Though virtual tour photography is a relatively new concept in the world of digital marketing, compared to images, videos or illustrations, it is catching on fast. 360 virtual tours of any business with a physical presence, be it a bar, café, golf course, hotel, school or college, can offer potential customers a unique, engaging and immersive experience. These tours can drive decision-making, keep you ahead of competitors, and even boost your ranking on Google’s search results page. Google, in fact, loves virtual tours, or it wouldn’t offer its Google Street View feature to help businesses create tours quickly and easily.
Now, since many businesses are jumping on the virtual tour bandwagon these days, you must do your best to survive and thrive. And for that, an amateur photographer who has just started dabbling with virtual tours, won’t do the trick. So, how to a hire a virtual tour photographer who is a professional and knows exactly what they are doing? Here are some tips.
Check whether they understand your objective
Every business has a different objective or goal when they create a virtual tour. You might want to bring in more traffic to your website, boost the engagement rate on your site and reduce the bounce rate, get more conversions or want more people to sign up for your newsletter. So, when you hire a virtual tour photographer, make sure they know your goal and can put together a tour that helps you reach it.
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Check if they have enough experience
The virtual tour photographer you pick should ideally have been in business for quite some time. While a newbie might have the technical knowhow and creativity needed for a good job, they will probably lack sufficient industry experience. So, based on your business and need, you need to take a call. Remember that someone who knows exactly what works for your industry or what kind of tour will beat your competitors, can give you better results. Also, request for a portfolio of projects they have done before and decide if you like what you see.
Check if their technical skills are adequate
Creating a smashing virtual tour requires the photographer to be technically sound. They should have thorough knowledge about camera settings, composition, exposure and lenses. Expert Google virtual tour photographers know when to use what, and can easily decide on aspects like vantage point, staging of the location, time of day for the shoot, duration of the shoot, and delivery timeline of the final tour. They will know how to process and weave a compelling story with the images they shoot, so that your business looks super attractive and credible. They should also have ample knowledge about different kinds of software and editing tools to give you the best 360-degree tour possible.
Check their photography equipment
You will come across many photographers who claim to shoot amazing images and create realistic tours with basic 360 cameras. But it’s best not to compromise on the kind or quality of equipment, as it might affect the look and finish of your tour. Professional and experienced virtual tour photographers will always use a DSLR camera and one that at least has 16 megapixels. It will come with wide angle lenses, both off and on flashes and superior resolution. So, check the kind of equipment the photographer will use before you say yes to them.
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Check the reviews
Go online to check both positive and negative reviews shared by past customers of the photographer you are planning to go with. If the negative reviews outweigh the positive ones, try someone else. From the reviews, try to get an idea about how professional they are, whether they are efficient and punctual, whether they communicate well, have decent work ethics, and are smart enough to give you what you want. Don’t just go by the testimonials on the photographer’s website as they will be all-positive for obvious reasons.
Check their rates
Try to find a virtual tour photographer who will be worth the money you spend. Compare the rates they quote with other photographers in the market for the same kind of service, before you take a call. Avoid those who quote unbelievably low rates as it usually indicates shoddy quality. But of course, it doesn’t make sense to go with someone who charges the earth for a simple virtual tour. So, talk to a few photographers, discuss your ideas, assess the complexity of the tour, and then take a decision.
Now that you know about the best way to hire a virtual tour photographer, get started and give your business the marketing boost it deserves. Or if you want to play safe and go with a brand that is innovative, established and trusted, simply shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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