The term “virtual tour” has changed definitions over the years. Before 360° photography services became well-known and affordable, people could mislead businesses by presenting them slideshows of panoramas and video walk-throughs trying to pass them off as virtual tours. Thankfully, there are now businesses, like Dart-Frog, that really want to help your fitness business and give you a real interactive virtual tour with immersive 360° technology that your current and potential customers will love. The best part is that it puts you miles ahead of your competitors on Google.
When a potential customer Google searches, “gyms in my area,” what will they see? Hopefully they’ll see a few things: A Google My Business listing (GMB) with still-photos of your gym or fitness business and a Street View 360° photo of the outside with a “See Outside” label on it. These few elements are the most typical, but most gyms still aren’t using the greatest feature available of a GMB: A virtual tour made up of linked 360 photos with a “See Inside”: label on the front page.
Check out Fitness Elite in Upper Sandusky, Ohio using the “360 Gallery” feature from Google!
This is a very simple example of how your “360 Gallery” feature will work in your gym. But if that’s not enough, other features such as hyperlinks to videos, social media, and sign-ups can be placed in a virtual tour to publish on your website or any website! The more complex virtual tours that have these features are usually built for real-estate listings (Because Google takes care of a lot of features for you), but they can still be useful for your business if you have a use for them!
So what does a virtual tour do?
- You set the bar in visual marketing– We’re not calling still photos obsolete, but it’s just not enough anymore. People want to be able to see the inside of a business without having to leave their homes at any time of the day and without sliding through another boring photo gallery.
- It eliminates all excuses – Some people have “no time” to check out a new gym, some don’t want to feel pressured to buy a membership, and some just put off looking at a gym. A virtual tour published on Google destroys all of those excuses. Better yet, you can get them hooked on your facility while doing no work at all. You will probably have to give them a quick real-world walk around when they come to visit, but they’ll likely already be sold on buying a membership before they even walk in.
- It creates a low-restriction environment – Still-photos and traditional video restrict too much of your potential customer’s control of their experience; and if there’s one thing that humans love, it’s control. With a virtual tour, you’re saying, “Welcome, feel free to look around and visit us if you’re interested!” and not, “Here is a picture of our sign, bench press, and locker room. Buy us.”
Having a virtual tour is a necessity in today’s business world and it looks really cool, but you probably don’t want to spend a lot of money on a good camera, equipment, software, learning the software, or going through the process of becoming a part of the Google Trusted Photographer program for something you’ll use once. Well don’t worry about it, we’ve already done all that for you and we’re ready to bring you as much value as we can.