Campus grows, digital needs evolve
Conestoga College was growing at an incredible pace. They had recently opened a state-of-the-art facility in Cambridge, were set to unveil new facilities in Waterloo within the year, and had further plans for expansion underway. Conestoga was keen to promote these new and exciting spaces, but found they were “held back by a virtual tour solution that wasn't able to keep up with our ever-evolving campuses,” recalls Richard Hampshire, Digital Marketing Strategist.
When Conestoga College set out to relaunch their virtual tour, they had three criteria:
- Simple and easy for marketing and recruitment teams to grow and update over time
- Captures prospect inquiries and routes them to departments to be actioned
- Accommodates international students with translation in multiple languages, and is accessible to audiences in China
Switching to a scalable solution
Conestoga’s marketing team turned to Circuit. The Circuit team reviewed Conestoga’s needs and scoped out an implementation plan for production, build, testing, and launch. Conestoga’s project scope included production of 150 unique 360° scenes across 4 locations, translated into 8 different languages. The project was ambitious, but a carefully planned shot list and tight coordination with faculty teams helped to ensure a smooth process.
A smooth journey to launch
Following the content upload into the Circuit platform, the site was ready for QA. Conestoga circulated the project to internal stakeholders, and it was tested globally to ensure access. Content edits were made quickly and easily in real time by Conestoga Content Managers, which is a big benefit for Richard and his team. “On the content management side, the ease of making edits, adding new scenes and content ourselves is a huge plus, and lets us expand the site as our College grows,” remarks Richard. The site was now ready to go live. Once launched, it was integrated into their online presence, and promoted globally (including in China).
“On the content management side, the ease of making edits, adding new scenes and content ourselves is a huge plus, and lets us expand the site as our College grows”
- Richard Hampshire, Conestoga College
Conestoga’s Virtual Experience received Webby recognition in the ‘Websites – School/ University’ category, placing in the top 20% of 13,000 entries evaluated by the IADAS. Today, the virtual tour plays a key role in their digital advertising strategy.
“Circuit lets us raise awareness about Conestoga College for recruitment purposes. It helps domestic and international students experience what it’s like to be on campus. We give them the chance to step inside our amazing labs and learning spaces, get a taste of residence life (as shown below), see dining options, or tour our fitness facilities.”
Q&A with Richard Hampshire
Has Circuit changed the way you market to prospective students? In what way?
The way we market to prospective students hasn’t changed, but it has given us a lot more content to advertise. We made an effort to capture the breadth of what the campus and programs have to offer. This allows us to personalize the experience and give our prospects an immersive experience that’s truly curated to their interests. As a visitor, your journey through the content can be your own one, and it’s easy to self-select collections that appeal to your needs.
What elements of the tour are you particularly fond of?
We love the interactivity of each 360° panorama, it’s much more dynamic than photos or videos. The user experience is really well thought out, and is very intuitive for first time users to navigate.
What sort of results are you seeing? Are they meeting/exceeding/falling below what you expected?
We’re seeing a lot of organic traffic reach the tour, and visitors are taking the time to view content and explore the various tours. It’s definitely exceeding our initial engagement goals.
What can you do with Circuit that you weren't able to with YouVisit?
The self-serve CMS was a significant upgrade, making it possible to keep the site relevant with new content. Second to that was being able to easily add new campus locations without incurring additional fees.
Conestoga College has elevated their domestic and international prospect marketing using Circuit, and over time will build and expand their tour site as the campus grows. With solid user data at their fingertips, they can see what content is engaging different audience and generating leads and conversions.