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:
- 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.
- 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.
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- 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.
- 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.
- 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 email@example.com and we will get back to you soon.
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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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
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- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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- 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 email@example.com.
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