6 Reasons to Choose Virtual Tours over Video ToursNetworking
Video tours have become a good way to showcase any place that you would like to share with others. Depending on the motivation, video tours’ content can vary from real estate listings, touristic destinations, college facilities, architectural renders, to some random place that brings you joy. But, what is a video tour and why has it become so demanding?
Video tours and their popularity
A video tour is a short video of a maximum duration of 2 minutes, in which you can showcase a specific place in the form of a tour. These well-produced videos follow a narrative from beginning to end, meaning that they are thought to guide the viewer as if they were exploring the place themselves. Depending on the audience, the tour might include background music, voice overs, and text descriptions on the video, to deliver an engaging short experience.
Video tours have become so popular because your audience gets a glimpse of the place you’re presenting through the short experience. Also, video tours provide the advantage of sharing the experience in a matter of minutes, which is key to connect with a prospect. Even so, there is an alternative to video tours that provides the same benefits at a lower cost and with more interaction points.
Virtual tours: A faster and more cost-effective alternative
Virtual tours are well-known in the virtual reality (VR) industry because they offer an improved experience than a video tour does. For a minute, imagine the possibility to see exactly what you want in a house, look into the Sistine Chapel’s ceiling, or get the full immersive experience of your favorite park. That’s what you should expect from a virtual tour.
A virtual tour is a collection of 360-degree photos that are interconnected between each other in a sequence that guides the viewer through the place they are remotely visiting. Because the pictures provide a 360-degree view of the location, you are able to have a full immersive experience as it was a real-life interaction.
To understand more about the differences between a video tour and a virtual tour, here is a Real Estate video tour example:
Virtual tours benefits
There are numerous virtual tours’ benefits that can be highlighted compared to the ones that video tours have. Here are some of the main ones:
1. More user engagement
A video tour might last up to 2 minutes, which depending on the content, can be a short experience for your viewers. If the content does not provide the immersive experience your audience is looking for in the brief duration of the video, their engagement with you and what you’re trying to portray might be lost immediately.
In contrast, a virtual tour is self-paced, and your viewers can take as much time as they want navigating through all the scenes and contemplating specific details, which can be more difficult to do with a short video. Your audience is able to experience a detailed story through virtual tours. Furthermore, the time that each viewer takes to complete the virtual tour will vary every time because they decide where to navigate in each scene, and whether they want to take a closer look at something specific in a photo of their interest.
2. Enriched content
When it comes to a video tour, you can be restricted to the duration of the video to provide relevant content. Since the video is too short, it is helpful just to create awareness of the place that is being showcased, but not to give any specific details that might be required to have a full experience of the location. Also, additional doubts may arise when playing the video tour, which will remain unanswered as the video is too short to provide detailed information.
On the other hand, virtual tours are more than a group of 360-degree photos. Each interconnected scene can have relevant insights that you want to highlight, other images related to a specific object, and videos or voice recordings about facts of the photo that is being seen. The content of the virtual tour depends on your creativity, which provides a flexible advantage in comparison to a video tour.
Since virtual tours are highly enriched with content, the possible questions that viewers might have, can be already answered during the tour experience. Virtual tours can be created with all the necessary information, so when the viewer clicks on an image or object, they can access external links or documentation that will provide the resources they are looking for.
3. Virtual tours creation in no time
A video tour is a full production that requires time to make. It could even take months to have a complete video to share with the public. Also, because the duration of the video is too short, a lot of planning—which is time-consuming—is involved in order to choose the main highlights and deliver the full idea of the location in question.
On the other hand, a virtual tour can be finished in less than 48 hours with specialized services like DiveIn. DiveIn offers you assisted virtual tours, which only require your 360-degree images and further instructions of what you want to include in your tour. For example, scenes, objects descriptions, additional photos, or recordings about any details of the location. The virtual tour can be customized to the extent of your creativity, which is shared via notes with the DiveIn team, so it can be portrayed on your tour.
