New technology is enticing. And when everyone seems to be creating virtual reality tours, it’s natural to think that your university should too. Before you jump on the virtual reality bandwagon, however, it’s important to reflect on the bigger picture. After all, to create the best possible virtual reality tour, you need to make sure you know why you’re using virtual reality and how it can best help you achieve your admissions and enrollment management goals.
Still ready to incorporate virtual reality tours into your digital marketing strategy? Congratulations, you’ve avoided pitfall number one of virtual reality tours. Now avoid these common pitfalls below, and you’ll be well on your way to a virtual reality tour that stimulates, resonates, and captures the attention of your prospective students, alumni, and donors.
1. You Don’t Partner With the Right People
Your university is an expert in your field, and your field is the exceptional programs, teaching, and research that you offer. You don’t need to be fluent in all of the elements of virtual technology tour design. That’s the role of your technology partner. With the wrong partner, your tour won’t look good or flow well. With the right partner, you’ll have a beautiful tour that will integrate seamlessly into your website. Look at the tours your potential technology partners have created, and look for feedback or ask for client references to see how others have enjoyed their experience working with that technology partner.
2. You’re Just Not That Interesting
Your virtual reality tours are meant to capture the attention of prospective students, parents, and even donors and alumni. Tours have the potential to be highly-engaging, but are they? If you don’t put a lot of thought into how you want to use virtual reality, then your tour will not be exciting to your audience. Virtual reality is an intriguing technology, but it won’t stand on its own. It’s a tool to say something about your university. Plan a high-impact experience and use that tool to make it come alive.
3. You Forgot About Design
Virtual reality tours are not only a powerful experience for the viewer, they’re an equally powerful design tool. Virtual reality opens up many opportunities for design. As you develop virtual reality tours, keep in mind the unique design strategies for virtual reality. These include:
- Maintain a stable horizon line so that people don’t get dizzy.
- Think about where users’ eyes will go and make sure there’s a focal point.
- Move smoothly, or fade out during transitions.
- Encourage viewers to look around by placing interesting items on the sides.
4. Your Content Isn’t Suited to Your Tour
Plan your content with virtual reality in mind. This means that your tours should be short and sweet. Focus on one or two ideas that you’d like to convey. Virtual reality is ideal for giving people an immersive experience in a landscape. It’s not a slideshow, nor is it a lecture. Focus your content around the visual, and you’ll be more likely to create a successful tour.
5. You Neglect Other Elements of Your Website
Virtual reality tours are one element in a menu of many opportunities on your website. Consider how your tour will integrate with other interactive elements such as interactive campus maps, videos, and slideshows. Virtual reality can bring a vision of your campus to prospective students, alumni, and donors, but the best virtual reality tours are conceived as part of a larger campaign strategy.