The MassInteract Blog

What 3D Modeling is All About and Why It’s So Important for Your Business

Photos and videos are now passé. While videos and photos give a realistic idea of how a product or service would look, illustrations focus more on adding artistic value to existing visuals. While illustrations pique curiosity, they leave too much room for interpretation. Photos and videos, on the other hand, appeal to the senses a little bit too directly. That’s where 3D modeling comes in. 3D modeling for business has recently become one of the most effective ways to promote products and services.

What is 3D modeling?

3D modeling has been around for a while now. It uses graphical techniques to produce a 3D representation of any kind of object or surface. 3D modelers use special software that manipulates specific points called vertices to produce the 3D version of the object.

3D modeling has been around for a while now — especially in engineering and architecture. CGI (Computer-Generated Images) in TV shows, movies, and video games is a perfect example of 3D modeling.

Recently though, 3D modelling has started being used extensively in marketing products and services.

5 Questions to Ask Your Virtual Tour Photographer Before Hiring Them

Benefits of 3D modeling for Business

There are a number of ways that 3D modeling can help you market your business in a more effective way:

Develop a feature-rich model

When you go in for 3D modeling, you can integrate all the features in it to make the product more appealing to prospective customers. This is especially useful in made-to-order products so that people can see all the features they want in the product they order. You can even customize the way your product is being showcased — so you can segment your target audience based on which features they would be interested in, and show them those features as part of the 3D model.

Customized marketing campaign

Once you have a basic 3D model, you can adapt it based on the specific context. You can adapt the model based on your marketing pitch — whether it’s a seasonal offer, a short-term discount, a new product promotion, or a product modification. Using 3D modeling while advertising your product allows you to adapt the marketing message based on the buyer persona that you are targeting. You can also use CG imaging to present the same product in different ways to different customer segments.

How to Maximize Exposure for Your Brand by Marketing Your 360 Virtual Tour

Use a white background to make your product stand out

When you use 3D modeling, you can present your product on a white background. This has become an extremely effective way to market a product, especially if you use contrasting colours against this white background. Presenting a 3D model against this white background gives marketers the opportunity to showcase the colours, shape, volume, texture, etc of the product in a way that simply isn’t possible with a regular photo or video.

Perfect for products that aren’t photogenic

One of the best 3D modeling features is the fact that it’s a perfect alternative for products that aren’t exactly photogenic. This includes things like canned and frozen foods, fresh veggies, any packaged goods, household appliances and so on. This way you won’t have to invest in an expensive photoshoot to make your pictures look attractive.

Branding and pitches

3D modeling makes a world of difference when you’re designing your company branding. From animating your logo on the website to adding 3D elements in a marketing presentation (making it look more high-tech and professional), there is a lot you can do with 3D imaging and design. Even just creating 3D models for graphs and charts can go a long way in creating that impressive pitch that helps you win over a big client.

Photos, videos, and illustrations all have their role to play when it comes to visual marketing but the tide has been decisively moving towards 3D modelling in the last few years. If you don’t have in-house professionals who can build 3D models, you can just outsource 3D modelling to a service provider that has the right experience and expertise. In either case, it’s worth investing in this new-age marketing asset to see what kind of difference it can make for your business.

Read Also – Hire the Right Company for Your Business Virtual Tour

apartment virtual tour

Millennials are Going for Sight-Unseen Leases in a Big Way: How an Apartment Virtual Tour Can Seal the Deal

Millennials today are moving more frequently than previous generations. With globalization, the internet, and the world coming closer together than ever before, this trend is here to stay. Millennials are moving both for higher-paying jobs, as well as for the rich experiences that staying in their hometown may not be able to deliver.

Having said that, it’s really hard to take time off work and go all the way to the city you’re moving to for apartment hunting. There’s far too much planning, scheduling, and effort involved — and most people just don’t have the time for that.

As a result, most people have to find a house in a matter of a few days once they move to a new city, and that can be really challenging. Instead of spending tons of money on a hotel, people are now choosing to lease and rent sight-unseen.

A few years ago this would have been unheard-of but technology has made this increasingly possible. Today, potential renters are okay with signing on that lease agreement on the basis of a high-quality, ultra-detailed apartment virtual tour. As long as the virtual tour gives them the feeling of having really seen the apartment in a complete, comprehensive way, they don’t mind signing the dotted line.

So if you’re targetting a sight-unseen lease — specifically for millennials and important businesspeople with little time on their hands — an apartment virtual tour is a must-have. Before you get that virtual tour up and running, here are a few things to keep in mind:

Make sure your apartment virtual tour is easy to access

What this means is that a potential renter shouldn’t have to search for the virtual tour, they should naturally gravitate towards it when scoping out the apartment. While the virtual tour is likely to be the clincher when it comes to a sight-unseen lease, you have to remember that renters are unlikely to search for a virtual tour. It’s more important that the virtual tour is a part of a seamless viewing experience. This means that you should display the virtual tour prominently  — whether that’s on the home page or on the listings page.

A lot of people look at a virtual tour as something that exists lower down the sales funnel. In other words, they try to use it to close the sale. While that is an important function of the tour, it’s just as important to have the prospects see the virtual tour when they’re casually browsing the listing. This way, they will have a much more in-depth idea about the apartment, so the leads that you get will be highly qualified. This saves a lot of effort and energy later on in the sales process.

Choose your virtual tour provider with care

There are many virtual tour software out there, some of which are even available for free. But if you want to get a professional-looking virtual tour (which is highly recommended when you want to close a sight-unseen lease), consider hiring a professional. Check their references, make sure they fit within your budget, and of course look at their portfolio of work. Preferably work with a provider that already does apartment virtual tours so that they know exactly what works.

