How the Metaverse Will Change Enrollment Marketing
Possibly the biggest innovation since the Internet will be the Metaverse. This next step in our technological evolution has big implications for education marketing.
Technology and education have always gone hand in hand, and education marketing is always evolving right along with them both.
Perhaps one of the most consequential advancements in technology since the Internet is what is being called the Metaverse.
You’ve probably heard about the Metaverse because of a recent Keynote speech by Mark Zuckerberg when he announced that Facebook had changed its name to “Meta.”
Changing their company’s name is a “brilliant business move” as Facebook is getting ahead of their competitors by staking a claim in the development of the Metaverse.
But the Metaverse is way more than a Facebook business strategy.
What is the Metaverse?
First, it’s important to understand that the Metaverse is not a trademark, brand, or product.
The Metaverse is an experience that will be created eventually by many different technologies, developers, and companies as virtual and augmented reality tech improves.
Take, for example, the following video I took of a Pixelcase AR portal.
Much like when we say, “the Internet,” we’re not referring to any one company or product.
When we say “the Internet,” we’re talking about a network of many technologies, computers, users, developers, and companies that result in a digital experience for us.
But up until now, the Internet has largely created two-dimensional experiences for the average user. Websites, images, videos — all of it is 2D.
The Metaverse is a developing series of technologies across multiple developers and tech innovators to turn the Internet from a 2D experience to a three-dimensional, immersive experience.
The Metaverse will change the education marketing workspace.
Just imagine the different applications for being connected in a 3D world!
The image above comes from Meta’s blog post introducing Horizon Workrooms, a 3D collaborative workspace.
As the Metaverse develops, you should begin to see new ways to collaborate and work with your colleagues, which will change how work is done in education marketing.
We’re already accustomed to working remotely and with freelance contractors via Zoom and other collaborative workspaces.
But the Metaverse will take all this to a whole new level as you use virtual reality to interact with colleagues on projects through your Metaverse virtual character called an avatar.
The Metaverse will change prospective student calls.
Another incredible application for the Metaverse will be how we can socially interact with people across large distances.
Right now, we have 2D video calls that are amazingly stable, despite the occasional glitch.
However, as virtual reality evolves, it is entirely possible that your enrollment team will be able to meet with prospective students in a virtual room using avatars to represent themselves.
Meta, formerly Facebook, has already released a technology using VR called “Horizon Worlds” which are basically virtual spaces where you can meet with others who have the app.
You can customize your virtual meeting settings in Horizon Worlds to be as imaginative as you want them to be.
Imagine creating a virtual replica of your football stadium, basketball court, or classroom.
Your prospective student could then meet with you in these virtual spaces to discuss your academic or athletic programming as well as what’s happening in campus life.
The Metaverse will change campus tours.
Of course, one of the biggest advantages of virtual meetings will be creating virtual campus tours.
I have yet to see this technology developed for higher education, but based on how you can customize your virtual meeting spaces, I think you could craft an impressive virtual experience for students who can’t physically make it to your campus.
You could even use an avatar modeled after your school mascot as you take prospects on campus tours.
Imagine a bulldog, moose, buffalo, or tiger-like virtual character taking prospects on the campus tour!
This would be a unique and exciting way to interact with young, Gen Alpha prospects who will be growing up as the Metaverse is evolving around them.
By the time Gen Alpha students are ready for higher education, many of them will have already interacted with their friends and peers in virtual settings over a period of years.
For us right now, the idea of the Metaverse is the bleeding edge of tech.
For Gen Alpha, virtual and augmented reality technologies will be as common as Facebook is to us right now.
The Metaverse will change website content.
I could really keep going, but let’s close this post on how the Metaverse will change our website content.
Your most important digital property is your enrollment website.
Right now, it’s all two-dimensional content.
But what if you could add augmented reality (AR) elements to it?
Imagine that your prospective student is wearing AR glasses.
They come to your site. When they see a photo of one of your classrooms, that could trigger a 3D virtual reality tour of the classroom.
Links could appear in their glasses to exclusive 3D content.
Really, the sky’s the limit with what you can do with virtual technology on your website.
Taking advantage of the Metaverse now
I believe the Metaverse is the next big thing in digital marketing.
Schools that adapt quickly and execute this technology will stand out from their peers as they reach out to prospective students in new, exciting ways.
However, right now, a lot of the components for the Metaverse simply do not exist.
Besides, the hardware needed for users to interact with each other virtually needs time for the market to discover them.
In other words, unless your prospective students have VR hardware, they won’t be able to join your virtual space or take a virtual campus tour.
Even so, this technology will catch on over time as the cost for hardware lowers and the number of developers for virtual software increases.
I’ve mentioned Facebook a lot in this post, but you should know that Microsoft is also going to be investing in developing and competing in the Metaverse.
At this time, I recommend that enrollment marketers begin experimenting with augmented and virtual reality technology as much as your budget will allow.
You can start learning now how this technology works by simply purchasing the hardware, like Meta’s Oculus Quest, and begin to use it personally and in the office.
If you can start now, you’ll be better prepared to implement the Metaverse technology in your digital marketing when the time is right!
For more help on improving your enrollment marketing results or to get ahead of the curve, please contact us today.
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This post was originally published at: https://www.caylor-solutions.com/metaverse/