Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you already know why Google virtual tours are such a student-magnet during the college application season. They are super immersive, interactive, realistic, and can be explored remotely to make comparisons and decisions. Essentially, they minimize a prospective student’s need to visit every college, and waste time, money, and energy. However, creating a college’s custom virtual tour is easier said than done, if you want finesse and something exclusive (Gen Z is hard to connect with, right?). Check out the custom virtual tour mistakes you need to avoid, so that you get maximum applications.
- Not hiring professionals – If you are thinking of promoting your college through a virtual tour, you are not the only one. So, if your tour is difficult to explore due to technical glitches, is not smoothly rendered, or has poor audio or video quality, you are more than likely to lose out to your competitors. That’s why, hiring professionals who have experience in creating such tours makes so much sense. They will know exactly where to shoot, how to shoot, what to highlight, and the kind of lighting and editing to use, and so on. This can take a huge load off your mind.
- Not preparing the college – One of the common virtual tour mistakes is not to prep the campus well enough. When a prospective student takes a tour remotely, they want to visualize how their day to day will be like when they start living on the campus. So, to convince them, the college should look right. This means, ensure zero clutter and dust, and have the right furniture and decorative pieces and even flowers in place, to boost the visual appeal. Your lawns should be manicured and waste bins should stay out of sight. The use of artificial light is also important when you are shooting inside, since you want to be careful about shadows. Also, plan ahead about the places and unique aspects that you want to highlight in the custom virtual tour. For instance, the gym might have the latest cycling machines, or there might be a massive lake with ducks on the campus, or the library might have floor to ceiling windows for a unique setting.
Read – Top 5 Ideas to Make your College Virtual Tour More Winning
- Not connecting at a personal level – While putting together the virtual tour of a college, it is not enough to just flaunt picture-perfect study halls, dormitories and facilities. You need to connect with students at an emotional level, which can be done if you feature the admission staff or student ambassadors leading the tour. Or, you can insert videos showing current and past students talking about their experience. For instance, someone might love jogging around the campus or digging into the different kinds of cuisine you serve at the cafeteria or taking laps in your large pool after classes. These interesting tidbits can motivate prospective students to consider your institute over others.
- Not providing clear CTAs – One of the top mistakes while creating a Google virtual tour of your college is not providing clear and effective CTAs or call to action buttons. After all, you want prospective students to act after watching the tour, right? So, insert CTAs like “Apply Now”, “Talk to the Admin”, “Scholarships”, “Schedule a Meeting” and so on, which will drive students to convert from passive viewers to candidates who want to enroll. Make sure the CTAs are strategically placed, easy to see, and have bold fonts and colors.
- Using inexpensive cameras or software – The list of custom virtual tour mistakes is not complete without this one, as many colleges end up using cheap software or equipment to save money. In other words, you can’t expect your smartphone to do the job that a top quality digital camera and tripod can best achieve. The perfect angle, lens, and accessories can go a long way in capturing beautiful panoramic or 360 degree shots. Similarly, using any run-off-the-mill, cheap editing software can make your tour seem blurry, dark, unattractive or unreal.
To wrap up, avoid the virtual tour mistakes we discussed above, to reel in more students faster and stay ahead of the competition. Plus, a decent dose of creativity is also required to help your campus stand out from the rest. So, shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are not sure how to go about it or need expert guidance.