July 30, 2021

Virtual Tours vs Video Tours: Why 360 Tours Are Worth the Investment

virtual tour singapore
Photo by Chris Arthur-Collins from Unsplash

There are many ways of marketing your business but for industries such as real estate, event spaces, hospitality and retail, their selling strategy should focus on promoting their space. These businesses rely on their attractive venues and properties to bring in customers and a vital tool that should be used is a visual aid. These graphics and images allow customers to visualise the space and appreciate the property even before viewing it in person. Visual aids provide comprehensive proof and transparency of your business. However, some may argue that visuals such as still images are enough. While images can showcase your space, it does not allow for a seamless circumferential view and is not immersive enough to engage clients. Other options that could get customers to experience the space accurately are 360 virtual tours and video tours. These two marketing ideas differ a lot and offer varying experiences. As a business owner, it is important to differentiate between the two and decide whether a video tour or a virtual tour in Singapore best fits your brand.

What is a video tour?

Video tours are walk-through motion videos that are usually found on YouTube. They require you to press play and sit back as you watch a one-point view of the space. It is usually considered passive viewing just like watching television. As the video takes you around the space, you get the view from a single camera and sometimes there may be a voice over narration with subtitles for a guided tour and explanation of the space. There is not much a customer can interact with except for pausing or rewinding the video to go back to a previous point. Video tours work best for a quick walk-through or a storytelling explanation of a venue and can hold one’s attention for just a couple of minutes before it gets too draggy and mundane. It does well for an introductory promotional video before diving into a more comprehensive view of the space using other interactive tools. 

What is a virtual tour?

Virtual tours are created from singular images taken from every angle of the space, which are then stitched together to form a 360 circumferential view of the venue. These tours are created and embedded into any business site, with its UI/UX interface matching the brand’s overall aesthetic and colour scheme. It is an active viewing format where clients will have to click around the space themselves and experience the place at their own pace. If they are interested in a certain area of the room, they can zoom into it anytime they want to. 360 tours come with a myriad of interactive features that alleviate the experience. 

Like video tours, voiceover narrations can be added to explain different areas of the venue through an audio sensory format. They also come with a navigation menu that categorises the various sections of the space to make the exploration experience easier. Features like “hotspots” are extremely helpful in a virtual tour as they allow for added information of certain details in the room in the form of texts, videos and images. As a 360 tour can be embedded into your business website instead of a streaming site like YouTube, it allows for customer service related elements such as chat boxes or an appointment booking system. This improves the user experience and connects businesses with their clients to form a trusting relationship. Virtual tours are especially beneficial for real estate properties as schematic floor plans can be added on to view the overall blueprint of the space. 

Video Tours vs Virtual Tour: How To Decide Which Is Best

Shooting Time

Video tours are slightly faster to shoot, taking up to an hour to shoot a single home while virtual tours may take 2 hours. A video tour is simpler to edit and put together while 360 tours will need time to stitch the images together and also add in extra interactive elements. 

Coverage of Shoot

Virtual tours are able to shoot a comprehensive view of a property and it is not uncommon to add in a street view of the outdoor space. Quality equipment together with post-production editing to even out light exposure makes it much easier for clients to navigate around neighbouring properties on their own time unlike video tours, which may end up too draggy.

Visibility On Search Engines

Virtual tours, especially ones embedded in Google business accounts, are known to rank higher than their competitors. The nature of a 360 tour requires customers to spend a longer time engaging with the content, and the duration spent on a site affects their search engine ranking. Video tours usually get picked up through YouTube, which can be a competitive space especially when the video-sharing platform is saturated with so many other walk-through tours.  

Uploading Site 

Virtual tours can be embedded into your main business site or Google. The interface can be seamlessly designed to match your brand for a more professional look. Video tours are either uploaded to YouTube or embedded as a video on your site. However, embedded videos may come across as amateur if not optimised well. 

Engagement & User Interaction 

As mentioned, video tours have limited engagement tools with just a basic voice over audio. On the other hand, virtual tours allow customers to participate with the features for a more holistic experience. 

When choosing between the two, it is important to evaluate your marketing budget as this can greatly affect the quality of content you select as well as deciding between an interactive or passive video form. In short, a basic virtual tour is more affordable than creating a video tour unless added complex features are requested. Video tours can be costly as a crew of videographers and directors are needed to shoot it with added pre-shoot story boarding. These preparations and extra helping hands can incur a larger bill compared to opting for a virtual tour.

36 tour singapore
Photo by Francesca Tosolini on Unsplash

To book a virtual tour in Singapore, get in touch with a trusted agency that understands your budget and goals. You can view our extensive portfolio here