Augmented & Virtual Reality for Higher Ed Marketing

August 17, 2016

Augmented & Virtual Reality for Higher Ed Marketing

tag higher education
Augmented & Virtual Reality for Higher Ed Marketing

You don’t have to be a Level 20 Pokémon trainer to know a revolution in augmented & virtual reality is well under way. So what are the opportunities for higher ed marketing?

Though Pokémon Go sparked a huge uptick in talk about AR & VR, marketers across the globe were already levelling up the infusion of time & money into the “unreal” world.

Why should you jump onto the AR & VR bandwagon for higher ed marketing? Are you worried it’ll fade and you’ll be left holding a Virtual Boy when everyone else has an Oculus Rift? Let’s look at the “why” and then explore a few ways you could harness the power of AR & VR.

Isn’t the real world good enough?

Why should you give augmented reality & virtual reality a try? Well, marketers are always looking for new ways to tell stories and connect to the right audiences. Sometimes, opportunities present themselves. AR & VR is a burgeoning new landscape for marketers to tell stories in one of the most engaging mediums ever created. According to TechCrunch, more than $1B was invested in virtual reality in Q1 of 2016 alone. The technology is growing at a breakneck pace, and the opportunity to completely immerse the user in the world of your choice opens up a myriad of possibilities.

Why should you use AR & VR for higher ed marketing?

A common goal of higher ed marketers is engaging young audiences in mediums where they already are, so the question seems like it should be: “why are you not?” While you probably don’t have a few hundred grand sitting around waiting to be spent on this potentially-expensive technology, let’s think about a few exciting “what-ifs”.  

What if…

What if every incoming freshman was given an inexpensive VR headset (oh hey, Google Cardboard) or downloaded a free AR app, and throughout the year they were sent on adventures around campus? They may experience campus in a whole new way (virtual tours of upcoming building projects, “throwbacks” to significant events in campus history that only pop up on certain days, etc.)

What if you leveled up your campus tours by offering them completely in VR (you send the headsets). What if potential students could tour your campus from the comfort of their own living rooms, taking them miles beyond the typical campus map?

What if your athletics department had an AR app to “gamify” your games? Sports aren’t a religion at every school, so what if you had an extra incentive to mobilize an army of super fans?

What if you challenged departments to take ownership of how augmented reality & virtual reality could showcase their work, and held a contest where the most innovative showcase idea became reality?

What if you took the opportunity to create an amazing VR experience and let students experience it firsthand, like UC San Diego did for Triton Day?

What if you challenged your computer science or interactive game design majors to create a mind-blowing AR or VR experience to showcase your school, and made it their semester or year-long project?

Widespread adoption of augmented reality & virtual reality is coming soon. It’s time for higher ed marketers to lead the way in innovation.

Tell Us What You Think

How are you using augmented reality & virtual reality in your higher ed marketing?