As college visits and open days have shrunk to a minimum, interactive virtual tour software has taken centre stage.
An astounding 80% of high school students rate visiting campus as either ‘very’ or ‘extremely important’. When that isn’t possible, digital alternatives have not just entered the discussions but taken centre stage.
INTERACTIVE VIRTUAL TOUR
The need for and benefits of interactive virtual tours, of course, range far beyond a simple plaster that can help the recruitment process right now. For years, they’ve helped schools attract students who can’t physically visit or just want a quick reminder of what campus is like. The COVID-19 pandemic has just accelerated that process.
Now, almost every school is considering some way or means to showcase their school and college online. That means if you truly want to stand out, you have to take further steps to distinguish your school, college or university. That something might just be an interactive virtual tour.
THE BENEFITS OF A SCHOOL, COLLEGE OR UNIVERSITY VIRTUAL 360 TOUR
Consider this more of a recap. These are the top benefits of using virtual tours in your college recruitment:
Build familiarity with your campus and its facilities, which is relevant both for students and families living locally and beyond or those with very specific career expectations.
Stand out online, offering an interactive experience that goes far beyond the typically static nature of a website. Given the choice, would you rather view photos or have the ability to look wherever you want, from any angle of choice. We all know what you would prefer.
Highlight your school, college or university’s unique features. We’ve seen schools emphasise the surrounding town, their green initiatives, and other distinguishing factors on campus.
Engage your audience, especially as you build in connections to the rest of your website and digital presence.
THE UNIQUE NEEDS OF YOUR EDUCATIONAL SETTING
Your school is unique. You are not the same as any other. So why should your marketing not reflect and emphasise who you really are?
Basic virtual tours only give a snapshot view of your space. They are less engaging and interactive, meaning less interest.
Interactive 3D virtual tours for schools allow institutions to open their doors for prospective students and their parents/guardians.
Because our tours are 3D, they give the prospective student the ability to move through the space as if they were there. We use virtual tour technology that enables us to fill our tours with text, images, videos, and weblinks.
This means that our 360 virtual tours can include text about a school’s values, images of recent events, videos of staff introducing themselves, and links to OFSTED reports and reviews. In fact, we transform a tour into an interactive prospectus.
By highlighting these efforts, you build a much more personalised marketing experience. In addition to getting the school or college overview, you’re able to dig into the specific benefits of your college. Just as a typical open day would.
BUILDING VIRTUAL EXPERIENCES ONLINE TO SATISFY AN ONLINE AUDIENCE
All of the above, of course, is true regardless of the time. A 3D virtual tour would hit these points, regardless of whether a pandemic would throw typical recruitment efforts into the wind. But that’s exactly what’s happening. Therefore, the need for an interactive 360 tour has become more significant than ever.
Open days for many educators are either not happening or even feasible in the current realm. Instead, these institutions keep their virtual event shorter and more general to keep their audience’s attention span.
But the need for your school, college or university to provide bespoke, engaging and specific information is not going away.
In fact, in a weakening economy with major career uncertainties, the emphasis on picking the course is only going to increase. That’s why your virtual efforts should include engaging digital experiences.
Students can experience not just their future institution, but their future classrooms, hangout spots, and study areas. They can hear from student experiences and future teachers and staff. All from the comfort of their home in an interactive virtual experience.
HOW TO FIND THE RIGHT VIRTUAL TOUR PROVIDER
As we’ve highlighted above, creating your interactive virtual tour can help ignite your ability to engage your future students and parents online.
Finding the right provider means doing some research. Inform yourself about the various virtual tour vendors in this space. But be careful: some of them have just recently begun to offer this type of platform, responding entirely to the pandemic. Orient yourself towards potential partners who have been in business for a while, and have built credibility and expertise in working with other universities and colleges.
Next, look at their examples of virtual tours that mirror your needs. Do you like what you see? Can you envision something like that easily for your school or college, as well?
If so, it’s time for a conversation, to learn more about aspects like pricing and features to make your tour a reality.
We’d love to have that conversation with you. Our experience in creating virtual 360 tours stretches back years, and we’ve helped countless educational institutions build experiences designed to match their brand and their audience’s needs.
Contact us today to start the conversation.