Interactivity is important

What makes virtual tours different from videos is the interactive element. With virtual tours, users are expected to click on where they want to go, zoom in and out as they please, and even engage with the descriptions and information. You need to ensure that your virtual tour has a number of “hotspots”, with clickable icons and interesting copy, so that users are much more involved than with a regular video. What’s more, if your virtual tours are interactive, customers will stay on your website for longer. This is something that search engines take into account which will mean more traffic for you in the long run.

At the end of the day, if you expect someone to rent or lease an apartment without ever having seen it, then you need to give them a little bit extra. Renters today are willing to take that leap of faith— as long as they have extra information to bridge that trust gap. Virtual tours of apartments are the perfect fit.

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

Hotel Virtual Tour Advantage

How a Hotel Virtual Tour Could Give Your Business a Huge Post-COVID Advantage

As we all know, this isn’t the best time for the hospitality business. There is uncertainty in many parts of the world, and it will be a while before long-distance travel goes back to where it used to be pre-Coronavirus.

Having said that, COVID-19 clearly has an end-time, as experiences in many countries, from China to New Zealand have shown. With the pandemic in full swing in many parts of the world, and travel has come to a halt, there are two ways to look at the situation. The first is to simply live this situation out amid a general environment of fear and panic. The second would be to actually take advantage of this free time to invest in marketing assets that will help you generate bookings as soon as things are up and running so that your business can find its feet faster.

As far as hotels go, whether it’s an opulent 5-star property or a boutique place, being able to showcase its beauty to prospective customers is the first priority. While high-resolution images were enough to do that up until a few years ago, today state-of-the-art hotel virtual tours are a must on your website. Here’s why virtual tours for hotels have become so popular in the last few years:

First impressions are important

Think about it from the point of view of a prospective customer. Would you rather book a room in a hotel that has some standard, poorly-lit photos? Or a hotel where you can see a 360 virtual tour of the entire property— from the room and the bathroom to the lobby, the breakfast buffet, and the sprawling grounds. A virtual tour is an easy way to make an incredible first impression and get that online booking.

Build credibility

A Google Street View virtual tour means that you’re showing your property with an incredible level of detail. With a regular website and photos, it’s easy to use clever angles to hide or emphasize some parts of the property. And customers are now aware of this. So when you create a hotel virtual tour, you’re creating a level of transparency that is rare in the business, and that will make customers trust you instinctively.

More control over the viewing experience

Every customer wants something different when they look at a property online. A customer might be looking for the perfect family vacation, another for a honeymoon, and yet another for a business conference. A comprehensive hotel virtual tour allows prospective customers to customize the viewing experience for themselves. They can zoom in and out of areas that they are more interested in, go through the information given in the hotspots, and pan left, right, up and down to get a better view.

Searchability

Having a virtual tour on your website gives you an immediate edge over the competition. The Google Street View 360 tour will automatically help you when it comes to Search Engine Optimization. Having a virtual tour is also one more step in completing your Google Business profile, and a completed profile also makes your hotel more searchable. Having your business consistently rank high during Google searches is a big advantage of having a virtual tour.

 Likely to get organic shares

A good hotel virtual tour has high entertainment value. People love to browse through these tours and do some vicarious traveling. Even if someone is not booking your hotel immediately, chances are that they will enjoy the tour so much that they will share it with friends on their social media. This will immediately give you organic reach among your target audience.

It’s understandable that you’re going through a period of turmoil and uncertainty. But the best way to make the most of this time is to have a long-term view of your business and to invest in relatively reasonable marketing assets that will last you in the long run. Hotel virtual tours are the best way to do this. Not only are they relatively easy to create, but they will also give you an immediate competitive edge as the hospitality industry starts getting back on track.

Does Your Business Need Google Street View? The Pro & Cons of Google Street View

In today’s world, a virtual tour is one of the most impactful and cost-effective marketing assets you can have. It allows prospective customers an immersive, in-depth view of your business which builds an incredible amount of trust and credibility while they’re evaluating whether to purchase your product or service.

This means that it’s important to offer potential customers the chance to take a virtual tour of your business. In fact, research says that businesses that have virtual tours have complete search listings and are 29% more likely to motivate a purchase.   Luckily, Google itself has all the tools you need to build that virtual tour.

What exactly is Google Street view?

It’s simple enough. Street View is a compilation of all the 360-degree panoramic photos that are used in Google Maps so that users can better understand the area/business that they are searching. These photos aren’t just the ones that have been uploaded by Google. Businesses can also click these panoramic photos and submit them to be uploaded and become a part of Google Street View.

Taken together, these panoramic photos provide a kind of virtual tour that helps customers understand your business better. In fact, businesses that have this 360-degree Street View as part of their listing are likely to get double the interest from potential customers.

Advantages of Google Street View

Google Street View can have a transformative impact when it comes to marketing your business more effectively. Here are some of its major advantages:

Build transparency and credibility

In a world where so many purchase decisions are made online, customers are looking for an experience that brings transparency and credibility. A Street View of Google virtual tour shows customers what your business is all about, taking them through all the little nooks and crannies. It’s a great way for customers to be able to put a vivid image to your business. It shows them you are happy to be upfront and let them into your inner space.

Helps in the purchase decision

Whether it’s an apartment that a prospective renter is looking at or a store that they want to visit, having a virtual tour helps them make that important decision. Getting an in-depth view of the physical location helps prospective customers decide whether they want to continue going through the sales funnel. What’s more, the people who do end up visiting the hotel/apartment/store are likely to be those who are extremely interested in the actual purchase, since they already have a good idea about the product.

