Do you have a business and are thinking of having your own virtual tour? The concept of DIY is nothing new, and this also applies to virtual tours. If you are reading this blog, then you are contemplating creating a DIY virtual tour for your business or looking at hiring a professional. Let’s look at what’s involved in creating high-end virtual tours and see if DIY is the answer for your business.
DIY Virtual Tour For Your Business Or Hire A Professional
Not all 360 cameras are the same, and not every 360 camera takes great photos for virtual tours. Do you have a professional 360 camera? The more cost-effective options are great for personal use but may lack the ability to capture rich detail, sharpness and colour. Lower end solutions can make your tour look and feel amateurish. You want your tour to look as professional as possible and not look low budget.
Editing Your Photos
It is not as simple as taking a 360 photo, and then you are done. While 360 cameras have become more sophisticated, the truth is that you will still need to edit your 360 photos. You will also have to edit any glitches or issues that can arise with part of the stitching process. Here is a blog we wrote about all the things that can go wrong and need to be fixed in a 360 photo.
Understanding Of Brand, Marketing & Design
Once you have your photos ready to make into a virtual tour, the tour has to be designed to suit your needs. We have seen many DIY virtual tours with nice-looking photos, but the user interface and focus are not designed for success. Some tours are more sales-focused, while others are for brand awareness, and some are for virtual open days. Our founder Dimitri Cassimatis has a strong background with years of experience in marketing and sales. Over the years, he has gained in-depth experience in designing a virtual tour that not only looks great but also designed for your business needs.
Do You Have The Time to Create A DIY Virtual Tour?
Let’s be honest if you are reading this, you either own your own business or work in an organisation and have been tasked to arrange the creation of a virtual tour. You already work long hours and will have to create this on top of your regular workload. Depending on the virtual tour, it can take days/weeks (in some cases months) to create and build.
Creating a professional virtual tour involves photography, editing, building the tour, debugging the tour and testing for any IT issues that may arise. There is a lot involved and to be honest, we are all busy, especially for a project of this size. Additionally, if your business changes their brand, contact details, update in the showroom, etc then you may need to spend more time updating the tour. The question you have to ask yourself is if you have enough time to make a DIY Virtual Tour let alone look good.
Virtual tours if created correctly, are easy to navigate and use. Behind the tour is a complex structure holding it all together. Making sure the tour is compatible with your existing website is required for a smooth virtual experience, all while not overloading your IT infrastructure. We often have in-depth chats with IT staff to ensure it is compatible with their standard alongside scalability. There is a lot going on behind the scenes of a virtual tour. Many factors have to be taken into account.
We created a tour for a school where an issue was the internet in the surrounding area was not reliable. After talking with the department head, we designed the tour so that it is interactive and fully immersive yet bandwidth aware. This means the end-user does not experience any bottlenecks when viewing the virtual tour. In other words, we created a complex solution for an easy and trouble-free virtual experience. If they went down the DIY Virtual Tour route, the tour would not have been as optimised as they would not have known what to look for,
Virtual Tours Involve More Than You Think
If you want to create a DIY Virtual Tour and have the time and resources to do it, that’s great! As you can see, there is a lot involved (and many more things required). It may be better to hire a professional who can create your virtual tour quickly, easily to your needs, all while looking amazing for your business.
Are you thinking of creating a virtual tour for your company? Are you considering going down the DIY route (DIY Virtual Tour) or hiring a professional? Leave a comment down below and let us know your thoughts 🙂
Dimitri is the founder of Simply 360, which specialises in creating immersive, interactive and engaging 360 / VR virtual tours, AR integration and marketing consultancy. He has worked in the digital marketing industry for over 15 years and has a passion for creating virtual tours with a key focus in strategic implementation.