The MassInteract Blog

Virtual Field Trips

5 Reasons Why Virtual Field Trips Will Be Popular In 2021

2020 has made it crystal clear that the world needs online education. Naturally, schools and colleges have had to shift from the conventional classroom teaching environment to virtual lessons. And to make them as interesting and effective as possible, many educational institutions are opting for virtual field trips. After all, reality-based learning is a major buzzword these days, so that students can relate their formal lessons with what actually goes on in the world. Moreover, since the pandemic is likely to make parents and students cautious about stepping outside unless absolutely essential, virtual trips can help students explore it all from home or school. No wonder it’s a win-win for both educational institutions and learners.

Here are some more benefits of teaching through virtual field trips in 2021:  

  1. Fun, appealing and engaging – Bright and beautiful images, realistic motions, great sound effects and even animation come together to make virtual field trips super fun and exciting. They grab eyeballs in seconds and boost student engagement. Students can understand and appreciate it all just like on an actual field trip, which keeps them focused. They can zoom in on a particular view or area, rotate an image in different directions and take their own sweet time to understand things.  

  2. Explore anything, anytime and from anywhere – This is a big reason why virtual field trips will steal the show in 2021. Students can not only take the trip from anywhere they want, but they can also explore the depths of the Pacific, the summit of Mount Everest, the museums in far-off countries and life on the Gobi Desert, without having to actually go. From planets, volcanoes, rainforests and mighty waterfalls, dangerous islands to art galleries, and national parks, they can see everything up close and learn in a manner that encourages better retention. Physical or geographical restrictions won’t matter in this case.   

    Read – Photography In 2021 – What to Expect

  3. Absolutely safe – Another major reason behind virtual field trips becoming popular is that, they are completely safe. No teacher or parent supervision is required. Plus, since everything is a virtual affair, no one risks having to get hurt or end up lost. Another advantage is that students won’t feel rushed in virtual field trips, as is often the case when an instructor takes them around. 

  4. Cost-effective and energy-saving – Taking students to a zoo, park, archeological site or one of the top museums can be expensive. It usually involves tickets, meals and transport costs. However, with virtual field trips, none of those costs will worry parents anymore. An internet connection is all that they will need. And instead of wasting their energy on chaperoning students, teachers will have more energy to take them through interesting facts and figures and address individual questions in a better way. In case the students involved have special abilities, it will be easier for teachers to guide them, make sure they understand and handle all their concerns.

  5. Can be customized as needed – Virtual field trips in 2021 will earn brownie points due to their ability to be customied. They can be aligned with your school’s lesson plan or syllabus, so that you can ensure maximum outcomes from students in terms of grades. Plus, quizzes and tests can be added in between or at the end to make the field trip more robust and effective. For example, a set of questions might be based on how the student hopes to apply what he or she learnt virtually in real life. 

By now, you probably have a fair idea why virtual field trips are going to be big in 2021. Engaging, interactive, budget-friendly, safe, and designed to improve learning outcomes, these trips will make your educational institution ready for the future. By embracing innovative technology, you will not only be able to keep students hooked, but you will also be able to convince parents of your progressive view. So, if you can’t wait to get started with some amazing virtual field trips, but not sure how to create them, send us an email at info@massinteract.com and we will get back to you soon.   

Read – Why Visual Marketing is the Future for Businesses

Virtual Reality in Education

Using Virtual Reality in Education Has Many Benefits

There was a time when understanding how a generator works or how the human body digests food seemed either complex or boring, thanks (or, no thanks) to the traditional classroom environment. Lectures were uninspired and keeping students interested was a colossal task. These days though, virtual reality in education is changing things for the better. From making complex concepts clear and providing students with an immersive experience to fuelling their imagination, VR has a ton of benefits to offer.

  1. Instant engagement guaranteed–One of the biggest benefits of virtual reality in education is that, it hooks students in an instant through bright and attractive imagery. Unlike plain text or conventional lessons plans, VR makes students more attentive as it mimics the experience they usually enjoy on smart devices. Plus, by using virtual reality while teaching, you can boost student participation and improve their responses and reflexes.

  2. Can be accessed from anywhere, anytime – Another major plus of using virtual reality for education is that students can access the course material from anywhere and anytime. Even before the pandemic, many students were unable to pursue what they wanted just because their choice of school or college was too far or the costs of living on campus were too expensive. VR can change all of that. Even in schools for children with special needs, virtual reality can make the learning process easier and more interesting.

  3. Complex concepts become simple–Since VR helps students to visualize real life scenarios in a safe manner, it is perfect for teaching them things like first aid, how to fix a car, what to do in case of a fire, and so on. Students pursuing degrees in medicine, chemistry, or mechanics can learn about complex concepts in a simple and engaging way, without putting anyone at risk. One of the top benefits of virtual reality is that it gives them an immersive and interactive experience, which helps them understand how things work, cause and effect, and minute details of any living or non-living matter. 


    Read – Why Visual Marketing is the Future for Businesses

  4. Fun with zero distraction – There is no doubt about the fact that learning through VR is a fun-filled experience, thanks to all the colors, visuals and realistic movements. So, while students easily get distracted when learning passively or through textbooks, VR keeps them focused and engaged. They develop an interest to find out more, retain the knowledge better, and even understand how to apply what they learn. One of the benefits of virtual reality in education is also that it encourages students to become more social. When they learn in a fun way together, they tend to share their experience and excitement, which leads to better classroom bonding.

  5. Time and space travel becomes possible –With virtual reality, exploring the vastness of space and chilly depths of oceans can become a piece of cake for students. They can sit in the classroom and gasp at how beautiful the rings of Saturn look or how dangerous piranhas can be! By introducing virtual reality in education, you can make it possible for students to travel in time and discover how the world was like in Ice Age or what it might look like 100 years from now.

  6. Visualizing future careers becomes easy–High school or college students these days care a lot about what their future might look like. This means, before deciding what field to pursue, they want to know if they will fit in and if a particular career path will make their dreams come true. And with virtual reality, it is possible to give them an idea about what a day looks like for doctors, engineers, scientists, writers, fashion designers, fire fighters or trainers. Creating virtual tours of an office, institution or factory is also a great way to give students a taste of the professional world.

To wrap up, the benefits of virtual reality in the field of education are many. Especially, in the wake of the pandemic, VR is the way to go to make lessons interesting, easy, interactive and accessible. So, if you need a bit of expert guidance to create awesome virtual reality stories or tours, shoot us a mail at info@massinteract.com.

Read – Read – 10 College Campus Virtual Tours You Should Check Out

top 10 College Campus Virtual Tours

10 College Campus Virtual Tours You Should Check Out

Virtual tours have become a marketing buzzword for colleges for quite some time now. And the pandemic has made it crystal-clear why virtual is the way to go if you want students to explore your offerings from the comfort and safety of their homes. But, in order to stand out among countless colleges in the USA, just knowing how to create a virtual tour is not enough. Get ideas from these 10 college campus virtual tours that have stolen the show for many reasons. Read on.