Zero in on your target audience

Let’s say you’re a sports bar that caters specifically to Premier League fans. Having a virtual tour that shows off your Premier League Decor or showcases the live matches on your massive screen will go a long way in attracting local football fans to your bar.

Easy to share

A great Google Street View virtual tour provides an engaging, immersive experience. This lends itself to sharing in a big way. Let’s say you have a high-street fashion store that a bunch of customers just visited and found some great clothes. They would share the Street View with their friends so that others can also see what the store looks like and be tempted to go there. Or let’s say someone is planning their next travel and goes through a virtual tour of your hotel property. They might get so impressed that they share the tour on their social media so that more people in your target audience also get to see the Street View tour.

Cons of Google Street View

On the flip side, there are some concerns around privacy, over-sharing, and limited accuracy when it comes to Google Street View.

Having said that, the pros far outweigh the cons. Google Street View is slowly reaching maturity and businesses that adopt this technology and actively contribute to their virtual tours automatically have a strong competitive edge.

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.

5 Smart Real Estate Photography Ideas

Did you know that more than 50% home buyers find what they are looking for on the internet? And in the online world, if you don’t use visuals to market your real estate, you will inevitably fall behind others and have a tough time in sealing a deal. The reason is quite obvious. High quality and relevant photographs grab attention quickly and stick to the potential buyer’s brain more than plain old text. A property that is marketed through visuals gets better recall and engagement. And no, even if you are a superb amateur photographer, always trust a professional to do the perfect job for you. The money you shell out will be worth it. However, here are some real estate photography tips that will help you to zero in on the right professionals and get the best results.

  1. Take a look at their portfolio and reviews – Knowing what the professionals have done in the past will help you decide if they can help you in the present. So, go through their past projects or portfolio and ask about how they plan their work. Things might be different if they have to simply take photos of your property or create a video. Also go through client testimonials to get an idea about their professionalism, ethics and communication norms.

  2. Ask if they can create custom virtual tours – Photography for businesses, including the ones in real estate, has become an extremely competitive field now. This means, just putting up beautiful and vibrant photos might not be enough to win brownie points. So, ask the photography professionals if they can create 360 degree virtual tours by “stitching” panoramic images of your property together. These tours are the latest in visual marketing and offer an exciting, immersive experience to prospective buyers. You can add them to your website, social media pages and even Google My Business listing to get more queries.

    Read – The Top 4 Predictions for the Future of Photography

  3. Find out what kind of lighting will work best for you – One of the timeless real estate photography ideas is to highlight your property in the best light. And what works for one might not be ideal for another. Also, while outdoor shots seem better, more crisp and close to the original colors at dusk, indoor photos should be taken in the middle of the day when the sun is bright. Moreover, night-time shots can look amazing if the right kind of artificial lighting is in place. So, request the professionals to explore your property and discuss what you want to highlight with them. Then ask about the type of lighting they plan to use and why.

  4. Remove clutter and stage the scene – This is one of those photography tips that all professionals recommend.  Before taking shots of any room, get rid of unnecessary items and clean up the whole place as much as possible. For example, remove pots and pans from the kitchen, laundry bins from the bedroom, cleaning accessories from the bathroom and that pile of newspapers from the living room. Ideally, only large and eye-catching furniture pieces and light fixtures should remain. Next comes the staging part. Here, real estate photographers will help you make the room attractive, by maybe adding a few pretty vases, cushions, throws or a painting. It will help the potential buyer to visualize your property better.  

  5. Find out about the photo editing basics – Professional real estate photographers usually edit the photos to make them more beautiful and appealing. For that, they might use a variety of tools, which you should get a basic idea about. You can also ask how they will make dull photos more vibrant, correct contrasts, or make the colors realistic. Ask how they intend to make your interiors look bright and cheerful. Editing tools are also available to reduce brightness, make edges sharper or softer and to balance the blacks and whites. 

All in all, the above realty photography will prepare you for the things professionals take care of while shooting a property for a quick sale. And if you are looking for experts who can handle various properties and create awesome photographs, videos or virtual tours in no time, email us at info@massinteract.com

Read Also – Hands-On Guide to Getting Started with 360° Photography

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?

How to Maximize Exposure for Your Brand by Marketing Your 360 Virtual Tour

Perhaps you’re considering building a virtual tour. Maybe you’ve even created it already or hired a virtual tour company to do it for you. What’s important to remember is that just creating a 360 virtual tour is not enough. It’s how the tour is marketed that is crucial. You have to work on making the most out of this marketing asset — which means more visibility and increased exposure. Here’s how:

Email signature

This is a very simple yet effective way to start promoting your virtual tour. You can’t physically embed your virtual tour onto an email, but you can definitely hyperlink it in your email signature.

One way of doing this would be to take a screenshot and downsize it to 30×30 (30 pixels in width by 30 pixels in height). Then import this thumbnail into your email signature. Click on the thumbnail, find the paper clip icon and click on it, and then add your virtual tour URL to this. If you want something even more creative, turn the thumbnail into an animated GIF, making it even more likely that people will click on it.

If this seems like too much work, just have an anchor tag like “Take a look at our property” in your email signature and just hyperlink it to your virtual tour.

Integrate the tour into your website/app’s user journey

It’s important to have your virtual tour displayed prominently at the right part of the customer journey. You need the user to see the tour after they start exploring the site a little bit, but long before they are coming to a purchase decision. Using pop-up windows at the relevant time is also a good idea to make sure people can really look at everything that your property has to offer.

