Using Virtual Tours To Market Your Business

360°

June, 1st, 2020

Using 360° Virtual Tours in Your Digital Marketing Strategy

360° Tours Are Great For Consumers & Businesses

360° Virtual Tours have been a growing industry the past 10 years. Over the past few years, some of the popularity seemed to wane a bit, especially since Google removed the “See Inside” that would show up directly on the business listing (the tours are still there, they are just in a different spot and now found on Maps). Since the impact of Covid-19, there has been a resurgence and dramatic increase in the commercial need for virtual tours. In fact, there has been an increase in demand for virtual tours in most markets, including real estate, retail, restaurants, and hotels. There is also a growing demand for vacation spots and non-profits, such as libraries, museums, etc.

In order to stay visible, and showcase a storefront or other location, many business owners are looking for new ways to show their business and create a unique experience for their customers. Virtual tours are good for consumers as it gives them the opportunity to view, navigate, and even purchase from your business online; with an experience unlike any other type of ecommerce shopping. You can shop in a small boutique in Paris, or walk around a Museum in Boston. This is an especially necessary feature right now with coronavirus being one of the devastating events to impact our world this century.

Though stay at home orders have ceased, many are choosing to avoid public spaces, or have dramatically reduced their time shopping publicly. Because of this, many are choosing to use 360 tours as a way to view the world; whether it’s a local furniture store, or a distant vacation spot. Virtual tours are good for business, as they give your company a way to show your unique location(s) and everything you have to offer. By offering a virtual tour to your visitors, you provide something the competition might not be offering; the chance for customers to feel like they are visiting your store in person. That’s why it’s imperative to recognize that 360 virtual tours of your location are necessary in any digital marketing strategy.

While SEO (Search Engine Optimization) offers the chance to push your business higher on search engines, virtual tours actually make your business a place people can visit at their convenience. It provides something more for your customers that a website by itself is unable to provide. You can choose what areas of your business to allow customers to navigate through, and make a completely interactive experience, with an endless amount of customization to provide a very unique experience.

Not only can your virtual tours appear right on your Google My Business listing, and on Google Maps, you can also have an interactive tour directly on your website. With an interactive tour, you can provide links to documents, pictures, and videos, and even link directly to a shopping cart item, making it so visitors can purchase with ease as they would online, but also have the experience of virtually walking through your store. Beyond the added value, one often overlooked bonus is that a virtual tour documents your inventory for insurance purposes, offering yet another benefit making them a thoughtful investment and business expense.

With the demand of virtual tours growing, so is the demand for businesses that offer them. When choosing a provider, it’s imperative that you make sure you are working with a company that not only understands how to do a virtual tour correctly, but can maintain it over the long term. Unfortunately, there are many fly-by-night companies that have sprung up, but might not be around for long. While they can perform some of the basic aspects, will they maintain your tour? How long will they host your tour? What happens when they no longer host your tour? These are just a few of the considerations to take into account when choosing a virtual tour professional.

We have been doing virtual tours for close to 8 years. In fact, we were trained by Google through their original Street View program, which not only had strict guidelines for both hardware and software development, but also on their training platform. We were screened and tested by Google in order to qualify for the ability to offer official Google Virtual tours. Now, though the program is far less stringent (if at all), we still maintain all of the qualifications we did back then, and have regularly upgraded our hardware and software offerings. We have continued providing top quality service at reasonable rates throughout New Hampshire, Maine, and Massachusetts. We also sometimes travel to other regions and perform tours for larger national clients

Check here to see a few examples of the tours we have completed. Here’s a tour of our office, along with an overlay, something we can add to tours for your business. If you are in an area we don’t serve, feel free to contact us. We work with photographers and providers around the country and can refer you to a company in your area.

360° is More Than Google StreetView

Google Street View has had the biggest impact on the popularity of 360° virtual tours. While they offer a great way to showcase your business on Google Maps, there are far more features you can have in a virtual tour, including:

  • Using your logo and branding on your tour
  • Providing links to your website, phone number, and directly to navigation to your business.
  • Showing images and video in your tour
  • Connecting to your shopping cart to sell your products virtually to provide a unique shopping experience online
  • Showing details, pricing, and other information
Here's an example of a 360° virtual tour of our digital marketing headquarters in Dover, NH:

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Make it Active, LLC is a full service Marketing Agency located in Dover, NH, just minutes from Portsmouth.

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