Virtual Tours For Colleges

By Sean Boyle

(7 minute read)

Introduction

Hello there virtual friends! We hope you’re staying safe and keeping indoors. Boy, do we have a blog for you today!

In this one…we’re going to tackle one of the most prominent phrases in all of virtual tour land….”Virtual Tours for Colleges.”

Now, some people might ask me, “Sean, why on earth would a virtual tour be good for a college? A drone or video would work just fine!”

Yes I agree, but let me tell you why a tour would be the best option out of the three.

So sit down, grab a quick snack or beverage, and learn why colleges should consider adopting a virtual tour.

What Is A Virtual Tour?

So before we go through why a college should get a virtual tour, I want to make sure we’re all up to speed on what exactly a virtual tour is. For Momentum 360, a virtual tour to us is best described as a virtual pathway in which people can uniquely identify and view your business.

Sounds cool right?

To make sure that we make the best virtual tours possible, we use our trustworthy and useful service provider called Matterport. They make it so easy to shoot, capture, edit, and publish these wonderful tours.

So once we arrive at a job site, we use one of Matterport’s cameras to capture the content. For us, we use the Pro 2D camera, which we prop on a tripod. From here, we’ll use our iPhone or iPad as a “remote control” to start capturing. The camera rotates 360 degrees (obviously we move with the camera to stay out of the way) and before you know it, you’re onto the next spot!

We move the camera about 5-8 feet from the previous spot. This way it gives the virtual tour an aesthetically pleasing look to it. It makes the viewer want to explore more.

After we shoot the entire location, we upload the virtual tour to our metaphorical “cloud” and then begin editing. Editing normally takes between 1-2 hours. From here we’ll normally send the client a preview link of the location, they give their thumbs up, and then we publish to Google!

And yes, we do this all in a day. That’s why Matterport is so great, they really help us out. Without our wonderful service provider, we wouldn’t be as successful as we are today.

As you can see from one of our employee’s accomplishments, they helped to get businesses 350k impressions! And 160k website visits!

To date, we’ve shot about 300+ virtual tours in the Philadelphia and New York area. We appreciate all the love and feedback from our clients. That’s why we consistently rank high on Google with an unbelievable 5/5 star rating. Our goal is to uphold this rating because it’s our job to produce the best wor at an affordable price for our clients.

You can check out one of our recent blogs that dissects a virtual tour here. We’re just going to touch on a few key features in this one.

So, think you have enough information to fully understand what a virtual tour is? Good. Let’s move on.

How Much Does A Virtual Tour Cost?

This is a bit of a touchy subject in the virtual tour community. The question of price has always been a topic of conversation. However, we believe that we’ve conquered this feat. For a virtual tour, Momentum 360 charges:

  • Starting fee of $300
  • Additional price of 10% of total square footage shot
  • Monthly hosting of $10

We’re certain this is the correct price for a virtual tour. Our clients love having their tour hosted on the best virtual tour provider in all the land. To boot, we make free changes to their tour whenever they request it!

Inside the Matterport Editor, there is a feature called mattertags. The purpose of a mattertag is to identify what exactly you’re looking at. For example, if you check out this beautiful living room in a residential area, this virtual tour uses a mattertag to show off their gas powered fireplace!

To boot, these tags can even embed YouTube videos! And the best part? You don’t even need to leave the tour to watch them. You can watch them while still on the tour! How awesome is that?

These mattertags make it so easy to view a property/small business/location. It always makes the selling process for real estate too easy. If you aren’t sold on the price nor the features, check out the numbers to back up my claim. As you can see from the picture:

  • 90% stated that Matterport helps them build a stronger brand
  • 83% are more competitive because of Matterport
  • 74% win more listings because of Matterport

Finally sold? Ok good. Let’s move on.

What Are The Benefits Of A Virtual Tour?

If you’re not convinced from the numbers above, allow me to show you a few case studies from industries we’ve done in the past. This will flow into my statement that virtual tours for colleges and universities makes complete sense.

In our virtual tour case studies page, you can see why these are so beneficial.

Here is South Kitchen & Jazz Bar. At first, they didn’t have a digital presence at all. Literally nothing. Zip. Zero. We helped to create a GMB account for them….which as you can see now, has over 1,300 reviews and a tremendous 4.5/5 rating. South Jazz & Kitchen located in Philly on Broad Street is one of our first clients that we featured over 2 years ago. Located at 600 N. Broad Street near downtown Philadelphia, South has blossomed in recent years, due mostly in fact to marketing and word of mouth.

A friend introduced us to Harry, the General Manager, over two years ago. After a few days of explaining our products and services, Harry hired us to provide a virtual tour and video for the restaurant. We were blown away by the venue, staff, management, and most importantly, the JAZZ. This was the perfect restaurant to market and feature for Momentum 360 virtual tours, and for our local business show, Small Business Saturday.

The virtual tour for this restaurant took about 90 minutes. The interview and episode took another two hours. Harry also invited our team to a free dinner.

