The MassInteract Blog

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

How Virtual College Tours are Changing the Student Recruitment Game

Today, technology has transformed the way learning happens. At the same time, it has also changed the way students choose the institutions they want to attend. One of the most important tools enabling this shift is virtual campus tours. According to a collegiate survey, 36% of registered applicants said that they would like to have a virtual tour added for initial evaluation of the campus. An additional 30% of applicants (so now 66% of total applicants)expressed that a virtual tour was a “must-have”. What this means is that virtual tours are rapidly becoming one of the best marketing tools that Universities have at their disposal.

A virtual tour for college allows Universities to showcase their entire campus through an online tour. Virtual tours are very different from ordinary photos and video— they are built with Google Street Views, the technology used in Google Maps. Virtual tours create an experience that is completely immersive — making users feel as if they are actually on campus from the comfort of their own homes.

Whether it’s a breathtaking 360 panoramic view of the campus, user-generated videos, or even a guided voice tour, virtual tours offer an opportunity for colleges to highlight everything the campus experience has to offer.

Benefits of virtual tours for college/university campus

Increasing the outreach of open days

Most colleges/universities put a lot of effort into their open days — building detailed guided tours, finding volunteers, often housing visitors, and so on. However, only those students who live nearby, or those with limitless time and resources can afford to attend open days. With virtual tours, you can bring a large part of the campus tour experience into the homes of the students. In fact, a good virtual tour piques the students’ interest and actually results in a 30% increase in physical visits to campus, which in turn increases the conversion rates for applications and enrollment.

Increase international recruitment

A diverse campus provides the best learning environment — especially when you have students from across the world. But most international applicants don’t have the time or resources to travel all the way to your campus. A virtual tour serves as a great way of enabling these students to understand what your campus has to offer and actually keep you on their radar during the application process. It also allows them to share this experience with family, friends, and teachers— some of whom play a crucial part in the ultimate application decision.

More exposure

When students are viewing an easy, immersive virtual tour, chances are they will share exciting snapshots on their social media. This means you get easy access to their peer group — which is a crucial part of your target audience. This will again help you boost applications and subsequent enrollments.

Finding a connection with digital natives

Most applicants belong to one of two categories — Gen-Zers or late millennials. These people have grown up with technology in a way that previous generations haven’t. Using a virtual tour will help you connect with this audience in a way that more traditional marketing tools won’t.

Coming up higher on Google search results

When you use Google to build your virtual tour, all the virtual tour content is hosted on the Google database. This means you have an inherent advantage when it comes to Search Engine Optimization. Higher rankings mean you will be discovered much more easily by prospective applicants.

If you’re looking for ways to differentiate your campus and build that much-needed buzz for your college, few tools are as effective as a good virtual tour. If you want to get started on building a college campus virtual tour but are not sure how to go about it, reach out to us

Top