4. Virtual tours with flexible modifications
Because video tours are a finished production, no modifications can be made after the video is exported. In case you or your audience notices any errors once the video is already uploaded, a lot of effort and cost are involved if you decide to fix the video tour and upload it again. When this happens, you have to contact the video editor to let him know about the found mistake and wait until it is fixed and ready, which can take the same amount of time as remaking the video tour and might have additional costs as well.
In contrast, the platform used to edit your virtual tours allows any additional modifications that are required to be made on demand. This advantage can be used not only for fixing spot-on errors, but also for reusing content or adding extra photos to enhance the user experience that your virtual tour provides.
5. Lower cost
A well-produced video tour is expensive to make, not to mention when a specialized team is hired to deliver the production. Also, depending on the place that will be showcased, other tools are required for filming, such as drones, in order to take aerial shots. Adding the use of these tools to the overall cost generates a higher investment to produce one of these video tours.
The prices of video tours vary depending on the size of the location to be filmed, the duration of the video, if background music or voice-over narrations are added, if aerial shots are included, among other factors. The prices range from $200 to $600 per video. Because of its high cost, you must know your audience very well to determine if it’s worth investing this much in this short video.
On the contrary, the creation of virtual tours is generally offered in two methods, per tour or per subscription. Either one of them is less expensive than making a video tour. Paying per tour means a single payment per each requested virtual tour. On the other hand, subscriptions may vary depending on the service provider. There are usually at least three packages to choose from, in which each one offers a certain amount of tours for your subscription period.
In Real Estate, which is one of the most well-known realms in the virtual tour industry, one subscription package is usually chosen as its overall cost is divided by the number of available listings. And the advantage that this method offers is that the subscription plans have included benefits, such as, custom floor plans to help your viewers in the navigation of the property, the addition of your Real Estate agency logo and contact information in all your virtual tours, and the ability to request assisted virtual tours to meet your specific needs. Also, the subscription method provides the flexibility of choosing the duration of your plan based on requirements like the amount of properties you have available or the budget allocated for media.
6. Improved user experience
The experience that a video tour provides is the same each time it is presented. That’s why you should put a lot of effort to deliver relevant content within its short duration. The user experience might be seriously affected if the video tour does not provide a proper perspective of the location that is being toured. Also, the video is portrayed from your point of view, which might be misunderstood by the audience and cause their disinterest in the content.
On the other hand, a virtual tour provides the viewer with the ability to explore the location in the way they desire. Even though the scenes are interconnected in a sequence based on your perspective, the audience has the advantage of navigating each scene and the entire tour to their convenience. With virtual tours, users can easily stop for a moment because something calls their attention in a scene, navigate through the list of all the scenes, and zoom in and zoom out on an object of their interest. Each user will have a unique experience every time they visit your virtual tour.
Additionally, with a virtual tour, the viewer is able to have a sense of the actual layout of the place they are remotely visiting. Being the location, either a house, a building, or an open space, the capability that 360-degree photos provide to transport viewers to your location, is one of the virtual tours’ main advantages. With this type of pictures, the user has a full perspective of the location in all directions, which allows the user to experience the place as if they were touring it in reality.
To sum up, video tours have become an alternative widely used among any industry that provides end users with immersive experiences of interesting locations. However, virtual tours are able to give your viewers a more interactive and even more immersive experience overall than the one the video tour does. Based on the virtual tours’ benefits described above, we can conclude the following:
- Content engagement: The self-paced experience provided with a virtual tour keeps your viewers entertained and intrigued as every time the tour is taken, something new and different might catch their attention. Not to mention the positive impact the additional media can have on their user experience.
- Creation time: The ability to create a virtual tour in less than 48 hours with post-editing capabilities, provides you with more flexibility to add more relevant content to it if desired.
- Cost: The creation of a virtual tour is less expensive than the production of a short video tour including all the benefits described in this article.
- User experience: Your audience has total control over the tour experience, which makes it a more real and interactive one, especially about the places they are remotely visiting.
We may not be Batman, but we can assist you and your users with the amazing experience that virtual tours give, as we can create a professional tour with your 360-degree photos in less than 48 hours. Feel free to create an account in DiveIn Studio and explore the options we offer. You can try our free plan and request an assisted virtual tour to fit your custom needs.