The College Search Has Changed

As I’m sure you do, I read a lot of articles on the shifts and changes related to how students today are researching institutions. Two articles I found on LinkedIn by bestselling author Jeff Selingo recently caught my attention.

In his piece about how Gen Z is impacting changes in the application process he surfaces the fact that “80 percent of today’s college freshmen applied to at least three colleges; one-third applied to seven or more colleges.” This change alone dramatically impacts recruitment professionals’ strategies, but then he reports, “We’re seeing a decrease in the pre-application visit and an uptick in the post-application visit,”. Those two transformation in the application process have generated a business imperative around differentiation, conveying culture, and telling your unique story.

Totally get it, and 100% agree, but what is the plan of action to make it happen. Well it starts with a content strategy that is also a point of differentiation. Traditional photos, videos, and maps are not going to make you stand out in a crowd. They’re not going to capture the student’s immediate attention and influence them to spend more time with your content. What will is immersive content.

Immersive content platforms, like YouVisit’s, take multiple media types (photos, videos, 360 photos, 360 videos) and weaves them all together. These engaging pieces of super content allow for inspiring storytelling, while also allowing students to interact with the content that is most interesting to them.

To that point Jeff Selingo states in his article “how to find a college you’ll love” that “what happens outside the classroom matters as much, if not more, as what happens inside.” What this means is that your content has to do more than just talk about your school it needs to highlight student life, the variety of on-campus and off-campus activities available, and what it’s actually like to be a student at your institution. The story needs to be about the students, not just the school.

The way to accomplish this is by providing more than campus maps to your website visitors. You need immersive experiences that provide destinations on and around your campus. These are not stops along a tour, but places that someone wants to visit and experience. To do so you must provide interactive 360 degree content that empowers people to take a look around, engage with and hear from a current student, and get more information.

If you’re ready to take on this business imperative we welcome the opportunity to speak with you. We feel confident that our Experiential Content platform will give you the tools you need to differentiate, tell your unique story, and express what makes you great to potential students. The end result is what we all want, more physical visits and inquiries.