Are you thinking of how you can enhance your college admission process even more engaging and attract more students? One of the great ways is having a Google Virtual Tour for your college and university. Virtual tours are a new trend that can keep people on your site for 5 to 10X more than an average site, and the return on investment is less than a month.
In this blog, we’ll share 5 creative ways to increase college enrollment using virtual tours. So, without any further delay, let’s dive in!
What is a Google Virtual Tour?
Google Virtual Tour is a digital platform that lets students take a virtual tour of a physical location, including universities and college campuses. With Virtual Tour, prospective students can navigate through different areas of a campus, such as buildings, classrooms, libraries, sports facilities, and dormitories, just as they would in person. Every day, nearly 5 million virtual tours are done worldwide, 80% for educational purposes, showing the huge ROI potential of this immersive technology.
5 Innovative Ways to Increase College Admission with Virtual Tours
A virtual tour directly impacts user experience and improves search engine rankings by 16% growth. Listings with virtual tours on Google My Business and Maps receive 87% more views. Here are five creative ways to increase college enrolment among students-
Enhancing the College Website Experience:
Placing virtual tour videos or interactive tours prominently on the college homepage provides a visually appealing and immersive experience and engages prospective students. Universities and colleges can also design separate web pages dedicated explicitly to virtual tours, including detailed information about different areas of the campus and facilities. This helps educational institutes showcase the campus highlights through high-quality images, videos, and 360-degree views.
Use Social Media for Engagement and Inquiries:
By leveraging social media platforms and Google Virtual Tours, universities can effectively engage prospective students, showcase their campuses, and increase college admissions. Share virtual tour videos on YouTube and Facebook to showcase the campus experience—host live virtual tour sessions on Instagram or TikTok for real-time engagement and Q&A. Even for more shares and to reach a more comprehensive target prospective students, try to integrate user-generated content and share a blend of this content with marketing one.
Reaching Out to Remote and International Students:
To provide a global standard of education and diversify its student base, colleges and universities can reach remote locations and outside the country (international students) by translating the tour video into different native languages as per target geolocation. Virtual information sessions are an excellent way to engage with prospective students worldwide, including campus facilities, academic departments, and student life.
Collaborating with Career Counsellors:
Career counsellors are crucial in guiding students through the college admissions process. Universities and colleges can support counsellors by providing them with virtual tour resources. This can include access to virtual tour videos, campus maps, and other relevant materials. Equipped with these resources, counsellors can better assist students in exploring and understanding the university’s offerings, leading to more informed decisions.
Leveraging Virtual Reality (VR) Technology:
Universities can offer prospective students a genuinely immersive campus experience by integrating Google Virtual Tour with VR technology. Universities can provide VR headsets to prospective students to take virtual tours from the comfort of their own homes. Students can virtually walk through academic buildings, residence halls, libraries, and other campus facilities, giving them a realistic sense of the campus environment.
Best Practices and Tips for University Virtual Tours:
1. Use professional-grade equipment for precise and immersive visuals.
2. Pay attention to lighting, angles, and composition to showcase the campus effectively.
3. Highlight key facilities like classrooms, libraries, dormitories, and recreational areas.
4. Include clickable hotspots for additional information on specific locations.
5. Ensure compatibility with mobile phones, tablets, and other devices.
6. Keep virtual tour content up to date with campus changes and additions.
7. Showcase seasonal elements to reflect different times of the year.
8. Embed virtual tours on the college website’s admissions page.
9. Encourage users to provide feedback through surveys or feedback forms.
10. Analyze user engagement data to identify popular areas or features.
In conclusion, incorporating Google Virtual Tour into university and college admissions can significantly impact increasing enrollment. A new trend to attract Gen-Z students for education enrollment is to target their mobile device usage, as they spend an average of 4 hours and 15 minutes per day on their devices, and 95% own smartphones. Virtual tours’ effectiveness and potential impact allow prospective students to explore campuses remotely without leaving home, visualize themselves as part of the college community, and make knowledgeable conclusions about their educational journey. In this digital age, universities, and colleges must adapt to the changing landscape of student engagement.