Using Virtual Tours to Showcase Universities, Schools & Colleges

Long gone are the days of full government funding for Australian Universities, Schools and Colleges, and these day,s they are becoming increasingly reliant on enrolments from regional and international students.

Innovative and efficient Marketing Strategies to reach new students (and their parents) and increase enrolments, is therefore also becoming increasingly important.

It is also more challenging for Universities, Schools and Educational Institutions to “stand out from the crowd” and effectively promote and market the facilities, services and activities that they have on offer to students.

Virtual Tours are increasingly being used by Educational Institutions to provide a unique, innovative, interactive and cost effective way to promote their facilities and increase enrolments.

 

Why a Virtual Tour ?

For a whole lot of reasons, Virtual Tours are a fantastic way to showcase Schools and Universities to potential new students (and their families).  Some of the advantages a Virtual Tour has over traditional marketing strategies include :

  • Innovative – a Virtual Tour is a unique and innovative way for potential families to “experience” and interact with your facilities
  • Multi Use – there are many ways your Virtual Tour can be used.  It can be embedded into a Website, posted onto Social Media, emailed as a link, or experienced via a Virtual Reality (VR) Headset
  • Reusable – once you have a Virtual Tour setup, it can be used and re-used multiple times… Only needing refreshing/updating if you have a significant change in the physical appearance or layout of your facilities
  • Easy Access – a Virtual Tour can be available to anyone with Internet Access.  Potential students do not have to physically visit your campus to get a taste of the facilities you offer. 
  • Ease of Use – most people find using and navigating a Virtual Tour fairly intuitive and are able to use it with little or no instruction
  • Time to Market – typically we would be able to create and publish your Virtual Tour within 7-10 days of the photoshoot (large or very sophisticated VTs may take a little longer)
  • Emotional Attachment – because of the interactive process involved in undertaking a  Virtual Tour, and the “control” the user has over their experience, it naturally becomes a more emotional experience than is possible with photos or video (which offer very little in the way of participation).
  • Extra Information – a Virtual Tour can include hotspots and extra functionality to help showcase your campus, such as :
    • Your Branding/Logo
    • Links to a website
    • “Call Now” Link to directly dial a phone number
    • Menu system / Navigation
    • Hotspots with popup Information, Photos or Video
    • Background Sound
    • and more…

 Virtual Tour Options

There are a variety of different types of Virtual Tours and associated available for Schools. Colleges and Universities, at a range of costs and offering a variety of different features :

Google Virtual Tour
Standalone Virtual Tour
Individual 360° Panospheres
Aerial 360° Panosphere

This types of tour is probably the one that is most widely noticed…. because it is accessible directly from Google Search / Google Maps, and can also be embedded into a website, sent as a link, or added into social media.  It is the simplest Virtual Tour to setup and publish, but has relatively limited features. Examples :

Standalone Virtual Tours are the most popular style of VTs for Scho0ols and Universities because they allow you to include Logo/Branding information and offer a wide variety of features and functionality, including Hotspots, Menu Navigation, Image/Video Popups, Background Audio, Auto Rotation… and more… Examples :

An Individual 360° Panosphere is a single interactive image – usually published to Google Maps.  It doesn’t include navigation/walkthrough capabilities or fancy features, but can be added to Google Maps, embedded into your website, or posted to social media. Examples :

Like an Individual 360° Panosphere, an Aerial Panosphere is a single interactive image, but it provides an aerial perspective (taken from a drone) and provides a great way to showcase the location/community Examples :

What Does it Cost?

Prices for a 360° Photo or Virtual Tour to showcase your School or University, start from as little as $120 for an Individual Photosphere ranging up to several thousand dollars for a large sophisticated Standalone Virtual Tour.

Costs will vary depending on the size and layout of the areas you’d like to include in the virtual tour… and the features and functionality you would like to offer. We can also offer a significant discount for multiple tours for a number of centres

If you’d like to discuss how we can help you create a Virtual Tour to promote your Child Care Centre, give Andy a call on 0403 023 223 or Contact Us.

Child Care Centre Marketing with Virtual Tours

Australia’s Child Care Industry has grown substantially in the last 10 years… with 2018 seeing more new centres than ever before – both locally and throughout Australia.

