There isn't any doubt that 2020 was an unprecedented year for recruiting. No in-person visits. Unexpected quiet periods for every school. Commits who never shook hands with their head coach.
Not to mention every sport - on every college-level - had a season delayed, canceled, or postponed. We didn't get March Madness, the College World Series, or any Winter and Spring NCAA Championships - arguably, the events that help contending teams gain the interest of the most recruits.
But, of all the things the year of quarantines and mandated remote working took away from recruiters, it helped a few things be realized. For a few programs, in particular, they realized the power and efficiency of a Virtual Visit.
Over a dozen cutting edge programs have turned to hosting Virtual Visits on GMTM. These are free events that invite athletes to experience a university's program in a controlled environment, unlike sites like Twitter and YouTube, which offer no analytics, calls to action, or contact info.
With the growing saturation of social media, where academics and culture are overlooked for cool graphics and false hype, offering prospects an intimate look at your school, facilities and mission is a difficult task. But GMTM has been helping schools host Virtual Visits to focus on those aspects specifically.
Here are a few reasons why a few cutting edge programs have turned to GMTM to help host a Virtual Visit:
Virtual Visits offer your staff data analytics
Posting a drone video of your practice facilities on YouTube is cool, but are recruits even watching it? There's no way to know.
Unlike posting a video on Youtube or your schools .edu, hosting a Virtual Visit on GMTM offers exclusive access to recruits, and records who watches your videos. In a downloadable CSV file, coaches are easily able to see:
- which athletes have participated in their visits
- the activity of the athlete within the webpage
- and contact info to connect with athletes externally
By just putting out videos and graphics on social media, you're not getting the full attention of your recruits. And worse than that, you're bogged down with likes and activity from non-athletes.
Virtual Visits help save time on Zoom calls
Have you hopped on a Zoom call recently with an athlete that had a sleek highlight film and a great transcript - only to realize their goals and attitude didn't fit the culture of your program at all. We've all been there.
A Virtual Visit is built to keep those meetings from happening. With questionnaires athletes fill out after watching your videos, coaches are able to get an intimate first impression of the student-athlete before any contact is made.
Additionally, Virtual Visits eliminates the mass zoom calls with athletes and parents, where you walk them through the facilities and try to explain what you can offer them.
Now, you can just send a link to your Virtual Visit to hundreds of recruits and can guarantee they will get an in-depth look at your program and the expectations. And they can watch it over and over again with family or friends to help them get excited about the process.
And you don't have to make another presentation to a screen full of (hopefully muted) Zoom participants ever again.
Virtual Visits push interested athletes to one place to learn everything
Searching for specific videos and sharing them with athletes one at a time via email and Twitter is a nightmare. With a Virtual Visit, you can easily organize all of your recruiting videos into individual activities with calls to action for the athlete, which can include their own video response.
Stop searching for specific videos to send in Twitter DMs or emails, and keep everything organized on one page, with a link they can click on.
Have a video showcasing your new weight room? Below it, you can ask athletes to talk about their lifting regiment and PRs in high school. Have a video of your head coach talking about what it means to play for your school? On the same page, you can ask for a response to why the athlete wants to play college sports.
As many activities as you create, each one remains completely personalized and editable. It can include any videos you create of facilities, academics, or staff introduction. And beneath each video, the call to action to Record & Upload A Video or Type A Response is clearly visible, so you get real responses.
Unlike a simple questionnaire on your school's site, Virtual Visits on GMTM are interactive and request the same info your staff needs, like: contact info, GPA, height, weight, position, etc.
Virtual Visits grow your brand with built-in promotion by the athletes
After participating in your Virtual Visit, athletes on GMTM will have the option to share it on social media with just one click. In a few days after launching your Virtual Visit, you'll see dozens of tweets with your school's logo and web links from prospects who have completed it.
Real advocates that are helping build awareness for your program. Just like that.
Virtual Visits can reach any player, anywhere at any time
You have recruiters dedicated to covering one region and they try to search every part of it. But, a Virtual Visit can travel to every school, in every district across the nation in a matter of hours when it is shared by your staff and participants.
And each recruit will have the same experience whether they are in your own backyard or in another country entirely.
Are you a program in New York looking to find recruits in California, or even Hawaii? Never again will you spend your recruiting budget on travel. Or spend that valuable time traveling to see one recruit that may not even pan out.
Just send your Virtual Visit link to the high school coach, guidance counselors, parents, or athletes through email, text, or social media.
At the same time, Virtual Visits are visible any time of day or night, so athletes can experience them after practice, on the weekend, or around the dinner table with their family. It allows you to share an intimate visual experience with a recruit that is only topped by expensive in-person visits.