Top 5 Reasons You Need An Interactive Campus Map
There are many reasons why creating an interactive campus map is crucial to competing with existing universities and colleges. The basic driving force for developing your school’s own interactive map is staying competitive with what other schools are doing to improve student recruitment and retention.
Some prospective students simply are unable to visit a campus prior to applying or accepting due to monetary or time issues, but by having a campus map online that students can interact with, colleges and universities gain a competitive edge over schools without one. This allows prospective students to get a feel of the campus without actually visiting. An interactive map allows students to examine the campus size, understand where dorms are in relation to academic buildings, and see how far apart potential classes will be from one another. Below are the top five reasons why having an interactive campus map is essential to meeting marketing goals.
1. Vital to the recruitment process
Statistics show that with each incoming class, the importance placed upon a virtual tour of a campus is increasing significantly. Seniors, juniors, and sophomores polled about the most influential portions of their decision making process show that potential students are increasingly relying upon interactive maps to decide upon a college.
Only 58% of seniors listed an interactive online map as influencing their decision. If you look at younger classes 60% of juniors and 64% of sophomores listed the online map as determining their decision. Comparatively, 85% of seniors listed the campus tour, while only 77% of sophomores chose their university based upon the campus tour. With each incoming class, more students are relying on a virtual tour rather than a physical campus tour.
2. It is a stunning and vital web feature
Before applying, students spend hours online examining campuses. Schools lacking impressive web applications are far more likely to be cast aside in favor of colleges that exert the effort to develop web applications that are not only accessible but informative. Some of the most important web features include:
- Interactive tours
- Course catalogs
- Net price calculator
- Event calendars, online videos, and blogs
Which of these does your college website include?
3. There is a tangible return on investment (ROI)
By doing some simple math, with the chosen numbers as examples, you can determine how much revenue an interactive campus map can generate for your campus. Allowing it takes the average student 3 years, at $20,000 per year, with a $10,000 per year scholarship, each student is worth approximately $30,000. Working backward with these numbers, you can calculate the ROI on an interactive campus map:
- If 20% of students (worth $30,000) choose your school, an applicant is worth $6,000.
- If 20% of applicants (each application worth $6,000) take a tour, each student visit is worth $1,200.
- If a visit is worth $1,200 and 5% of those visitors are swayed by first viewing an interactive campus map, then each time the map is viewed, the map is worth $60.
- If just 1,000 people view your map in one month, the map is essentially worth $60,000 per month.
4. Helps with external audiences
When national sporting events and camps look for potential locations for their next event, your college’s interactive campus map could be the deciding factor. Because there are so many different schools competing for their business, visiting each potential site is neither fiscally nor logistically logical. Those with an interactive map give themselves a definite advantage, as the people in charge of deciding event locales can virtually visit your campus. Hosting a camp presents real monetary benefits. Major events, such as a college bowl or hosting a famous speaker, can be secured with an interactive campus map. Conferences, from a sorority convention to a major business event, can also potentially choose your campus because of the online map.
5. Most of your peers are already doing it
As money and time become increasing concerns for high school students, colleges are having to create new and interesting methods of enticing potential applicants. A student living in Florida may desperately want to attend college in New York but cannot afford the trip to multiple campuses. Many students are first viewing interactive campus maps before deciding where to visit. Without a map, your school takes the risk of not even making it to the visit stage. By being one of the first schools to implement a fully-functioning interactive campus map, you can not only place your school as a frontrunner during recruitment days; you can also potentially secure external events over competitor schools.
So these are our top five reasons. What other important reasons do you have for having an interactive campus map on your school’s website?
Photo credit: Clouds along the road by Reini68