Promoting your tour on Facebook

Facebook is one of the most friendly social media platforms when it comes to marketing your virtual tour. You can post your tour on your business page and then boost the post or create an ad out of it to generate more traffic to your tour and thereby your website. Facebook ads are fairly economical so if your goal is to get more hotel bookings or get your real estate listing out there, there’s no better way.

Facebook also has an option called 360 photos, where viewers can get 360-degree views of a given area. What you can do is take a look at all your 360 photography and find panoramic photos that you can use in 360 photos. This will give an added edge to your marketing strategy.

Promoting on other social media (Instagram, Twitter, and Linkedin)

Facebook is the only social media platform that offers 360-degree compatibility. Having said that you can create animated GIFs of your virtual tour (there are a number of free apps that you can use for this), and then post those to garner attention. With this animated GIF, you can have a short, hip video that will help you gain quick traction on these platforms. Of course, the platforms you will choose to focus on will depend on the nature of your business. Hospitality businesses would likely promote more on Instagram whereas a real-estate business that is selling a commercial property might be better off on Linkedin.

Virtual tours have indeed emerged as the most trendy marketing tool out there, especially in the last few years. But there’s no point in investing time and money to get the tour just right if you’re not going to make it a point to promote it. Make sure you integrate the tour into every aspect of your marketing strategy so that you can get the biggest bang for your buck.

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

5 Ways in Which the Real Estate Industry is Benefitting from Virtual Tours

It’s a great time to be a realtor. The rise in disposable incomes around the world means that there is more demand for real estate than ever before. But at the same time, there is a lot of competition among realtors now. Which means that you really need to stand out to make those steady sales and grow your business. In this competitive environment, if there’s one marketing tool that can really help streamline your business, its a real estate virtual tour.

What are real estate virtual tours?

Virtual tours for real estate allow you to create in-depth, immersive tours of your different listings on your website. These tours contain 360-degree panoramic photos that move in sequential order from one location to the next, giving users a complete look and feel of the property, all from the comfort of their own homes.

Benefits of virtual tours for real estate

Here are the top 5 ways in which real estate virtual tours can benefit developers and property agents:

Less effort needed at the preliminary stages

Ordinarily, inbound queries come in from prospects who view the listings on your website. Just viewing images of a listing doesn’t give the user a feel for the property and layout in the same way that a virtual tour does. Which means you end up getting a lot of queries from people for whom the property may not be suitable at all. And you end up wasting a lot of time showing these people the listing, only for them to reject it. With a proper virtual tour on the website, you will only get queries from customers who understand the layout of the property and are really interested in it. This means that you don’t need to spend as much time and energy over people who are not the right fit.

Get that edge over competitors

Virtual tours are not yet commonplace in the real estate sector. This means that if your listings have professional virtual tours, you will immediately be seen as more credible and reputable than your competitors. It’s an easy way to establish authority and credibility in a business that is highly dependent on both.

Build a loyal customer base

When customers come to your website, they will be able to see the listings in a lot of detail. Buyers will be able to get a proper understanding of what the property is like and whether they’d like to go ahead and take a physical tour. Since this saves them a lot of time and energy, while also enabling them to assess a wider selection of properties, they will naturally be more loyal to you. Virtual tours can be the key for you to find that customer stickiness in an industry that’s notorious for fickleness.

Cost benefits

Taking prospective customers to a physical house tour means that you also need to spend money on fuel commuting to and fro. By using real estate virtual tours as a kind of screening process, you can ensure that when you invest in a physical property tour, there’s a high chance of a conversion.

Far superior presentation vis-a-vis regular images

Real estate virtual tours allow you to highlight the property from various dimensions— from the small details to an overview of the entire area. 3D virtual tours use 3D-angle views to allow users to observe all the details of the property. What’s more, good virtual tours have hotspots with buttons and text that gives users an even better understanding of the listing. There’s a world of difference between ordinary images and a full-fledged virtual tour.

If you’re looking to give your real estate business a sustainable edge over the competition, virtual tours are the one marketing tool you need to invest in today.

7 Step checklist for creating a hotel virtual tour

When you are marketing your hotel, the most important thing you should focus on is how to convince potential guests to pick you over others. And virtual tours can help you with that. Promising an interactive, immersive and engaging experience, virtual tours give you a competitive edge easily. However, if you want your tour to attract customers quickly, build their trust, impress them, and lead them towards booking, you need to follow this comprehensive hotel virtual tour checklist

  1. Get the gadgets in place – This is one of the top hotel virtual tour tips. A 360 degree camera is ideal for capturing panoramic shots, something that you need to stitch the tour together. Moreover, such cameras ensure high resolution photos and great quality audio. Or, if you are on a slightly tight budget, using a smartphone with a fish-eye lens (adaptable kind) can help. These have ultra-wide angles and can create panoramic images. And of course, a tripod is vital, since it makes the shooting experience easy. 

  2. Focus on the timing and lighting – Light (both natural and artificial) determines the quality of photos to a large extent. And if you wish to shoot in natural light, timing is key. For instance, shooting in the middle of the day means the harsh sunlight will make the natural color of things seem lighter. Or, too much light can make important details inconspicuous. Right before sunset is the best time for outdoor photos, like in the garden or near the pool.