  1. Marietta College – This tour starts with a sweeping view of the lush college ground and stately architectures. Prospective students can explore every corner, starting from Harrison Hall and Fayerweather Hall to Anderson Hancock Planetarium and Hermann Fine Arts Center. It is easy to zoom in, zoom out, and ‘Apply’ or ‘Visit’. A map shows the exact location of the college and its surroundings.

  2. Northwest Mississippi Community College – Listed among the top 10 college virtual tours, it shows a crisp menu on the left side so that students can click on the part of the campus they wish to explore, be it the academic building, the residence hall or the athletic facilities. Apart from buttons that make contacting the college or applying easy, the tour has plenty of social share buttons.

  3. Covenant College – The fact that the campus is surrounded by gorgeous scenery becomes evident from the virtual tour’s start. The stunning architecture, as well as the Barnes Gymnasium, Kresge Memorial Library and Lucas Art Workshop, are covered by this tour. Navigation is super simple and students can share the tour on social media channels quickly.  

  4. Virginia Tech – A mix of aerial and panoramic views greet you when you start this tour. The campus layout, the verdant surroundings and the beautiful buildings can impress any prospective student. Availability of buttons for navigation, zooming, rotation and viewing and sharing the tour map make this one of the top college virtual tours.

  5. Webster Vienna Private University – This virtual tour allows students to explore the university floor by floor with the help of an easy menu on the left. A map in the corner makes real-life navigation easy. The tour takes you all around the beautiful vintage-style establishment, while focusing on the facilities.

  6. Ohio State University Mansfield Campus – Made stylishly, this virtual tour takes you through the Ovalwood Hall, Conard Hall, Memorial Center, Village Apartments and Eco-Lab Wetlands. The gorgeous lawns and contemporary structures add to the appeal. Buttons for scheduling a visit, applying and registering are clearly visible at the bottom.

  7. West Liberty University – From the College Hall and College Union to athletic spaces and educational halls like Campbell and Arnett, this virtual tour offers a holistic view of this university. Students can click and explore any place in any sequence they like. Social share, audio and VR buttons are on the right.
  8. Illinois State University – Gorgeously landscaped grounds and modern structures have been highlighted in this tour through aerial views. As one of the top college campus virtual tours, it is straightforward, with options to check out academics, athletics and student life. Crisp pop-ups explain important aspects of the campus. You can download the tour for offline viewing too.

  9. Mississippi Valley State University – This tour starts with the image of the campus wrapped around our planet, for a unique feel. On clicking, the image expands to a close-up of the university. Students can explore every part of the campus, starting from William Sutton Administration Building and R.W. Harrison Complex to Business Education Building and J.H. White Library. Aerial views and campus videos are available too.

  10. Cambridge College – The ultramodern architecture of the college makes for a great start to the tour. Minimalistic pop-ups appear to provide important information, while the menu on the left side allows students to explore the entrance, atrium, standard and skyfold classrooms, seminar rooms and more.

So, you now have a fair idea about what makes top college campus virtual tours click, right? An immersive, interactive experience that highlights the best things about your institution and reveals the real picture of student life is what prospective applicants look for. Plus, the tour needs to be easy to take and should feature actionable options. Looking to create a smashing tour soon? Shoot us an email at info@massinteract.com.

Photography In 2021 – What to Expect

There is nothing like photography to capture even the simplest of moments or scenes accurately and treasure them for years. Since 1839, the art of photography has come a long way though, and become more intelligent, intuitive and versatile. Today, it is not just people who capture beautiful images of everything they eat, places they visit, or the things they do. Businesses too are tapping into the immense potential of photography to power up their online presence, connect with customers, get more leads and build a credible brand image. So, being aware of photography 2021 trends is not just helpful, but also essential. To know what they are, read on:

  1. Artificial Intelligence will spread its wings – AI is undoubtedly the future of photography, whether it comes to automatic exposures, autofocus systems, stabilization or tracking. Especially, in case of auto focusing, AI is likely to make a bigger mark by ensuring accurate exposure for entire scenes. Even image editing software and tools will probably use AI more intensely, to get parameters like brightness, color, balance, and sharpness right. With time, AI might also be able to identify the kind of photos that are just right for your purpose and delete others.   

  2. 360⁰ photography will become more popular – 360 degree photography in 2021 will grab eyeballs like never before. As such photos are panoramic and holistic in nature, hotels, restaurants, gyms, golf courses, real estate companies, cafes, and even colleges will make use of these to give potential customers an in-depth peek into their workings. Moreover, these photos can be used to create interactive and immersive virtual tours, through which viewers can explore all parts of an establishment, zoom out or in, click on embedded links, and take in a scene from various angles.

  3. Shooting in natural light will be a new photography trend – One of the top photography 2021 trends will be shooting in bright and natural light, for a realistic feel. When done right, the shadows can make the photos look elegant as well as genuine. Though this trend might work the most in case of outdoor shoots like lawns, gardens, sports grounds etc., interior shoots might make use of sunlight too. Moreover, photos shot in natural light will have white and bright areas where relevant text can be included, especially if you are trying to sell a home, or highlight the best things about a college campus, or showcase the special offers at a restaurant.

    Read – Why Visual Marketing is the Future for Businesses

  4. Authenticity will feature on the list of photography 2021 trends – There’s no denying that times have changed, with people dealing with the pandemic, isolation, remote work and mundane lives. This means, photography will tend to become more ‘real’, and as close to the actual situation as possible. For instance, a hotel or café photographs might portray staff members in masks, campus photos might look deserted, and a fitness centre’s photos might show members maintaining distance while working out. Even image editing might become less glamorous than usual.

  5. VR and AR will make experiences richer – Unlike conventional photography, virtual reality or augmented reality makes it possible for viewers to ‘experience’ a setting, situation or possibility, rather than simply viewing, it. For instance, virtual reality can help a prospective student realize how life on a college campus will actually be like. Or, thanks to augmented reality, someone who is planning to sign up for a golf membership can visualize how it will be like to play on a particular course. This form of photography can make it easy for customers to compare different places and experiences and make better decisions.

To wrap up, the future of photography is all set to be exciting, realistic and as innovative as possible. Whether you want to capture the best moments of a family vacation, improve your website or social media pages, or make your business listing on Google more attractive, visuals will reign supreme. And all the top photography professionals will make sure that they keep up with the above trends to give you exactly what you want. So, what are you waiting for? If you need awesome photographs that help you stand out from a million others, shoot us an email at info@massinteract.com

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

Virtual Tour of a College

Things to Remember While Creating a Virtual Tour of a College

There was a time when students used to visit multiple colleges in person before they could decide which one to go for. Thanks to technology though, virtual tours are slowly and surely replacing physical campus visits and making the experience easier and more affordable for students. But, what you need to understand is that many colleges are taking the virtual tour route, especially in the wake of COVID, and you need to go the extra mile to stand out. So, here are some tips for college virtual tours that will come in handy.   

  1. Hire professionals to make the tour – Creating an immersive, interesting and highly informative tour is not a cakewalk. Professionals who know A to Z about photography and videography can help though as they have enough knowledge about where to shoot, how to shoot and when to shoot. They can advise you as to what to focus on, the kind of extra information you can include and how you can bring in more applications.  