In some areas this has resulted in centres opening with only a handful of customers, contributing to an industry-wide oversupply that has cut profits across the sector. The oversupply hasn’t generally resulted in fees falling, but, there have been extra promotional drives by many operators to increase enrolments.

It is becoming more and more challenging for Child Care Centres to “stand out from the crowd” and effectively promote and market their offerings.

Virtual Tours are increasingly being used within the Child Care Industry to provide a unique, innovative, interactive and cost effective way to promote child care centres.

 

Why a Virtual Tour ?

For a whole lot of reasons, Virtual Tours are a fantastic way to showcase Child Care Centres to potential new parents and families.  Some of the advantages a Virtual Tour has over traditional marketing strategies include :

  • Innovative – a Virtual Tour is a unique and innovative way for potential families to “experience” and interact with your facilities
  • Multi Use – there are many ways your Virtual Tour can be used.  It can be embedded into a Website, posted onto Social Media, emailed as a link, or experienced via a Virtual Reality (VR) Headset
  • Reusable – once you have a Virtual Tour setup, it can be used and re-used multiple times… Only needing refreshing/updating if you have a significant change in the physical appearance or layout of your centre
  • Easy Access – a Virtual Tour can be available to anyone with Internet Access.  Potential customers do not have to physically visit your location to get a taste of the facilities you offer. 
  • Ease of Use – most people find using and navigating a Virtual Tour fairly intuitive and are able to use it with little or no instruction
  • Time to Market – typically we would be able to create and publish your Virtual Tour within 7-10 days of the photoshoot (large or very sophisticated VTs may take a little longer)
  • Emotional Attachment – because of the interactive process involved in undertaking a  Virtual Tour, and the “control” the user has over their experience, it naturally becomes a more emotional experience than is possible with photos or video (which offer very little in the way of participation).
  • Extra Information – a Virtual Tour can include hotspots and extra functionality to help showcase your centre, such as :
    • Your Branding/Logo
    • Links to a website
    • “Call Now” Link to directly dial a phone number
    • Menu system / Navigation
    • Hotspots with popup Information, Photos or Video
    • Background Sound
    • and more…

 Virtual Tour Options

There are a variety of different types of Virtual Tours and associated available for Child Care Centres, at a range of costs and offering a variety of different features

Google Virtual Tour

This types of tour is probably the one that is most widely noticed…. because it is accessible directly from Google Search / Google Maps, and can also be embedded into a website, sent as a link, or added into social media.  It is the simplest Virtual Tour to setup and publish, but has relatively limited features. Examples :

Standalone Virtual Tour

Standalone Virtual Tours are the most popular style of VTs for the Child Care/Early learning Industry because they allow you to include Logo/Branding information and offer a wide variety of features and functionality, including Hotspots, Menu Navigation, Image/Video Popups, Background Audio, Auto Rotation… and more… Examples :

Individual 360° Panospheres

An Individual 360° Panosphere is a single interactive image – usually published to Google Maps.  It doesn’t include navigation/walkthrough capabilities or fancy features, but can be added to Google Maps, embedded into your website, or posted to social media. Examples :

Aerial 360° Panosphere

Like an Individual 360° Panosphere, an Aerial Panosphere is a single interactive image, but it provides an aerial perspective (taken from a drone) and provides a great way to showcase the location/community Examples :

What Does it Cost?

Prices for a 360° Photo or Virtual Tour to showcase your Child Cre Centre, start from as little as $120 for an Individual Photosphere ranging up to several thousand dollars for a large sophisticated Standalone Virtual Tour.

Costs will vary depending on the size and layout of the areas you;’d like to include in the virtual tour… and the features and functionality you would like to offer. We can also offer a significant discount for multiple tours for a number of centres

If you’d like to discuss how we can help you create a Virtual Tour to promote your Child Care Centre, give Andy a call on 0403 023 223 or Contact Us.

Using 360° Imagery and Virtual Tours to Promote Tourism

Virtual Tours, 360° Photos and 360° Video offer unique, innovative and interactive marketing opportunities. Tourism Operators and agencies are increasingly using these technologies to more effectively showcase the locations, facilities and events that they offer to tourists.

