Almost everyone is familiar with Google, the number one search engine in the world. With its success and ability to reach millions of people around the world, it has become part of any business strategy to utilise this powerful tool. When searching for a restaurant or a gym on Google, customers are looking for as much information on that establishment before making a booking. This is why it is vital for every business to have an optimised Google business account so prospective clients can search them up easily. A business account allows customers to view your address, telephone number, website and even reviews. Especially for establishments that have a venue that sells, adding on a Google Virtual Tour is the cherry on top. Having a virtual tour on your Google page has proven to boost traffic and sales and is a great marketing tool to leverage on.
What Is a Google Virtual Tour?
A Google Virtual Tour is shot the same way as any other 360 virtual tour. A professional agency will take multiple still images of the venue from different angles and stitch them together during post-production to create a panoramic view of the space. Once edited together, viewers will be able to click and navigate around the room for a realistic immersive experience. When this 360 virtual tour is added to your Google business account, prospective clients will be able to view your venue online, which has proven benefits for driving profits such as establishing trust and interest.
Google compiled a survey in 2016 to understand the interest and demand for having a virtual tour on the search engine site. The survey showed that customers are twice as likely to make a reservation with an establishment if they provide a 360 virtual tour online and also confirmed that two out of three people want more virtual tours. Having transparency online is incredibly important in our digital age where information can be easily fabricated. Setting up a search listing of your business online is 94% more likely to portray your brand as reputable. With its direct reach to consumers, a Google Virtual Tour has become an essential marketing strategy tool.
The Benefits of a Google Virtual Tour as a Marketing Tool
1. Cost-Effective Passive Marketing
Passive marketing is all about getting customers to come to you instead of actively reaching out. By positioning your marketing content strategically, prospective clients can find your brand easily without having to pump in cash for advertising. A Google Virtual Tour is an example of passive marketing where a company pays a one-time fee to shoot their virtual tour, which will then be uploaded on their search listing on Google. Your 360 virtual tour will be online for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and will not require any extra cash. This marketing strategy is very affordable and profitable when compared to the possible reach it can generate all day.
2. Improves Search Engine Optimisation
Any marketing strategist knows how important SEO is when it comes to digital marketing. Some businesses may hire SEO experts to run their online content because of its influence in this digital world. SEO improves your website’s traffic on search engines like Google and with more traffic, comes more sales. A lot of the time, your website will rank higher on the search engine if the duration spent on your site is a lot longer than your competitors. Google is known to rank businesses with an embedded virtual tour higher as customers tend to spend a longer time engaging with these sites than pages without a 360 virtual tour. Marketing strategists try to create digital content that can draw people in and a virtual tour does just that.
3. Increases Marketing ROI
Return of Investment (ROI) should always be considered when planning out your marketing strategy. ROI aims to measure the profitability of an investment compared to the cost put into it. Of course, companies are aiming for marketing investments that can generate larger profits in the long run. As explained, setting up a virtual tour is a one-time purchase that can last a lifetime. Moreover, the technology can be easily repurposed especially if updates or new information need to be added. 360 virtual tours are able to add in “hotspots” that can include in-depth descriptions of your place. Without having to pump in continuous streams of money into this marketing tool, it can still generate even more sales.
4. Successfully Converts Leads Into Sales
The goal of a marketing strategy is to be able to draw in customers and land sales using creative tools from articles to videos. The nature of a Google Virtual Tour can engage and appeal to a mass audience with its immersive features. Research has shown that hoteliers benefit significantly from virtual tours with an increase of bookings and conversion rates by 16-67%. More and more companies are investing in 360 tours as it sets them apart from their competition, which could make your brand the first choice of booking compared to another. Ensuring transparency allows customers to make an informed decision of choosing a reliable business over an obscure one.
Businesses with physical spaces are known to benefit most from a Google tour as these venues are the selling point of their brand. Especially for industries like tourism and hospitality, the experience of enjoying their rooms and amenities attract customers who are looking for a getaway. Other businesses such as education providers and fitness studios can showcase their campus or studios to invite students and create excitement around the space. While still images are able to display snapshots of the space from limited angles, virtual tours elevate the experience to the next level.
Google virtual tours are specifically shot and edited by Google trusted agencies who are certified and verified by Google themself. These professional agencies specialise in digitalising physical spaces and understand the tools and exposure needed for a profit-boosting virtual tour.