  2. Include information that is not there on Google – This is one of the top things to consider for college virtual tours. Students can easily find out about the departments you have, courses you offer, the kind of faculty you boast and so on, with a simple Google search. So, your virtual tour should show something extra, like what are the latest majors, what kind of food your cafeteria serves, and activities that students enjoy on weekends. 

  3. Help students make informed decisions – If a student is taking multiple college virtual tours, they will want to compare every minute aspect before taking a call. Plus, many applicants have specific questions related to academics, sports, exchange programs, and so on. So, highlight every aspect of your institution, ranging from the classrooms, dorms and labs to gym, library, garden and pool. This will help students decide if your college fits what they have in mind. Highlight past achievements of students or where they got placed to earn confidence.

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

  4. Create a tour for all gadgets – Among all the tips for college virtual tours, you can’t miss this. Remember that students don’t always lug around their laptop or crack it open whenever they want to check out a college tour. They might want to go through it on their mobile devices while hanging out with friends. So, make sure your tour is mobile-friendly too and not just desktop-friendly. And don’t forget to make it easily shareable via messaging apps and social media channels.  

  5. Be careful about the lighting and décor – Usually, outdoor shots are taken right before sunset for the best colors and contrasts, while indoor shots can look amazing even with artificial lighting. However, if your college receives ample sunlight, professionals might not suggest artificial sources for indoor shots. Talk to them to figure out the best time, angles, and atmosphere.  Plus, make sure every area you shoot is absolutely clean and is decorated to reflect your college’s values. Anything that might be offensive to any kind of student should be removed.

  6. Allow students to reach out – No matter how exhaustive and informative your college tour is, students will always have questions at the end of the tour or even somewhere in between. For instance, while they are exploring lecture halls, they might wonder if the faculty offers extra lessons if required. Or, while exploring the fitness center and sports ground, their parents might wonder about the kind of safety provisions in place. So, insert numbers or email addresses of admissions staff and student representatives wherever needed.

The above guide to virtual campus tours will make it easy for you to plan and execute a tour that convinces students to apply. And since these tours are easy to embed as well, you can feature them on your website, social media platform and even use them for email marketing. As far as professional help and advice is concerned, just email us at info@massinteract.com and we will get back to you to discuss your needs in detail.   

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

visual content ideas

5 Reasons Why You Need Visual Content to Market Your Rental Property

Did you know that the apartment rental industry in the USA is worth about $173.4 billion this year? Between 2015 and 2020, its market size has grown by around 1.7% annually. So, if you are planning to attract a steady flow of tenants who are willing to pay a good price for your rental property, you need to strengthen your online marketing strategy. And for that, you need visual content. Beautifully shot photos, videos and virtual tours can make your rental properties truly attractive and get a tenant fast.

Read on to know why the use of visual content is super effective:

  1. Grabs attention quickly – People are known to have very short attention spans when they are looking for something online. And when they are looking for a rental property, they are likely to miss or ignore those that are not attractive or don’t give them the necessary information in the first go. This is where visual content comes in handy. Pictures or videos grab attention in seconds, speak volumes about the property, and are easier to recall as well. A long-winded text description of your rental property won’t do that trick.

    Read – Visual Content Strategy: How to Use Visuals to Get More ROI

  2. Builds trust and educates viewers –Even if you are a well-known realtor, here’s a big reason why you need visual content. Pictures, videos and especially virtual tours show possible tenants what your property actually looks like. They subconsciously realize that you are not trying to hide anything. And this builds their trust. Also, by highlighting the important aspects of your rental property, you can send tenants a subtle message as to why they should pick yours over others. The more information they have about your place, the easier it will be for them to take a decision.   

  3. Helps tenants to visualize – These days, the competition in the real estate market is simply cut-throat. So, you need visual content that offers tenants an immersive and engaging experience. For example, a 360 degree virtual tour can help them visualize their life at your place. Tenants can explore every nook and cranny of your rental property at their own pace and whenever they want, without having to visit you. This can be especially helpful in the light of the pandemic, since most people are trying to minimize face-to-face interactions or are not too keen to step outside unless essential.   

  4. Easy to share on social media– We don’t need to tell you how important social media platforms are, when it comes to marketing literally anything these days! And visual content needs social promotion to grab more eyeballs than you normal would with just your website. This is easy to ensure though, since people tend to share social posts with images more than textual posts. Platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest are especially effective in this case. When your pictures or videos start getting shared, more potential tenants will come across your property, submit queries or show interest. This will put you in a better position to negotiate the rent.

  5. Improves your search engine ranking – Did you know that search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo take social signals into account while ranking websites? And who doesn’t want to be there at the top? So, this means, if your social media posts get liked, shared or commented upon often, you will have a better chance of ranking high on the search results page. And, as we discussed, visual content is your best bet for effective social media marketing.      

To wrap up, visual content can help you market your rental property more efficiently and attract a tenant faster. It is a smart way to boost your online marketing strategy and target potential customers. And if you are looking for visual content ideas that are apt for you, simply email us at info@massinteract.com.  

Read Also – Does Your Business Need a Virtual Tour?

Google My Business Photos

All That You Need To Know While Adding Google My Business Photos

If you are reading this, you are already aware how useful a Google My Business listing can be for your business. However, there are many business owners like you out there who share this knowledge. This is why adding Google My Business photos to your listing can help you stand out and gain a competitive edge. So, are you eager to get started? Read on to know exactly how such photos will help you and the things to keep in mind when you add them.   

Reasons to add Google My Business photos to your listing

  • Establishes trust – Photos that clearly show the inside and outside of your business, the products you make or services you offer, and the people who work with you, help in building the trust of potential customers almost immediately.
  • Improves engagement and decision-making – The importance of Google My Business photos lies in the fact that they help customers understand what you do better. This way, prospects feel interested, tend to contact you for more details and make decisions quickly. They can compare your business easily with others and take a call without having to research much.

How to add Google My Business photos?

Make sure your business is verified by Google before you start. You can either use the GMB mobile app or a desktop to add photos. Just navigate to the Menu section and then the Photos section to add images or videos. Keep these points in mind:

  • Google My Business photos must be in PNG or JPG format.
  • 720 x 720 pixels are the dimensions required.
  • The image file size needs to be between 10KB and 5MB.
  • Make sure that the images have a crisp resolution and are show brightly lit places.
  • Avoid altering the photos or using filters.
  • To add Logo or Cover photo, choose the relevant option in the Photos section and upload. The logo should be crystal clear and the cover photo should be one that looks well on both laptops and mobile devices.
  • Adding videos or Google virtual tours is similar to what you do for photos. Just make sure that the video is at most 30 seconds long and the file size is not more than 100 MB. Go for a resolution of 720p or higher.  

