An interactive campus map is a valuable tool in digital marketing for higher education. You get the attention of prospective students who might be unable to travel for an in-person visit. Although interactive campus maps help attract and engage visitors to your website, correctly implementing them is crucial. You must be strategic in setting up your map and the features you incorporate.
Here are six things you must know before creating a virtual campus map for your college.
#1: How to Promote Your Brand
You can highlight your campus to prospective students with an interactive campus map. That requires promoting your brand by featuring the unique selling points of your location, recreational activities, educational programs, and other aspects of the campus. You want to stand out from other colleges so online visitors remember you while looking at their top choices. This requires you to understand your brand‚Äôs best selling points clearly.
You should consider highlighting your state-of-the-art science lab or the wide range of extracurricular activities with a Video Viewbook. Showing off the parts of your campus that make your college unlike any other means allowing prospective students to visit without leaving their homes. With a personalized and fully immersive digital experience, they get a feel for what it would be like to live on your campus.
#2: Determine Which Features You Need
Leveraging the benefits of an interactive campus map requires incorporating multiple features. You need to understand your audience: who they are, how they behave, and what features they need. Prospective students are seeking to understand your campus via phone, tablet, or computer. That means they need access to customizable and personalized features for an experience tailored to their wants and needs.
Determine which features of your college you want to highlight to drive the results you want. Features you can include in your campus map include:
- Multiple Layers ‚Äì Create a custom experience for different audiences with different needs by creating numerous map layers. For example, you can design one map for visitors interested in the athletics program and another for prospects considering a biology major.
- Interactive wayfinding ‚Äì Visitors can find the driving or walking directions to any area of your campus with the click of a button.
- Inquiry forms ‚Äì When you include inquiry forms, you can generate potential leads and follow up with helpful information.
- Advanced accessibility ‚Äì Targeting a diverse audience requires that you include features for users with disabilities. With these features, they can easily navigate your map to find the facilities they need.
- Live data feeds ‚Äì You can include live data feeds for real-time information about campus shuttle services, gym hours, or computer lab availability.
#3: Improving the Student Experience with Campus Events
Campus events give students something to look forward to other than classes. Without events, campus life would be boring. Your interactive map is ideal for highlighting on and off-campus events.
While creating your map, think about where events typically take place. You can incorporate them into each map feature so visitors can quickly find the information they‚Äôre looking for. For example, if you regularly hold events in a specific building, include a link prospective students can click on to take them to a digital event.
You shouldn't limit your events to those with physical access to your campus. Offer virtual events so prospects without the time or money to travel can connect with students, faculty, and alum. A virtual event allows anyone from anywhere in the world to attend and interact with others in real-time.
#4: Don‚Äôt Forget About Accessibility Features
As mentioned already, you must consider the needs of students with accessibility issues. You should prioritize accessibility to help audiences with disabilities navigate your campus easily. Showcasing how you simplify campus life for all students can catapult your college to the top of their list.
You can implement accessibility features into your interactive campus map for the hearing impaired. While other visitors can enjoy a voice narration of stops during their interactive experience, hearing-impaired visitors can follow text descriptions. Someone with a physical disability can view the parts of your campus that solve daily mobility challenges.
#5: Guide Traffic to Your Website
Your target audience will likely find your interactive campus map by looking at your website. However, they should also be able to return to your website from multiple areas of your map. That means creating links between the two so prospective students get all the information they want by clicking on embedded links and menus.
For example, if a student wants to look up admissions information, incorporate a link to your interactive campus map with a 360-degree image of the admissions building and nearby facilities. You can highlight various educational programs with embedded text bringing visitors to academic buildings on your map and back to your website to apply for the program.
#6: Get Help Building Your Campus Map
At StudentBridge, we help educational institutions take their campus maps to the next level by incorporating virtual experiences for prospective students. You can attract and engage your target audience by including the necessary features that keep visitors interested while they navigate your website.
If you want to learn more about creating an interactive campus map for your school, call us today at (678) 824-8181 or request a demo of our services.