The Team at YourCampus360 are New York City-based experts in higher education marketing technology. The company leads the industry in creating virtual experiences that connect schools with prospective students across all of the most popular platforms: EDU websites, mobile devices, Facebook, YouTube, and more.
On dating websites, men and women are empowered, emboldened, and otherwise encouraged to shape the image by which they’ll be perceived in the online dating world at large. With a range of options, the two that really zoom to the forefront are whether to a.) represent themselves as they are in real life, or b.) whether they’d like to create an avatar of sorts, appearing to the world with perfect hair, all the “right” answers, and smiling always. The latter option is sure to generate a greater volume of interested suitors, while the former is more likely to yield potential suitors who might actually stick around after the first half hour of date one.
For the many colleges and universities who are adopting virtual campus tours into their marketing strategy in 2011, the choice is the same. The only difference is that the hair is the lawn and the suitors are potential students.
Much like a dating website, one of the benefits of an online campus tour for colleges is that they are able to put their best face forward – highlighting outstanding facilities, and attractive aspects of school grounds and its environs – to visitors who can browse at their own convenience. This is not something that can be achieved with a live campus visit. The live visit is the date, and schools now have to make it to the date. (This is especially the case for schools looking to attract international students today.)
As with serious users of online dating services, the hope for higher education institutions is that their online offerings will generate valuable leads; those that will take significant further action: requesting a live campus visit, applying, and ultimately, enrolling. The virtual tour provides a more complete picture and simulation of what campus is really like. That’s why the most effective tours showcase the best of what a college has to offer, while also giving a complete and honest enough picture of the grounds that a student feels they’re looking at the same school when they do come for a live visit.
And just like online dating websites, colleges and universities will learn a great deal about the potential students who scope them out from afar. In the 21st century, this is how matches will be made. It all begins with the perfect profile picture. (Or avatar.)