Benefits of 360° Imagery

360° Photos, Video and Virtual Tours offer a collection of unique benefits which make them extremely effective at showcasing and promoting tourism based activities and events :

  • Innovation – Offer a very impressive “wow” factor – particular when coupled with aerial imagery
  • Connectivity & Accessibility – Provide a spatial awareness which is not possible with most other forms of marketing. Virtual Tours can be used by anyone with internet access via a variety of devices (mobile, desktop, VR Headset)…
  • Experiential  & Interactive – Offer an “experience” based interface, where users get to Interact and actually participate. This provides a level of emotional attachment not available through traditional media (photos and video)
  • Inspirational – Offer a “taste” of the experience and provide insights into what is on offer, which very often results in a “I want to see more” moment. 
  • Recycle – Virtual Tours are able to incorporate and reference existing content (information, Photos, Video, Stories, Links, Audio, etc…) .
  • Extendable – can very easily be updated, modified and improved to update or add extra activities and experiences

The Tabs below provide examples of different ways (primarily in South East Queensland) that 360° Imagery has been used for promoting Tourism :

360° Photos
Aerial 360s
360° Video
Google Virtual Tours
Standalone Virtual Tours
Street View

Individual 360° Photos (Panospheres) provide an interactive 360° experience allowing users full control to look around (tilt, pan and zoom).

Click and Drag an image to move around

Over 100,000 views per year

Panospheres can be uploaded directly to Google Maps, Social Media, or 3rd party Tourism sites such as Expedia or Tripadvisor

Aerial 360° Panospheres provide a unique “overhead” perspective on a location. The best quality aerial photos consist of multiple photographs taken with a drone or UAV and processed to create a single high quality 360° aerial photo.

Aerial 360s offer a unique way to show a large area and, when incorporated into a virtual tour, offer a fantastic framework for showcasing tourist destinations.

Click and Drag an image to move around

25,000+ Views in 10 months

360° Video has developed a bot of a reputation for being poor quality, and complex (and expensive) to produce… however recent technological advances have resulted in dramatic quality improvements and significant cost reductions – making it accessible to even low budget marketing campaigns.

Virtual Tours published to Google are directly available via Google Search and Google Maps, and can be embedded into a website, social media.. or emailed as a link. However Google Virtual Tours have relatively limited features.

Click and Drag an image to move around

Standalone Virtual Tours are often one of the most effective ways to promote tourism as they give you much more control of the experience. They also offer a wide range of features such as :

  • Logo/Branding
  • Custom Icons
  • Menu Navigation
  • External Links
  • a variety of Hotspots and popup capabilities (e.g. Photo, Gallery, Video, Audio)
  • Auto-rotation
  • and much much more.

Click and Drag an image to move around

See esplanade.panoview.com.au for Full Screen version

See lescapade.panoview.com.au for Full Screen version

See naturalbridge.panoview.com.au for Full Screen version

Usually Street View functionality would only be available once the Google Street View car has visited your area… but for new or remote locations this may take years (if at all)… It is however possible to create and publish to Google Maps a Virtual Tour which replicates the Street View experience.

Click and Drag an image to move around

What Does it Cost ?

Costs will vary depending on the location, the size and layout of the area/s you want covered, and the features/functionality that you’d like to include… Prices start from as little as $100 for a single 360° panosphere up to thousands of dollars for large sophisticated standalone virtual tours.

We would typically be able to provide a ballpark figure once we have spoken to you, but may need to undertake a site visit to provide you with a formal quote.

Find Out More…

If you’d like to discuss how we can help you to incorporate 360° Photos, Video or Virtual Tours into your Tourism Marketing Campaign, please give Andy a call on 0403 023 223 or Contact Us.

How Local Councils are using Virtual Tours

Virtual Tours, 360° Photos and 360° Video offer unique, innovative and interactive ways of marketing. Local, Regional and City Councils are increasingly using these technologies to more effectively showcase the locations, facilities and events that they provide to residents and visitors.

