The MassInteract Blog

6 Tips To Boost Brand Exposure with Virtual Tour Marketing

Yes, there’s no doubt that creating a 360 virtual tour can be amazing for your business and keep you ahead of the competition. Practically every business knows that visuals (interactive, immersive and engaging ones especially) guarantee better recall, brand awareness, and trials than plain old text. However, virtual tours work only when you market them right. How or where you promote them decides whether you will get the kind of brand exposure, traffic or conversions you want. So, check out these virtual tour marketing tips and get started:    

  1. Promote the tour on your website – A website is kind of an essential marketing tool for both small and big businesses these days. So, if you have a virtual tour ready, put it up on the landing page as well as those pages where a visitor is likely to take a decision. Make sure it catches the visitor’s eye quickly. For instance, if you want to promote your college through a tour, you can put it up on pages dedicated for courses, facilities, admission and contact information, besides the landing page. This will help guide a potential student along the marketing funnel and motivate them to make a decision.

  2. Slip it into your emails – One of the smartest marketing tips for virtual tours is to include a link for it in your business emails. When you sign off, you can simply add a tagline like “Visit our restaurant”, “Explore our showroom”, or “Check out our property” and hyperlink it to the 360 tour. Or, you can take a screenshot of an attractive moment in your tour and crop it down to a thumbnail of 30×30 pixels. Save it. Next, in your email settings, import the thumbnail and position it the way you want. Then click on it to enter the URL of your tour and save. This way, anyone who clicks on the thumbnail after reading your email will be directed to the tour.

    Read – Why Visual Marketing is the Future for Businesses

  3. Do it the cool way with Facebook – Using your Facebook business page has to be among the easiest virtual tours marketing tips. You can simply create a post by taking a screenshot of your tour, uploading it, and including the tour URL underneath. You can also boost the post or create an ad for greater exposure. The 360 Photos feature on Facebook is also a wonderful way to market your virtual tour. For this, choose the best parts of your tour (panoramic shots) and upload on Facebook. It will then turn these shots into a 360 photo, so that the viewer feels as if they are right inside your store, café, hotel, or property.   

  4. Get creative on other social channels – Since LinkedIn, Twitter or Instagram doesn’t offer the 360 Photos feature that Facebook does, you will need to create animated GIFs of your tour. There are plenty of free apps that can help you put together a short video that highlights the best bits of your virtual tour. Some of these apps have an inbuilt feature to convert the video into a GIF too. When it comes to choosing a platform, remember that formal businesses like real estate properties and corporate spaces fare better on LinkedIn, while restaurants, gyms, hotels and golf courses do better on Instagram.

  5. Don’t ignore GMB listing – Creating a Google My Business listing is essential if you want to ace the local search game. And the best way to power it up is by adding a 360 virtual tour. This will help you grab more eyeballs, allow potential customers to explore your establishment and trust you, and improve visibility and awareness. You can cover both exterior and interior views through these tours to give a holistic experience to viewers.

  6. Try online directories and listing sites – The lastbutnot the least virtual tour marketing tip is to make the most of your profile on platforms or online directories that list various businesses like realtors, fashion retailers, eateries, and more. A 360 tour can easily differentiate you from competitors on such sites, stick to the viewer’s brain better, and make a good impression.  

So, are you ready to give your brand the exposure and traffic it deserves? Get expert help to create that perfect virtual tour. Shoot us an email at info@massinteract.com

Read Also – Does Your Business Need a Virtual Tour?

The Top 7 Virtual Tour Stats You Need to Know

Virtual tours are all the rage — from top-of-the-line hotels to niche realtors, everyone seems to be integrating virtual tours of their properties with their website. If you’re considering setting up a virtual tour for your business, but aren’t sure if it will work for you, here are some statistics that could help.

Virtual tours increase interest in your business by 2X

A Google study found that people’s interest in local businesses increased by two times when the company had a 360 virtual tour as part of their website. What’s more, 67% of respondents in the same study wanted more businesses to include virtual tours on their website. So not only do virtual tours have good outcomes, but they’re actually becoming the norm and coming to be expected by customers.

Virtual tours mean that people will stay 5-10 times longer at a website

It’s one thing to attract website traffic, it’s another thing to ensure it doesn’t drop off. With virtual tours people stay 5-10 times as long on a website. Naturally, the longer they stay on the website, examining the property, the higher the chances of conversion.

54% of buyers won’t look at a property unless it’s supported by a virtual tour

This is a stat from the National Association of Realtors and it means that buyers will no longer look at a property if it doesn’t have good visual support. This means that if you hope to get views for your listings, virtual tours are a must-have.

