The MassInteract Blog

These 5 Golf Course Marketing Ideas Will Help You Stand Out

It’s likely that there isn’t too much to do around the golf course in the time of COVID-19 and social distancing. But instead of hanging up your socks, or giving into panic and worry, this is actually a great time to work on some golf course marketing ideas. The time and effort you invest now when you and your team are relatively free will pay off massively in the long run once the world returns to normalcy and people come back to golfing with a vengeance. Here are some sure-shot golf course marketing hacks that you can start implementing from today:

Set up a golf course virtual tour

This is one of the most effective golf course marketing tools out there at the moment. Google Street View allows you to set up a professional golf course virtual tour of the entire golf course. Which means people will now be able to see panoramic views of the entire course from the comfort of their living room, giving them an immersive experience like none other. This will make sure that yours is the first golf course that people book the moment they’re able to travel again.

Sort out your website

This may not be true for everyone, but a lot of us have websites that can do with some updating. In 2019, if you don’t have a dynamic website, integrated with all the latest SEO tactics, marketing tools and plug-ins, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity.

Start by looking at where you stand from an SEO perspective — how you’re ranking in Search Engine Results, what your keyword optimization looks like, and so on. Then move on to user experience. Make sure your user experience is absolutely seamless, especially when it comes to booking and making payments online.

Automate and personalize your marketing

A lot goes into personalized communication — especially with people who’ve been to your golf course before or are regular users of your website. If you’ve been thinking about it for a while, this is a great time to put marketing automation in place.

With the right tool, you can send customized emails to current and prospective clients — tailored to their behaviour (frequency of golfing, time of golfing, golf holiday habits, etc). Not only emails, but you can also integrate other channels — from SMS to Whatsapp Business to push notifications. You can use a tool like MoEngage or WebEngage to get this process in place.

Up your Instagram game

If your social media presence has been lacking, this is the time to catch up. For golf courses, Instagram is the best medium as it’s a highly visual platform. Use photographs (especially 360 photography from your virtual tour) and short videos to showcase the beauty of the course. From the greenery to the chirping of the birds to the gorgeous views of sunrise and sunset, make sure your audience doesn’t miss out on any aspects of the golf course. If you regularly host golfing holidays, then make sure you include some great visuals of the accommodation and the clubhouse facilities.

Become a strong voice in the golf course niche with a blog

There’s a lot to talk about when it comes to golfing. From the history of the sport to the latest trends in the industry to new equipment, there’s no dearth of content. This is the time to invest in a blog, posting frequently and with authority about various golf-related topics. A good idea would be to localize your content — talk about upcoming events, local players in the city, the best places to buy clubs, golf balls, and accessories, and so on. While the situation surrounding the Coronavirus seems dire at the moment, China’s example shows us that things will normalize sooner than later. Use this free time to make a smart marketing game plan and execute it to the best of your ability. It will reap rich dividends in the coming season.

Read also – The Top 7 Virtual Tour Stats You Need to Know

Google Maps Live View ‘AR’: Everything You Need to Know About This

Have you ever been confused by the Directions on Google Maps, taking a wrong turn at the last minute because you couldn’t quite figure it out? Google Maps has finally launched a cutting-edge new feature that will solve this common and sometimes exasperating issue.

The Live View Maps AR feature uses Augmented Reality to help users better understand where to go. The Live View overlays arrows and directions in the real world outside, allowing you to understand exactly how to navigate the confusing turns or where to start your walking journey.

In March 2019, Google released the alpha version of this Live View feature — limiting its use to Google Maps local guides and Pixel users. In August, however, it released the beta version and decided to extend the use of this feature to all users.

The way Google Maps Live View works is fairly straightforward. To use Live View, you need to choose the destination in Google Maps as per usual and then tap the Directions button. After this, you need to choose the walking tab because as of now Live View is only available for walking navigation. Next to the start button, you can see the Live View button— you need to press the button and begin the on boarding process.

