5 Design Ideas To Make An Interactive Virtual Campus Tour Stand Out

College is the doorway students enter when they exit high school. Like any unknown doorway, it can lead to strange, fascinating, and surprising places. Often times though, the challenge isn’t getting students to walk through that door, it’s getting them to stay in it.

A great way for colleges to recruit potential students is with interactive virtual campus tours. These are tours that take place online and allow students and parents to “navigate” through the school, without the hassle of having to plan, pack, and travel to the actual location.

A doorway is simply a portal one steps through to enter a destination. It’s not enough to just build the doorway; the builder must also make it appealing.

Here are 5 design ideas to make an interactive virtual campus tour stand out:

1) Use School Colors For The Design

There are many schools out there for perspective students to consider. The school colors are  one of the stickiest elements that defines your schools brand. You already display your school colors throughout the website so you should also use them as the foundation for your tours design. When students and parents leave the website, they will have those colors in their minds.

2) Real Testimonials From Real Students

Don’t just show people smiling and reading lines that were written for them. Take actual students and have them give their honest opinions. After all, if they didn’t like the school they wouldn’t be there. Have the students talk about the positive, negative, and unexpected aspects of the school. What was it like for them when they were newcomers? What were their biggest fears? What were their greatest hopes? And did any of it come true?  All the elements that make great stories are what you are looking for.  Remember as a marketer it is your job to be a storyteller.

3) Teacher & Staff Biographies

Meeting new people can be a very stressful situation for some people.  To help with this, have short bios of select individuals at the school. List where they are from, their background, their goals, and their tastes and preferences. Humanize them and let students know that they are people too.  Make them approachable.

4) Layout Of The Entire School

No virtual campus tour is complete without the actual tour.  Allow students to travel through the entire campus – online.  With just a few clicks, they can travel from the parking lot all the way to the stadium.  Once inspected, they can instantly be in the library. Done with that, they can see each individual class room.  Using pictures and footage, allow them to travel to every corner, hallway, and cranny of the school.  Want them to attend?  Show them what it’s like first.

5) Streaming Webcam

Using streaming webcams, allow students to see what life on campus is like.  Let them check-in on some of the classes, practices, or school events.  In today’s online world, everybody wants the real and the now.  People have become tired of glossy, staged events that are intended to entice them.  They know they are being sold something.  So, if you have to sell them something, sell them reality.

Make your doorway as welcoming as you can.  That’s the school’s job.  Then let the students decide if they want to walk through it.  That’s their job.

Image Credit: Ideas by Preoccupations

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