are a hotel, park, café, college or gymnasium, potential clients can take a tour of your premises from the comfort and safety of their homes. And once things get back to normal, they can decide to visit you. There is no better way to connect with the discerning consumer and gain edge over competitors!

Now, if you are wondering how to add a Google virtual tour to your website, it’s pretty easy. Just follow the 5 steps listed here.

Step 1

Read – Why Visual Marketing is the Future for Businesses

Head to Google Maps and look for the business listing that has the virtual tour you are planning to add to your website. Note that the embed code can be retrieved only from Google Maps. If you access your listing through Google Search, you won’t get a code. Next, click on a 360 thumbnail image and start browsing your tour.

Now, you have to pick a starting point for the virtual tour before adding it to your website. So, just explore the tour this way and that, until you find a spot that offers a wonderful view of your establishment. This image will be your starting point.

Step 2

Now, check the top left corner of your 360 image to locate 3 vertical dots. Click on them to get a popup menu. On this, click on the option that says ‘Share or Embed Image’.  

Step 3

Now, it’s time to choose the size of the virtual tour you wish to host on your website. You can make this choice in the popup that appears. Small, medium and large are the three options available for size. Though most websites select any one of these options, some decide to personalize it a bit. To customize the size of the tour, simply choose the ‘Custom size’ option from the drop-down menu.  Always remember to check the final image when you go for a custom size. To do this, click on the ‘Preview actual size’ link. If you are satisfied with the size, copy the html code in the box after highlighting it.

Read – Does Your Business Need a Virtual Tour?

Step 4

Next, you have to embed the copied html code on that particular website page where you wish to feature the virtual tour. After adding the html for the code, make sure you set the width to 100%. When it comes to the height, it should be ideally between 450px – 550px. This usually works well on most websites, irrespective of the device used. So, you are done. Your Google virtual tour is now on your website, ready to grab eyeballs!

Step 5

Last but not the least; view the tour on your website to make sure everything is fine. You can also send out the page to colleagues and friends, so that they can check too. The tour should work smoothly across devices.

In case you are not too sure of going through the steps above, get a bit of professional help to be on the safe side.

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

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

Google Interactive Tours vs Street View

Google Interactive Tours vs Street View: Which is Better?

Faced with cut-throat competition, businesses often adopt the latest technologyto stand out from the crowd. Unlike before, there are many advanced tools to empower a business so that it can leave a lasting impression – right from the outset!

Google Interactive Virtual Tour and Street View are two of the most innovative tools which businesses can take advantage of for a more impactful representation. If youare wondering which one of these two is better, or for that matter, which one should you choose to give your business a boost? We have set Google Interactive Tours vs Street View for a direct faceoff to let you figure out just that.

Google Interactive Tours vs Street View
Google Interactive Tours vs Street View

Google Interactive Virtual Tour

A Google virtual tour is designed to deliver an interactive 360 experience. To be more precise, it is a complete simulation of your business attached to your Google My Business listing.

Interactive Virtual Tour

Google virtual tour is an amazing representation of your brand. The interactive tour not only showcases what your business has to offer with immersive detail, but also helps it win attention that proves to be a decisive factor.

Google Street View

Google Street View is integrated into Google Maps and Google Earth that showcases interactive panoramas of stitched images. With Street View, users can explore world landmarks, take a glance at wonders, and even step into arenas, museums, restaurants, and small businesses. And that too right from their fingertips.

That’s what makes Street View so fascinating for both everyday users and businesses.

Street View

How to Create Google Virtual Tour

Creating a Google Virtual Tour is quite straightforward. All you have to do to get started is to capture images > edit them with precision > stitch them together to produce high-res panoramic photos, using a virtual tour software. And then, upload the tour to the correct Google My Business listing.

How to Capture 360 Videos for Google Street View

Thanks to the Super Handy Street View app, publishing and linking 360 photos is a breeze. Ensure that your images are at least 7.5MP (4K) with a 2:1 aspect ratio. Besides, also make sure that they are not more than 75 megabytes in size.

Be sure to disable any gyroscopic stabilization and keep your camera upright. Also, position your camera support system precisely to ensure it takes up not more than 25% of the bottom of the resulting 360 images.

So, Which One – Interactive Tour or Street View – is Better?

Coming back to the all-important question as to which one is better: Interactive Tour or Street View. Though both are great for a visual representation of your business, Interactive Tour is a bit more impactful.

Both in terms of showing off your business personality and providing vivid detail of your offerings, the virtual tour has a slight edge. For instance, if you own a luxurious 7-star hotel, you get the most out of the interactive tour to showcase the beautiful interior, different cuisines, and even offer a sneak-peek into your hotel’s specialty.

The immersive tour immediately catches eye-balls, giving people a taste of your brand’s identity. And that too without consuming much of their time!

