5 Virtual Tour Best Practices

In the last few years, 360 virtual tours have advanced significantly and gained huge popularity across various industries worldwide. In fact, a study by Google found that those who view a listing with a virtual tour are twice as likely to be interested in booking a reservation there. Additionally, 18-34 year-olds in particular are 130% more likely to book or buy a product/service based on a tour.

More and more businesses are recognising the impressive benefits that 360 virtual tours offer to attract potential customers and enhance their online presence. But creating virtual tours isn’t as easy as you may think. In this blog, we look at the main best practices you should follow when looking to create high-quality virtual tours.

But before we dive deeper into this, let’s ensure we have a complete understanding of what they are and the type of business who would typically benefit most from them.

What Is a 360 Virtual Tour?

To put it simply, a 360 virtual tour is a simulation of an existing physical space that allows viewers to explore and navigate through it as if they were actually there in person.

Unlike traditional photographs or videos, which provide a fixed perspective, 360 virtual tours offer an interactive and immersive experience, allowing viewers to explore the location from any angle at their own pace.

A 360 virtual tour may also use other multimedia features such as sound effects, music, narration, text and floor map to enhance the user experience.

360 virtual tours are used in a variety of different industries, most commonly real estate, hospitality, tourism, education, and business. For example, estate agents typically use virtual tours to showcase properties to potential buyers, and businesses, such as hotels or car dealers, may use them for showcasing their facilities or products online.

So, now we know what they are, here are some of the key best practices to ensure your virtual tours are engaging and of high-quality.

5 virtual tour best practices include:

  1. Plan and prepare your content
  2. Invest in high-quality equipment & software
  3. Ensure bright lighting
  4. Hire a professional virtual tour company
  5. Optimise for various devices

 

1. Plan and Prepare Your Content

First things first, any successful virtual tour starts with a careful planning and preparing phase.

Start things off by defining the core purpose and goals of your virtual tour, what you want to achieve and identifying any specific areas or features you want to highlight. Understanding these objectives will guide the entire creation process.

Next, you want to plan out the flow of your virtual tour journey, ensuring that users can easily navigate through the space and follow a logical path around the location.

Virtual Tour Best Practices

Before starting your virtual tour journey, detailed planning is key.

2. Invest in High-Quality Equipment & Software

When it comes to capturing stunning 360 visuals, investing in high-quality equipment and software is crucial. After all, the lens is your window to the world.

For the equipment, look at using a DSLR or mirrorless camera with a wide-angle lens (such as the Nikon Z6, Canon EOS R or Sony Alpha Series) to capture a broader perspective. Specialised 360-degree cameras are also fantastic at capturing the entire environment in a single shot, like the Insta360 ONE X2 or Ricoh Theta Z1.

For virtual tour software, there are numerous options available, ranging from user-friendly tools for beginners to advanced platforms for professionals. Some popular choices include Matterport, RoundMe, Kuula, and 3DVista.

Do your research and select equipment and software that aligns with your technical capabilities and level of expertise, desired features and of course, budget, as prices can vary significantly.

If you don’t feel confident producing this sort of content, why not leave it to the professionals? At Buffoon Media, we offer 360 virtual tour services across Wales & London. Drop us a message to see how we can help your business create top-quality virtual tours.

3. Bright Lighting

In addition to high-quality equipment and software, proper lighting and composition plays a key role in creating captivating and engaging virtual tours.

Ensure that the space is well-lit with bright lighting, both naturally and artificially, to showcase its best features and allow viewers to see the true colours of the surroundings. Play around with different lighting setups and techniques to achieve the desired mood and ambiance of the location.

Virtual Tour Best Practices

In terms of space composition, consider the placement of objects and features within the environment. Aim for balanced and visually pleasing compositions that guide viewers through the tour journey seamlessly.

Additionally, take your time to prepare the location or business space so that it’s presented in the most visually appealing way possible. By this we mean, clean and declutter the area, paying attention to details that might appear in the virtual tour.

This preparation stage sets the foundation for a visually appealing and professional virtual tour. Without doing this, you might not get the desired results you were initially hoping for.

4. Hire a Professional Virtual Tour Company

Another tip for producing a successful virtual tour is to hire professionals, like us, to help you. Many components go into creating and producing a virtual tour that you might not have the resources, expertise or time for.

At Buffoon Media, we have years of experience in virtual tour production. All of our 360 virtual tour services across Wales & London use high quality images, perfectly stitched together to create a super high definition 360 photo, added into an interactive environment, produced by us from scratch.

And don’t worry about hosting, we can sort all of that for you making it super easy to add it to your company’s website.

So, let us take the stress off your shoulders and enquire about our virtual tour services today!

Virtual Tour Best Practices

Virtual tour production companies have a team of professionals with expertise in 360 degree photography, videography, and post-production.

5. Optimise for Various Devices

Last but certainly not least, it is absolutely essential that you optimise your virtual tour for use on various devices. In today’s fast-paced digital world, users have little to no patience when it comes to slow-loading and hard to use websites, videos and, you guessed it, tours.

So, ensure that your virtual tour is mobile-friendly and responsive on devices of all screen sizes. A responsive design allows users to explore the virtual tour comfortably on their mobiles or tablets, maximising accessibility and engagement.

We’re Buffoon Media: a bilingual media production company based in Port Talbot and London, producing and live-streaming content across the globe. Learn more about our interactive virtual tour services, as well as the other services we provide on our website. And for more tips, check out our media & video production blog, including ‘6 Benefits of a Virtual Tour’ and ‘How to Create a Virtual Tour for Your Business’.

Written by Kate Jones for Buffoon Media.