Here is their Matterport profile. As you can see from their statistics, we shot their tour two years ago. To date, they have:

  • Over 33,000 impressions
  • Over 1,300 impressions/month

That’s right! They’re still getting impressions! Even two years after we shot their tour. That’s more than some Google and Facebook digital ad campaigns combined. It’s so efficient. Instead of wasting your money on ads that don’t guarantee new business, this virtual tour will continue to generate impressions and ultimately revenue for your business.

Another case study which we used is Shop Vintage Alley. They’re a retail location in Doylestown. Again, we shot their place a little over 2 years ago and just look at the numbers they’re generating!

That’s over 400 monthly impressions that they get for free. They don’t have to pay for extra traffic or anything else. Just hosting. It’s a wonderful value proposition for someone who is on a budget and really looking to generate some quick and easy leads.

As you can see from the virtual tour itself, their place is relatively small. However, these virtual tours don’t care about size. They’re still able to generate solid leads and customers for their shop.

Typically photography has been prioritized for products, food, events, and real estate, but it has and requires so many more use cases. For example, photography is seen as immersive content that drives higher Clicks (CTR) and User Experience (UX/UI). This ultimately provides more traffic and customers to your website, social media and online directories.

When considering how to expose the best aspects of your business, we would strongly recommend virtual tours, combined with photography and videos. Your goal should be outranking your competition and increasing customer demand and overall profitability. Time to stand out with high-definition photography content using Momentum 360.

Now that you understand the benefits, let’s finally answer why colleges should get a virtual tour!

Why Would A College Get A Virtual Tour?

  • To show off their beautiful campus
  • To help fill enrollment for future classes
  • To make it easier for students/parent to view (they don’t even have to leave their house)
  • To stand out from the crowd

These are all great reasons for why colleges should consider getting a virtual tour. We’re going to dive into each benefit and discuss them further!

If you still have some popcorn left, sitback and enjoy.

Show Off Campus

Obviously, the entire purpose of colleges getting a virtual tour is to show off their beautiful campus. The tour allows for future students to check out their academic major and the exact building that they’ll be having classes in!

On top of that, students have the option to click on a building’s mattertags and check out any additional content that the university wants to show off. This is the main reason why colleges should consider a virtual tour. It’s investing into the college, and it’ll be a great way to show off how wonderful their campus is.

Enrollment

Once the kids love the virtual tour, they will start to consider going to the school! It’s that simple. It gives kids an opportunity to choose their school right on the spot. The virtual tour can also embed mattertags that go to different CTAs, so the future student can fill out an application and get more information.

It’s a great way to collect emails and other information so they can further get into the minds of the students that they desire to attend their school.

Students who see a virtual tour of a school will be so impressed with the technology that it will be damn near impossible for them to not attend this school.

Accessibility

Let’s say I live in Philadelphia, but the school I want to attend is in California. In today’s world, I’ll have to buy a plane ticket that costs hundreds, if not thousands of dollars if my parents come too. On top of that I’ll have to buy a hotel (another couple of hundred dollars) just to view the college!

In the world that I’m trying to build, I want people to save not just their money, but their time. Time is the most valuable asset in the entire world. It’s essential that we use it wisely. If there was a virtual tour of the school in California, I wouldn’t have to leave my house. I could just check it out with my family on the website. It’s easy.

Stand Out

Obviously, a virtual tour will make your university experience be multiplied tenfold. Not many universities have a custom virtual tour that goes through each building, what it looks like, and the kinds of classes that the building will have.

If you’re a marketing director at a university and you’re looking for a unique selling point for your college, look no farther. These tours will sway student’s decisions and you’ll start to notice your enrollment will increase by a large margin. You’re welcome.

If you’re a university or you’re simply looking to increase web traffic, contact us at 215-607-6482 or email us at [email protected]

Conclusion

We want to thank you so much for reading our latest blog. We’re aware that the COVID-19 virus is still going on. If you know any small business owners, or anyone in general that is struggling right now, please have them contact us. We will make sure that they’re guided in the right direction to receive funding, stay on their feet, and make sure they survive this pandemic.

Remember, this is only temporary. We as a human race need to make sure that we keep each other strong, for as a group as we are strong, but as individuals we will suffer.

Momentum 360 is a full-scale virtual tour provider in Philadelphia. We also offer photography, videography, editing, drone, and digital marketing.

Our owners Mac Frederick and Sean Boyle have over 15+ years of digital marketing experience and are ready to help take your business to the next level! Our team members have also worked at Google and Facebook before, so we have the most up-to-date knowledge in the business. All to help your business rank at the top of Google and kickstart your journey to be a future lead generation machine!

You can email us or check out our website for more information!

We hope this blog informed you on how to correctly publish your tour to Google Street View and the neat features that come along with this!

We post our Momentum Monday and Small Business Saturday blog every week, so feel free to subscribe and make sure you’re up to date on the latest trends in the industry.

If you have any questions or concerns, leave them in the comments below! From everyone at Momentum 360, thanks for the love and until next time, build Momentum!