Technology has changed how students learn about colleges they're interested in and apply to their preferred programs. A virtual tour is essential in helping prospective students look at campuses without leaving their homes.
Virtual campus tours have become increasingly popular, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic. More people prefer to do things online. Virtual tours allow prospective students to tour campuses through a personalized and immersive digital experience. It can help them determine whether the school is right for them without setting foot on campus.
You should offer virtual tours on your institution's website for many reasons. Below are factors that can help your virtual campus tour contribute to increased enrollment.
1. Widespread Exposure and Accessibility
The college application process creates various challenges for many. Some families don't have the necessary resources to bring their kids to campuses for in-person tours. Whether because of finances or schedules, visiting colleges might not be possible.
Your college gets more exposure when prospective students can click a link and tour your campus virtually. People on the other side of the country and in different parts of the world can learn more about your institution regardless of where they live. Without a virtual tour, they likely wouldn't get the opportunity to experience what your campus offers.
Making it easier for anyone to head to your website and look at recreational facilities, academic buildings, dorms, and other parts of campus facilitates an emotional connection. Virtual tours are engaging and offer something brochures and pictures can't. Prospective students can picture themselves living at your school despite never seeing it in person.
2. Encourage Customization and Engagement
An in-person tour requires prospective students to follow someone as they walk from building to building. There isn't much freedom to venture off on their own and look at parts of the campus that interest them the most.
With a virtual tour, prospective students can customize their experience. They become their own tour guides and decide which places they want to explore. That self-direction incorporates excitement into an otherwise mundane task, allowing visitors to choose how they spend their time on your digital campus.
3. Speak This Generation's Language
The next generation of college students grew up with technology. They're used to getting information instantly and doing everything online, from ordering takeout from restaurants to communicating with friends. You appeal to an audience accustomed to digital worlds by providing a virtual campus tour.
4. Communicate Information Effectively and Efficiently
You can communicate your message and show prospective students what makes your college special. Words on a website can do the same thing but are not as effective. A virtual tour is a fully immersive experience giving a unique perspective on what going to college will be like. Prospective students don't have to imagine the feeling they'll get while walking around campus. They can experience it in real-time.
Instead of reading statistics, testimonials, and other information, virtual tours and Interactive Campus Maps allow prospective students to see other people in action. They can watch videos of current students participating in extracurricular activities and conducting classroom experiments. They learn more about the environment on campus that text on a webpage can't communicate.
5. Create a Lasting Impression
Your virtual tour can be simple and provide 360-degree images of various locations on campus, or it could be more involved. Your tour could allow prospective students to view classrooms while listening to audio from faculty or learn about the history of the college while "walking" from one building to the next.
A virtual campus tour is similar to a video game. It's a fun way of engaging your audience and making them feel part of your community of students and staff. Traditional content can't form a connection or evoke an emotional reaction the same way digital content can.
You create a lasting impression by making your college stand out. Prospective students are more likely to remember your campus. When it comes time to apply, your virtual tour might be the deciding factor in choosing your institution over another.
Get Started on Creating an Immersive Experience for Your School
StudentBridge has over 20 years of experience providing educational institutions with digital marketing solutions. We can help you tell your story to engage your target audience and turn them into enrolled students at your school.
Call us at (678) 824-8181 or request a demo to learn more about creating a virtual campus tour.