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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

4 Best Practices to Create Successful Virtual Tours in Higher Education

Thanks to the intense competition online businesses face these days (with every small and big brand vying for customer attention), it isn’t surprising that many of them are using virtual tours to gain a competitive edge. And it’s not just hotels, gyms and spas that are using these 360 degree tours to attract and engage potential customers. Higher education institutes like colleges and universities have also adopted these tours to bring in more applications and make the students’ online experience better. Moreover, the COVID outbreak made it essential for colleges to replace in-person campus visits with virtual tours for introduction and orientation. In fact, close to 1.4 million people watched campus virtual tours on YouVisit from March to April this year.

However, with so many virtual tours for education out there, you need to follow these best practices, to stand out and convince students to choose you over others:    

  1. Tell a story – Did you know that the average age of those who take virtual tours of colleges is 16.6? This means, they are at that juncture of life when they have plenty of dreams as well as questions, and they are keen to know if your college will take care of them and nurture their ambitions. So, your virtual tour should clearly tell them why you are unique as an institution and better than others. It might be your awesome location, beautiful campus, great recreational facilities, vast library or the exclusive courses you offer. Here is how the Art Institute of Vancouver nailed it.
  2. Focus on the basics – No matter how wonderful your college virtual tour is, it won’t engage with students unless it is easy to find and navigate. So, have it on the Home page of your website or on the Admissions page. The tour should load quickly but look compelling too. Share the tour on social media pages as students are more likely to come across it there, given their age. Also, the tour should be easy to explore across all devices. Check out how University of Windsor is making it happen.   

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

  3. Ensure an immersive experience – This basically means that students should be able to imagine themselves on your campus, in various settings, whether they are doing their own thing or interacting with others. In other words, your college virtual tour shouldn’t just be a walk through the different campus areas or facilities. Like, instead of just showing what the cafeteria or classrooms look like, cover the types of foods served or students attending a live teaching session. Highlight students having fun in the dormitories or counselors offering career guidance. This will show candidates that your institution is a living, breathing affair and can actually cater to their needs.   
  4. Use Call to Action or CTA for better engagement – University virtual tours need to incorporate powerful and specific call to actions to convert the viewer into an applicant. For example, if your tour zeroes in on the admission office at the end, include a button for application here to nudge the prospective candidate to apply online. Or, if your state and city regulations permit, you can add a link to schedule an in-person visit later on. CTAs can also encourage a student to ask more questions or connect on social media.   

To wrap up, virtual tours have become absolutely necessary for higher education institutes to reel in candidates, impress them, and establish a meaningful connection. After all, this year, high school students are checking out such tours at a 228% higher rate than in 2019. So, if you feel that you need some expert guidance to put together a unique virtual tour, just email us at info@massinteract.com

Must Read – Get Your College the Attention It deserves with a Custom Virtual Tour

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