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3 Reasons Why All Higher Ed Institutions Need to Start Building a Presence in the Metaverse

Virtual reality (VR) and Web3, which once seemed like space-age technologies of the future, are quickly becoming part of our everyday lives.

For innovators and early adopters, this has already happened. People, especially the younger crowd, are trading digital currencies and playing games with VR headsets on.

We also know that the younger generations are starting to flock to places like the Metaverse to engage with other users and explore these digital experiences.

What does this mean for Higher Ed?

The growth of the Metaverse means that you have a huge opportunity to reach your students and prospects in your recruiting and admissions process—all while growing your brand and setting yourself apart from competitors.

Here are three reasons why all schools should start establishing their presence in the Metaverse:

1. Your Prospective Students Are Already There

Let’s be honest: this alone should be reason enough!

There’s a saying in Higher Ed that we hold in high regard here at Verity: “Meet your students where they are.”

Yesterday, it was Facebook. Today, it’s Instagram and TikTok. Tomorrow, it will be the Metaverse.

88% of young people are already playing video games that take them to a virtual world, so this will be an easy transition. The Metaverse will be a place for the younger generation to engage with brands like their favorite sports teams, artists and musicians, and yes—Higher Ed institutions.

In 2021, the worldwide market for VR headsets grew 92.1% year-over-year with shipments reaching 11.2 million units, according to new data from the International Data Corporation (IDC)

This trend is only going to continue to grow. In an industry where even its biggest players can often be slow to adopt new trends and technologies, you have the chance to be an innovative groundbreaker.

 

HubSpot Video

 

2. Prospects Want Schools to Be Innovative

Speaking of innovation, we know that this is something that the younger generations hold dear. They care more about technology and innovation than any generation before them and it is something that they look for when considering which schools are right for them.

Yes, prospects want to know that you have a beautiful campus, a great academic program, high employment rates for graduates, and a thriving campus life. 

However, they also want to know which schools are innovative, forward-thinking, and adaptable. Every interaction with your prospects is an opportunity to reflect those characteristics.

Building a virtual space for students to engage with your brand, ask questions, explore programs, and talk in real-time with your team sends the message that you embody all of those traits and care deeply about their experience.

Just remember that the key is to be innovative without being gimmicky. It’s important to adapt these new technologies without letting go of the tried-and-true elements of what makes a school great: tradition, integrity, and transparency.

3. VR is a Key Aspect of a Well-Rounded Multichannel Communication Strategy

Virtual reality is the newest and most exciting way to engage with and delight your audience, but it’s not the only way.

In fact, it’s important to step back and remember that VR, like any channel, is most effective when it fits within a larger communication strategy that incorporates multiple platforms, such as: 

  • Video
  • Chat
  • Email
  • Voice 
  • SMS

So, don’t fall for the trap that investing in your presence on the Metaverse makes any of the other channels less important. Everyone has different preferences for communication and it’s always a good idea to give prospects options.

The schools with the most effective communication strategies are able to incorporate all of these channels and engage with their students and prospects across all platforms. If you’re looking for some insights into building a multichannel communication strategy, check out our extensive guide: The Power of One: A Higher Ed Roadmap to Effective Student Lifecycle Management

Lifecycle management in Higher Ed

Building a presence in the Metaverse is an important first step in engaging with students, but what exactly does that look like?

By establishing your brand in VR, you can engage with students in real-time, collect and respond to inquiries, promote your school’s brand, host live events, and more. All of the things that you would normally do to showcase your institution, you can do in the Metaverse.

That’s why we’ve added VR to our toolbox of features on Verity Dialog—a CRM that creates unified campus communication. With Verity Dialog, you can delight your students and prospects with multichannel communication, automated workflows, easy-to-use templates, and a cohesive strategy that ties it all together.

To learn more about building a presence in the Metaverse, read our product feature page on virtual reality