For prospective students, the campus tour is traditionally one of the most important events in the college selection process. The coronavirus outbreak has made physical visits impossible, so colleges are embracing virtual campus tours as the next best thing — particularly in light of the fact that 25% of high school students are now rethinking their college plans.

Here are some things to consider when planning a virtual campus tour.

  1. What story do you want to tell? A virtual tour should be about more than just buildings and grounds; it should portray the college experience.
  2. What assets do you already have available? Your school may have an existing library of video b-roll footage and photography that you can pull from.
  3. What assets can you create? Even with the campus shut down, you may be able to shoot drone video or get creative with animation, visual effects and music.
  4. What is the call to action? For example, you may want the student to visit a landing page offering virtual appointments and online information sessions.
  5. How will you promote it? Besides residing on your website, you can also distribute the video through an eblast, on social media and on broadcast television.

Here is a virtual campus tour we produced for Neumann University, a private Catholic liberal arts college in the Philadelphia area. It made use of existing footage we’ve shot for other purposes, plus aerial photography we shot specifically for the tour.

Long after the COVID crisis is over, your virtual tour will remain an important part of your school’s enrollment strategy.

Bill Haley

P.S. Have a topic you’d like to see discussed? Let me know and I’ll try to get to it in a future post.

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