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

Tips to add Google My Business photos that make an impact

To make the maximum impact with your Google My Business photos, keep these pointers in mind:

  • Your logo should be such that potential customers can identify your brand instantly.
  • The cover photo should ideally indicate what your business is all about.
  • General pictures, which can be uploaded by both you and customers, should highlight various aspects of your business. These should help other prospects make an informed decision.
  • Videos can offer behind-the-scenes information about your business or brand, how a product gets made or how your employees offer a particular service.
  • Try and upload both exterior and interior photos to maintain transparency about your business.
  • If you sell products, upload their high-quality photos to make the quality, colors, dimensions, easily understandable. If you offer services, show your workforce in action.
  • If you are in the food business, upload tempting images of your dishes. Same goes for beverages.
  • Upload photos of happy employees or those who directly interact with your customers to seem real and gain trust.

All in all, add Google My business photos to your listing to grab eyeballs quickly, make a lasting impression, earn customer trust and encourage them to choose you over others. It is easy to do as long as you keep the above tips and ideas in mind. And if you need a bit of guidance to go about it the right way, shoot us an email at info@massinteract.com and we will get back to you soon.  

Read Also – 6 Ways in which Google Street View takes your business to a whole new level

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

visual storytelling rules

Follow these 6 visual storytelling rules for your university website

Did you know that the human brain can process visuals 60,000 times faster than text? So, it’s not really surprising that we tend to remember what we see on videos more than what we read in books. In other words, visual storytelling is a powerful marketing tool that businesses can use to convey their message effectively, without pushing their products into customer’s face. And when we say businesses, we mean colleges and universities too. The number of students who will apply to your institution will depend on how appealing, informative and modern your website is. And using visuals to weave a compelling story is the best way to go about it.

However, keep these rules in mind:

  1. If you can show, why tell? – One of the top visual storytelling tips is to use visuals instead of text wherever possible. Your site visitor will pick up the information faster. For example, if you have a beautiful campus, don’t describe it. Use a virtual tour instead, and offer an immersive, engaging and realistic experience to students.  
  2. Make an impression quickly –Students have very little attention span when they are exploring different university websites, as they are in a hurry to find the perfect place for the next four years of their life. So, the first image or video they see on your website should get them hooked instantly and make a favorable impression. This is why one of the best visual storytelling ideas is to put up a virtual tour that takes them across the grounds, through the halls, inside the cafeteria and more.  

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

  3. Give your story a beginning, middle and an end – The art of visual storytelling for colleges requires you to follow a certain narrative arc. Whether you are using a series of images, videos or virtual tours, they shouldn’t be random or disconnected. So, craft a cohesive story that helps the student visualize his or her journey from their first day to graduation. Incorporate elements of excitement or suspense wherever you can, like awards they can win in sports or the scholarships they can strive for in different courses.
  4. Show real people – One of the crucial visual storytelling rules is to show actual people (students and teaching staff in this case) in images or videos so that candidates can relate with your college or university better. For instance, showing a group of happy students playing baseball will build their trust better than showing an empty field.
  5. Include wow factors – Having unique visual storytelling ideas always helps, as they motivate students to pick your university over others. For example, if you are creating a virtual tour for your website, make sure it evokes emotions like happiness, hope, and excitement. If your tour focuses on details like the dishes your cafeteria serves or the books your library houses, it will connect better with the students. Or, candid images of graduating students with their parents might evoke hope.
  6. Keep it short and sweet – Using visual storytelling for your university website means you have to avoid distractions, so that site visitors can stay focused. Don’t throw in too many details that are hard to remember and highlight the most important aspects instead.

So, keep the above visual storytelling tips in mind to strengthen your university’s online presence. At present, this is the best way to attract potential candidates and get them to apply to your courses even if they are staying inside to beat the pandemic. And if you are not sure how to get started with visual storytelling or can’t decide on the right format, email us at info@massinteract.com.  

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

Google Street View

6 Ways in which Google Street View takes your business to a whole new level

If you are a business owner who stays on top of things when it comes to online marketing, you must have heard of Google Street View. This cool feature on Google Maps lets people take a virtual tour of your business’s surroundings as well as interiors. And they can do it while relaxing at home or while taking a walk in the park or during lunch break at the office. Now, that’s an awesome way to boost online visibility, engage your potential clients, and give them a sneak peek into what you offer. After all, this is the road that will lead them towards conversion. Whether you are a hotel, café, gym or spa, using Google Street View for business has plenty of benefits. Read on to know all about them.

  1. Makes customers trust you – Having a Google Street View virtual tour means you have nothing to hide from your potential customers. They can explore your property whenever they want and from wherever they want and put all their doubts to rest. Customers will also know that you are not making tall claims for nothing!
  2. Eases the decision process – With Google Street View, small businesses can clearly show prospects how their establishment looks like, the things they stock up on, and what kind of atmosphere they promise. Naturally, this makes it easy for your customers to compare your business with others, research easily and make a decision quickly. In absence of such a tour, they have to waste a lot of time reading other people’s reviews and hunting for pictures before taking a call.

    Read – Why Visual Marketing is the Future for Businesses

  3. Attracts the right kind of audience – Imagine that you are a small boutique that sells only vintage wedding dresses and have some really unique pieces in your collection. Google Street View will help you reach out to the target audience for such dresses easily. When prospects take a tour, they will quickly realize where your specialty lies and why they should choose you over others. Also, by adding such a virtual tour to your Google My Business listing, you can attract more local customers.   
  4. Spreads a good word about you – This is among the top benefits of Google Street View as someone who has purchased something from your store or dined at your café can show the virtual tour to others while talking about the nice experience he had. For example, if a man buys a pair of stylish loafers from your store and talks about it to his friends while showing your street view, they will be more likely to believe his words. And, who knows, they might visit you too!

    Read Also – 5 Ways in Which the Real Estate Industry is Benefitting from Virtual Tours
  5. Prepares potential customers – The reason why most forward-thinking businesses are adopting Google Street View is because it tells people what they might expect when they reach your store, hotel, restaurant or any other establishment. Like, they will know beforehand where to park, how to approach, how to dress, and will be able to gauge the vibe and safety of your locality too.  
  6. Creates a lasting impression – Since the human brain tends to process images faster and retain them more than plain text, Google Street View for small businesses or even big ones can ensure better recall and make a positive impression. Even still images have become passé as immersive and realistic experiences are in. Hence, virtual tours are the way to go if you want to create a deep connection.

Now that you have a fair idea about the various advantages of Google Street View, it’s time to take action. Give your business a special boost with all-encompassing virtual tours, especially if your competitors are yet to warm up to the idea. Need a little help to get started? Shoot us an email at info@massinteract.com.  

Read Also – Google Interactive Tours vs Street View: Which is Better?

college virtual tours

6 Reasons Why Colleges Need Virtual Tours to Attract Students In 2020

Around 1.4 million people viewed college campus virtual tours between March and April in 2020 (as per YouVisit). This alone shows how important these tours are as digital marketing tools. Long gone are the days when prospective students or their parents went through college brochures or visited every single campus on their list to make a decision. Moreover, the recent pandemic has forced colleges to restrict in-person visits for the sake of students’ safety. Hence, you need an impressive online presence to attract students. And there’s nothing better than virtual tours to help you with that.

Wondering why? Read on.

