The MassInteract Blog

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?

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?

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.

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

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 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

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