8 Reasons Why Your Venue Needs a Virtual Tour
There is a lot of competition out there for entertainment dollars. Marketers agree that adding photos to a content marketing plan will increase traffic and help drive revenue, but what you may not know is that virtual tours (or 360° photography) pay big dividends compared to standard 2D photos. One of the most effective things you can do to improve your venue’s online presence is to add a virtual tour to your site.
What a Virtual Tour Can Do For Your Venue
- Increase user engagement. Virtual tours generate excitement for the short-attention-span generation. Users like the interactive nature of a virtual tour. Studies show that visitors who try a 360° tour experience are likely to spend 5 to 10x more time on your site, and they will be more likely to make a purchase while there. 2D photographs can’t come close to this level of engagement.
- Enhance exposure. Many brands that use virtual tours are finding a surprising result—not only do visitors engage with them and stay longer on the site, but they also tend to share the virtual tour links with others via email and social media. Sports fans often share content related to their favorite teams and players on sites such as Facebook and Instagram, making them an ideal target market for this type of marketing.
- Improve SEO and page rank with Google. Increased engagement and exposure will boost your standing in Google searches. Virtual tours decrease a site’s bounce rate and increase click-through rate (CTR). Google ranks both of these favorably in its search algorithms.
- Generate ticket sales. The interactive nature of virtual tours makes visitors to a venue site more likely to engage with your content, even in a marketing environment. Studies show that the primary reason given for this engagement is that they expect the interaction to be fun. A sports venue site is the perfect setting to leverage that expectation. Your users will also love that with your virtual tour, they can see their lines of sight as near as possible to real life before making a ticket purchase. You can also expect to see an increase in the sale of VIP tickets, as buyers will be able to view your VIP spaces up close and know exactly what they are paying for.
- Increase private event space rentals. Event coordinators have options. A virtual tour increases the likelihood that they will book with you. They will be able to see your event spaces in full detail and explore areas in context in a way that is not possible with 2D photos. The 360° tour will allow them to see the facilities as if they were there in person so they can fully envision their event in your venue. They can “walk through” and explore details such as table layout, lighting, and available technology. They can get a glimpse behind the scenes that will aid their planning. We can add “hot spot” graphics to highlight specific areas of the venue and individual amenities. We can even embed music and video to add atmosphere and give the user a powerful sense of immersion within a space. Users will appreciate the ability to conveniently see the amenities your facility offers, in many cases without scheduling a physical tour. This would result in both time and resource savings for your venue. As above, virtual tours are easily shared on social media, driving more online traffic—and thus potential bookings—to your venue site.
- Maximize advertising and corporate sponsorship opportunities. Advertisers love a virtual tour because it allows them to display their products in the best possible light. (Think 3D tours of new cars, for example.) They know that virtual tours generate more page views, greater customer engagement, and increased sales. They will consider your virtual tours value-added revenue drivers.
- Increase efficiency and decrease costs of venue staff. Virtual tours allow users to access your site and find answers to their questions themselves, resulting in a decrease in phone calls and e-mail inquiries to your venue.
- Have a favorable impact on your bottom line. Inbound marketing is generally more cost-effective than outbound. Tour marketing is a powerful inbound revenue driver, and virtual tours even more so. Virtual tours make good financial sense, as they have a lower cost-per-view than standard 2D photos. In addition to being a traffic-generator, statistics show that virtual tours have a return on investment (ROI) of less than 4 weeks.
- Capitalize on the virtual reality trend. Virtual reality is hot right now, so much so that it would be hard to find a more effective marketing tool. Once you add a virtual tour to your venue site, with an inexpensive VR viewer like Google Cardboard (around $15), anyone can watch your 360° tour in full-immersion virtual reality.
A Final Consideration for Virtual Tours
If you’re still undecided if adding a virtual tour to your site is right for your venue, you may want to consider one more thing: your competition. If they are not already using virtual tours in their marketing programs, they will be.
Can you afford to be left behind?