4 strategies for standing up StudentBridge’s Campus Visit Experience quickly and effectively
Campus visits are a powerful engagement opportunity.
For prospective students and their families, campus visits (whether institution-led, self-guided, or virtual) play a critical role in understanding what an institution has to offer and determining if it’s a good fit for their needs — directly impacting where students apply and ultimately attend.
That’s why an increasing number of higher education institutions across the nation use StudentBridge’s Campus Visit Experience to increase tour access, improve engagement, and drive application volume and enrollment.
However, some institutions delay improving tours — often citing limited time or overwhelmed staff as reasons for moving this important initiative to the back burner. This can be a costly mistake, especially when we’ve ensured implementing and rolling out the Campus Visit Experience is an easy, scalable experience.
Below you’ll find four strategies to help you stand up the Campus Visit Experience quickly and effectively — without bogging down your team. While these strategies were written with one solution in mind, they can also be used more broadly to help institutions continue growing and improving tour offerings.
1. Use an existing tour as a starting point
There is no need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to standing up a new tour — especially if time and resources are limited. Start by looking at the tours you already offer and see what you can use from there.
For example, your in-person guided campus tours can inform which key sites you want to highlight in self-guided and virtual tours to create a comparable experience. They can also help you determine what to highlight for content. Guided tours, particularly ones led by current students, often move beyond simply sharing facts and figures and dive into the student experience and what makes your campus truly unique.
2. Embrace the phased approach
Reality check: You’re not going to create a perfect and robust tour overnight (let alone multiple tours). And that’s totally okay.
A phased approach enables you to get your first tour stood up quickly while creating a roadmap for ongoing growth and improvement. Oftentimes, institutions will focus on a general campus tour first. Institutions with multiple campuses can initially focus on their largest or most popular campus before moving onto tours for the remaining ones.
The phased approach works within each tour as well. Identify the stops you’d like to have for a given tour and then ask yourself which ones you really need to have in place from the beginning to create an impactful experience and which can be added in subsequent weeks or months when your team may have more capacity.
Keep in mind that the Campus Visit Experience gives you key metrics and insights, enabling you to make data-informed decisions on how to meaningfully evolve your tours over time.
3. Pull from content you already have
Another way to stand up virtual and self-guided tours quickly is to leverage existing content. In fact, it’s common for institutions to launch tours using existing content rather than creating new resources.
Your website often has a wealth of information about key areas on campus, including photos, videos, and important information. Social media channels can be another hub of information, making it easy for you to see pictures, videos, and information your institution and others have shared (just remember to give credit where credit is due if you use these as part of your tour!).
Use our free workbook to effortlessly gather and organize this content by stops, and you’ll be well on your way to quickly standing up your first tour.
4. Get students involved in the process
Overwhelmed teams may also find it beneficial to ask for help from a commonly underutilized source: students.
Current students are often eager to share their input, experiences, and feedback. In addition to helping your institution determine what stops to highlight or what to share at each, students can assist in creating new and compelling content.
User-generated content (UGC), or content created by your customer base, is one of the most powerful ways to engage prospective students. Plus, it’s proven to be an effective way to increase authenticity and drive matriculation.