The Tabs below provide examples of different Virtual Tour projects used by Councils in South East Queensland :

Community Halls
Parks & Playgrounds
Special Events
Tourism
Suburban Experiences

Many Local Councils have Community Halls, buildings or community spaces that are available for hire by local residents, for a variety of community and private activities – from hobby or charity based activities through to birthday parties and wedding receptions.

It takes a significant amount of resources to manage these spaces, often with quite a lot of time and expense involved with marketing and managing bookings – particularly when potential hirers wish to “inspect” the spaces prior to bookings.

A Virtual Tour is a fantastic way to showcase the capabilities of a particular venue and specific spaces within each venue – and can save significant time, effort and costs associated with visual inspections prior to booking.

Community Hall Virtual Tours can be published direct to Google (as a Google StreetView Virtual Tour)and then embedded into the booking page/s on your website – or sent to potential hirers by email as a link.


More sophisticated Standalone Virtual Tours which offer many more features and capabilities, could also be used for a more sophisticated approach to marketing and booking your local community spaces.

Parks, Playgrounds, and Sporting Fields are significant assets for Local Councils… and provide fantastic amenity for local residents and visitors, but incur significant maintenance and management costs – and are often under-utilised.

One of the main issues with the use of community spaces likes parks is promoting what services and facilities are actually available. Residents who live in the immediate vicinity are often aware and make use of these spaces, but those living in the wider community and visitors to the area are often oblivious to the great facilities that are often available.

Google Virtual Tours can be created and are accessible direct from Google Maps…(or can be embedded into a local council website), and Standalone Virtual Tours offer a range of more sophisticated features such as Branding/Menu Navigation/Popup Information Hotspots and External Links.

See Full Screen View Here : bccparks.panoview.com.au

360° photos (particularly aerial 360°photos) are very effective at showing off parks and playgrounds and where they are located in relation to the neighbourhood and other community facilities.

Whether it is a one-off Special Occasion, an Annual Event, or a recurring local activity, Virtual Tours can provide a unique and innovative way to promote Special Events.

By providing potential visitors with an insight into what is on offer, a virtual tour can not only make the event accessible to a much wider audience, but encourage more people to attend physically.

Because of the unique nature of special events, a Standalone Virtual Tour is probably the best option, because they provide greater control and flexibility.

See Full Screen View Here : curiocity.panoview.com.au

As well as offering facilities and services for local residents, attracting visitors (as well as new businesses and residents) is a key role of any council.

Promoting tourism to the various local attractions is therefore a VERY important function of councils.

Virtual Tours are a fantastic way to showcase the various attractions and facilities a region has to offer to tourists and visitors as well as local residents.

See Full Screen View Here : esplanade.panoview.com.au

See Full Screen View Here : naturalbridge.panoview.com.au

Using a Virtual Tour to showcase a particular Suburb, Region or Area, provides an interactive visual tool, which gives great spatial awareness (so users can see which activities/facilities are where in relation to locations they may be familiar with) but also, (because they are “in control” of the experience) forms a much higher emotional attachment than is possible with traditional marketing tools such as photos or videos.

See Full Screen View Here : carinaheights.panoview.com.au

Get a Virtual Tour

If you’d like to find out more about how Virtual Tours and 360° Photos and Video could be used to promote events, facilities, and services within your local council area, please give Andy a call on 0403 023 223 … or Contact Us.

Virtual Tours for Retirement Villages

With Australia’s aging population, it is unsurprising that Aged Care is a rapidly growing industry.  There is an increasing array of accommodation and service options available to retirees, with more and more providers offering a diversity of different facilities including :

  • Retirement Villages
  • Over 50s Resorts
  • Aged Care Centers
  • Nursing Homes

It is becoming increasingly challenging for Aged Care providers to “stand out from the crowd” and effectively promote and market their offerings.

 

Why a Virtual Tour ?

