In today’s culture of immediate gratification, fueled by the availability of almost anything we could want online, marketing a Catholic school online might seem like an odd fit. But online – for better or worse – has become our new town square. Understanding this allows you to meet your prospective families where they are, and provide a visually-engaging experience that showcases, highlights, and welcomes them to your school. Enter in the virtual tour, a must-have for schools that serves not only to tell your story, but creates an invitation for families to become part of something real – your school’s community.
A virtual tour of your school affords you the opportunity to tell your story in your own unique way using the buildings, the grounds, and the people to shape the narrative. Do you have a beautiful entryway that features a stunning image of the Holy Family? What better way to introduce prospective parents to who you are as a Catholic school. Do the children go to mass regularly? Incorporating that imagery within your video captures a weekly event as an evergreen moment. Video gives you the opportunity to document the everyday aspects of your school (cafeteria, gymnasium, library), and weave them together with the extraordinary items (your charisms in action throughout the school year) to showcase the whole year in 5–10 minutes.
Do you have small class sizes? Are you a diverse school both in student and faculty/staff populations? Do you have a dedicated program for students with learning differences and special needs? Is technology readily available and utilized authentically by students and faculty/staff? Rather than relegating these to talking points, including video of these elements of your school will serve to better highlight them. This gives prospective families the opportunity to experience your school culture even before they visit. It grants them a glimpse into how their child will fit, how they will thrive, and where they will find their own place to belong.
Gone are the days of time-intensive and stress-inducing open houses and guided tours, written notes on index cards, and refreshments in the cafeteria. While personal and welcoming touches remain a vital part of your marketing strategy, they play the most important role at the end of the process. You must first create interest with prospective families, and virtual tours do just that by bringing your school to them. Virtual tours slow down the process and allow people the space to experience the beauty, diversity, and vibrancy that is your school in their own homes, on their own time.
Having a vibrant and welcoming online presence through active and engaging social media profiles and videos helps families make a deep connection with your community. Virtual tours are an essential tool, creating an experience for them even before they step foot in your building. It is when they come for the in-person tour, after having that virtual experience, where you will do what you do best: invite them in and create a personalized experience that says “welcome home.”
If you’re ready to take it a step further and learn more about producing a virtual tour video for your school, please reach out to Spirit Juice Studios. To set up a phone/video call to discuss what it would take and the cost involved, please email Chris Baker, our Business Development Manager, at email@example.com.