Insight

Why Virtual Walking Tours Are a Win-Win for Colleges and Students


Reaching prospective students with the right message at the right time is one of the most difficult parts of working in admissions. Not only are most prospective students busy with high school, they’re also being bombarded with information from numerous colleges and universities, each wanting their attention.

This is why it’s important for colleges and universities to stand out from their competition by telling their school’s unique story in a way that inspires students to want to know more. A YouVisit Virtual Walking Tour does this in the most engaging way possible, while helping admissions professionals hit their numbers.

YouVisit Virtual Walking Tours

A YouVisit Virtual Walking Tour enables prospective students to virtually visit a school from anywhere in the world through 360-degree panoramic photos and videos, and traditional 2D photos and videos. Our Virtual Walking Tours are designed to emulate real-life campus tours, so students can get a true understanding of what it would be like to attend. This saves students time and money, but also empowers schools to reach more prospects and inspires physical campus visits.

Our education partners that have embedded a Virtual Walking Tour on their website have reported increases in:

  • Inquires
  • Applications
  • Physical campus visits
  • Yield rate

The Secret Behind YouVisit’s Platform

Why do Virtual Walking Tours perform so well? Our virtual experiences are significantly more engaging than other traditional online media. The average time spent on one of our Virtual Walking Tours is 10.4 minutes. This is a lifetime on the web, where successful content might only hold a viewer’s attention for seconds.

We accomplish this engagement by enabling prospective students to see multiple pieces of content within a virtual experience, and by providing them with the power of choice. Viewers can navigate the experience as if they’re actually on a campus tour, or they can move from location to location to learn about the areas they’re most interested in.

Additionally, our virtual experiences are designed to excite students about the school they’re viewing. Then they’re encouraged to take action. Each Virtual Walking Tour includes call-to-action buttons from which prospects can schedule in-person visits, contact the school, and even start the application process. How powerful are these buttons? The average conversion rate for a YouVisit Virtual Walking Tour is 12.3%.

YouVisit’s platform is also designed so students can view our partner’s virtual experiences on the device of their choice. Whether it’s a desktop computer, mobile device, or even in virtual reality, prospective students receive the same engaging experience. Our partners never have to worry that their Virtual Walking Tour won’t be accessible.

Finally, YouVisit’s platform includes a robust analytics engine. This enables our education partners to fully understand how their virtual experience is performing.

When these capabilities are combined, schools have a powerful recruitment tool that can increase their yield rates by up to 20% and physical campus visits by up to 30%.

“I’m so excited the virtual tour will enable us to bring [the University of Central Arkansas] to any high school, community college, or household in the world,” said Courtney Mullen, director of admissions at UCA told her local CBS affiliate. “Our hope is to attract and engage prospective students by enabling them to experience campus before they set foot on the grounds.”

YouVisit Virtual Reality Experiences

In addition to our Virtual Walking Tours, we also partner with schools to create virtual reality experiences. These experiences can be viewed with a VR headset and on desktop or mobile devices as 360-degree videos.

When a prospective student slides on a VR headset, they can look around in all directions and feel as if they are in the middle of the action. It’s the most immersive way to experience a campus, outside of visiting in real life.

Our partners who’ve created a virtual reality experience take VR headsets on the road to high school fairs and events, and have reported longer lines and more engaged prospective students.

“Prospective students are loving VR,” said Michelle Bartonico, director of marketing and communications at Trinity University. “It is new, unique, and convenient to experience our campus in this way. We recently brought the headsets to a national high school conference and students were blown away, and couldn’t wait to bring their friends to our table to share the experience.”

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