  1. Highlights the best and unique aspects of your campus – Whether you have a beautiful lawn, state of the art library, funky cafeteria or an amazing location, a custom college virtual tour can showcase all that in the best light. This way, students can quickly zero in on what’s special about your college and why they should choose you over others.
  2. Saves cost, time and hassle – Apart from keeping prospective students safe during this pandemic, virtual tours let them explore your campus without travelling long distances or wasting time. Students get to save money and energy too.  

    Read – Top Online Marketing Tips to Boost College Admissions

  3. Offers students a familiar and personal experience – The best part about custom college virtual tours is they help students visualize themselves on your campus. Candidates can explore all nooks and crannies, become familiar with what will become their home for the next four years.
  4. Tells a story – Virtual tours for colleges are a brilliant way to spin a compelling story about your institution’s history, milestones and achievements. For instance, students will prefer seeing impressive statistics during the virtual tour (like number of medals won when you are showing the sports arena or the percentage of students who got placed last year) rather than read about them in the form of plain text on the website.
  5. Easy to embed on website and social media channels – When you create a custom virtual tour for students, you create a marketing resource that can be used across different channels for years to come. You can embed these tours on your website and also share on social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and so on. This means, you will get more traffic and leads without spending money on ads. It’s a smart way to boost brand awareness and generate interest. Plus, those who watch these virtual tours can share them with others quickly without your intervention.

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

  6. Earns trust and helps you stand out from competitors – Virtual tours tell prospective students that your college has nothing to hide and you are proud of your offerings. This, in turn, earns their trust. Also, by adding a virtual tour to your Google My Business listing, you can make your college stand out from others. It will make you easier to find on Google when local students search for a college like yours. Additionally, having a virtual tour will mean that you are aware of the latest trends and this will attract students in 2020.   

To wrap up, custom college campus virtual tours are your best bet, whether it is about spreading awareness or generating the right leads or getting more applications. All you need to do is create a tour that is interactive, immersive, premium quality and exclusive. And if you need a bit of expert help, shoot us an email at info@massinteract.com.  

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

Online Marketing Tips to Boost College

Top Online Marketing Tips to Boost College Admissions

Like any other business, higher education institutes need to go online these days, if they want to get more students or improve college admission numbers. After all, high school students who are planning to get into a good college take the online route mostly, to check out websites, make comparisons, or even apply for a course. And the current pandemic has made it essential for them to stay home, stay safe, and use their laptops or mobile phones to research different colleges and universities. And this is an opportunity you shouldn’t miss out on.     

So, take a look at these online marketing tips to get more students:

  1. Know who you are targeting – If you intend to target “all” prospective students, your marketing campaign might fail. Because, not everyone will be a perfect fit for your college. So, identify your ideal target audience and research about what social media channels they use, if they are active on emails, and their online behavior. Then you can craft personalized campaigns about the programs they might like or the facilities (campus location or setting, dorm rooms, cafeteria, gym, library) that will attract them. 
  2. Sell your uniqueness – Why should a potential student choose your college over others? There must be something unique about you. So, one of the online college marketing tips is to highlight that USP. So, your online marketing strategy should focus on your strengths and chief attractions. It might be a location that is easily accessible, or beautiful campus grounds, a massive and well-stocked library, impressive faculty or a canteen that serves a wide array of cuisines.    
  3. Make the website awesome – Ifyou want prospective students or their parents to visit your website more and linger on, make sure it is extremely responsive, fast to load and easy to navigate across all devices. It should look professional yet engaging. Add crisp and well-shot images to increase interest of site visitors and also embed college virtual tours for an immersive and interactive experience. Such 360 degree tours give a clear idea of what your college is like and tell the student how he or she will fit in.

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

  4. Optimize site for search engines – Your SEO strategy should be smart and updated, so that you get more organic traffic to your website. For this, you need to use relevant keywords in your web content based on the phrases potential candidates use to search for a college like yours. Even your social media pages and blogs should be optimized for search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo.
  5. Experiment with content formats and marketing channels – Apart from your website,use yourFacebook page to build a community of students and parents, where you can share events, upload informative videos, and create polls or fun quizzes. This will help you communicate better with your target audience, understand their pain points, solve their worries and gradually nudge them towards conversion.

    1. Also try and maintain a blog where you post informative pieces regularly and share them on social media channels.
    2. LinkedIn is a great platform for colleges too and can showcase your formal side effectively. You can also ask ex-students to join your LinkedIn group and share their experiences. This can reel in new students. 
    3. You can also use YouTube to post videos. Or, share the virtual tour on your website on social channels, to get more clicks.
    4. Email newsletters every week if possible, to boost brand awareness and engage students.  

No matter what type of content you share or which online marketing channel you choose, make sure to include a powerful call to action or CTA at the end, like “Find out more”, “Ask questions” or “Apply now”, so that the student knows exactly what to do. This will get you more applications.

Apart from the points mentioned above, make sure your brand voice and tone is consistent across all marketing channels, so that students can easily associate your campaigns (posts, tweets or ads) with you. And if you need the best visuals to boost your online presence, say with college campus virtual tours, send an email to info@massinteract.com.  

Read Also – Why Visual Marketing is the Future for Businesses

4 Best Practices to Create Successful Virtual Tours in Higher Education

Thanks to the intense competition online businesses face these days (with every small and big brand vying for customer attention), it isn’t surprising that many of them are using virtual tours to gain a competitive edge. And it’s not just hotels, gyms and spas that are using these 360 degree tours to attract and engage potential customers. Higher education institutes like colleges and universities have also adopted these tours to bring in more applications and make the students’ online experience better. Moreover, the COVID outbreak made it essential for colleges to replace in-person campus visits with virtual tours for introduction and orientation. In fact, close to 1.4 million people watched campus virtual tours on YouVisit from March to April this year.

However, with so many virtual tours for education out there, you need to follow these best practices, to stand out and convince students to choose you over others:    

  1. Tell a story – Did you know that the average age of those who take virtual tours of colleges is 16.6? This means, they are at that juncture of life when they have plenty of dreams as well as questions, and they are keen to know if your college will take care of them and nurture their ambitions. So, your virtual tour should clearly tell them why you are unique as an institution and better than others. It might be your awesome location, beautiful campus, great recreational facilities, vast library or the exclusive courses you offer. Here is how the Art Institute of Vancouver nailed it.
  2. Focus on the basics – No matter how wonderful your college virtual tour is, it won’t engage with students unless it is easy to find and navigate. So, have it on the Home page of your website or on the Admissions page. The tour should load quickly but look compelling too. Share the tour on social media pages as students are more likely to come across it there, given their age. Also, the tour should be easy to explore across all devices. Check out how University of Windsor is making it happen.   

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

  3. Ensure an immersive experience – This basically means that students should be able to imagine themselves on your campus, in various settings, whether they are doing their own thing or interacting with others. In other words, your college virtual tour shouldn’t just be a walk through the different campus areas or facilities. Like, instead of just showing what the cafeteria or classrooms look like, cover the types of foods served or students attending a live teaching session. Highlight students having fun in the dormitories or counselors offering career guidance. This will show candidates that your institution is a living, breathing affair and can actually cater to their needs.   
  4. Use Call to Action or CTA for better engagement – University virtual tours need to incorporate powerful and specific call to actions to convert the viewer into an applicant. For example, if your tour zeroes in on the admission office at the end, include a button for application here to nudge the prospective candidate to apply online. Or, if your state and city regulations permit, you can add a link to schedule an in-person visit later on. CTAs can also encourage a student to ask more questions or connect on social media.   