The Return on Investment for virtual tours comes in less than 4 weeks

It’s all very well to say that virtual tours bring more eyeballs and website traffic, but are they financially viable? This statistic proves that virtual tours are great for the bottom line. If you can recover your entire investment within a month’s time, then this marketing asset is definitely worth having.

360-degree panoramic images get 45% more engagement on social media than conventional photos

Google virtual tours use what we call 360 images. As virtual tours become more mainstream, these photos have become increasingly trendy, especially on social media. A study by Social Bakers says that organic 360 images get 45% more interaction than conventional photos. This means that businesses that invest in virtual tours — whether it’s restaurants, hotels, realtors, or colleges— have a unique opportunity to get more organic exposure for their brand.

Virtual tours increase bookings by up to 67%

When it comes to hotels and restaurants, having a virtual tour in place increases bookings up to 67%. Having 360 images that come together to narrate a beautiful story immediately gives any hospitality business a major edge above its competitors. Having a virtual tour on your website results in a large increase in that most important metric — conversions.

Listings with virtual tours get 87% more views than listings without virtual tours

If you’re in the real estate business, having property virtual tours is well worth the investment. If it’s you vs. another realtor who has compelling virtual tours on their website, there are no prizes for guessing who’s going to get shortlisted for the physical tours.

In the last few years, virtual tours have become increasingly popular, both as a way of reaching more people as well as getting more conversions. If you’re looking for a marketing tool that really comes with value for money, Google virtual tours are probably your best bet.

5 Questions to Ask Your Virtual Tour Photographer Before Hiring Them

The virtual tour industry hasn’t been around for too long, but it has grown exponentially in the last few years, taking the marketing world by storm. One of the big reasons for this explosive growth is the fact that Google has come into the virtual tour business. Google is using the same technology that powers Google Maps to create Google Street View — virtual tours for business.

As a result, businesses— especially in industries like travel, real estate, and education— have been in a massive rush, trying to get their virtual tours out there as quickly as possible. Given this hurry, a lot of photographers have also emerged, all of whom claim to be experts in virtual tour photography.

Many people have a tendency to hire the person who comes at the most affordable cost. However, it’s important to spend some time to figure out whether a photographer is a right fit for your virtual tour. Hiring the wrong photographer can have disastrous consequences — you may even have to end up redoing the entire thing, resulting in a huge waste of time and money.

Before you settle on someone to whom you can entrust your virtual tour photography, here are some questions you should ask:

Do they have experience in virtual tour photography?

This is probably the most important question. The kind of 360 panoramic photos that are required in virtual tours are very different from conventional photos. Unless a photographer has extensive experience in virtual tour photography, chances are you will end up wasting a lot of time. It’s even better if they have experience in your niche — whether that’s hotels, college campuses, or real estate listings. Try to talk to as many references as you can to make sure the photographer can walk the talk.

What equipment do they use to shoot 360 virtual tour photos?

Google has recently lowered the bar for the cameras that can be used to click 360 images for virtual tours. As a result, a lot of photographers out there have a basic “360 camera” that they will tell you is sufficient to produce high-quality images.

However, if you really want a professional-looking virtual tour, you should have a DSLR camera with a minimum of 16 megapixels. The camera should have both an on-camera as well as an off-camera flash, not to mention wide-angle lenses (usually 10mm). An image done with a DSLR has a much higher resolution; there’s also the added advantage of the lens difference. What’s more, processing a 360 image and moderating the images into a proper virtual tour is best done by someone with the skill set to handle professional equipment.

If a photographer compromises on the quality of their equipment, chances are they will compromise on the quality of your images as well.

Do they have the right technical skills to get the job done?

The photographer needs to have a fair bit of knowledge about the technicalities of 360 photos. Here are some of the main things they should be well-informed about:

  • The best vantage point for a 360-degree spin
  • The correct camera position to achieve proper composition and exposure
  • The best lens to be used in each situation
  • The best time of the day to shoot the images so that the lighting is perfect
  • Staging of the location
  • Staging people in different images
  • An accurate estimate of how long the entire process will take

Do they have the right personal skills to get the job done?

You are entrusting the photographer with building a key marketing asset for you. That’s why personal attributes like trust, professionalism, punctuality, customer service, and work ethic become important. The best way to validate these personal skills is to talk extensively with as many references as possible.

A virtual tour is one of the most valuable marketing tools you can build today — it gives you a Return on Investment in as little as four weeks. Make sure you hire the right photographer to get a high-quality job done within a reasonable time frame.

You may like to read – Hire the Right Company for Your Business Virtual Tour

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