The world has gone digital. No, we don’t mean Matrix-style, but if you think about it – what’s the first thing you do if you want to buy something? Well over 95% of us would head online to find it, either through Social Media or Google.
The fight for customer attention is immense. Ensuring your business is showing up in as many digital channels is the only sure way to get noticed. Virtual tours add a level of exposure features that hold the customers’ attention for longer than a standard image would, whilst offering a more interactive experience than a video does.
1. Increase visibility and rank higher on Google
Research has shown that a Google Business listing that has a virtual tour, as well as photos tends to rank higher than their local competitors.
This is typical because users spend more time on a Google listing that has 360 images. This in turn tells Google that people are interested in the business, thus ranking the listing higher.
Virtual tours increase online engagement
By having a call to action button (Book Now or Contact Us) on your Google Business listing, you’re already helping your future customers move in the right direction. Adding a virtual tour to a business listing can have a significant effect on your online bookings.
A small part of the Local Results algorithm considers the social signals of your company or brand. If you have people engaging with your content, sharing pictures on different platforms, then Google will find you, and it will conclude that you’re important to the community.
Fortunately, there are platforms that can combine virtual tours and social/business posts. Facebook and LinkedIn are perfect for this.
By posting a virtual tour on your Facebook or LinkedIn page (easily done by just pasting a link), you allow everyone that hasn’t found you through Google to check out the interior of your business too & what you have to offer. This can increase your reach and interaction with visitors.
2. Shows your Business Personality
One key feature of a 360-degree virtual tour is that it provides a great representation of your brand at first glance. The majority of direct searches looking for your business will be greeted with a virtual tour that immediately shows off your company’s personality.
For instance, if you own a sports bar and have your local team’s memorabilia displayed on the walls, people will know that your place is devoted to that team. A valuable marketing signal.
Perhaps you own a hair salon. If your virtual tour shows off your tiled floor, leather studded chairs, and contemporary lights hung from the ceiling, they’ll immediately get a taste of your brand identity without having to read too much. This more easily attracts customers that identify with your business through an authentic, genuine channel.
3. Increase Transparency and Trust
Adding a virtual tour to your business says a lot more than just your personality. You’re not just telling people about your business or products, you’re showing them. They’re free to wander (virtually) wherever they want within the tour we create. This demonstrates that your company is open, honest, and transparent about its space without just saying so.
Imagine how effective this is for event spaces, like wedding venues, meeting rooms, theatres & galleries. A full 360 tour of the venue lets potential customers get a real feel for how large your event space is, and whether it’s suitable for them. People will know exactly what they’re getting by choosing your business.
4. Providing people with what they need
Generation Z and Millennials make up the majority of today’s internet users. They learn about products mostly through social media and search. Generation Z reportedly has an attention span of just 8 seconds! But within that short attention span, the brain has already processed the visual impact of your virtual tour, so it’s possible to grab their attention if you use the right content.
Today’s internet users are more receptive to content that shows them what they’re missing and allows them to interact. People are attracted to the content they can touch, visualize and quickly understand. A virtual tour addresses these needs, so you’ll see stronger results in your digital marketing.
5. Let non-local prospects experience your business
One key thing that your virtual tour can do, (especially if it’s linked to Google StreetView) is to give non-local prospects the ability to tour your property or business space. This is also true for people who may have mobility issues.
Giving non-local prospects the ability to tour your space refines their search and helps them feel more confident in the decision to visit in person.
6. Double interest in your Business
According to Google, virtual tours on listings increase interest by 100%. That statistic pretty much speaks for itself. And it’s not hard to see why, given the many reasons we’ve already discussed can lead to increased interest in a business simply for having virtual content on their website, social media, or Google Business listing.
Who wouldn’t want to double interest in their business by publishing a virtual tour to Google just one time?
7. Help customers make informed decisions
A virtual tour is a key research tool for users. It allows them to refine their search more easily and make an informed decision about your business.
If you own a restaurant, users can very quickly understand the atmosphere you have. Or if you own a wedding venue, the bride and groom may be browsing your space to get a feel for the size and layout of the reception hall.
As a Real Estate Agent, imagine the time you can save by not having to show people around properties that they’ve decided they don’t like within 5 minutes of arriving. With a virtual tour, they’re already warm leads. They’ve seen the property already, so their buying intent is there.
In addition, our virtual tours come with YOUR branding and contact details. No matter where they see the tour, they know who to come back to.
8. Attract more customers
Nearly everyone searches for a business online before making a decision. If they have a virtual tour at their disposal, you’re more likely to attract them to your business. This applies to those that aren’t local because they’ve had a chance to ‘look around already.
There are no barriers for people who are immobile or across the country. You offer a connection that reaches even more customers than just those people in your town, city, or county.