by Trevor Waddington, Founder & President, Truth Tree
The metaverse marketing for schools is happening, and it will have a major effect on how private schools, independent schools, charter schools and even public schools operate, teach, and, yes, market to prospective families.
According to The Small Business Blog, Facebook invested $10 billion and created10,000 jobs for the research and development of their Metaverse, Horizon World.
They’re not the only ones investing in virtual real estate. Microsoft, Nike, and Sony are just three brands pushing millions in something that most people do not comprehend.
There’s a big leap from Fortune 500 companies to a 650-student, K-12 school, but with the compounding speed at which new tech becomes mainstream, you need to start planning to market your school in the Metaverse.
Don’t think you need to start looking into it now?
Harken back to the early days of Facebook. If your school was an early adopter, you know the tremendous impact on student recruitment. And just like social media, the metaverse will provide you direct access to parents and students, but on a grander and more intimate stage.
So if your head is spinning, let’s start from the top.
What Is the Metaverse?
In his 1992 book Snow Crash, Neal Stephenson is credited with coining the term metaverse. He envisioned lifelike avatars who met in realistic 3D buildings and other virtual reality environments.
More recently, you may have seen the movie Ready Player One which is set almost exclusively in a metaverse.
If your head is still spinning, I suggest diving into this full-blown explanation of the Metaverse and coming back when you are ready to start planning for this new wave of communication.
How can your market your school in the Metaverse?
Companies like HSBC are already buying real estate in the metaverse. Many are ready to sell goods and services to eager visitors.
Soon enough, your school will be operating classes, meetings, and more at your metacampus. Maybe even next door to a financial institution.
But you don’t need a down payment for a 25-acre campus just yet. There will be opportunities to advertise, engage, and directly interact with potential students and parents.
Curbside banners, fliers on community boards, and even highway billboards may have been some of your marketing tactics (maybe they still might). In the metaverse, those tactics are coming back!
The old becomes new again!
Virtual Spaces and Events
Remember the mall?
It’s where you got your ears pierced and bought your tapes and CDs. Those leased spaces will be available for you in virtual form to meet interested passersby or invite families in for a meeting.
This outbound, outpost marketing tactic is nothing new. Many international schools have “storefronts” at malls and business centers around the globe.
Unlike a phone call or Zoom meeting, you’ll have a more significant opportunity to engage parents.
Are they interested in 9th grade, and does she play basketball? Ask the coach/9th-grade advisor to put on their VR headset and join the meeting.
Heck, you’ve probably perfected the above scenario already. It’s simply a move from 2D to 3D.
Meeting with Prospective Families
Even if you don’t own a storefront or kiosk, there will be opportunities to meet folks in common areas in the metaverse of your choosing.
While it may sound cheesy right now, picture this.
A family from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is relocating to Charlotte, North Carolina. They contact four schools. Two schools arrange a phone call. One school has a Zoom meeting. You meet the parents and can walk and talk with them in a metapark.
Which school is the technophile going to value most at that point of the discovery process?
Transforming the Student Visitation Day
The student visit can be an anxious time for all involved. To help quell the visitor’s anxiety, set up a next-level meet and greet with the visitor’s shadow guide and a teacher or two.
The above scenarios are just the tip of the iceberg. We are all the Titanic, and there’s no avoiding the metaverse.
It’s time to get real virtual if you want to get ahead of the pack and market to parents and families as they abandon the internet and flood into the metaverse.