Some things can’t be expressed with words; that’s why we have pictures. Words describe the things we see, whereas pictures let us see them for ourselves. This preference for pictures is transforming digital marketing. In previous decades, a few images and some words were enough to encourage someone to schedule an in-person tour. Nowadays, many prefer to take those tours online.
If you aren’t already utilizing virtual tours for your business, you’re likely missing out. There are numerous reasons for including virtual tours as part of an online strategy. Below, we’ll provide five tips to make your virtual tour shine.
Virtual tours strengthen your online presence.
Virtual tours add a layer of depth to any digital marketing strategy. While a website provides information about your product or service, a tour lets visitors experience it. When it comes to marketing, this functionality is in high demand. Studies from 2021 reveal that most people (67%) want businesses to offer virtual tours. On top of that, adults aged 18 to 34 are 130% more likely to book properties with virtual tours.
Perhaps most encouraging; a popular study revealed that half of adult internet users rely on virtual tours for product and service research. That means, by simply offering virtual tours, your website is more attractive to online users. Virtual tours can also drive more customers to your business by boosting search visibility, especially when combined with Google Street View.
It’s no question that offering virtual tours can dramatically improve the success of your business, but how do you create a compelling virtual tour? Here are some tips.
1. First, make your goal clear.
A good marketing strategy is at the root of every well-executed marketing plan. That’s why you must have a clear grasp of your goals before adding virtual tours to your digital marketing strategy. A virtual tour can help market your business, but only when done effectively. The first step is setting clear marketing goals that define what you are trying to achieve so you know when you’ve achieved it. These goals also help identify opportunities to improve, only further ensuring a successful digital marketing plan.
Ask yourself: Why are you adding this functionality? How will it help your consumers reach their goals? More importantly, what goals do you want to help them reach? Identifying this critical data first will significantly increase the effectiveness of your virtual tour.
Once you have your plan, it’s time to create. Below are some elements of a good virtual tour:
2. Ensure the tour is functional.
Align your digital marketing strategy to reach your goals. To positively impact a company’s bottom line, a virtual tour must be more than an experience. It should include strategic functionality that leads those who interact with it. The technical capabilities of your virtual tour software can significantly affect your digital marketing efforts.
For example, your tour could include interactive elements that align the viewer with key messaging necessary for driving sales. Features such as audio and additional files provide an immersive experience that mirrors what they could expect when meeting with a company representative in person. These functional details create experiences that do more than show, and they don’t necessarily need to be complicated. Ricoh360’s annotation function makes it easy to attach images, text, or URLs to your tours.
3. Keep it appealing for users.
If you were meeting clients in person, you wouldn’t just hand them a pamphlet and walk away. You’d likely take the time to show them around the venue or space and carefully present something that appeals to them.
The same is true with a virtual tour. While you may feel you are simply showing users what a space looks like, you must never lose sight of the fact that your site visitor is that user. When designing your tour, spend time thinking about what your audience wants to see; don’t just focus on what you’d like to show. After you post your tour, pay attention to what works and what doesn’t. Ricoh360 helps businesses better understand their visitors with your analytics.
4. Incorporate a brand story
While virtual tours add interesting visuals to any digital marketing strategy, they aren’t that valuable if they look like everyone else. Use the software alongside storytelling to create immersive experiences that communicate the brand message while also showing customers what they could expect.
Ricoh360 understands the importance of communicating your brand, even during a virtual tour. That’s why we include easy-to-use tour management tools, custom branding, and virtual business cards. We also make it easy to embed your tours on other brand assets, such as Facebook or listing sites, creating a unified message regardless of where customers find you.
5. Feature high-quality visuals
Maintaining a user focus, including appropriate functionality, and employing a storytelling method all help create dynamic virtual tours; however, the visuals make it sparkle. When creating your tour, pay close attention to lighting. Simply things such as the weather or timing of day can impact the availability of natural sunlight and, as a result, your tour’s overall quality.
If touring indoors, open the curtains and turn on all of the lights. Avoid mirrors and add extra features to give the experience an extra pop that catches your visitors’ attention.
Nowadays, creating high-quality imagery can be a challenge. In fact, many people wonder how to make a virtual tour with iPhone cameras. Luckily, even if you aren’t a professional photographer, you can create realistic experiences with Ricoh360. Our AI technology automatically improves image quality, targeting issues like resolution, brightness, and noise. That way, you can focus on creating an attractive tour, not photography.
Virtual tours are a practical way to improve the digital marketing strategy of any brand by creating realistic connections between visitors and your business. However, the most effective tours have compelling brand stories, stunning visuals, and a clear guiding strategy.
Ricoh360 makes it easy to create stunning virtual tours that engage customers and grow your brand with features such as AI image enhancement, custom branding, and tour analytics. If you’re ready to boost your business, rely on Ricoh.
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