Of course, the Live View feature doesn’t mean that you have to keep the phone in front of you as you keep walking. It is designed specifically for navigating complex turns and directions that ordinary Maps and Compass confuse sometimes. Live View uses a combination of GPS, Camera, and Compass data to know exactly where you need to go. All you need to do is to point your phone at your surroundings so that the technology can recognize them. It then provides arrows along with street markers overlaid on the actual scene you’re looking at. This makes it completely seamless to find your way in settings that are unfamiliar, and where regular Google Maps just doesn’t cut it.

The Live View feature is now available in its beta version for both Android and iOS devices that support ARCore and ARKit. It’s important to note that Live View works wherever Google Street View is available. What’s more, this feature is currently only for walking navigation. Having said that, there are some car manufacturers that have already implemented AR navigation in their vehicles so it’s very likely that Google will soon extend this feature to the driving navigation as well.

Given that Live View works wherever Google Street View is available, this will eventually have a significant impact on the way businesses build their Google 360 virtual tours. We can now expect virtual tours to also have that added element of Augmented Reality which would make the tours even more effective and immersive than ever before.

The bottom line

The Live View feature hasn’t been around for too long but it has already created quite a stir among users. It’s use of Augmented Reality to give people a far more immersive and effective navigation experience has been appreciated in a big way. That’s not all of course. This AR-powered feature is likely to have ripple effects in a number of different areas, especially Google virtual tours. So if you’re looking to build a brand new virtual tour, or revamp your existing one, Augmented Reality is an opportunity that’s definitely worth exploring.

Real Estate Photography: Use the Right Visuals To Generate Buyers’ Interest

Have you thought of photos as a necessary, but not a critical piece, of a real estate business? Think again.

Firstly, 51% of people who bought a home last year found their home online. That’s a lot of people.  But it’s not just about people finding potential homes online. In this online search, photos play a key role. In fact, listings with high-quality, professional-level photos sold 32% faster than those with ordinary photos.

That’s the difference that good real estate photography can make to your business and that’s why you need to get those photos just right. Here are some of the most important tips to make that happen:

Professional property photography vs amateur photos

While you can use a camera and a tripod to take your own pictures of listings, this isn’t recommended for a number of reasons. Firstly, professional photography equipment is expensive, and it can be a big investment. If you choose sub-par equipment such as a simple 360 camera, the difference between photo quality will be very stark. And in a visual business like real estate, this could cost you heavily in terms of both the quantity and quality of leads. This rule doesn’t apply just to palatial mansions but to all kinds of homes. At the end of the day, compromising on photo quality just isn’t worth it.

Read Also – 5 Questions to Ask Your Virtual Tour Photographer Before Hiring Them

Choose the right real estate photography services

When it comes to deciding whom to hire, there are some simple metrics you can go by. The first, of course, is their portfolio. In an area like real estate photography, work samples will go a long way in showcasing someone’s skill.

You should also make it a point to check out references — the process of working with someone is as important as the end product. It’s a good idea to make sure that the team you will be spending so much time coordinating with is communicative, professional, and respectful.

Shoot 360 photos

In an era of virtual tours and panoramic photography, you should make it a point to have amazing 360 photos as part of your listing. These photos give viewers a never-seen-before insight into the listings, and will automatically set you a cut above the competition. You can even include 360 photos in a virtual tour of the property. This not only gives viewers an extremely immersive experience but also an in-depth understanding of the property so that you only show the property to genuinely interested buyers.

Decluttering and staging the home

You need to declutter the home so that the photos have a pristine quality to them. For instance, take things off your kitchen counters — from the toaster to utensils to the blender. Then scrub the kitchen floor and all other surfaces — from the stovetop to the kitchen table.

You need to apply the same process to every other room. Clear shoe racks, hide pet beds, and any other items lying here and there. In short, everything except large pieces of furniture and light fixtures should be gone.

Then there’s the task of “staging” the home. Ideally, your photography partner should be able to provide this service for you. Professional staging — from a bottle of wine and two glasses on the outdoor table to the right pillows on the couch to a bowl of fruit on the kitchen table — goes a long way in creating attractive photos.

