Virtual tours have enormous versatility in their usefulness. They can be that key immersive visual aid that boosts your website's effectiveness and helps you exceed your sales goals. Whether you're in:
- Construction. You have a new wing of a hospital or shopping center you want to show off to investors.
- Higher education. Not every college prospect has the willingness or budget to travel to every campus on their list to see what it's like. You need a long-distance virtual touring option so non-local admitted students can still fall in love with your campus even if they can't be there in-person.
- Manufacturing. You have large items (playground equipment, custom stove, etc.), and you want to demonstrate how the production process differentiates, then show how the finished product could be used and fit into any specific space
- Resort, hotel, convention center, or sporting arena. If you're in a business where the space (and the amenities of the space) are the product, you need a way to show off your space that wows potential clients.
- Real Estate. A common complaint heard by property buyers is the property doesn't look like the pictures. Considering that 95 percent of buyers search online for properties, a tool that brings them beyond 2D photographs is essential.
A beautifully made virtual tour can immerse potential customers in the benefits and details of what you're selling.
Beyond the Obvious: Why Virtual Tours Are So Effective
As a story in the New York Times once noted, virtual tours connects the space with the emotions of the customer. This is perhaps the most potent value of the technology: it activates emotions in powerful ways.
Before that has any value to you, however, it's important to understand what science has been saying about emotions in recent years. Neuroscientist Antonio Damasio conducted a study on emotions and decision-making and found something intriguing: in people whose brains do not have the ability to produce emotion (because of surgeries or medical conditions), they have an extremely difficult time making decisions. His research concluded that emotions are central in the decision-making process.
This supports what many brand and marketing experts have said over the years: the decision to purchase is primarily an emotional one.
In fact, a study by SMITH concluded there are several different emotional mindsets that are primarily responsible for all decisions to buy. (And this classic article by HubSpot is another great summary of the science behind emotions and purchase decisions.)
As noted by the Visme's Visual Learning Center, 90 percent of the information transmitted to the brain is visual. In addition, people remember 80 percent of what they see and only 20 percent of what they read. The more information is being transmitted and retained, the more opportunity there is for an emotional response to occur while the potential client is viewing your space. The potential for emotional connection is much higher than 2D photographs or written descriptions and drawings.
Yes, a virtual tour will create a general emotional excitement for your space by providing a vibrant interaction between the potential client and your space. But there's more to it than that. The possible emotional responses are many and nuanced:
- Emotions from a Sense of Security and Confidence: If you are trying to provide directions to a certain location to conference attendees at your conference center, students on your campus, or other clients, giving them a virtual tour map will do wonders. A sense of security and confidence will fill them as they use your virtual tour feature, and this can be a subtle but powerfully positive emotion that bleeds over into how they feel about your and your space.
- Emotions Caused By the Atmosphere of a Space and the External Environment: A 3D virtual tour can convey far more emotional nuances of a space than any other medium. Visitors can stand on the balcony of your space and "look up" to see the stunning view of the mountains during the day and the magical way the plaza below the balcony looks when it is lit up at night. There are certain wonderful little things about spaces that defy description, but a virtual tour can capture those nuances.
- Emotions of Satisfied Curiosity and Excited Anticipation: If you are trying to recruit employees to work at your company, a virtual tour of the space where they will work can make a powerful connection between the recruit and the company. Giving them a chance to experience their future work environment virtually not only satisfies their curiosity. It builds a sense of excited anticipation every time they see something they like during their virtual tour.
Examples of Successful Virtual Tours
The following examples are actual virtual tours that have been created for clients including universities, work environments and hotels. Concept3D offers different options for every level of sophistication a client might want.
Texas A&M University
The virtual tour of the vast campus of Texas A&M University not only allows school officials to show off their campus to prospects, it allows students to easily navigate their way around a large, sometimes overwhelming space.
Industry Rino Station
The virtual tour of Industry Rino Station was made to show off the work environment for potential employees. It gave future hires the chance to explore facilities such as the conference room and the kitchen of their potential place of employment.
Hotel Covington's virtual tour allows visitors to immerse themselves in 360 degrees views of the hotel's gorgeous spaces including the main lobby, the restaurants, the meeting rooms, and the guest rooms.
The Powerful Effect of Virtual Tours
Just as being physically present can prompt an emotional connection to the space, a virtual tour can have a similar impact. More of the positive features of a space get transmitted into the brain, and more of those positive features are retained in the memory, especially as emotional responses are triggered. This ultimately adds more efficiency and better results during the sales process.