New Google Business Profile Photo Layouts/in Google Business Profile, LocalMN 301, Maps, Photography, Virtual Tours /by Paul Jahn
7 Ways to Include Photos in your Google Business Profile (GBP)/in Google, Google Business Profile, Images, Photography /by Paul Jahn
Behind the Scenes – Virtual Tours for Theatres/in Google Business Profile, News, Photography, Virtual Tours /by Paul Jahn
I’m happy to announce virtual tours for theatres and event centers in 2022! It’s great for performance attendees to get to know the theatre safely from their own device, earn trust and be compelled, and buy a ticket to a show.
Behind the virtual tours, being knowledgeable and experienced in theatre and performance center layouts started with me at the age of 3 in Rochester. With my Dad in the male chorus, my Mom performing on the organ, and 2 older sisters who played the piano, it was inevitable for me. So I begged my parents for piano lessons… at 3.
A favorite childhood memory was doing well enough in the MTNA piano competitions to where we were rewarded by playing group piano concerts at the UofMN Northrop Auditorium. If any of us 3 siblings made it, our parents took us up from Rochester to “the cities” to stay at a hotel… with a pool!
I guess I was the tiny kid.
This is eventually what familiarized and compelled myself to notice the different looks of theatres, auditoriums, and performance event centers. The vibe, acoustics, acceptance for dorks, and the sheer music made me want to learn more. I eventually became a Music major in college and played a senior recital in our college auditorium, and that was close to it for my performing career.
This experience and knowledge makes for great theatre virtual tours. Being in the audience for so many events, plus performing enough to know the backstage and secret areas make this niche a perfect fit. Plus, after doing virtual tours and digital marketing in other industries, this just makes perfect sense.
There are plenty of people out there who have experiences similar to mine. When it comes to music and the arts, we’re naturally more passionate and want to know more about you, the theatre venue we’re thinking of visiting.
In your virtual tour, showcasing driving directions, where to hang my coat, showing where the restrooms are, and of course viewing the different seating options to choose are completely compelling. These are the benefits I like to provide others who are thinking of visiting your theatre.
That’s my story. What’s yours whether it’s for music, arts, or theatres in general? Sound off on Twitter!
6 Tips on How to Stage and be Ready for your 360 Virtual Tour/in Google, Google Business Profile, Local Search, LocalMN 101, Photography, Virtual Tours /by Paul Jahn
You’re ready for your virtual tour. You’ve hired a company, or are thinking of hiring one. Whichever the case, here are some good pro-tips from experience to help you stage your tour and be ready beforehand.
Staging works great for both Google and custom tours, and it can really help stand out for the latter when you combine color schemes, table of content, and hotspots (info spots) to the virtual tour.
The Google tours are what people are first used to seeing as your Google tour will automatically be placed in their Maps results. These results are visited often, and may even provide indirect SEO benefits.
Here are some useful tips
In general, it’s great to have a bright interior space. If not, we have editing tools to improve all photos taken. Ensure that all your lights are working properly to have consistent light throughout the tour.
Stage your place
Stage your place just like you would want to showcase to a customer as they walk in your door. It’s these virtual, visual impressions that can bring people from their device and ready to walk in your door.
Display your safety protocols
Not just staging, but displaying your safety protocols helps make it safe, compelling, and ready for people to come visit you. Especially since 2020, customers are more conscious of distancing and sanitizing.
Watch for the weather
It’s hard to measure the weather. When possible, days that are at least partly sunny are superior. Some of the 360 photos are exterior and having some blue in the sky help make the tour more compelling for the user.
Showcase specific photos
If you have machines, products, scenes, or anything you want to call out, let us know. You can have specific photos of these for your custom tour.
Think about Stills and Tiny (little) Planet photos
Think about opportunities for stills and Tiny Planet photos. These can be a great, creative way for your use on social media and other content. Be the center of your planet!
Here’s just another example of what can be done. This is a plain scene, although you can have features such as your staff be the center of the planet!
Consider HIPAA and other precautions
From either HIPAA laws or personal choices, your location may need to be empty. For this reason, LocalMN is available for your tours on weekends.
LocalMN provides both custom and Google tours for you for 2 reasons:
The custom tours are superior. There are tables of contents, branding, your color schemes, and the control and assurance that all the arrows point to the right direction. This is what we recommend you embed on your website with a short and easy code that we provide for you.
Also, the tool we use to create these virtual tours allow us to publish both the Google and custom tours in not a lot of extra time. We pass this saving to you and you get the best of both worlds!
We have a lot of experience in Google My Business (now Google Business Profile). Have your virtual tour created by us and hit us up with any questions.
New School and Campus Tours/in Google Business Profile, Local Search, Maps, Photography, Virtual Tours /by Paul Jahn
Custom Vs. Google Virtual Tours – Which One Works Best for Your User?/in Google Business Profile, Local Search, Maps, Photography, Virtual Tours /by Paul Jahn
Virtual Tours During COVID/in Google, Google Business Profile, Local Search, Photography /by Paul Jahn
Virtual tours for businesses have been very compelling well before the COVID pandemic came. They simply let users tour your location to get a good feel and then hopefully visit you.