For a whole lot of reasons, Virtual Tours are a fantastic way to showcase Aged Care facilities to potential residents (and their families).  Some of the advantages a Virtual Tour has over traditional marketing strategies include :

  • Innovative – a Virtual Tour is a unique and innovative way for potential resident to “experience” and interact with your facilities
  • Multi Use – there are many ways your Virtual Tour can be used.  It can be embedded into a Website, posted onto Social Media, emailed as a link, or experienced via a Virtual Reality (VR) Headset
  • Reusable – once you have a Virtual Tour setup, it can be used and re-used multiple times… Only needing refreshing/updating if you have a significant change in the physical appearence or layout of your facility
  • Easy Access – a Virtual Tour can be available to anyone with Internet Access.  Potential residents do not have to physically visit your location to get a taste of the facilities you offer.  This is ideal for Remote, Interstate or even International prospects
  • Ease of Use – most people find using and navigating a Virtual Tour fairly intuitive and are able to use it with little or no instruction
  • Time to Market – typically we would be able to create and publish your Virtual Tour within 7-10 days of the photoshoot (large or very sophisticated VTs may take a little longer)
  • Emotional Attachment – because of the interactive process involved in undertaking a  Virtual Tour, and the “control” the user has over their experience, it naturally becomes a more emotional experience than is possible with photos or video (which offer very little in the way of participation).
  • Extra Information – a Virtual Tour can include hotspots and extra functionality to help showcase your facility, such as :
    • Your Branding/Logo
    • Links to a website
    • “Call Now” Link to directly dial a phone number
    • Menu system / Navigation
    • Hotspots with popup Information, Photos or Video
    • Background Sound
    • and more…

 Virtual Tour Options

There are a variety of different types of Virtual Tours and associated available for Aged Care facility providers, at a range of costs and offering a variety of different features

Google Virtual Tour

This types of tour is probably the one that is most widely noticed…. because it is accessible directly from Google Search / Google Maps, and can also be embedded into a website, sent as a link, or added into social media.  It is the simplest Virtual Tour to setup and publish, but has relatively limited features. Examples :

Standalone Virtual Tour

Standalone Virtual Tours are the most popular style of VTs for the Aged Care/Retirement Industry because they allow you to include Logo/Branding information and offer a wide variety of features and functionality, including Hotspots, Menu Navigation, Image/Video Popups, Background Audio, Auto Rotation… and more… Examples :

Individual 360° Panospheres

An Individual 360° Panosphere is a single interactive image – usually published to Google Maps.  It doesn’t include navigation/walkthrough capabilities or fancy features, but can be added to Google Maps, embedded into your website, or posted to social media. Examples :

Street View Tours

If your facility includes public road access, then it will (probably) eventually be covered by Googles Street View… However you are likely to be waiting years before the Street View Car is scheduled to visit your development.  We can shoot and publish (to Google Maps) Street View Tours which are available from Google Maps much sooner without having to wait for Google). Examples :

Aerial 360° Panosphere

Like an Individual 360° Panosphere, an Aerial Panosphere is a single interactive image, but it provides an aerial perspective (taken from a drone) and provides a great way to showcase the location/community Examples :

VR Headsets

All Virtual Tours can be viewed from a mobile device or a desktop, however, it is also possible to view most (sometimes with extra customisation) via a Virtual Reality Headset such as the Oculus Go (a Standalone VR Headset with excellent image quality).  This is a much more immersive experience and is a fantastic way to showcase your facility at Expos or Trade Shows.

What About Costs?

Prices for a 360° Photo or Virtual Tour to showcase your Retirement Facility, start from as little as $120 for an Individual Photosphere ranging up to several thousand dollars for a large sophisticated Standalone Virtual Tour.

If you’d like to discuss how we can help you create a Virtual Tour to promote your Aged Care Facility, give Andy a call on 0403 023 223 or ContactUs.

How to Embed a Google Virtual Tour into a Facebook Page

Once a Google Virtual Tour has been published, it can be accessed direct from Google Search or Google Maps, but can also be used in a variety of other ways… You can send links to any view of a Google Virtual Tour, or Embed the tour into your website.  This post provides simple instruction on how you can embed a Google Virtual Tour into a Facebook Page.

First you need to Install a special App called Woobox – this allows you to create a Tab on your preferred Facebook page and insert HTML code into to.  To achieve this, Login to your Facebook account, navigate to the Woobox App and install it by clicking on the Install Page Tab link.

Then select which Facebook Page you would like to add the Tab to  and click on the Add Page Tab Button


After you click the  “Add Page Tab” button, you then you need to authorize the tab application.

