Elevating Education Marketing: The Power of Virtual Content
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In a competitive landscape where education institutions strive to stand out, building and maintaining brand awareness is more crucial than ever. Virtual content, particularly immersive 360-degree campus tours, has emerged as a game-changer in showcasing an institution’s unique selling points. Whether it’s the scenic campus, cutting-edge facilities, or vibrant student life, virtual tours provide an engaging platform that captivates audiences and sets educational brands apart.
In this blog, we explore how virtual marketing not only raises brand awareness but also contributes to an enriched customer journey and strengthens the marketing mix. Let’s delve into the channels that institutions can strategically utilise to promote their virtual tours and examine the pivotal role of virtual content across various aspects of the application process.
How virtual marketing can help raise brand awareness?
In a saturated educational market, building and maintaining brand awareness is crucial. Virtual content, including 360-degree campus tours, allows you to showcase your institution’s unique selling points and highlights. Whether it’s the picturesque campus grounds, cutting-edge facilities, or the vibrant student life, virtual tours offer an immersive storytelling platform that captivates your audience and sets your brand apart.
By using virtual marketing, you can create shareable and memorable experiences that resonate with your target audience, ultimately increasing brand recall and positioning your institution as a top choice in the minds of prospective students.
What channels can schools, colleges, universities use to talk about their virtual tours?
To harness the full potential of virtual tours, it’s essential to explore multiple marketing channels. Here’s a quick guide on where to strategically deploy your virtual content:
- Social Media: Snippets of your virtual tours on TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter can create buzz and engage your audience.
- Email Campaigns: Integrate virtual tours into your email marketing strategy for a personalised, interactive experience delivered directly to prospective students’ inboxes.
- Website: Embed virtual tours on your institution’s website to offer visitors a seamless and immersive exploration of your campus.
- Events: Whether virtual or physical open days, use virtual content to provide a comprehensive experience for attendees, on-site or remotely.
By strategically utilising these channels, you’ll amplify your reach and solidify your institution’s presence.
How the role of virtual tours can help with the marketing mix?
The marketing mix of any educational institution will be complex, but virtual tours can be a helpful tool to cut through all layers and impact potential students at every stage. Here are some examples we know to have helped:
Product (Education Services): Virtual Campus Tours: Incorporating virtual reality for immersive campus tours can provide prospective students with a realistic experience of the campus, classrooms, and facilities. This enhances the understanding of the educational environment.
Price (Tuition and Fees): Virtual Financial Aid Workshops: Using virtual reality for interactive financial aid workshops can simplify complex information, helping prospective students understand the available scholarships and financial support options more effectively.
Place (Distribution Channels): Virtual Open Days: Enhancing the online experience by conducting virtual open houses through VR platforms, providing an immersive experience for prospective students who cannot physically visit the campus.
Promotion (Marketing Communications): Virtual Content Creation: Creating virtual reality content, such as 360-degree videos and VR campus experiences, to be shared on social media, websites, and other digital platforms, creating a more engaging and memorable promotional strategy.
People (Staff and Stakeholders): Virtual Admissions Interviews: Conducting virtual reality admissions interviews for international or remote students, providing a personalised and interactive experience without the need for physical presence.
Process (Enrolment and Support Processes): Virtual Orientation Programmes: Utilising virtual reality for orientation programmes to help incoming students familiarise themselves with the campus, academic resources, and support services before arriving.
Physical Evidence (Campus and Facilities): Virtual Facilities Showcase: Creating virtual reality showcases of campus facilities, laboratories, and student accommodation to provide a comprehensive view of the physical evidence, especially for international or distant prospective students.
Partnerships and Collaborations: Virtual Reality (VR) Industry Tours: Partnering with industries and offering virtual reality industry tours to showcase collaborations, research initiatives, and real-world applications of academic programmes.
How virtual content can be used in a customer journey?
Virtual content and virtual tours can significantly aid students in their application process by providing a more immersive and informative experience. Here’s how:
Campus Exploration: Virtual Campus Tours: Prospective students can explore the campus virtually, getting a feel for the environment, layout, and key facilities. This helps them visualise themselves in the academic setting, making more informed decisions about their preferences.
Programme Understanding: Virtual Programme Showcases: Virtual content can be used to showcase specific academic programmes, providing detailed insights into the curriculum, faculty, and potential career paths. This helps students align their interests and goals with the offerings of the institution.
Interactive Information Sessions: Virtual Reality Information Sessions: Institutions can host interactive information sessions in virtual reality, allowing students to engage with admissions officers, faculty members, and current students. This provides an opportunity for direct interaction and the clarification of any queries.
Access to Facilities: Virtual Facility Tours: Instead of relying solely on static images, students can virtually tour laboratories, libraries, dormitories, and recreational spaces. This helps them understand the quality of facilities available and make more informed decisions.
Enhanced Engagement: 360-Degree Videos and VR Content: Using 360-degree videos and virtual reality content in marketing materials enhances engagement. Students can have a more interactive and memorable experience, fostering a connection with the institution and potentially influencing their decision to apply.
International Accessibility: Virtual Open Days: For international students or those unable to attend physical open days, virtual open days allow them to participate remotely. This inclusivity ensures that students from diverse backgrounds can explore and engage with the institution.
Application Guidance: VR Admissions Workshops: Virtual reality can be used to conduct admissions workshops, guiding students through the application process. This interactive approach simplifies complex steps and provides a sense of support during a crucial phase.
Pre-Enrolment Orientation: Virtual Orientation Programmes: Before students enrol, institutions can offer virtual reality orientation programmes, introducing them to campus life, student services, and resources. This pre-enrolment experience helps students transition more smoothly into their academic journey.
By incorporating virtual content and virtual tours into the application process, educational institutions empower students to make more informed choices, fostering a positive and confident experience. This technology-driven approach not only enhances accessibility but also aligns with the expectations of a tech-savvy generation.
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