To wrap up, virtual tours have become absolutely necessary for higher education institutes to reel in candidates, impress them, and establish a meaningful connection. After all, this year, high school students are checking out such tours at a 228% higher rate than in 2019. So, if you feel that you need some expert guidance to put together a unique virtual tour, just email us at info@massinteract.com

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

3D Virtual Tour

6 Ways in Which A 3D Virtual Tour Can Boost Your Presence on Google

As an online business, you must be aware how cut-throat the competition is, when it comes to ranking high on the Google search results page or getting more website traffic, especially in the light of the pandemic. So, to stand out from others and boost you digital presence, a 3D virtual tour is one of your best and most innovative bets. After all, visual content sticks to the viewer’s brain way more than plain text. In fact, websites that feature 360 degree photos witness a 27% higher conversion rate than those with the usual 2D images. So, you might well imagine how effective an interactive and realistic virtual tour can be!  

Now, find out how Google virtual tours can improve your business’s online presence in multiple ways:

  1. More customer engagement – A high-quality 3D virtual tour can encourage your site visitors to interact more with your content and spend more time on it, thereby reducing the bounce rate. Your potential customers can get a better feel of what you offer, whether you are a café, spa, gym, hotel, college or even golf course, and trust you more. They will also consider you to be a progressive business that keeps up with the times to reach out to its target audience. And it can translate to higher customer satisfaction.  

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

  2. SEO boost and better Google ranking – Better customer engagement with a 360 degree virtual tour basically means that Google will reward your site by ranking it higher than others. That is because it will consider it more valuable, informative and relevant for searchers. The click-through rate will increase as potential customers will be curious about what your tour covers. Even if you have already optimized your textual content for the search engines by including the right keywords, a virtual tour will boost your SEO strategy by keeping site visitors hooked for long.   
  3. Local search optimization – By adding a virtual tour to your Google My Business listing, you will show up more when someone in the locality searches for a business like you near him. And that is because Google will consider your listing to be more trustworthy as you are offering visual proof of your establishment and have nothing to hide.  
  • Easy to share or embed – It is pretty easy to embed a business 3D virtual tour on a website or social media page. And it can be shared quickly as well. This means, you will be able to reach a wider audience base than you previously could, or more site visitors. Hence, such tours are ideal for boosting brand awareness, promoting the features or benefits of your business or products, and getting conversions in the long run.

    Read – Why Visual Marketing is the Future for Businesses
  • Sensible move during the pandemic – The COVID pandemic has made it quite impossible for most people to visit restaurants, resorts, gyms, educational institutions or adventure parks in person. However, with a 3D virtual tour, you can help them make plans for when things go back to normal. They can explore your offerings from the comfort and safety of their homes and make an informed decision. This is also a good way to show them that you care about their pain points and are embracing new things to make life easy.
  • Competitive edge – If your competitors are still using the same old 2D images on their websites to reel in traffic, this is the time to make the most of virtual tours. You will be offering an exciting and unique experience to your target audience this way, and can grab and hold their attention, generate more leads, and convince them to make a booking or buy something.     

All in all, a 3D virtual tour for business can boost your global Google presence forever, despite being a one-time investment. No matter where your potential customers are located, they will be able to view your tour, visit your website and convert. So, are you ready to give your business new life with a virtual tour? Simply email to info@massinteract.com and get expert help. 

Read Also – Google Interactive Tours vs Street View: Which is Better?

3d mapping

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

No matter what your business deals with, being aware of the latest technology and embracing it can lead to a stronger presence in the industry and more customers. And when it comes to technology, 3D mapping is an innovation that you cannot ignore. It basically refers to the profiling of an item in 3 dimensions, so that the item gets mapped in the real world. Or, if it helps you to imagine better, 3D mapping involves stitching an array of overlapping photos together to create and interactive map that is three dimensional. Since this process ensures a realistic and in-depth view of any object, it is used in many fields like construction, healthcare, sports, agriculture, archaeology, and so on.  

So, find out exactly why you should choose 3D mapping for business.

  • You can gain better project insight – 3D mapping or projection mapping is a great way to gain better insight about large or small real estate projects and properties. Especially when implemented via drones, 3D mapping can survey even a vast piece of land in minutes, highlight the details, and take measurements. Builders and developers can use 3D mapping to put together beautiful virtual presentations for prospective clients.

Engineers can create 3D concepts way more easily and cost-effectively by using projection mapping instead of building actual models. The infrastructure of an entire city can be quickly and precisely visualized with this too.

If doctors and dentists decide to use 3D mapping, they will be able to study and assess muscles, arteries and veins, organs and the teeth more closely, diagnose more accurately and treat patients better. 

For scientists and astronomers, 3D mapping can make many complicated concepts simpler to understand. Archeologists can use this technique to recreate ancient civilizations easily.

In the sports and entertainment industry, 3D mapping can give spectators a clear picture of what’s going on and pump up the excitement factor. It can also help organizers identify any problem areas and even conflicts.

Read – Drone 3D Mapping Made Easy With This Quick Guide

  • It will save your time and money – Whether you are using 3D mappingto scan a wheat field, a construction site, an archeological site or something similar, you won’t need to employ manpower to do the job. And this means, less time as well as money (labor cost) will be wasted.
  • Benefit from real-time tracking and make changes faster – When you use 3D mapping for business, you get to observe everything in real time. This means, you can spot issues instantly and carry out corrections or changes quickly. For example, if a wall is not holding up right in a construction site, you can find out what is the problem without any delay. It will save you future hassles and extra expenses.  
  • It is ideal for attracting and engaging audience – With projection mapping, businesses that regularly host events, exhibitions or shows can easily grab eyeballs and keep the audience hooked for a long time. A three dimensional audio-visual experience can be extremely realistic and help the onlookers to relate with the brand better.
  • You can market your brand better – These days, many forward-thinking businesses are using 3D mapping for marketing, as the realistic projections can attract more potential customers and ensure better recall even after days. This will not only improve brand awareness, but also establish your authority in the industry and increase your credibility. Potential clients will come to you for solutions and end up converting.

So, if you are business that intends to stay ahead of its competitors, availing 3D mapping services makes perfect sense. Send an email to info@massinteract.com to get the guidance and help you need. 

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

Visual content marketing

Visual Content Strategy: How to Use Visuals to Get More ROI

If you are reading this, you are already aware that content marketing can boost your website’s organic traffic and generate more leads than paid advertising, when done right. However, with countless brands joining the bandwagon of content marketing, the field has become immensely competitive. So, to stand out, you need a smart visual content strategy. Why? Because when textual content is combined with relevant and attractive visuals, readers recall 65% of it even 3 days later. This means that visuals lead to better brand awareness and website traffic, which can lead to more conversions or sales. In other words, if you want to get greater returns by investing in content marketing, you cannot ignore visuals.