  3. Identify strategic spots – Don’t miss this step when you are busy withyour hotel’s virtual tour preparation. To grab your prospective customer’s attention in seconds and keep them hooked, highlight the most attractive areas. Rooms (especially the luxury ones), the lobby, the restaurant and bar, the pool and the spa area might be your top picks. You can even highlight special architectural details, the garden, the gym, or the views from the terrace or balconies.

  4. Include comments where needed – To make the virtual tour more informational and valuable, add comments or descriptions in relevant places. For instance, you might wish to mention the specials being served by your hotel restaurant or the attractive discounts available on spa or beauty packages. You might also want to include information on the activities you host or the events for which you lease out your banquet hall.

  5. Get rid of clutter and clean – The checklist for hotel virtual tour preparationis incomplete withouta tip onde-cluttering and thorough cleaning. So, stash away cords and wires, remove boxes, check all furniture pieces and accessories for stains and dirt, and make sure that windows and doors are sparkling. Curtains should be drawn before the shoot. Remove or replace broken or frayed objects.

  6. Stage it right – Beforeshootingany part of your hotel, make sure it looks appealing and impresses the eye. This is where staging comes into the picture. Basically, you can introduce beautiful artworks, lamps or cushions and rugs to create the feel you want. This is counted among the hotel virtual tour best practices. Make sure to keep the décor neutral and avoid seasonal elements associated with Christmas or Halloween, for example.  

  7. Keep the outdoors in shipshape – Before taking outdoor shots, make sure that your hotel looks attractive and there are no distractions in the form of vehicles or trash cans. The pathways, lawns or gardens should be absolutely clean and in good shape. Get all green areas trimmed or landscaped before the shoot.

To wrap up, this hotel virtual tour checklist can come in extremely handy if you want to do the job yourself. However, you might want a professional touch and not stress about getting the right photography equipment or purchasing any software. In that case, simply shoot us an email at info@massinteract.com.

How Virtual College Tours are Changing the Student Recruitment Game

Today, technology has transformed the way learning happens. At the same time, it has also changed the way students choose the institutions they want to attend. One of the most important tools enabling this shift is virtual campus tours. According to a collegiate survey, 36% of registered applicants said that they would like to have a virtual tour added for initial evaluation of the campus. An additional 30% of applicants (so now 66% of total applicants)expressed that a virtual tour was a “must-have”. What this means is that virtual tours are rapidly becoming one of the best marketing tools that Universities have at their disposal.

A virtual tour for college allows Universities to showcase their entire campus through an online tour. Virtual tours are very different from ordinary photos and video— they are built with Google Street Views, the technology used in Google Maps. Virtual tours create an experience that is completely immersive — making users feel as if they are actually on campus from the comfort of their own homes.

Whether it’s a breathtaking 360 panoramic view of the campus, user-generated videos, or even a guided voice tour, virtual tours offer an opportunity for colleges to highlight everything the campus experience has to offer.

Benefits of virtual tours for college/university campus

Increasing the outreach of open days

Most colleges/universities put a lot of effort into their open days — building detailed guided tours, finding volunteers, often housing visitors, and so on. However, only those students who live nearby, or those with limitless time and resources can afford to attend open days. With virtual tours, you can bring a large part of the campus tour experience into the homes of the students. In fact, a good virtual tour piques the students’ interest and actually results in a 30% increase in physical visits to campus, which in turn increases the conversion rates for applications and enrollment.

Increase international recruitment

A diverse campus provides the best learning environment — especially when you have students from across the world. But most international applicants don’t have the time or resources to travel all the way to your campus. A virtual tour serves as a great way of enabling these students to understand what your campus has to offer and actually keep you on their radar during the application process. It also allows them to share this experience with family, friends, and teachers— some of whom play a crucial part in the ultimate application decision.

More exposure

When students are viewing an easy, immersive virtual tour, chances are they will share exciting snapshots on their social media. This means you get easy access to their peer group — which is a crucial part of your target audience. This will again help you boost applications and subsequent enrollments.

Finding a connection with digital natives

Most applicants belong to one of two categories — Gen-Zers or late millennials. These people have grown up with technology in a way that previous generations haven’t. Using a virtual tour will help you connect with this audience in a way that more traditional marketing tools won’t.

Coming up higher on Google search results

When you use Google to build your virtual tour, all the virtual tour content is hosted on the Google database. This means you have an inherent advantage when it comes to Search Engine Optimization. Higher rankings mean you will be discovered much more easily by prospective applicants.

If you’re looking for ways to differentiate your campus and build that much-needed buzz for your college, few tools are as effective as a good virtual tour. If you want to get started on building a college campus virtual tour but are not sure how to go about it, reach out to us

10 Must-Have Tips to Create Awesome Virtual Tours

Virtual tours are all the rage these days— and it’s not without reason. Virtual tours allow brands to give online users an immersive experience— a complete in-depth journey through their brand from the comfort of home. But getting your virtual tour just right is much easier said than done. Here are 10 tips for creating a virtual tour that have really worked across brands and categories:

1: Choose the locations you want to showcase

Decide which locations will look best in the tour — preferably spaces that have the right lighting.

2: Make sure the locations are presentable

Just remember that a professional camera will be able to capture the slightest bit of dirt and mess in a location, that too in 360 degrees and in high resolution! So make sure you clean the location areas thoroughly, making them as presentable as you can.

3: Add that extra something

You want to put your best foot forward in the photos. Add small, interesting artefacts to the locations you’re shooting at — from cozy furniture to a vase of flowers to a nice frame on the wall. Just rearranging your furniture to make it look more appealing also goes a long way.

