What is a 360º tour?
We’re all pretty familiar with video virtual tours, but 360° virtual tours are a tad bit different. 360º virtual tours are a combination of high-quality, still photographs that are stitched together to put your business in a 360-degree, interactive environment. This technology allows your potential customers to not only see the interior and exterior of your business, but also click and drag inside the photo and view full, 360-degree perspectives of each space.
That’s sounds cool – but do I really need to invest in 360º virtual tours?
That depends. Do you want more exposure and sales for your business? If so, consider optimizing your web presence with 360-degree images. Let’s face it – for better or worse, most of us spend our lives attached to technology – from our phones to laptops to smart watches to tablets to smart home devices. In the past, a customer’s first impression of a business was in person, but now a customer’s first impression of a business is online. And believe it or not, often, that first impression is not through the business’ website. When thinking about visiting a store or restaurant or spa, consumers will pull out their favorite device and “Google it.”
Google and 360 tours? I don’t get the connection
Here’s how it works. When someone searches for a business, Google will give a list of business profiles that can include business photos, and info such as operating hours, address, pricing, and a map. This listing is known as a Google My Business (GMB) listing. (By the way, if you haven’t claimed your GMB listing, please do so now! You’re missing out a very valuable, FREE, piece of your business’ outreach strategy).
For instance, those who search for “Detroit DJ Entertainment” on Google can click the small thumbnail on the right of the screen. This will open the business’ photos – categorized by All, By Owner, 360* View, and Videos. Tapping “360° view” will allow viewing of any 360 degree images the business may have. From there, the customer can explore 360-degree views of the business.
For businesses operating in this technologically-advanced generation, a virtual tour of your business is a key contributor to favorable first impressions and on-site visits. According to Google, consumers use a mapping product (ie. Google Maps) to find the business they want 44% of the time, with 41% of these searches resulting in a visit to the physical store. With such a large number of potentially missed opportunities at stake, consider optimizing your business’ presence with a 360° virtual tour – especially when it comes to lodging, restaurants, spas, and event venues. After all, people want to see what they’re getting. For people who haven’t visited your business, 360° virtual tours can really help guest see the amazing environment your business offers and transition them from thinking, “Maybe I’ll visit ____ Company” to “Oh, I’m definitely visiting _____ Company!”