Virtual Tours vs. Video Tours? Which is Better for Online Marketing Today!
It’s common to hear “video tours” and “virtual tours” lumped together in the same category, as if they’re the same thing. In reality, video tours and virtual tours are worlds apart in what they offer sellers, buyers and agents.
The virtual tour (as in virtual realty) used by agents today consist of still photos plugged into an automated software program. The result is a series of photos, panning and zooming, on occasion with a musical background. Virtual tours are easy to create and as such be inexpensive, but do they still offer agents advantages in real estate marketing? Do they sell the home faster?
Do they really work?
1. Viral Slideshows vs the Viral Videos
Videos are viral. Ever heard of the term “viral” applied to slideshows or virtual tours? Of course not. There is a reason you haven’t.
With the explosion of YouTube and online video, home shoppers and sellers expect more from their online experience. Viewers love to watch a story unfold, and a full motion, walk-through video tour tells each home’s story. A video tour showcases the best features of each property, with narration, graphics and music all connecting with buyers and sellers on an emotional level.
2. Social Sharing Love
Videos are social by nature. Just as you learned in kindergarten, it’s important to share – and now it's fun! And every marketer knows social media is all about sharing, whether it’s on twitter, facebook, pinterest etc. Unlike virtual tours, it’s a cinch to share video tours on social media or via email and they’re easily embedded into websites. After uploading a tour to your YouTube channel, a click of a button can put it on pinterest, and a simple copy and paste of the url will place it on Twitter, your Linkedin profile, and Facebook as well. No so with virtual tours.
3. Standing out from the Competition
Videos stand out. At one time, virtual tours gave agents an advantage over those who offered photography alone. Virtual tours were new and different. Now, just about everyone has some sort of virtual tour for their listing.
A full motion, narrated, video tour lets agents show clients that they are using the latest technology to market their property to get maximum exposure. It’s all about enhancing your marketing strategy, to set yourself apart from the competition.
4. Give them What They Want
Video is all the rage. With high speed internet connections and advances in digital technology, viewers aren't begging to see slideshows online. Virtual tours are still two-dimensional, tend to be visually static and uninteresting, and can be frustrating for the viewer. All too often, virtual tours rehash the same photos that the user already viewed and that's that. As for the 360 degree tours, some clients complain they make them dizzy, even calling them the “vertigo tours” and avoid them entirely.
5. Call to Action
Video enables a call to action. Every author, script writer or movie producer will tell you that any story needs a great ending. Unlike virtual tours, a video tour offers the ending that every agent needs – a call to action! It answers the unasked question, “I’m interested…what should I do?”
Viewers need clear instructions on how to take the next step. A video tour’s ending narration combined with graphics will explain to the viewer exactly how to contact the agent for the next step… scheduling their own personal tour!
And on sharing, if you found this post helpful, I’d be very grateful if you’d help it spread by emailing it to a friend, or sharing it on Twitter and Facebook. Thank you!