February 27, 2014
Campus visits are confirmed deal-closers. But just because a prospective student can’t visit, it doesn’t mean you’ve missed your shot. Here are a few strategies for connecting with the no-shows, and how we’ve applied them for our clients.
Take your campus to them
Many university websites have interactive campus maps. But to truly let students envision themselves on campus, video can be much more effective and engaging. That’s exactly the approach we took for Albion College’s digital tour, where visitors can choose from 20 different video clips to customize their own day on campus, without leaving the couch.
Let your students do the talking
A campus visit isn’t the only way to get your most believable (and effective) recruiters front and center. Materials that highlight the perspective of current students will tell prospects what they really want to know: How’s the food? Are the classes interesting? What’s your college honestly like? In Lipscomb University’s viewbook, for instance, we featured students throughout who had plenty to say about the Lipscomb experience.
When prospects visit you in person, you get maybe half a day with them. So you have to be selective in choosing where to take them. The same is true for showing off your campus by proxy: this is no time for an unabridged tour. For example, in developing a travel guide for Saint Anselm College, we settled on 10 quintessential locations that represented the full breadth of the Saint Anselm experience.
Expand your focus
It’s easy to forget that the campus visit is important for parents, too. But it’s important to create specific communications—maybe a set of print pieces or a strong digital presence—that address their concerns. In the case of Capital University, we worked up a series of postcards to give moms and dads straight answers to their top questions.
Keep it candid
Campus visits are carefully planned. Campus life isn’t. Your students are spontaneous seekers of fun, and capturing those real moments is a great way to give future students a look “behind the admissions curtain.” That’s the aim of the microsite we developed for Hollins University: Instagram photos, taken and tagged by students, offer visitors an authentic picture of life at Hollins.