Yes, the pandemic is still here, but life is gradually and carefully adapting to a new rhythm. Take college admissions, for instance. While students are eager to start a new phase of life, they are not too keen about travelling much or meeting a lot of people in person just yet. They want an easier way to find out about different campuses, compare them and then make a choice. So, how do you convince students to apply to your school even when you can’t meet them personally? Here are 5 smart tips that can help:
- Informative and engaging blogs or articles – Any college worth its salt knows the importance of having an attractive and informative website. Along side a strong website, in-depth, interesting blogs and articles are the best way to add value to it. In fact, you can also churn out guest blogs to draw potential candidates from other reputed sites. How-to articles and guides can especially help students to find out more about your institution, how to apply, what courses to consider, how to get financial aid, and more. Plus, by including relevant keywords (phrases that potential applicants use while searching for colleges), you can rank high on Google over time and boost awareness. This will get you more traffic to your website and conversions.
Read – 5 Mistakes to Avoid While Creating Custom Virtual Tour of Your College
- Appealing and meaningful visuals – One of the best ways to convince students to attend your college is to use visual media like well-shot images, exciting videos and immersive college virtual tours. Pictures speak louder than words, and so, include powerful visuals wherever possible, on your site and social media pages. They will ensure more engagement, better recall, and can help you beat competition. Virtual tours, especially, are perfect if you want students to explore your campus in a realistic manner and imagine their future there. You can also embed buttons like “Apply Now”, “Plan a Visit”, “Contact a Student Ambassador” etc. to drive conversions.
- Smooth and effective communication – If you wish to attract students to your college in this tech-savvy era, you need to warm up to channels like text messsaging, email, WhatsApp, Skype, Zoom and so on. It can be a super effective way to send out updates and notices, especially if you want to reach students anytime, anywhere. This way, they won’t miss out on anything important, be it the last date for application or documents needed at the time of enrolment. Having multiple channels of communication also means students can get their doubts cleared whenever they want and appreciate your support. You can share visual information too, to hook them fast. This can lay the foundation for a long-term relationship.
- Tap the power of social media – Social media marketing is among the best tools to increase college enrolment without spending a ton on physical or online ads. Building eye-catching pages that are rich in information can be your starting point, whether you are on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or all of them. Since youngsters spend a large chunk of time scrolling through their social feeds, your institution will come across as smart, progressive and friendly. You can create interesting and visual-rich posts about important events, the majors you offer, your faculty members, and your facilities, ranging from the lawns, pool and gym to dormitories, lecture halls, library. Sharing virtual tours on social media platforms is another clever way to ensure better engagement.
Read – Top 5 Ideas to Make your College Virtual Tour More Winning
- Let your alumni speak – In order to convince students for admission, you have to walk the talk. Essentially, you have to prove what you claim. And for that, you can loop in alumni members and request them to create short videos where they talk about their on-campus experience, how they bagged good jobs from your placement cell or earned a prized football scholarship, how they enjoyed running around the gardens or splashing in the pool, how the locality or community made everyday life easy for them, and so on.
All in all, it is not impossible to attract students to your college, despite the tremendous competition in the education sector, if you are a little creative and know how to keep up with the times. And the above tricks and tips must have made it evident how crucial visual marketing is, when it comes to improving college enrolment statistics. So, send us an email at email@example.com if you need help with stunning photos, videos or virtual tours, and we will do it all for you.
Read also – Self-Guided College Virtual Tours Need These 5 Things
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.
Read – Using Virtual Reality in Education Has Many Benefits
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get back to you soon.
Read Also – Tips To Get More Applications During COVID With Your College Virtual Tour
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 email@example.com.
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.
Read – Top Online Marketing Tips to Boost College Admissions
- 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.
Read – How Virtual College Tours are Changing the Student Recruitment Game
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Must Read – Get Your College the Attention It deserves with a Custom Virtual Tour