Virtual Tour Marketing
What is a “Virtual Tour?”
So what the heck is a “Virtual Tour” anyway? By now you have probably already seen a virtual tour of some kind on your phone, tablet or computer, maybe on Facebook or Instagram. It is such new technology that you may not even know that’s what they’re called! They are a bit difficult to explain in writing but We’ll show you some samples as we go.
A virtual tour is a two dimensional representation on a screen of some type (like a phone, tablet, computer, TV screen or 3D headset) of a three dimensional space, using images or video. Imagine a panoramic photo of everything all around a physical space in a complete circle. On your device you can control the vantage point by moving the image or video in any direction, from the spot the image was taken. Here’s a couple of examples:
Virtual tours are increasingly common and are being used for all sorts of applications. Historical sights, museums, landmarks, natural wonders, points of interest, tourist and travel destinations, resorts and hotels, and real estate properties are just a few of the many possibilities that a virtual tour can add visibility to. A great practical example would be for education. Imagine that you are teaching students about ancient Greek architecture, but it’s a bit much to load up the class and fly to Greece to see the Parthenon. What if, rather than just showing them pictures or video, you could show them a virtual tour in which the students can move the image around as if they were just turning their heads? Even better, what if they could “move” from spot to spot virtually to have different vantage points? Check this out:
Pretty cool huh? I know what you’re thinking right now; “Well gee Ric that’s all cool you geeking out about a virtual tour of Machu Picchu and all, but what’s that got to do with growing MY business??” Actually, a lot!
Imagine using this technology on your website and social media posts.
If you own a retail store, would it help if people searching for your products online could just click on an icon and move all around the inside of your store, checking out your goods, from whatever vantage point they want, and at their own pace? How about if they could do it right on their smartphone?
How about if you’re a home builder or remodeling contractor, and you could showcase your work by posting virtual tours of your remodels or new construction properties, in which a potential client can check out your style, quality and craftsmanship, while sitting in their living room? Would that be a benefit over your competition? Would they be more likely to call or visit you? Heck YEAH!
Would an event venue benefit from having a fully immersive 360 degree virtual tour of their property posted on their Facebook page and website, where a prospective client can see the size, style and qualities of it in a much more thorough manner than pictures and videos can show?
Do you think a new or used car, truck or RV dealer can snag more sales by having full 360 interior and exterior views of their vehicles from the INSIDE? Of course!
I could go on and on because the possibilities are endless; sports arenas, concert venues, theaters, retail stores, rental properties, apartments, commercial properties, gyms and fitness studios, assisted living facilities, RV parks, and more can all benefit from marketing their business with a virtual tour! Virtual Tours are very cool too!
Another great benefit of virtual tours is that they can be posted right on Google Street View, so they can be discovered and explored through Google Maps!
A professionally produced virtual tour can be uploaded directly onto Google Maps which will automatically add it to Google Street View. When anyone searching for your product or service looks on Google Maps they can click right into the tour and view the physical space of your business and products right from their phone or computer.
Ready to Get Started?
Step one is for us to meet for a free consultation and create a plan
How Can a Virtual Tour Help Your Local Business?
One of the best advantages of virtual tours is that they are a very low investment with a very long-term return. Most virtual tours are produced for a one-time fee, depending on the size and type (some require small ongoing maintenance fees). Overall, the marketing spend for a virtual tour gives a very high return on investment.
Besides the obvious visibility to prospects, virtual tours have other marketing benefits as well:
- They increase customer engagement: Virtual tours capture viewers attention more effectively and for a longer duration than pictures and videos. They also have a higher response rate.
- They showcase your products and services more effectively: In a retail or commercial setting, a virtual tour gives the customer the ability to see the selection and quality of your products, and they can browse through the store virtually at their own pace.
- They build connection and trust: Virtual tours give the viewer a much better sense of your physical space, its style, cleanliness, and amenities, giving them a true feel for your business location and its qualities.
- They expand your market reach: Online virtual tours can reach people searching for your product or service in a larger area than may otherwise see, causing them to call or visit your business based on the strength of the added detail that the tour shows them online. A larger market means more customers!
- Greatly improves SEO: Do you want people to find your business listing in Google search results (and other search engines) AHEAD of your competition? Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of building online properties that cause your company to rank higher, and virtual tours give SEO a HUGE boost. Search engines love virtual tours, and give them a lot of “juice” in your market, adding to your business authority ranking, which is a major factor in getting your listing to rank first in search results.
- Social media “Wows”: How cool will it be when Facebook scrollers, Instagram junkies, and YouTube watchers can virtually tour your business, location, products or service results with one click? Virtual tours are easily added to your social media posts, and draw a lot of attention, increasing engagements, SEO, and more!
- Better Marketing: A virtual tour is an additional marketing channel for your business. They can include links for viewers to ask for more information directly in the tours, and they can even request a real-time meeting with you online in which you can showcase your products and services with them LIVE. Imagine you own or manage a real estate property for sale or rent. Would it be helpful to prospective buyers outside your local area (someone moving from far away for example), to be able to tour the property WITH YOU, virtually on their phone, tablet, or computer, in real-time? Would this type of “virtual sales call” help you to make the sale? Surely it would!
- Return On Investment: Virtual tours offer very high returns on your marketing investment. Usually there is only the initial spend on the production (sometimes there are some ongoing maintenance fees but they are minimal), and you can post them over and over again. A well-produced and promoted virtual tour will grab attention, create customer engagements, and bring returns on the investment for a very long time.
- Analytics and Tracking: Like other forms of digital engagement, virtual tours can be tracked online to show detailed results of their production. Clicks, responses, engagements, dwell time and more all can be measured and evaluated to ensure you get the most bang for the buck with a virtual tour.
- Stand Out from your competition: Is there plenty of competition in your business niche (If not, kudos to you and can you let me know what business that is please)? Most companies compete with others for sales, and separate yours from the others in the online world is a must if you want to grow! Virtual tours are still a relatively new marketing product, so having a properly produced tour that showcases how you can help your prospective clients or customers is a big boost compared to your competitors. Most of them won’t have a virtual tour yet and you can beat them to the punch.
A virtual tour for marketing of most local businesses is almost a no-brainer. With a low one-time investment, high engagement rates, SEO benefits, lead generation capabilities and a high return on investment, virtual tours are a great addition to marketing your business for long-term growth.
To get started, simply click here or give us a call for more information or a demonstration. We’ll show you some examples and walk you through what a virtual tour can do for your specific business.