If you are willing to create a top-notch 360° virtual tour of your business, contact us to get the job done for you with unmatched expertise. Being Google’s number one agency, Mass Interact excels in creating 360° virtual tours that never fail to leave a lasting impression.

Why Wedding Venues Need Virtual Tours to Gain a Competitive Edge

My particular upbringing has allowed me to gain a great deal of insight into the challenge that wedding venues run into when recruiting clients. Wedding venue owners work strenuously to create and market the perfect space for couples to experience the best day of their life.

I grew up in Apple River, IL, on an outdoor wedding venue called Oak Hill Weddings. My mother decided to invest in building a wedding venue from scratch, which naturally became a family business. I have watched couples come to our venue in search of their “happily ever after”, throughout my life. I have helped my mother with everything from touring to marketing – which has proven to be one of the most challenging parts of owning a small business, given our many competitors.

Every year, in the United States, around 2.5 million weddings are held. This steadfast industry is hard to disrupt – the institution of marriage continues to be respected and cherished! So, what is the secret to successful wedding venue marketing? Wedding Wire, a listing and blogging platform devoted to weddings, popped up in 2006, allowing brides to quickly evaluate potential venues. Similar platforms started to emerge soon after, such as WeddingBee, Bridal tweet, Wedding Mapper, etc. Nowadays, along with this free marketing, venue owners tend to lean on social media, Google Search, and their website, to sell their services. Although a website is essential to successfully build a business, small business owners need a competitive edge to stand out and make an impression.

Read Also – Why Visual Marketing is the Future for Businesses

I also interviewed my mother’s managing partner, Sandra Wolfram, about the challenges that Oak Hill Weddings has faced with regard to marketing development. She stated, “Our clients come from a 2.5 hour radius, making it hard for potential clients to make the trip to Oak Hill Weddings. In-person tours have also declined tremendously, given the current societal circumstances – COVID-19. We have multiple beautiful outdoor ceremony sites, a brand-new pavilion, a barnhouse, country store, and church that are dying to be shown off.”

The solution? A virtual tour, also known as 360 degree panoramic imagery. A virtual tour offers a uniquely immersive online experience, giving potential clients the opportunity to explore the beauty of a venue, without being physically present. Business owners can embed this tour on their website, social media pages, and all Google platforms, to boost bookings as well as online traffic. Hence, a virtual tour can eliminate the stress of marketing and simultaneously improve a business’s image, sales, and brand value.

Read Also – 5 Ways in Which the Real Estate Industry is Benefitting from Virtual Tours

The Top 5 Benefits of Virtual Staging for Realtors

In a post-COVID world, more people are choosing social distancing as a way of life. Which means that a lot of decisions around the real estate — whether it’s rental or purchase decisions— are being moved online. Which means that the shortlisting process has become a lot more rigorous and prospective customers are only taking a physical tour of the properties that they are really interested in. In this scenario, virtual staging becomes a really appealing option.

What is virtual staging

Virtual staging is a process by which graphic designers do the interior decor of a property. They work by visualizing the aesthetics that need to be projected and creating decor, furniture, and fixture based on this aesthetic. As a result, when a property is displayed online, it’s not shown as a set of empty rooms but as what it would look like when it’s actually being used.

Benefits of virtual staging

Here’s how virtual staging for real estate can increase the chances of your property making it to that coveted shortlist:

Read Also – 5 Ways in Which the Real Estate Industry is Benefitting from Virtual Tours

Enhances the visual appeal

You’re not really selling a property, you’re selling a lifestyle. So empty rooms that leave much to the imagination don’t really work as well as a property that showcases exactly what it will look like when it’s being used. In a world where prospective customers are going through hundreds if not thousands of listings, this is one of the best ways of making sure you stand out.

Cost-effective

If you were to actually dress an entire property to take pictures, it would become prohibitively costly. You would have to spend lots of money in buying (or moving) furniture, fixtures, and dozens of other items. You can save thousands of dollars in the long run by investing in a virtual staging software that will allow you to create a beautiful visual spectacle for all your properties, both residential and commercial. 

Read Also – What 3D Modeling is All About and Why It’s So Important for Your Business

Saves time

Imagine physically dressing every room for photographs. Moving furniture, setting it up till it looks just right, and then adding various decor pieces to enhance the aesthetic appeal. Going through all this trouble could easily take up an entire day if not more. Whereas with virtual staging, the software does the job for you.

Emphasize some parts of the property

Want to highlight the pool area? Or really showcase the island kitchen? Having a virtual staging tool at your fingertips means you can use virtual staging images to focus on those parts of the property that really stand out. This will ensure that customers are immediately attracted to the property when browsing online.

Plus, you can also emphasize different parts of the property and customize the aesthetic based on your target audience. For instance, if millennials are your target audience, you might want to go with an aesthetic that feels more modern.

