High quality virtual tours are a great way to showcase your business, or to let potential buyers experience a property and entice them to take the next step. Of course, a virtual tour should create a visually stunning view of your business or property, which means you need to include all of the main areas—and often some exterior shots that show the grounds, as well.
But is there anything you shouldn’t include in a virtual tour? Here are some suggestions for things that don’t need to make the final cut in order to create an appealing and engaging virtual tour.
Repeated images of similar areas
If you’re creating a virtual tour keep in mind that it will be viewed in a similar way as a video. It’s usually a good idea to keep the running time short. People viewing videos online often don’t want to sit through more than one or two minutes (unless it’s a movie or television show)—much longer, and you’ll lose their attention as they start looking for something else to watch.
Streamline your virtual tours by including just one or two images when you have similar areas. For example, if you’re creating a virtual tour for a hotel, you don’t need photos or video of every room. Showcase one of each room style for the best effect.
For slideshow-style virtual tours, it can be tempting to include dozens and dozens of shots, just to make sure the viewers see everything. But again, most people won’t be interested in clicking through a myriad of images.
If you’re providing tons of images and video for a virtual tour, make sure you use your virtual tour software and build a thumbnail gallery into the presentation, to make it easy for viewers to find just what they’re looking for, quickly.
Back rooms or staff-only areas
Virtual tours are a great way to promote your virtual tour business, but avoid including images or video of areas your customers aren’t going to use. Even if you have good intentions, such as offering a “behind-the-scenes” look at your business, you may inadvertently raise concerns for potential customers. You may also run into some privacy issues for your staff.
360 Panorama views
A good 360 panoramic shot is actually a great thing to include in a virtual tour. What you should not include is a poorly made panorama—if these shots are done wrong, improperly stitched, taken without the use of a panohead, or made to the wrong size, they will load slowly in your virtual tour and give end users a bad experience.
If you’re going to feature panoramic views in your virtual tour, make sure you have a good quality camera and lens, as well as virtual tour software that gives you seamless “stitching” to create high quality panoramas. RTV highly recommends www.ptgui.com photo stitching software.
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