Virtual Reality, known as VR, is making a big splash in the world of marketing. It provides a platform to show your audience the very best of what you can offer – a big step up from merely being able to tell them about it. VR presents an opportunity to take your audience on a journey, allowing them to experience your school firsthand, from the comfort of their home. This is an incredibly valuable tool to reach parents, make a positive impression and urge them to make contact. The following four steps will get you on the right track to creating a successful inbound marketing strategy for VR within your school:
- Pinpoint your audience and what they want
The majority of enquiries at your school come from prospective parents. Some may have done some research or heard snippets via word of mouth, while some may have no knowledge of your school at all. A virtual reality tour of your school can be a highly successful and easily accessible way to convey your school’s strengths and spirit. This is a key tool to appeal to time-poor parents and international families in particular. Many parents may feel overwhelmed when searching for a school for their child, and often work schedules do not allow time to book tours at multiple schools during business hours. Similarly, international and rural families would rarely have the option to physically attend school tours in the early stages of their school search.
- Create an experience – take your viewer on a journey
You can begin by pinpointing exactly what most prospective parents want to know when considering a school for their child. What are the most common questions asked and what do visitors find most impressive on your current school tours? Ultimately, they want to know what goes on inside your school gates, and with VR, you can show them. Physically, parents can experience your school’s facilities through a virtual tour of your grounds and classrooms. From here, they can witness snapshots of classroom life, sporting games, performing arts events and other co-curricular activities you offer. Your goal should be to draw your viewer into your school, sparking their interest enough for them to make further contact. VR is about creating an experience and giving your viewer an inside look at life within your school.
- Tell a story
Creating an experience should appeal to your viewer’s emotions. Your VR tour can provide a chance to tell a story and really convey your school’s mission, vision and values. Showcasing your school’s strengths through a day in the life of a student for example, is an effective way to draw your viewer in. The goal is to allow them to experience life within your school gates, so that they may picture their own child doing so. Establish what sets your school apart, get creative with presentation and invest in the right tools and people to create a VR tour video that matches your vision.
- Optimise across all channels
Once you’ve created your video, it’s time to make sure it gains reach. Ensure it’s highly visible and easily accessible on your website’s homepage with an appropriate CTA at the end of video. Position it on the page clearly, there’s no point hiding it on a landing page, this is your chance to take prospective parents inside your school gates – so make the most of it. You can then optimise your VR tool by sharing it across all social media channels and email marketing campaigns to increase your reach.
Ultimately, Virtual Reality should feature prominently within your school’s overall marketing strategy and is worth investing in to allow parents an immersive experience of your school.