A better idea of dimensions

An empty room can often appear a lot smaller than it really is — it’s hard to understand the dimensions of a room without proper context. Having furniture and fixtures gives people a much better idea of the actual size and shape of the area and whether it could work for them.

The bottom line

Virtual staging is one of those marketing assets that has all three attributes— it has a great aesthetic, it’s relatively simple to execute and it’s also cost-effective. Which is why it’s one of the easiest ways for realtors to gain a competitive advantage in an increasingly virtual world.

Read Also – How to Maximize Exposure for Your Brand by Marketing Your 360 Virtual Tour

College Virtual Tours

How College Virtual Tours Are Becoming the Key to Student Recruitment in a Post-COVID World

In a post-COVID world, college virtual tours have become a thing of the past. With travel nearly coming to a standstill, there is very little scope for students to go around the country visiting college campuses this year.

But if you think about it, this is a great time to make things a little more equal. Usually, students can physically visit only a few campuses. Now that physical tours are becoming nearly impossible, students are switching to virtual tours. In fact, a survey by Cappex revealed that students prefer virtual tours as their tool of choice for initial evaluation of a campus — 36% said they would really like to have it while another 30% called it a must-have.

A college good virtual tour can give unprecedented insight into campus life, and this is a great opportunity for lesser-known colleges to compete on an even footing.

Here’s how college virtual tours are evolving to keep up with a post-COVID world:

Beautiful visuals

Colleges are taking it to another level with incredible visuals of their most beautiful features. For instance, Marietta College has a comprehensive tour showcasing some of their most unique areas — from the planetarium, recreation center, library, media center, science center and halls. It gives students a complete feel for the campus.

Virtual events

Colleges are taking campus tours one step further by also including both live and previously recorded events. This isn’t just for prospective students but for incoming classes as well. For instances, the University of California, Berkeley is including a virtual Cal Week to its regular campus tour to replace the usual in-person events for incoming students.

Creating a more inclusive tour

It’s important for a campus virtual tour to talk about the diversity and exclusivity of its campus. For instance, the Anglia Ruskin University’s cafeteria tour has three words below a 360-degree panoramic view of the cafe — “halal food available”. This immediately gives showcases the campus’ commitment towards diversity and inclusivity.

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

Campus life

Post-COVID, a good virtual tour goes beyond just the buildings and pathways. It gives prospective students an insight into whether the campus life is going to be a worthwhile experience. So, things like extra-curricular activities, parties, clubs, and so on should be highlighted in a fun and interesting way. Students should be able to actually experience a live and pulsating campus from the comfort of their living room.

More interactiveness

Campus tours are now using hotspots to create different multimedia layers that make the college virtual tour more attractive. From questions about distances to campus life to financial aid, all the answers can be found on interactive hotspots.

Extending the audience

Campus tours are no longer just for high-school students. There are different versions that are also being designed to attract grad school students and people who have been working for a while and are looking to continue their education. So highlighting additional features that may be attractive to a more mature audience is a good idea.

Colleges are adapting to the post-COVID world quite rapidly. As things move to the virtual sphere, this is an incredible opportunity for upcoming colleges to showcase campus life in an engaging and compelling way. As students expand the scope of their prospective colleges from the comfort of their living rooms, a great campus virtual tour can make the difference and get those extra applications.

Read Also – Why You Need to Have a Custom Virtual Tour for Your College?

apartment virtual tour

Millennials are Going for Sight-Unseen Leases in a Big Way: How an Apartment Virtual Tour Can Seal the Deal

Millennials today are moving more frequently than previous generations. With globalization, the internet, and the world coming closer together than ever before, this trend is here to stay. Millennials are moving both for higher-paying jobs, as well as for the rich experiences that staying in their hometown may not be able to deliver.

Having said that, it’s really hard to take time off work and go all the way to the city you’re moving to for apartment hunting. There’s far too much planning, scheduling, and effort involved — and most people just don’t have the time for that.

As a result, most people have to find a house in a matter of a few days once they move to a new city, and that can be really challenging. Instead of spending tons of money on a hotel, people are now choosing to lease and rent sight-unseen.

A few years ago this would have been unheard-of but technology has made this increasingly possible. Today, potential renters are okay with signing on that lease agreement on the basis of a high-quality, ultra-detailed apartment virtual tour. As long as the virtual tour gives them the feeling of having really seen the apartment in a complete, comprehensive way, they don’t mind signing the dotted line.

So if you’re targetting a sight-unseen lease — specifically for millennials and important businesspeople with little time on their hands — an apartment virtual tour is a must-have. Before you get that virtual tour up and running, here are a few things to keep in mind:

Make sure your apartment virtual tour is easy to access

What this means is that a potential renter shouldn’t have to search for the virtual tour, they should naturally gravitate towards it when scoping out the apartment. While the virtual tour is likely to be the clincher when it comes to a sight-unseen lease, you have to remember that renters are unlikely to search for a virtual tour. It’s more important that the virtual tour is a part of a seamless viewing experience. This means that you should display the virtual tour prominently  — whether that’s on the home page or on the listings page.

