Using virtual tours to show off all that a business has to offer is a rapidly growing way of attracting new customers. Many business owners want to create their own 360 virtual tours to join in this new trend but stop short because they are unsure how to do so. In order to be successful in creating a professional-looking virtual tour, there are a number of specific pieces of equipment you will need. This article will help you identify the necessary equipment and give you helpful tips and tricks to ensure your videos stand out to your audience.
A virtual tour is usually created by stitching together a sequence of panoramic images taken of space. The images are stitched together so seamlessly that these tours allow prospective customers to see the area’s main features as though they were walking through it themselves, without having to visit in person.
Some video tour creators may choose to add narration to their tours, providing an opportunity to share with customers a carefully crafted list of the key features or points of interest in the space. Additionally, because these tours are shared online, prospective customers can view them from anywhere with an internet connection.
In order to produce a virtual tour that is high quality and attractive, there are many pieces of equipment you will need. Be aware that cutting corners in creating your video will only result in a poorer quality tour, which will not show customers the attention to detail you know your business is capable of.
To create your virtual tour, you will need:
A DSLR camera is a type of camera that you can attach a variety of different styles of a lens to. You will need a standard DSLR camera to attach the specialty lenses needed to take panoramic photos. Be sure to choose a DSLR camera compatible with a fish eye lens and has a bracketing option. The bracketing locks option is what gives the camera the ability to capture a series of photos at once to complete the images needed to make the virtual tours. It may also be helpful to choose a model of camera that is compatible with a timer or some other remote control, as you will want to avoid having the camera operator show up in the middle of the photos being taken.
This type of lens is specifically designed to take panoramic photos precisely because it can capture wide-angle photos. These lenses can also take multiple images of each panoramic view, giving abundant options to ensure that the best quality images are chosen. The main thing to remember is to select a fish eye lens that is compatible with the particular model of DSLR camera that you have available.
A typical camera tripod does not have a good enough range of motion to be able to take seamless panoramic photos. Instead, many companies have designed specialty tripods (or tripod heads that can be attached to your existing tripod) that are made for users who want to create these types of images. The tripod heads come in either manually operated or automatic varieties.
Once you have these supplies, you should be able to easily create your own virtual tours to show off all that your company has to offer.
The fun thing about virtual tours is that anyone can create a tour of their space with the right equipment. However, several key industries especially can benefit from creating virtual tours:
- Real estate agencies are perhaps the biggest supporters of virtual tours. These tours can be used to specifically showcase the main features of a house for sale without requiring buyers to tour in person. This is more convenient for both the prospective buyer and the seller, who may want to limit the number of walk-through tours that happen daily.
- Hotels, Airbnb Owners, and other rental properties can use virtual tours to show off amenities to prospective customers. It is one thing to tell prospective guests that you have a luxury spa; it is another thing entirely to actually show them the spa and all of the unique features your establishment has to offer.
- Tourist Destinations often use virtual tours as a way to draw visitors to their attractions. In particular, museums and art galleries will commonly use virtual tours to show off significant art and other display items in their holdings.
- Wedding Venues often create virtual tours to show off their spaces to couples looking to plan their upcoming weddings. Virtual tours can show different configurations of the space and give inspiration for how to best highlight the venue’s features.
- Colleges and Universities can use virtual tours to show their campuses to prospective students, highlighting the key features and showing off the most important aspects of college life without requiring in-person walking tours.
- Large retail stores can also use virtual tours, especially to teach new employees the layout of the store and where key products are that customers will need to find.
The limits to who can create virtual tours are endless, so consider whether or not your business could benefit from creating a tour for your prospective customers.
Each industry will have its own reasons why virtual tours benefit its business model. However, with a quality virtual tour, your business will likely be able to:
The majority of the world now has access to the internet, making internet-based outreach to consumers an effective strategy to improve business and revenue. By creating virtual tours and posting them online, your business can reach millions of people in a matter of seconds.
Where your business’s website appears in search results depends on various factors, including its bounce rate. A website’s bounce rate is calculated based on the number of visitors who leave the site after only looking at the first page of results. Adding quality content that requires more interaction from website viewers can reduce your website’s bounce rate, improving your overall standing in online search results.
Rather than requiring your customers to come in person to view space or even to click through a lengthy series of still image photographs, a virtual tour can allow your clients to see all they need to without having to invest their time and money into traveling to you. And VR repairs are able to be done if your virtual reality headsets stop working.
Creating a quality virtual tour can give you a considerable edge over competitors who choose not to take this step. If customers can see directly your spaces or the products you sell, they are more likely to choose your business over a competitor who keeps them in the dark.
A virtual tour is an easy and effective way to expand your business and reach new customers once you have acquired the necessary equipment to create your tour. As you make your equipment choices, look back at this article for helpful tips to ensure your videos stand out to your audience.