When it comes to embracing emerging technologies, college and university marketers have to cut through a lot of administrative red tape to make their creative dreams come true. So coming to the table with tangible examples at hand is key.
Here are four potential uses for virtual reality (VR) in your college marketing efforts.
If boosting your out-of-state recruitment numbers is on your to-do list as a university marketer, virtual tours can be a big win for your bottom line. Building out content that best depicts your campus's most treasured aspects, your prized lecture halls and sporting complexes, and translating it through a VR experience can help you make your campus tour mobile. This is particularly useful when tours are important to your close rate—and not all potential recruits can make the one-off journey.
VR is still a relatively untapped area of technology, so the potential to simply wow attendees to your next college fair or conference is strong. Imagine developing highly visual and sensory content, such as a packed football stadium, the center of your school's orchestra during a concert or a trip to a nearby state park with engaging topographical features. Think of the most incredible visuals your campus and your community offers and plop visitors to your tradeshow booth into that experience. (Bonus points if you can engage other senses—emanating the smell of popcorn for the stadium experience to truly transport the user, for example.)
As more and more educational experiences begin to embrace VR, why not show off what your professors are doing with this technological enhancement in your marketing? Let your high school recruits experience a day in the life of a student by allowing them an inside look into what a civil engineering student might see in a building visualization or what an aviation student might see in a flight simulation. Make it tangible and relatable to an individual before he or she even sets foot on your campus.
A direct mail postcard or a personalized email is all well and good—but imagine if you could get your admissions counselors and/or student tour guides "in front of" your potential recruits... so to speak? Through applications such as Facebook Spaces, you could share an environment from your campus and set up virtual meetings wherein your ambassadors and counselors can "meet" with potential enrollees to talk through applications, scholarships and other potential subjects via avatars. See for yourself what this beta launch could perhaps offer your marketing efforts.