Remember those days when prospective and wide-eyed students used to flock to your campus in large numbers and take guided tours before deciding to apply? Well, the pandemic has changed that picture drastically. And no one knows how soon things will go back to normal. Naturally, most colleges are coming up with virtual tours to deal with the situation, so that students can explore the campus and its facilities without compromising their and others’ health. Self-guided college virtual tours, especially, are a rage as they allow candidates to find out about institutions at their own pace and whenever they have the time. However, here are 5 things that you must incorporate in such tours so that the gap between real and virtual can be bridged as much as possible.
- Help them imagine campus life – Sure, beautiful buildings and manicured lawns look great! But, that’s not what campus life is all about. Students who are thinking of applying to your college needs to know what it really “feels” like. So, in your self-guided campus tour, include real images and videos of the faculty, current students and other staff members, to show what your culture is like. Promote diversity and let professors and students share their experiences and emotions through the videos. Show students playing, chatting, laughing, walking around, and attending lectures, for a realistic vibe. Include a live-chat feature so that viewers can get in touch with admission staff or student ambassadors.
- Customize based on student interests – Different students look for different things when applying for a college. So, your tour should account for varied interests and address them accordingly. For instance, international students might want to know if there is a buddy system in place to help them blend with a new culture. Some students might want to know about scholarships, while others might be keen on athletic programs. Prospective students might also want to know about your drama society, library, placement cell, community activities, cafeteria and more.
Read – 5 Mistakes to Avoid While Creating Custom Virtual Tour of Your College
- Make navigation easy – Even if in-person visits were happening, new-age students wouldn’t really know how to get around with a physical map. So, use Google Maps to create your self-guided tour map. This will help students to guide themselves around the campus, no matter how many blocks it has or how big it is. Make it easy for them to spot important buildings or stops, whether it is a lecture hall, residential area, playground, pool, or admissions office. Enable zooming features too, so that a prospective student can explore a particular place in details if they want.
- Provide insights about the locality – Campus life largely depends on the locality and community around your college. Is it a friendly neighborhood? Are there enough stores, ATMs, parks or clinics in the vicinity? Is it easy to reach your campus or what all can students do when they are out and about after class? By offering these insights through your self-guided virtual tour, you can make prospective students feel more at home. It will help them decide more easily between you and other colleges as well.
- Let them take action – A virtual tour for college gets you the right results only when it is embedded with smart CTAs or call to action buttons. Unlike a physical guided tour, convincing a prospective student to actually apply is not very easy when things are virtual and self-guided. So, apart from telling an appealing story about your institution, its specialties and facilities, you need to egg on the student to take action. Here is where tabs or buttons like “Contact a Student Ambassador”, “Talk to the Faculty”, “Schedule a Meeting”, “Apply Now”, “Check Scholarships”, and “Top Events” can help.
To cut a long story short, virtual self-guided tours are the way to go if you want your college to draw students safely during the enrolment season, in the wake of the pandemic. And by keeping the above tips in mind, you can actually make the most of it. Not sure how to get started or create a tour that gives your competitors a run for their money? Drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get back to you soon.