4: Timing is everything

This is one of the most important virtual tour tips. It’s crucial to figure out when you’re going to shoot because the timing determines the lighting. You need to have the best possible lighting for the effect you want to create. In general, the best time is sundown — when the light isn’t too harsh and has a gentle, warm quality.

5: Add some variety to the photos

Make sure your photographer takes photos of each location from different angles and with different zoom areas. Don’t hesitate to break the monotony by varying the number of photos used for each location. For instance, you can use several shots of an iconic garden on your college campus, while only keeping one or two pictures of a standard dorm room.

6: Avoid mirrors

Your reflection or even the reflection of the camera can show up in the photos, completely spoiling the look and feel of the tour. So just be aware of mirrors, reflections, and shadows when you’re preparing the locations.

7: Go all out

You need to think beyond photos for a really effective virtual tour. Try to create hotspots in the tour — including things like videos, photo galleries, social media buttons, and website links. Go that extra mile to create a virtual tour that’s truly imaginative. Ask about our custom tour!

8: Personalize

Customize your virtual tour- use your brand style guidelines— whether that’s your custom fonts, colors or logo. You can also use unusual buttons and pop-up windows to further personalize the virtual tour experience on our custom tour software.

9: Be mindful of the text you use

Use the hotspots in the virtual tour to insert text that is succinct and impactful. A hotspot is a great marketing asset — make sure you use great copy to get the point across.

10: Choose the right virtual tour creator

You need to work with a partner who really knows what they’re doing. The best way is to make sure that they have some experience in your industry. Ask them for sample work— but this may not always be enough. If possible, get them to share contacts of their previous clients, and talk to them to understand what the entire experience was like.

Virtual tours, when done right, can help you connect to an increasingly tech-savvy audience in a whole new way. Make sure you use these virtual tour tips when designing your own tour. If you think we’ve missed out on any tips, let us know in the comments below.

Virtual tours allow brands to give online users an immersive experience. Here are 10 tips for creating a virtual tour that have really worked across brands and categories.

Business Virtual Tour

Hire the Right Company for Your Business Virtual Tour

Gone are those days when online businesses simply used beautiful photos with their textual content to reel in prospective customers or enhance the user’s experience. These days, 360 degree virtual tours are the perfect digital marketing tool if you want to offer your target audience an immersive experience and gain their trust. These tours are interactive, engaging and can be embedded on social media channels too, for easy promotion and to boost brand awareness. Plus, virtual tours show your potential customers that you have nothing to hide and can help them explore your establishment from the comfort of their homes.

So, are you considering virtual tours for your business?

Today, all kinds of businesses, be it a café, hotel, golf course, university, car showroom or gymnasium, are using virtual tours to stand out from competitors. However, if you too are thinking of jumping on this bandwagon, you need to pick the right company that can design the perfect tours. Here are some questions you should ask them. 

  1. Do they understand your goals – Ideally, the virtual tour company should ask you about your ultimate objective. For example, it might involve getting more website traffic, or better leads or more conversions. In other words, a college might want more applications, or a spa might want more people to make appointments for a new skincare routine, or a new café might want more people to become aware of its presence. The company will be able to meet your needs only after that.
  2. What kind of equipment will they use – Always go for a company that uses the latest and best quality equipment, or else the tour will not deliver a great experience or the pictures will be blurry and unattractive. Ask them what kind of camera, lenses and software they will use.

    Read – Find Out Why Your Business Needs 3D Mapping for That Competitive Edge

  3. What all areas will they cover – Make sure you ask the virtual tour provider about the spaces they will photograph. Otherwise, they might miss something you want to highlight or they might focus on something that is not needed. For example, if your hotel has a classy sauna room, you might want the tour to cover it.
  4. Do they have any past experience – Ask if the company can show you any Google virtual tours that they have executed before. To be on the safe side, go for established or well-known agencies or professionals, rather than amateurs. Check the quality of their past tours and also go through client testimonials if possible.
  5. Can they take care of details – A good virtual tour company will make sure that the transition between different spaces is smooth and not jerky. For example, if your college needs a virtual tour, the transition between the cafeteria and gym or dormitories and entertainment center needs to be glitch-free.
    1. Also ask the company about what kind of lighting they will use and why. Some of the best companies try and photograph places in natural light and at the right time of the day.
    2. Find out what they will do to focus on the best features of your property and take away attention from elements like faces, wiring or trash cans etc. A company with the right knowledge and experience will also advise you to get rid of mirrors as reflections can spoil the feel of the tour.
    3. The right virtual tour company can also use personalized popup windows, call to action buttons, fonts and colors to grab your potential customer’s attention. 

Finally, while choosing a company that creates virtual tours for businesses, remember that the right one will not just put different images together to create a tour. They will incorporate a storytelling element and make your tour as attractive, engaging and unique as possible, to ensure better brand recall and conversions.

Read – Why Visual Marketing is the Future for Businesses 

hotel virtual tour

Boost Your Hotel’s Top Line with Hotel Virtual Tours

In the age of social media, standard hotel and resort photography just don’t cut it anymore. To get those round-the-year bookings, your property really needs to stand out. Luckily, there are ways to make that happen these days – and an outstanding hotel virtual tour is one of them.

What are hotel virtual tours?

Hotel virtual tours give users an in-depth immersive hotel inside view. From the rooms and the bathroom to the lobby and restaurants – viewers will almost feel as if they’re walking through the hotel. This kind of familiarity and intimacy means that there is a great chance they will end up booking a room well in advance. In modern business experience, this brings an unprecedented level of predictability in your revenue. This will allow you to leave your day-to-day demand worries aside, and focus on growth and expansion.