A lot of people look at a virtual tour as something that exists lower down the sales funnel. In other words, they try to use it to close the sale. While that is an important function of the tour, it’s just as important to have the prospects see the virtual tour when they’re casually browsing the listing. This way, they will have a much more in-depth idea about the apartment, so the leads that you get will be highly qualified. This saves a lot of effort and energy later on in the sales process.

Choose your virtual tour provider with care

There are many virtual tour software out there, some of which are even available for free. But if you want to get a professional-looking virtual tour (which is highly recommended when you want to close a sight-unseen lease), consider hiring a professional. Check their references, make sure they fit within your budget, and of course look at their portfolio of work. Preferably work with a provider that already does apartment virtual tours so that they know exactly what works.

Interactivity is important

What makes virtual tours different from videos is the interactive element. With virtual tours, users are expected to click on where they want to go, zoom in and out as they please, and even engage with the descriptions and information. You need to ensure that your virtual tour has a number of “hotspots”, with clickable icons and interesting copy, so that users are much more involved than with a regular video. What’s more, if your virtual tours are interactive, customers will stay on your website for longer. This is something that search engines take into account which will mean more traffic for you in the long run.

At the end of the day, if you expect someone to rent or lease an apartment without ever having seen it, then you need to give them a little bit extra. Renters today are willing to take that leap of faith— as long as they have extra information to bridge that trust gap. Virtual tours of apartments are the perfect fit.

Real Also: Real Estate Photography: Use the Right Visuals To Generate Buyers’ Interest

Hotel Virtual Tour Advantage

How a Hotel Virtual Tour Could Give Your Business a Huge Post-COVID Advantage

As we all know, this isn’t the best time for the hospitality business. There is uncertainty in many parts of the world, and it will be a while before long-distance travel goes back to where it used to be pre-Coronavirus.

Having said that, COVID-19 clearly has an end-time, as experiences in many countries, from China to New Zealand have shown. With the pandemic in full swing in many parts of the world, and travel has come to a halt, there are two ways to look at the situation. The first is to simply live this situation out amid a general environment of fear and panic. The second would be to actually take advantage of this free time to invest in marketing assets that will help you generate bookings as soon as things are up and running so that your business can find its feet faster.

As far as hotels go, whether it’s an opulent 5-star property or a boutique place, being able to showcase its beauty to prospective customers is the first priority. While high-resolution images were enough to do that up until a few years ago, today state-of-the-art hotel virtual tours are a must on your website. Here’s why virtual tours for hotels have become so popular in the last few years:

First impressions are important

Think about it from the point of view of a prospective customer. Would you rather book a room in a hotel that has some standard, poorly-lit photos? Or a hotel where you can see a 360 virtual tour of the entire property— from the room and the bathroom to the lobby, the breakfast buffet, and the sprawling grounds. A virtual tour is an easy way to make an incredible first impression and get that online booking.

Build credibility

A Google Street View virtual tour means that you’re showing your property with an incredible level of detail. With a regular website and photos, it’s easy to use clever angles to hide or emphasize some parts of the property. And customers are now aware of this. So when you create a hotel virtual tour, you’re creating a level of transparency that is rare in the business, and that will make customers trust you instinctively.

More control over the viewing experience

Every customer wants something different when they look at a property online. A customer might be looking for the perfect family vacation, another for a honeymoon, and yet another for a business conference. A comprehensive hotel virtual tour allows prospective customers to customize the viewing experience for themselves. They can zoom in and out of areas that they are more interested in, go through the information given in the hotspots, and pan left, right, up and down to get a better view.

Searchability

Having a virtual tour on your website gives you an immediate edge over the competition. The Google Street View 360 tour will automatically help you when it comes to Search Engine Optimization. Having a virtual tour is also one more step in completing your Google Business profile, and a completed profile also makes your hotel more searchable. Having your business consistently rank high during Google searches is a big advantage of having a virtual tour.

 Likely to get organic shares

A good hotel virtual tour has high entertainment value. People love to browse through these tours and do some vicarious traveling. Even if someone is not booking your hotel immediately, chances are that they will enjoy the tour so much that they will share it with friends on their social media. This will immediately give you organic reach among your target audience.

It’s understandable that you’re going through a period of turmoil and uncertainty. But the best way to make the most of this time is to have a long-term view of your business and to invest in relatively reasonable marketing assets that will last you in the long run. Hotel virtual tours are the best way to do this. Not only are they relatively easy to create, but they will also give you an immediate competitive edge as the hospitality industry starts getting back on track.

Top