Now open a new browser window and go to your Google Virtual Tour in Google Maps (this is important because only Google Maps now includes the embed option). Navigate to the place in the tour you want to start from.  Click on the “three dots” icon in the top left corner and select the “Sher or embed image” option… Click the “Embed Image” Tab; Set the custom width/height to 800 x 600 and Copy the embed code.

Now go back to your Facebook tab page and paste the code from your Google Maps embed into your Woobox custom facebook tab.  Save the settings, then go to “Tab Settings” to give the Tab a suitable title.

That’s it! Visit your facebook page and view your tab. This is what is should look like: Virtual Tour Examples

 

 

 

How to Embed a Google Virtual Tour onto your Website

Once your Google Virtual Tour has been published, it will be available via Google Search and Google Maps… but you can also embed it into your website.

This very simple process is outlined below. Most website owners can probably do this themselves (particularly if your site is a WordPress site), but if you are having trouble, simply pass the link to this post onto your web developer.

Step 1 – Find your listing on Google Maps

First go to Google Maps, search for your business.  It is IMPORTANT that you use Google Maps, because accessing the Tour direct form Google Search does not offer the share/embed capabilities that are provided by Google Maps.

Then click on one of the 360° Panosphere links in the left column (these are associated with the “Storefront” and “Inside Starting Point” views of your tour) to view your Virtual Tour.

embed-google-virtual-tour-into-website-step-1

 

Step 2 – Select the “View” you Want

You can embed ANY view as the starting point of your Virtual Tour into your website. Navigate to the Area you want to use, change direction and zoom level until you get the view you want to use as the starting point in your website.  The click on the 3 dots in the top left :

embed-google-virtual-tour-into-website-step-2

Step 3 – Get Embed Code

Select the “Share or embed image option”

share-or-embed-image

Select the “Embed Image” Tab and then choose the size you want to embedded view to be – Small (400×300), Medium (600×450) or Large (800×600)…  You can also choose a Custom Size (as per the example below) and enter whatever dimensions that you want to use on your website.

Then select and copy (Ctrl C) the HTML embed code (it start with <iframe src and ends with </iframe>)

embed-google-virtual-tour-into-website-step-3

Step 4 – Add the Embed Code to your Website

Edit the page where you want to add the virtual tour into…and Paste the embed code into the html of the page on your website where you’d like your virtual tour to show The process will vary depending on how your website has been created (you may need to get advice from your web developer).

If you are using WordPress, make sure that you paste the code in “Text” mode not “Visual” mode or it will not work.

Step 5 – Save and Check the Page

Save the change and update the page (again thios process will depend on how your site is created).  Then go to the page and your Virtual Tour should be embedded within your website.

Carina Florist – Florist – Carina

logo-squareCarina Florist did have a generic Google+ Business Page (that had automatically been created by Google), but they had not verified or configured it.

They “claimed” the page and had updated it in My Business, but had been waiting more then 3 weeks for the postcard verification.

I helped them to get the page verified, took the panoramic tour photos and was able to publish their Virtual Tour within a week.

Their Google+ Business Page was verified on 7th August and (less than a week later) already has more than 1200 views.  Here is their virtual Tour….

Pet Angel Funerals- Cremation Service – Molendinar

Pet AngelPet Angel a Gold Coast cremation service for pets, had already claimed, verified and setup their Google+ Business Page, but wanted to raise their profile on Google by adding a  virtual tour.

Their Virtual Tour (see below) was published on 14th July – and less than 3 weeks later had received more than 2,000 extra views.

The Guitar Centre – Retail Store – East Brisbane

The Guitar CentreThe Guitar Center already had an existing Google+ Business page and Virtual Tour…. but after moving premises to a brand new store (diagonally across the intersection of Stanley St East and Lisburn St, Woolloongabba), they decided that a new updated Virtual Tour was important.

We scheduled the Photoshoot in March 2015 and published the New Virtual Tour on 30 March 2015 (less than a week after the shoot).

They are still to update the cover photo on their Business+ Page – but in less than 1 month (as of 22 April), the number of views has grown from just under 50,00 to  more than 67,000.