Besides, hotel virtual tours are not just for prospective customers who want to come on holiday. They’re just as important for companies that are looking to organize conferences and meetings at locations in different parts of the world — sometimes bringing together hundreds and even thousands of delegates. Giving these companies a virtual tour of your meeting halls and conference rooms, along with the hotel rooms and common spaces, is a great way to get those big-ticket bookings.

Features of hotel virtual tours

Interactive floor plan

With a good hotel virtual tour, users can see an interactive floor plan with unique wayfinding features — interactive hotspots, aerial views, and radar orientation— giving the complete hotel inside view.

Ease of use

Hotel virtual tours are designed to enable users to navigate through them seamlessly. They can either manually tour a series of rooms or simply auto scan and enjoy the entire tour. The tour is also aided by easy directional icons, allowing for an easy transition from one area to another.

Integration with social media

Good hotel virtual tours have a one-click sharing feature. This allows you to leverage social media in the best possible way.

Customized brand identity

You can customize hotel virtual tours to reflect your unique identity as a brand. Integrate your logos, videos, fonts, and colours — creating a unique brand experience.

Responsiveness

A high-quality hotel virtual tour is usually powered by HTML 5 technology. This makes it completely responsive across platforms. So whether it’s desktops, laptops, tablets or mobile phones— Windows, Android, or iOS— the experience is seamless and immersive.

Benefits of Hotels and Resorts Virtual Tours

Find the right customers

Most hotels and resorts that use virtual tours report much higher conversion rates — whether that’s an increase in calls, emails, or other enquiries. Instead of relying on last-minute bookings and walk-ins, you can get fully booked much in advance— allowing you to focus on growth, service, and operations.

Connecting with new-age users

Millennials are one generation that spends a large part of their income on experiences, especially travel. What’s more, they use the internet as their primary source of travel bookings. A cutting-edge, immersive virtual tour goes a long way in increasing your credibility with these travellers.

Ownership of content

A virtual tour involves extensive 360 panoramic photography which you will have 100% ownership over. This ensures that some valuable marketing assets get added to your portfolio for the long-term.

SEO boost

The content from the virtual tour is stored in the Google Knowledge Graph. This means the content is hosted in the Google database, giving you an immediate advantage when it comes to search engine rankings.

At the end of the day, the hospitality industry can be cutthroat. In an age where the rules of marketing have changed so drastically, a hotel virtual tour is a sure-shot way of getting both those eyeballs and those advance bookings.

college virtual tour

Get Your College the Attention It deserves with a Custom Virtual Tour

There is a very simple reason why virtual tours have become a popular tool for visual online marketing. They provide viewers a highly realistic and interactive experience, whether they want to explore a café, hotel, golf course or a college! Especially, in the light of the current pandemic, you need 360 degree tours to advertise and promote your college, so that students can explore its nook and cranny and appreciate all the facilities without leaving their homes and risking their safety. These tours will make it easy for them to choose you over others, for when the new session starts. Plus, they will be able to save the time and money that would have otherwise been wasted on travelling. From the playgrounds and gymnasium to classrooms, dormitories and cafeteria, a virtual tour can cover all those things you wish to highlight.

So, read on to know more about these tours, their features and benefits.  

Different aspects of a custom virtual college tour

For starters, custom tours will make your prospective students feel as if they are right on the campus and taking a stroll around. It is an immersive experience that puts together panoramic photos, videos and voice guidance. Here are some more features they offer:

Responsiveness across devices and operating systems

The best college virtual tour is one that is extremely responsive or can be easily viewed across laptops, desktops, smartphones, and tablets. You can also view it seamlessly on iOS, Android and Windows.

Customized to suit your goals

A virtual tour can be easily customized to meet your specific goals, whether you are looking for more site visitors or more applications. All you have to do is hire the right professionals who can understand your needs and work accordingly.

Possible to measure results

Ideally, you would want to assess if your college virtual tour is working or not. For that, relevant metrics can be tracked with the help of advanced analytical tools, so that you can rely on numbers to tweak your marketing strategy. So, when you hire an agency to craft the tour, always ask how they measure results.

Top advantages of college virtual tours

The best part about these 360 degree tours is that, they get you more exposure than ever. And since they are quick to engage, more viewers are likely to share your tour with others who might be potential students or parents of such students. Here are some other major benefits too:

You will completely own the content

The entire tour, complete with panoramic photographs and videos, will be owned by you. This means, you can use it in the long term for your marketing campaigns.

The tour will draw millennial and Gen-Z students

Since the younger generation tends to go gaga over things that are digitally savvy, a virtual custom tour is a great way to grab their eyeballs. Since everything on your campus is clearly visible on the tour, it will gain the viewers’ trust quickly.

Perfect for raising funds from the alumni

A college virtual tour is not just ideal for getting new students, but also for raising funds from those who have already graduated. For instance, if the tour shows how the college building and premises have improved over time, the alumni network might be willing to contribute to its development and refurbishment. 

It will make our GMB listing more powerful

By adding a custom virtual tour to your college’s Google My Business listing, you can make it easier for the search engine to show up your college when someone makes a relevant query. A virtual tour can increase your website traffic without you having to pay for ads. And if you make the content of your listing SEO-optimized, you can reap benefits like never before.

To wrap up, a college virtual tour that is customized to your ultimate objectives will reinforce your online presence and help you get more attention, footfall and applications. If you need professional help to create a tour, just send an email to info@massinteract.com.  

Does Your Business Need a Virtual Tour?