So, how exactly should you use visual content in business to get better ROI? Read on to find out.  

What types of visual content should you use?

Here are some ways in which you can include visuals in your content to address different needs and pain points of your prospective or current buyers.

  • Charts and graphs for more information – A market research study showed how more people consume content that incorporates charts and graphs rather than only decorative images. This is because charts and graphs are data-rich visual content and drive the point home more easily than just words.
  • Photos that appeal – Whether you wish to promote a food, travel or healthcare blog or website, well-shot, bright and crisp images are a good bet. Make sure they are relevant and choose the feature image with extra care. If you don’t have your own photos, pick stock photos that your audience can relate with, and not something generic. This will ensure better recall.
  • Infographics for quick reading – Did you know that blogs with infographics get 12% more traffic than those without? The use of clean and relatable images, bold colors and crisp text make infographics easy to consume quickly. Also use catchy titles, include important statistics, and make it easy to share.
  • Videos and virtual tours for realistic experiences – Globally,more than 50% marketers say that videos bring the maximum ROI. People can connect better with your brand through a video and remember your products more. Plus, a video that evokes powerful emotions can go viral too. Among visual content ideas, 360 degree virtual tours are also becoming popular as they let you explore a property without actually visiting it. Hotels, cafes, spas, colleges, gyms and golf courses can use these to attract more potential customers and engage them. You can add a virtual tour to your Google My Business listing to get more traffic.

How can you guide the buyer journey with visuals?

Awareness, consideration and decision are the three major stages of a prospective buyer’s journey. So, at each stage, your visual content needs to address his mindset and need.

  • For instance, during the awareness stage, your target reader or site visitor might not be able to identify what exactly his problem is or what he needs a solution for. So, blog posts rich in images or infographics might be helpful.
  • Once your site visitor has identified his problem, he will be looking for all possible solutions. So, during the consideration stage, guides, case studies, whitepapers and e-books can help you get his attention and establish your position as an industry leader who offers the best solution. All such content formats should contain images, graphs and videos wherever possible.
  • During the decision stage, you can use product reviews or product comparisons that are image-rich to convince a site visitor to convert. A virtual tour, demo video or a how-to guide with screenshots of every step of using a particular product might help too.

Takeaway

All in all, to boost your online presence, search engine ranking and attract more traffic and leads, you need to embrace visual content marketing. Consistent efforts will increase your brand value and credibility, improve sales, expand your loyalty base and enhance ROI. Need help to come up with attractive and impactful visual content? Send an email to info@massinteract.com.

Google Interactive Tours vs Street View

Google Interactive Tours vs Street View: Which is Better?

Faced with cut-throat competition, businesses often adopt the latest technologyto stand out from the crowd. Unlike before, there are many advanced tools to empower a business so that it can leave a lasting impression – right from the outset!

Google Interactive Virtual Tour and Street View are two of the most innovative tools which businesses can take advantage of for a more impactful representation. If youare wondering which one of these two is better, or for that matter, which one should you choose to give your business a boost? We have set Google Interactive Tours vs Street View for a direct faceoff to let you figure out just that.

Google Interactive Tours vs Street View
Google Interactive Tours vs Street View

Google Interactive Virtual Tour

A Google virtual tour is designed to deliver an interactive 360 experience. To be more precise, it is a complete simulation of your business attached to your Google My Business listing.

Interactive Virtual Tour

Google virtual tour is an amazing representation of your brand. The interactive tour not only showcases what your business has to offer with immersive detail, but also helps it win attention that proves to be a decisive factor.

Google Street View

Google Street View is integrated into Google Maps and Google Earth that showcases interactive panoramas of stitched images. With Street View, users can explore world landmarks, take a glance at wonders, and even step into arenas, museums, restaurants, and small businesses. And that too right from their fingertips.

That’s what makes Street View so fascinating for both everyday users and businesses.

Street View

How to Create Google Virtual Tour

Creating a Google Virtual Tour is quite straightforward. All you have to do to get started is to capture images > edit them with precision > stitch them together to produce high-res panoramic photos, using a virtual tour software. And then, upload the tour to the correct Google My Business listing.

How to Capture 360 Videos for Google Street View

Thanks to the Super Handy Street View app, publishing and linking 360 photos is a breeze. Ensure that your images are at least 7.5MP (4K) with a 2:1 aspect ratio. Besides, also make sure that they are not more than 75 megabytes in size.

Be sure to disable any gyroscopic stabilization and keep your camera upright. Also, position your camera support system precisely to ensure it takes up not more than 25% of the bottom of the resulting 360 images.

So, Which One – Interactive Tour or Street View – is Better?

Coming back to the all-important question as to which one is better: Interactive Tour or Street View. Though both are great for a visual representation of your business, Interactive Tour is a bit more impactful.

Both in terms of showing off your business personality and providing vivid detail of your offerings, the virtual tour has a slight edge. For instance, if you own a luxurious 7-star hotel, you get the most out of the interactive tour to showcase the beautiful interior, different cuisines, and even offer a sneak-peek into your hotel’s specialty.

The immersive tour immediately catches eye-balls, giving people a taste of your brand’s identity. And that too without consuming much of their time!

If you are willing to create a top-notch 360° virtual tour of your business, contact us to get the job done for you with unmatched expertise. Being Google’s number one agency, Mass Interact excels in creating 360° virtual tours that never fail to leave a lasting impression.

Why Wedding Venues Need Virtual Tours to Gain a Competitive Edge

My particular upbringing has allowed me to gain a great deal of insight into the challenge that wedding venues run into when recruiting clients. Wedding venue owners work strenuously to create and market the perfect space for couples to experience the best day of their life.

I grew up in Apple River, IL, on an outdoor wedding venue called Oak Hill Weddings. My mother decided to invest in building a wedding venue from scratch, which naturally became a family business. I have watched couples come to our venue in search of their “happily ever after”, throughout my life. I have helped my mother with everything from touring to marketing – which has proven to be one of the most challenging parts of owning a small business, given our many competitors.

Every year, in the United States, around 2.5 million weddings are held. This steadfast industry is hard to disrupt – the institution of marriage continues to be respected and cherished! So, what is the secret to successful wedding venue marketing? Wedding Wire, a listing and blogging platform devoted to weddings, popped up in 2006, allowing brides to quickly evaluate potential venues. Similar platforms started to emerge soon after, such as WeddingBee, Bridal tweet, Wedding Mapper, etc. Nowadays, along with this free marketing, venue owners tend to lean on social media, Google Search, and their website, to sell their services. Although a website is essential to successfully build a business, small business owners need a competitive edge to stand out and make an impression.

Read Also – Why Visual Marketing is the Future for Businesses

I also interviewed my mother’s managing partner, Sandra Wolfram, about the challenges that Oak Hill Weddings has faced with regard to marketing development. She stated, “Our clients come from a 2.5 hour radius, making it hard for potential clients to make the trip to Oak Hill Weddings. In-person tours have also declined tremendously, given the current societal circumstances – COVID-19. We have multiple beautiful outdoor ceremony sites, a brand-new pavilion, a barnhouse, country store, and church that are dying to be shown off.”

