Virtual tours are becoming evidently popular due to how successful they are as a marketing tool for businesses and estate agents. There are many beneficial reasons why you should look to include a virtual tour within your marketing efforts, let’s take a look at the main reasons why you need one.
What is a virtual tour?
First, you need to know what a virtual tour is before you can decide whether or not to use one. A virtual tour is a simulation of an existing location, usually composed of a sequence of videos or still images. Other types of media can be implemented into the content such as music, voice, effects and text.
Below is an example of a property virtual tour created at J Stock Photography, you interact with it more visually than a static image to enable you to get a bigger picture of what the home is truly like:
What’s the difference between a virtual tour and a video tour?
According to Wikipedia, “virtual tours are made up of a number of shots taken from a single vantage point. The camera and lens are rotated around what is referred to as a no parallax point (the exact point at the back of the lens where the light converges”.
Whereas a video tour “is a full motion video of a location. Unlike the virtual tour’s static wrap-around feel, a video tour is a linear walk-through of a location. Using a video camera, the location is filmed at a walking pace while moving continuously from one point to another throughout the subject location.”
Where can you use virtual tour content?
You can use them on property platforms such as Rightmove and Zoopla, some allow you to post a link or upload the entire tour. You can use them on social media platforms like Facebook which can help you to engage with your audience as well the option of them sharing the connect to reach more people.
You can implement the virtual tour to your own website if you have one, this will help users to stay on the site for longer as well as helping your site to look more professional.
Now we know what virtual tours are and why they’re used, let’s look at the reasons why your business needs them.
Reasons Why You Need a Virtual Tour to Help Your Marketing
- Distinguishes Brand and Personality
One of the great benefits of a virtual tour is how it helps the user to engage with your brand and gives off a professional first image, it helps to show off the best features, assets and personality. If you’re looking to sell a home, a virtual tour can help to show off it’s best qualities that will make potential buyers more intrigued to see more.
Likewise, if you have a business, you want your clients or customers to see the best bits, perhaps new renovations or the client waiting room. Same if you own a restaurant, you’ll want to show off the dinning area, the bar and more importantly the delicious food. They help the viewer to engage on a much more profound level than any standard Image can.
- They Help to Develop Trust and Transparency
A virtual tour is more capable at showing a true picture than a standard image does, which as a result earns you more trust as you’re being transparent with your viewers. It shows virtually how a home, business or establishment exactly looks without any hidden surprises which helps viewers to make better decisions on whether or not they want to engage any further.
When you think of going to a new restaurant, do you ever look on Google images to see what the place looks like? It’s the same when house hunting, you’re much likely to take further interest in a property that has a virtual tour and quality property photos that show you what you’re getting.
With Google, you’ll see many businesses and estate agents adding virtual tour content to their image profiles as they understand the impact they have on their audiences. If a user likes what they’ve saw, they’re more likely to visit the website and take proper action.
- Humans Process Visuals Faster
Did you know that our brains can actually process visuals 60,000 times faster than text? That fact alone shows how important visual media is for your marketing. It also worth noting that the current majority of users on the internet today are in fact millennials who demand quick information that’s easy to understand. They want to see content they can touch, visualize and quickly understand so they’ll actively look for visual aids, videos and virtual tour content rather than written information.
By creating virtual tour content you’re giving your users want they want which will effectively help you in the long run as you’ll see far more value in results that come through the door. According to the Oracle Advertising Blog our attention spans reduce when we’re faced by lots of information, they said:
“The results showed the average person’s attention span was 12 seconds. About 15 years later, it dropped to 8 seconds. A recent study from the Technical University of Denmark suggests our collective global attention span is narrowing because of the abundance of information presented to us”
It’s important the content you put out there captures the attention of your target audience instantly. Virtual tours and 360 video tours do not require the same level of processing as reading does so it’s far easier for us to pay attention.
- They Reach a Wider Audience
If you’re selling your home, you wouldn’t want to just market the property locally as it dilutes the opportunity of a sale. With a virtual tour of the property, you can publish the content on multiple different platforms including your Google My Business and Facebook pages which reach out to more people across the country and globe. Some people have difficulty in travelling due to work and family commitments, age, disability and some might even live overseas. The virtual tour gives each of these people a chance to view the home in the most visual way possible, helping them to decide whether to take the time and visit in person.
- Increase Performance in Rankings and Visibility
Whether you decide to publish your virtual or video tour on Google My business, Zoopla, Rightmove or Facebook, each platform will effectively ‘rank’ you higher for it. Google especially, as research has shown that property listings with virtual and video tour content rank higher than those without it and above local competitors. The reason being is the time that users spend viewing that particular type of content is far greater which indicates to Google that there’s more interest so it ranks it higher.
- Increases Interest by 100%
According to Google, listings with virtual tours increase interest by 100%! That should make you want to consider adding one, regardless of what your business does or what you’re looking to market. If you could generate 100% more interest in what you’re selling whether that be a property or car, you’re going to want to do it. Google have also stated that a property listing with a virtual tour can receive 35% more click throughs to the actual listing or website that it’s being marketed on compared to a listing without.
With a virtual tour you can expect to receive 100% more interest online plus 35% more click throughs than listings that don’t have them, increasing traffic and higher value leads.
- Help People to Make More Informed Choices
If you’ve ever sold a home in the past and found there was much time wasted in visitors who weren’t really that interested, you’ll know how it take its toll mentally by getting your hopes up. Now more than ever people are using the internet in their search of a first home as it cuts time out for them and you, they know by viewing the property photos whether or not they want to engage further.
A virtual tour is much more than just standard images and it gives the viewer a true feeling and picture of what the place is really like. They can get a better understand of how big the space is, what features there are, if there are any faults and of things they like and don’t like. It makes it easier for them to decide whether they want to go ahead and make a booking or arrange a viewing.
For estate agents this means those that proceed with a viewing are far more invested and interested as they’ve already taken a liking to what they’ve saw online. It initiates stronger leads, saving the seller, buyer and agent any wasted time.
Kick start your business and property listings with a virtual tour
Some of the reasons listed will make you want to jump right at it and why wouldn’t they, I mean 100% more interest not too much 35% more click throughs on listings! They help your audience to engage and interact more and they promote trust in you and what you’re selling.
Creating a virtual tour can be tricky in you’re new to this type of content and they can be time consuming, plus you need the right equipment to do it. Many estate agents, property sellers and businesses alike will hire a professional photographer to do the job for them as they understand that professionals in their field can do a better job. In you’re interested in creating a virtual tour to sell your property or you’re an estate agent looking for a professional property photographer in Hampshire to create virtual tours, video tours and 360 property photos, please get in touch today!