Figure out the lighting with your photographer 

Figuring out the right kind of lighting can sometimes be tricky because there are no set rules. For instance, indoor shots are great when the sun is bright and shining, while outdoor shots come out better when during dusk. Having said that, if a home has beautiful artificial lighting, then some night-time shots can really bring that out in a lovely way. It’s best to communicate with your photographer and figure out the best way to capture all these aspects.

While every realtor knows online photos are essential to generate interest in a listing, not enough realize how much difference a professional set of photos can make. Try using professional 360 photography and you’ll immediately find yourself ahead of the competition.

You may love to Read – 5 Ways in Which the Real Estate Industry is Benefitting from Virtual Tours

Social distancing? Explore the World From Your Living Room with a 360 Virtual Tour

COVID-19 has disrupted life across the world. And if you’re staying home and practising social distancing, you’re one among millions right now. But just because everyone is doing it, doesn’t make social distancing any easier. For those of us who thrive on travel and new experiences, this is a particularly challenging time. There’s only so much Netflix you can watch in a day.

Luckily, there’s a solution. If you’re missing out on those grand, surreal experiences that usually only come with travel, 360 virtual tours can be a great substitute. Built on the same technology that powers Google Maps, these virtual tours can take you into an incredibly immersive experience— and from the comfort of your living room!

For the museum geeks

If you’re the kind of person whose idea of the perfect day is getting lost for hours in a museum, check out the Google Arts & Culture tours. From the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery to the Van Gogh Museum to the Guggenheim and even the Louvre, these virtual tours are incredibly immersive. With state-of-the-art 360 photography, you can now see the Mona Lisa, the Raft of the Medusa, and all these legendary paintings up-close and personal. What’s more, you don’t even have it wait in long queues or jostle through crowds of tourists!

Looking to rest in nature?

Google Earth allows you to access virtual tours of 32 national parks, from Acadia to Zion. From incredible views of the Grand Canyon, Alaska’s Kenai Fjords, and Bryce Canyon in Utah, to guided journeys through Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico, and Hawaii’s volcanos, there are thrills galore. So if you’re really missing being in nature and surrounded by scenic greenery and breathtaking views here’s your shot.

Choose from the list of flagged locations of different parks or use the list on the right-hand side of the screen to go to the park that you want. You’ll immediately be zoomed down into the park and you can scroll around the screen to get wonderful 360-degree views. Maybe you can even plan your first post-Corona trip!

Travel through time

When it comes to ancient cities steeped in culture and history, it doesn’t get much better than Jerusalem’s Old City. You can take a fabulous tour of the city— complete with the Israel Museum, the Church of Saint Anne, and a number of holy sites. Once you’ve had your fill of Jerusalem, you can move on to Tel Aviv and check out the Tel Aviv Museum of Art.

Take a deep dive

If you want an even bigger thrill, try exploring the ocean floor. Thanks to virtual dives from the National Marine Sanctuaries, you can check out a range of areas — from the Florida Keys to American Samoa. PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) has also teamed up with Google Street View and provides underwater views from around the world— from Australia to the Philippines to Mexico to Bermuda.

Get that campus experience

Were you planning on going on some college tours in the summer? Given how widespread the pandemic is, this may not be possible. On the other hand, it’s a great opportunity to explore potential college campuses through virtual tours. These tours give a fairly in-depth understanding of what the campus is really like, helping you make the right choice.

If you’ve already got into college, this might be a great opportunity to watch the virtual tour of your college of choice with your friends and family. If you’re an alumnus, this is probably the perfect time to sit down with your college buddies (virtually of course) and watch your alma mater’s virtual tour altogether. Nothing beats the social distancing blues like a great trip down memory lane.

The bottom line

Social distancing doesn’t have to mean disengagement. There are still ways to experience all that’s beautiful in our world — even if we can’t go outside right this moment. Exploring the wonderful universe of virtual tours and all that they have to offer is a great place to begin. 

Read Also – Does Your Business Need a Virtual Tour?

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