Some of you are open, some of you are not. COVID still brings a challenge. Potential customers can’t just show up in person beforehand, but you can keep your visual process moving forward.
Benefits of Local Business Virtual Tours
Visually showcase your social distancing guidelines
You may have plexiglass at your arrival to separate you from customers or social distancing floor stickers. Showcase these in your virtual tours to help ensure safety for your visitors.
Reach more potential customers with less
By letting people remotely tour your location, you can reach more while keeping face-to-face contact low to help limit the spread.
At the end of the tour, you can direct users to book a reservation or appointment. It can be as easy as placing a simple form on your respective web page.
Virtual Tour Options
- Google Street View and virtual tours – show in your Google My Business (maps) profile and it’s highly searchable
- Custom virtual tours – like the Google Street View tours, and with customized features and branding for your business to embed on your site, social media, and other relevant places
- Matterport – very popular and a definite leader in the real estate industry
One myth: “Having Google Virtual Tours helps your SEO rankings”. Beware of this claim. This can arguably be indirectly true since the more complete your Google My Business profile is, the better your local SEO rankings are in general. A Google virtual tour will help. With that said, virtual tours do not have a direct impact on your SEO rankings.
We hope this all helps you understand virtual tours and the impact it can make.
LocalMN specializes in virtual tours. See our Google and custom virtual tour page for more information.
Happy 2020! Showcase Your Google Listings with 360 Photos and Virtual Tours/in Google Business Profile, Local Search, LocalMN 101, Photography /by Paul Jahn
First of all, Happy New Year! I hope you had a fun and safe New Year, and all the best wishes for you in this new decade.
In 2010, 360 photos and virtual tours really didn’t exist. In fact, Google My Business (GMB) listings didn’t launch until June, 2014. The Rochester Post-Bulletin even recognized this in a piece written in August, 2017.
Here are a few known findings from Google:
- When searching for businesses, consumers use mapping products 44% of the time
- Listings with photos and a virtual tour are twice as likely to generate interest
- On average, 41% of these place searches result in an on-site visit
A brief overview of Google 360 Street View Trusted Pro Photographers:
Have you used this as a consumer? If so, you may have gotten great visuals of inside a location, implied directions, or compelling photos enticing you to visit their door. Maybe a show at First Avenue?
You can easily bring your location to life, and this is just one part of Google My Business that can help.
Here’s to you! Happy 2020, and all the best in using Google tools to help benefit your business or organization.
Localmn Interactive offers Google Street View Photography services with plenty of knowledge, experience, and local search strategies.
New Google Local Marketing Kit for the Summer of 2019/2 Comments/in Google, Google Business Profile, Google Trusted Verifier, Local Search, LocalMN 301, Maps, Photography /by Paul Jahn
Google has taken another step to take your local marketing efforts easier and more streamlined this 2019 Summer with their new local marketing kit. This ties in nicely in your Google My Business (GMB) profile.
Create custom posters, social posts, and more from reviews and highlights on your Business Profile on Google. All for free.From the new Google Marketing Kit
In addition, it provides video and promotion options.
This Google-provided video is currently pretty cheesy, yet gives options including easily embedding the YouTube video within your content such as this blog. As of yet, I don’t know if you can customize this.
Another new opportunity is pre-made (social) Google Posts. They also give you the option to share these on social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter, plus a downloading option for you to share wherever in your content you feel relevant.
The current examples they seem to have are a bit generic, but I see them useful for filler Google Posts. My mind may change tomorrow, although I don’t see these as useful for Facebook and Twitter. I’d rather see updates that tell more of a story. But maybe that’s just me. Example:
If you’re a restaurant, hotel, or any other business prone to potential positive reviews, this is certainly worth filler posts.
At an enterprise level with multiple listings, this opportunity is a must with proper management. For stand alone local businesses, I have a couple reservations.
The best (or worst) part of it is that Google owns all the data. Yep, they still own the local search content you provide. For this, they even own the analytics although they show you an overview in your GMB panel. I only imagine that they use all of this to help calculate your overall authority in the results, and indirectly, your rankings in the local 3-pack.
Google does get info for these based on both content you provide in your own free Google My Business (GMB) profile combined with ratings or your organization.
I was a huge fan of the Small Thanks with Google Site that gave you free posters to showcase the positive things customers say about you, but the site’s now down. There’s no redirect and is now just a broken 404 page. The above-mentioned Google local marketing kit seems to be the replacement along with the other opportunities.
Google has a pretty strict policy regarding obtaining user reviews, and a lot of fantastic articles have been written regarding this. In a nutshell, soliciting positive reviews is bad. Reminding people they can leave honest reviews is good. Google is now showcasing the latter with new window decals.
Have you or your company/organization used the Google Local Marketing kit yet? We’d love to hear your experiences!
LocalMN Interactive Marketing
15 S. 1st St, #A516
Minneapolis, MN 55401