High school seniors and parents practically live on college websites. It’s the vital digital resource that helps prospects decide which schools to visit and apply to.

One of the most important factors in a prospective student’s decision-making process is the campus tour. It gives them a look inside the place they might call home for the next four years. However, visiting a college campus is a big commitment – often requiring both the student and parent to take a full day off for the visit. And for out of state students, it’s an even bigger time commitment.

The solution? An immersive virtual tour.

Virtual tours meet prospective students where they are – literally. The ability to showcase your dorm rooms, dining halls, and academic departments is invaluable to your institution. It gives prospects an inside look at the qualities that set your institution apart from the rest and helps your audience build a clear perception of your school.

Follow the tactics we’ve outlined below to ensure a compelling virtual tour for your audiences.

360° Panoramic with Hot Spots

Demonstrate the beauty of the campus and core values with immersive technology. Blend several images together to build a 360-degree view of your institution. Within the interactive tour, be sure to highlight specific areas that are unique to your school, using “hot spots.” Hot spots allow your viewer to click and hover their cursor over an interactive area in the tour.

There are several types of hot spots – such as text, imagery, audio, and links – select those that will enhance the experience and drive your message home.

Multi-Language Tours

The U.S. is the top destination for international students. In fact, 1.1 million of the 4.6 million enrolled worldwide are in the US. However, many international students are never able to visit the campus due to their distance from the school. This is where a virtual tour can relieve your international demographic from traveling and spark interest from them. To serve students from all over the world, design a multi-language virtual tour that can cater to the language of any user. With this feature, you will personalize the user experience and boost your chances of attracting more international students.

Student Tour Guides

You hired your current campus tour guides for a reason. They are most likely energetic, approachable and passionate about your campus and their job. Therefore, you should use the same tour guides in your virtual tour. It will give viewers the same spirited experience that they would get in person, right through their computer screen.

To further enhance the experience, have your student tour guides explain their surroundings to act as if it was a physical tour. For instance, if your tour guide is walking past the campus café, have them describe the aroma in the air or the sounds they hear on their walk through the quad. By touching on the little details throughout the tour, you will bring the prospective student on a journey that feels more real.

Alumni Interviews

Bring your viewers to the alumni hall during the virtual tour. Once they arrive, introduce alumni that will share their stories with viewers. You can set it up in a way that answers important questions for students, such as how to cope with being away from home, how to join organizations, and how to excel in school. If you touch on these topics, prospective students will feel more at-ease with their upcoming transition. By including alumni in the virtual tour, their passion for your school will shine through and your prospective students will receive an inside scoop.

Conclusion

The digital world is constantly evolving due to demands from younger generations. They seek information in an instant, and value resources that foster quick decisions.

Building a virtual tour will cater to this need for instant gratification. You will aid the students and families who are unable to make a trip to your school, while also showcasing your unique offerings and characteristics to help them make a clearer decision.

A compelling virtual tour helps your prospects finalize their decision-making and gives them an experience that will entice them to spend the next four years at your institution. 

What steps are you taking to attract students to your university? Let us know on LinkedIn!