5 Ways A Virtual Tour Must Tie Into Your Recruitment Process
There is no doubt that having a new student attend your institution is a process. In the simplest, most direct path they need to:
- Complete the application process
- Pass the internal acceptance process and be accepted
- Decide to attend and show up
Of course in the real world things aren’t this simple. There are many paths that can lead to the first step of this applying process. In the 21st century it is virtually impossible for a prequel step to be a visit to a college website. We believe and hear from many recruitment experts that visiting campus and getting a tour single-handedly has the largest influence on a prospective student choosing to apply to that school. We also now have data to prove this.
Because this is so vital it is important to get as many prospective students to visit campus and one of the most compelling ways to do this is through a virtual tour. Prospective students have been told that virtual tours are the #1 step before actually visiting a college so it’s only natural for them to look for and expect this feature on your website. It is also important for you to take this opportunity to bring these prospects closer to the first applying step.
You can do this through the placement of call to actions around your tour to bring them deeper into your site. Here are five such ideas for calls to action to get visitors to engage deeper from your virtual tour page.
1. Do you have a “schedule a visit” link?
This is the stand out obvious step, right? There is almost no reason not to have some sort of link to this critical next step. If your school can make the cut from the virtual tour to the scheduled visit stage you have entered that prospect’s focused list of only a handful of schools.
2. Can students easily engage with you in social media?
Social media is very important and we know that every school is doing social media at some level. Why not take this opportunity to convert those individuals into followers and fans on social media channels? Don’t just have your social media accounts in your page footer but have them right next to your virtual tour. Get them to take an engagement step forward. Another option is to let them share your virtual tour with their friends. If they think it’s cool then chances are their friends will too.
3. Can an interested student easily ask someone a question?
Finally we want to make it really easy for them to ask that question. If they are taking a physical tour they have a tour guide right there to ask questions. Why should a virtual tour be any different? If you have a chat room or form that goes directly to admission counslers you should have a link to that off your map page.
4. Can they request more information or download a viewbook?
A passive way to show a prospect is interested is to let them gather more information about your school. While they are taking a virtual tour is the perfect opportunity to give them additional information.
5. Why not let them apply?
There is no reason that they shouldn’t be presented with the opportunity to take that step and apply to your institution too. Sure, it is a long shot that they will be ready to do this directly from the tour, but it’s not up to us to decide when a prospective student is ready to start the application process. It is our job to make it as easy as possible and excite them to the point where they want to take this critical step.
As with all of these ideas it is important to think about how your virtual tour or interactive map can get people to take another engagement step with your institution. The easier it is for them to figure out how to take this step and the more instantly obvious that you make it the more likely they are to actually do it.