The solution? A virtual tour, also known as 360 degree panoramic imagery. A virtual tour offers a uniquely immersive online experience, giving potential clients the opportunity to explore the beauty of a venue, without being physically present. Business owners can embed this tour on their website, social media pages, and all Google platforms, to boost bookings as well as online traffic. Hence, a virtual tour can eliminate the stress of marketing and simultaneously improve a business’s image, sales, and brand value.

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

6 Tips to Boost Brand Exposure with Virtual Tour Marketing

Virtual tour marketing is no longer an alien concept for businesses that are trying to optimize the digital space to generate more traffic, leads and paying customers. Practically every forward-thinking business knows how an engaging, information-rich and immersive virtual tour can hook more people quickly, make them linger on the site, and even make a purchase. But nothing will pay off for real unless you know how to market your virtual tour effectively and grow brand awareness. Here are 6 ways you can go about it and get impressive results.

Promote on your website, obviously

Every business, no matter what its size, has a website these days. And usually, any careful customer will end up visiting it to know all about you, before they take a decision. So, it makes perfect sense to upload your virtual tour on the website, and in a way that it easily attracts attention. For instance, if you run a bakery, the virtual tour should appear on your landing page, contact page, about page, and the page dedicated to your offerings. In case you have a blog, you can promote your virtual tour there too. Apart from that, make sure your website is mobile-friendly, loads quickly, has a smart and clean layout, and is optimized for search engines.

Grab eyeballs on Facebook

Facebook is a wonderful platform to market your virtual tour as you are likely to find most of your potential customers here (especially if you are a B2C business). Just take a screenshot of the tour and upload it on your business page with the URL below, so that people can get redirected easily if they want to watch the whole show. You can also put the 360 Photos feature on Facebook to good use, by uploading the best parts of your virtual tour. It will turn the photos into a 360-degree experience, so that viewers can get a realistic feel of what your business is really like.

Read – Why Visual Marketing is the Future for Businesses

Don’t ignore Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn

Instagram is the next best place to promote your virtual tour, after Facebook. This especially makes sense if you are a business that banks heavily on visuals, like a tour agent, hotel, café or spa. Twitter is also a cool platform to spread the word about your brand. And LinkedIn is perfect for businesses that are a little formal or B2B in nature, like hardware, heavy machinery, chemicals and so on. To promote your Google virtual tour on these social channels, you will need to put in a tad more effort. You can use a free app (there are many available online) to turn your tour into a video and then an animated GIF.

Give your emails a boost

One of the best virtual tour marketing ideas is to add the link of your tour when you are signing off. Right after you put in the name of your business at the end of the email, add a short phrase like “Take a tour of our campus”, “Explore our golf course”, or “Check out our café”. Then hyperlink it with the tour URL. Or, to make things a little more interesting, take a screenshot of that part of the tour which seems most appealing. Save it as a 30×30 thumbnail and import it in your email. After you place it right, click on it and enter the tour link.

Give online directories a shot

Online directories usually list a variety of businesses, ranging from apparel stores and car showrooms to restaurants, gyms, salons and more. So, use virtual tour marketing to make your listing stand out and catch eyes fast. This will give you a competitive edge, impress prospective customers and get you more traffic.

Power up your Google My Business listing

By adding a virtual tour to your GMB listing, you can rank higher on the local search results page. When potential customers near you get to explore your business from the comfort of their home, they will tend to trust you more and visit you in person. They can also compare you with other businesses easily and take a decision quickly.

Hopefully, these virtual tour marketing ideas will help you improve your brand awareness, strengthen your online presence, and get more sales. And if you need help putting together an awesome virtual tour, get in touch with us at info@massinteract.com.

Read Also – Does Your Business Need a Virtual Tour?

Drone 3D Mapping

Drone 3D Mapping Made Easy With This Quick Guide

Drone 3D mapping is highly efficient when it comes to delivering accurate mapping results. And this commendable efficiency that makes it a great asset for several sectors including agriculture, mining, construction, real estate, and infrastructure inspection.

Having an accurate photograph or 3D model of your projects complete with in-depth data plays a vital role in making an informed decision. Not just that, drone mapping is also comparatively cost-effective and less tedious. If you have set your sight on it, here is the quick drone 3D mapping guide to getting started on the right note!

What is Drone 3D Mapping?

Drone mapping takes advantage of an innovative technique called photogrammetry to acquire essential data or gather measurements. For those unfamiliar, photogrammetry is the technique that enables you to take measurements from photographs.

Thanks to the drone’s rapid speed of data acquisition and advanced software, you can now create survey-grade (ASPRS Standard) data a lot faster and with better proficiency.

Depending on your needs, you can show the derived data as an orthomosaic, topographical map, a point cloud, a digital terrain model, or even a digital surface model. Moreover, the data can also be visualized through a 3D textured mesh.

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How much does drone mapping cost?

Gone were the times when drone mapping was considered quite an expensive proposition. Thanks to the introduction of cost-effective yet exceptionally advanced drones like Phantom 4 Advanced and Phantom 4 Advanced Plus (starting price $1350), drone mapping will no longer burn a hole in your pocket.

Drone Mapping

So, whether you are a farmer, a land surveyor, or a real-estate businessman, you can make the most of a drone to carry out the essential tasks faster. And that too without having to break the bank or sweat!

Which drone mapping app should you choose?

Unlike before, the market is flooded with a ton of drone mapping apps that allow you to transmit and process the data in the cloud. As to which one should you choose entirely comes down to your requirements and budget.

Based on functionality, there are three types of drone mapping apps in the market: Acquisition Software, Processing Software, and All-in-One Drone Mapping Software.

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Acquisition Software: It is handy for planning missions to garner aerial imagery. Pix4D Capture and Maps Made Easy are some of the notable examples of acquisition software.

Processing Software: It enables you to create maps, orthomosaics, point clouds, as well as other deliverables from imagery with the help of photogrammetric calculations. PhotoscanAgisoft, Inpho, Pix4D Mapper are some of the well-known examples of processing software. 

Sticky Note:

  • A point cloud is basically a compilation of points or coordinates on an object’s surface. You can use the compilation of points to create a 3D model of an area.

All-in-One drone Mapping Software: As the name itself suggests, it’s a powerful and high-end software that’s designed to take care of all the tasks related to drone mapping. Be it the ability to transmit the data to a cloud server or the skill to automatically process the data in the cloud to create the desired output, it’s got you fully covered.

DroneDeploy has long been a top-notch drone mapping software. What sets it apart from many other rivals is the ability to excel in several fronts including the ability to make digital terrain models, orthomosaics, garner NDVI data, and even generate 3D models. It’s aimed at three industries like farming, surveying, and construction.

Pix4D is a robust suite of photogrammetric software. It consists of several different versions like Pix4DMapper for mapping, Pix4Dbim for construction, Pix4Dag for agriculture, and Pix4Dmodel for 3D modeling.

Furthermore, Pix4D also offers a handy mobile app (PIX4DCapture) to let you automate the mapping process with both DJI drones and Parrot drones.

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