In today’s age of instant gratification and information overload, it takes a lot for your business to stand out from the crowd and get noticed. In such a scenario, a virtual tour can be a great asset for your business. Not only does it give your business a competitive edge, but it also helps you find a connection with young, tech-savvy customers.

What is a Google 360 Virtual Tour?
Google Street View Virtual Tours are the most frequently used mapping technology in the world. It will create a complete 360-degree virtual tour of your business using the same technology that powers Google Maps.

Prospective customers will be able to enter your business and get a virtual walk-through, creating an in-depth, immersive experience. Not only will this get you more eyeballs and conversions, but users are also likely to share snapshots of the tour on their social media, ensuring great word-of-mouth.

Type of Businesses that Need 360 Virtual Tours
Any business that benefits from customers having an immersive virtual experience will benefit from a virtual tour. When the site and location is a big selling point in your business, then a 360 virtual tour becomes an absolute must. Some businesses that benefit greatly from having a Google 360 virtual tour include:

Hotels and resorts
Having an immersive virtual tour ensures that prospective customers understand exactly how alluring the property really is. For hotels and resorts, this can mean the difference between hoping for walk-ins and being fully booked well in advance.

Universities
Campus tours are part of the application process — students often get the feel of a college campus when they visit it. But a physical campus tour can be extremely time-consuming and resource-intensive. Which is why a virtual college campus tour can help give students that same immersive, in-depth experience. This has an immediate impact on applications and subsequent enrollments.

Golf courses
Many golfers plan entire holidays around the golf course. When they’re searching online, they are more likely to choose a golf course that they have become intimately acquainted with — through the 360 virtual tour of course!

Importance of 360 virtual Tours for Businesses

360-degree

Increased exposure
Not only do you get a lot more views and appreciation from users, but good tours also tend to get shared on social media — automatically getting more exposure for your brand.

SEO advantage
All the content that is part of the virtual tour is hosted in the Google database and is part of its original Knowledge Graph. This gives you an automatic advantage when it comes to rankings on Google search. Higher rankings naturally translate to more website traffic.

Complete Business Listing Status
When you have an official Google Street View virtual tour, your business becomes eligible to receive the Complete Business Listing status. This isn’t something that too many other brands would have, so online searches become much more favourable for you.

Also Read: The GMB Checklist Every Local Business Needs

Great way to introduce customers to your business
With a virtual tour, your customers have the opportunity to get to know your business even before they become paying customers. This goes a long way in building lasting loyalty.

Incorporate dynamic Google-generated content
You can integrate Google-generated content within your website and social media pages— another big SEO advantage.

Connecting with tech-savvy users
A virtual tour is a great way of connecting with increasingly tech-savvy users — especially millennials, who tend to do most of their purchases starting with an online search.

Also Read: Add your Google Virtual Tour to your website – Here’s How

Given the direction in which technology adoption is headed, a 360 virtual tour will soon become almost compulsory for any business. It’s a much better idea to get started immediately and gain a competitive advantage, even as others struggle to catch up in the coming years.

5 Easy Steps to Add a Google Virtual Tour to Your Website

The COVID outbreak has made one thing crystal clear for businesses of all kinds and sizes. Going digital is the only way to survive, whether you want to engage your target audience, promote your products, communicate smoothly or get leads. And a Google virtual tour is one of the best digital marketing tools you can use for this. By adding it to your website, and not just your Google My Business listing, you can boost the traffic you see and nudge leads to become buyers. Whether you are a hotel, park, café, college or gymnasium, potential clients can take a tour of your premises from the comfort and safety of their homes. And once things get back to normal, they can decide to visit you. There is no better way to connect with the discerning consumer and gain edge over competitors!

Now, if you are wondering how to add a Google virtual tour to your website, it’s pretty easy. Just follow the 5 steps listed here.

Step 1

Read – Why Visual Marketing is the Future for Businesses

Head to Google Maps and look for the business listing that has the virtual tour you are planning to add to your website. Note that the embed code can be retrieved only from Google Maps. If you access your listing through Google Search, you won’t get a code. Next, click on a 360 thumbnail image and start browsing your tour.

Now, you have to pick a starting point for the virtual tour before adding it to your website. So, just explore the tour this way and that, until you find a spot that offers a wonderful view of your establishment. This image will be your starting point.

Step 2

Now, check the top left corner of your 360 image to locate 3 vertical dots. Click on them to get a popup menu. On this, click on the option that says ‘Share or Embed Image’.  

Step 3

Now, it’s time to choose the size of the virtual tour you wish to host on your website. You can make this choice in the popup that appears. Small, medium and large are the three options available for size. Though most websites select any one of these options, some decide to personalize it a bit. To customize the size of the tour, simply choose the ‘Custom size’ option from the drop-down menu.  Always remember to check the final image when you go for a custom size. To do this, click on the ‘Preview actual size’ link. If you are satisfied with the size, copy the html code in the box after highlighting it.

Read – Does Your Business Need a Virtual Tour?

Step 4

Next, you have to embed the copied html code on that particular website page where you wish to feature the virtual tour. After adding the html for the code, make sure you set the width to 100%. When it comes to the height, it should be ideally between 450px – 550px. This usually works well on most websites, irrespective of the device used. So, you are done. Your Google virtual tour is now on your website, ready to grab eyeballs!

Step 5

Last but not the least; view the tour on your website to make sure everything is fine. You can also send out the page to colleagues and friends, so that they can check too. The tour should work smoothly across devices.

In case you are not too sure of going through the steps above, get a bit of professional help to be on the safe side.

Read Also – How Virtual College Tours are Changing the Student Recruitment Game

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